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A Toast to House Sitting in South Australia

If you love to cap off a day of house sitting with a glass of wine, South Australia is the state to go to. The fourth-largest state in Australia, SA is famous for its fine wines and many cultural festivals earning for itself the nickname “The Festival State”.

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From a settlement of a little more than 600 people arriving in seven ships in 1836, South Australia now has a population of almost 2 million, living in almost 650,000 homes. Most of the state's population lives in the capital, Adelaide. The rest are spread among the major cities like Mount Gambier, Whyalla, Murray Bridge and Port Lincoln.

Adelaide, with almost 1.3 million people is Australia's fifth largest city. It is laid out in an easy-to-roam grid pattern, with wide avenues and large public spaces. Famous for its long beaches, fine dining, festivals and sports events, Adelaide has been chosen, over and over, as one of the World's Most Liveable Cities.

Regardless of when you house sit in Adelaide, you're almost sure to have a festival or two (or more) going on at the time. Among the most popular are the Adelaide Fringe Festival (February), Adelaide Festival (March), Adelaide Cabaret Festival (June), South Australian Living Artists Festival (August), Royal Adelaide Show (September), and the Adelaide Christmas Pageant (November).

Just to spice up your average house sitting day, Adelaide has many concert venues like the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, and the Apollo Stadium; museums such as the Migration Museum; parks like the Botanic Park, and an entire ring of greenery that surrounds the city.

Move out of the city to the Adelaide Hills and visit Australia's oldest German settlement, complete with German food, drinks and hospitality. Or, head for the hills of the Barossa Valley or nearby Eden Valley and enjoy its world-famous wines and local cuisine.

Mount Gambier, with almost 30,000 residents, is South Australia's second-largest city. It is known for its parks and gardens, caves like the Ampherston Sinkhole, and the Blue Lake, which lies in an extinct volcano. Its many caves around the area are a favorite with cave divers from all over the world. Or, if you “must go down to the seas again”, head for Whyalla, the state's third most populous city. Here, you'll see cuttlefish in their breeding grounds, dolphins at the marina, and take part in the yearly Snapper Fishing Competition.

So whether it's food and wine, lakes and beaches, or lively happenings you're looking for, South Australia has heaps to make your house sitting assignment a time you won't forget.