History of South Australia
The coastline of South Australia was first mapped by Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin in 1802, excepting the inlet later named the Port Adelaide River which was first discovered in 1831 by Captain Collet Barker and later accurately charted in 1836-37 by Colonel William Light, Leader of the South Australian Colonization Commissioners' 'First Expedition' and first Surveyor-General of South Australia.
On 15 August 1834, the British Parliament passed the South Australia Act 1834 (Foundation Act), which empowered His Majesty to erect and establish a province or provinces in southern Australia. The act stated that 802,511 square kilometres would be allotted to the colony and it would be convict-free.
The commencement of colonial government was proclaimed on 28 December 1836, now known as Proclamation Day.
South Australia was the second Australian state to be settled by free colonists, the first being the free Swan River colony in Western Australia, however in 1849 Western Australia was formally constituted as a penal colony. Although South Australia was constituted such that convicts could never be transported to the Province, some emancipated or escaped convicts or expirees made their own way there, both prior to 1836, or later, and may have constituted 1-2% of the early population
The current flag of South Australia was adopted on 13 January 1904, and is a British blue ensign defaced with the state badge. The badge is described as a piping shrike with wings outstretched on a yellow disc. The state badge is believed to have been designed by Robert Craig of Adelaide's School of Design.
The terrain consists largely of arid and semi-arid rangelands, with several low mountain ranges. The most important (but not tallest) is the Mount Lofty-Flinders Ranges system, which extends north about 800 kilometres (500 mi) from Cape Jervis to the northern end of Lake Torrens. The highest point in the state is not in those ranges; Mount Woodroffe, 1,435 metres is in the Musgrave Ranges in the extreme northwest of the state. The south-western portion of the state consists of the sparsely inhabited Nullarbor Plain, fronted by the cliffs of the Great Australian Bight. Features of the coast include Spencer Gulf and the Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas that surround it.
The southern part of the state has a Mediterranean climate, while the rest of the state has either an arid or semi-arid climate.
At the 2016 census the population of South Australia was 1.7 million residents.