Living in Adelaide

Adelaide CityAdelaide is the capital of South Australia and is Australia’s fifth largest city. It has a population of around 1.29 million people and is situated on the south coast of Australia about 600 km north west of Melbourne. It has a reputation for being calm and relaxed with a feel more like a big town than a city.Adelaide Location Map

It ranks very well according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2014 Liveability Survey, being placed as the fifth most liveable city in the world; impressive. It’s a lofty position which leaves many who live there bewildered, as some of the comments below will illustrate.

The city centre is divided into North Adelaide and Adelaide by the narrow Torrens River. Then both of these central areas are completely surrounded by green park lands which separate the centre from the suburbs. The city is small and compact and easy to navigate being laid out in a grid like fashion. The heart of the city is Victoria Square.

Adelaide claims to be the “20 minutes city”, meaning you can get anywhere within 20 minutes by car. That’s probably a slight exaggeration, but it is an easy city to get around and there is little by the way of traffic jams.

Adelaide and the surrounding areas are a beach goer’s paradise. The city itself sits on the east of the Gulf St. Vincent and is just 10 km away from those sandy shores. West Beach, Henley Beach, Glenelg Beach and Semaphore Beach are all close by and may well be some of the best metropolitan beaches in Australia.

For even more beach options, jump into the car and head north for about an hour and a half. You can then begin to explore over 700 km of beaches on the York Peninsula. Take your pick, there’s plenty to choose from. If you want to drive your car on a beach, go to North Beach at Wallaroo.

If that’s not enough for you, take a trip out to Kangaroo Island, just a short ferry trip about an hour and a half’s drive south from the city. Enjoy the natural wildlife of the island, kangaroos, penguins, koalas, wallabies, goannas and a lot more.

Oh, and Adelaide is also internationally recognised for its winemaking at vineyards such as those at the Barossa Valley and Coonawarra regions.

Sounds nice doesn’t it?

What’s the weather like?

Adelaide Annual Weather ChartAdelaide’s climate has been described as “Mediterranean” and summers can be extremely hot but what is most notable of all, is how dry it is. It’ll play havoc with your skin.

Summers are really sunny but winter is not so good, being quite cold and dull with a fair bit of rain.

The heat and the dryness do, of course, indicate the dangers of bushfires. Other severe weather would include thunderstorms and gales.

Here’s a map of Adelaide with the location of each of those areas:

Adelaide Map
Adelaide can be broken down into five main areas:

  • Inner Adelaide – includes City, Inner North, Inner South, Inner East and Inner West
  • North Adelaide – includes Port Adelaide Area, Outer North East and Outer North
  • South Adelaide – includes Outer South
  • East Adelaide – includes Adelaide Hills
  • West Adelaide – includes Glenelg and Brighton

Questions about Adelaide?

If you have any question about living in Adelaide, please please feel free to ask them in the comments below. Or if you know this city well, why not tell us what you think of it or maybe even help out by answering some of the questions people have about the area. I’m sure anybody thinking of moving here would be very grateful for any help you can give them.

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{ 746 comments… add one }
  • Alex December 2, 2016, 5:31 pm | Link

    Hi all,

    I am currently living and working in Kenya but my family and I will be immigrating to Adelaide on permanent residency visas on 15th January 2017. To this end we would like to have secured a rental property before then. My wife and I have three children ages 8, 5 and 2 and they have all been accepted at St Joseph’s Payneham Primary School.

    We are ideally looking for a 3-4 bedroom with a minimum of 2 bathrooms. A maximum commute of 30-40 minutes to the school would be fine.

    A major challenge is most landlords do not want to rent out to new emigrants 🙁 Any ideas or experiences of new emigrants would be welcome.

    Thanks and I look forward to reading from you.



    • Shalini December 2, 2016, 5:36 pm | Link

      Hi Alex,
      We are also in Kenya ( Nairobi) and also planning the same on PR. Appreciate if we can engage here . Pl give your contact if possible or call me @ +254786549600.


      • BobinOz December 2, 2016, 8:55 pm | Link

        I’m not really convinced it’s a case of landlords not wanting to rent to new immigrants, but I am aware that in most states, certainly here in Queensland, it’s a requirement to actually view the property personally in order to be able to rent it.

        So if you are trying to secure a rental from abroad without having seen it, you will have problems. In some states this is actually the law, that someone must personally inspect the property before being able to rent it. It’s to get around potential problems of misrepresentation, i.e., when you get to see it you could say it doesn’t live up to how it was described you and therefore attempt to cancel the contract.

        Each landlord makes their own decision on who can and cannot rent the properties they owns based on information presented, most will simply choose the applicant they feel is the strongest. Hope that helps and good luck, Bob

  • Claire Jeffery November 28, 2016, 12:25 pm | Link

    Hi. My family of 6 will be moving to adelaide at the beginning of 2017. Our heads are spinning with where to live. Coming from Canada we would like our kids to be able to continue with their core French education instead of Japanese. Paringa park, Stirling east, edwardstown and glen osmond are the schools we are looking at. I will be in Daw Park for school and don’t want to have too far a commute. My husband would like to be as close to the water as possible. Is Glenelg too touristy? Is it far more expensive near the beach? We would really like to be in a community with kids and families. Thanks for any and all suggestions.

    • Gareth November 28, 2016, 7:10 pm | Link

      Hi Claire, sorry this will be a quick response but there is plenty of information on this thread, especially about schools. I posted a thread a while back with links where you can compare schools.
      Yes Glenelg is very touristy, and expensive. But expense is relative to your income and assets. My sister lives there, but it’s not my cup if tea. Ic you are renting it’s probably not too bad if you stay away from the name brands (Glenelg, Henley, Brighton etc) and if you’re not in the beachfront or even beach side of Tapleys Hill Rd you should find somewhere.

      Best way to work out distances is simply with your maps app or GoogleMaps, that will give you drive time and distance.
      Welcome to Adelaide.

  • Samantha November 21, 2016, 1:27 pm | Link

    I’m highly considering relocation from the states to Adelaide. I understand first I’d need to get a work permit, but a few questions I have are below…
    1. Which areas are more diverse than others?
    2. Which areas are more family oriented, I do have a 10 and 14 yr old. So they’d need to feel comfortable as well.
    3. Which areas are more affordable to live?
    4. Is it easy to purchase a car or rent a car?
    Thanks for your help, some research is quite scary so I’d like to hear from someone who is there and has experience. Any insight is awesome.

    • Gareth November 21, 2016, 2:57 pm | Link

      Hi Samantha,
      Australia in its nature is culturally diverse. You will find a high density of Indian and subcontinent workers and students around Prospect and Kilburn and surrounding areas. You will likely find Etheopians and Asians a round Kilburn, Kilkenny, Croydon areas.

      Affordable family environments are everywhere, from the Adelaide Hills to the Eastern foothills and NE suburbs. Depends on what environment you are looking for. Cars can be cheap to buy, around $45 a day to rent for s small one. Petroleum is around $1.25 per litre about now, and diesel around $1.13. Registration and insurance varies per vehicle and driving history.

      Feel free to ask any other questions you may have.

  • Sofia November 15, 2016, 6:26 am | Link

    Hello all!
    First of all thank you for informative reading, both here in the blog but also in the comments! I’ve tried finding some information that deals with my question but didn’t so I hope I’m not doubble posting a question here.

    I’m going to Adelaide in February as an exchange student. I’ve been looking at accomodation, and of course found the university managed accomodation options. But I feel these are quite expensive for a student budget when they are about 300 AUD/week for a room in shared apartment, shared toilet. I’m going to study in the University of Adelaide and now I’m looking for some advice to where I should look for accomodation I’ve understood the university is located in the CBD. Is it easy to get around with the metro if I’ll live far from CBD, and if I do what areas should I be looking into.
    Looking forward to hearing from you!


    • BobinOz November 15, 2016, 8:13 pm | Link

      Hi Sofia

      Yes, actually $300 per week for a room does seem very high, especially for Adelaide. I’m sure you could find plenty of options that are cheaper than that, but I’m afraid I will need to leave where you should look to the locals.

      Hopefully someone will see your question and answer it in due course, good luck, Bob

      • Sofia November 21, 2016, 8:05 pm | Link

        Hi Bob, that was exactly how I felt as well. Yes, lets see if anyone else has any ideas for me then, thank you for your time!


        • Rohit November 22, 2016, 9:10 am | Link

          Hi Sofia

          I u want house in city then its expensive. But if you go in suburbs then you can find units in the range of 200-250-280. Most of the suburbs are well connected with city. If you plan to drive your own car then Adelaide is a two minute city.

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