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

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 MapAdelaide 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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{ 995 comments… add one }
  • Enamul Kabir November 29, 2017, 1:35 pm | Link

    My occupation is Project coordinator. I’m thinking of moving to Adelaide by July, 2018 from Bangladesh. I’m a little worried about getting a job there as I will turn 43 by then. Can anybody come up with a suggestion for me about how best possibly I could settle in there?

    Regards, Enam

    • BobinOz December 1, 2017, 3:50 pm | Link

      I can’t specifically help you, but I think you have every right to be worried about getting a job here, most people say they are very hard to come by in Adelaide.

      Best place to do your research though is via the links on my page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.

      Maybe a local will see your comment and have more suggestions.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Andy November 13, 2017, 10:21 pm | Link

    I just wanted to contribute slightly as we moved to Adelaide three years ago and this website (thanks Bob and family) was the main point of reference and very useful for some of the intricacies of Aussie life (though I’m still getting used to the Bottle-o rather than Tesc-o and the SA ‘pint’).

    Adelaide is absolutely a big country town – by which it is relaxed, friendly and the traffic is minimal unless you’re in peak hour and the tram works are running a bit late in the morning. Don’t come here if you’re expecting a party town for 12/12 months of the year – you’ll be disappointed – however, the Fringe Festival is second to none in Feb/March, the Adelaide 500 is worth a watch and as Bob says the beaches stretch for miles – stay away from Glenelg and you’ll likely get a good couple of hundred metres of beautiful white sand to enjoy…. for hundreds of kilometres north or south. For the rest of the year head to the wineries, the botanical gardens or the links golf courses.

    For living: anywhere Inner East, Inner North or CBD if you want to stick with the 20 minute city, good pubs/ restaurants. Further out and the traffic is starting to build. Some places have a bad reputation…. if you’re coming to earn an honest living then pretty much anywhere has good, solid neighbourhoods, decent people and great parklands. The cultural mix is amazing and the CBD Chinatown is IMHO better than Manchester/Notts/London for food and selection.

    • BobinOz November 14, 2017, 8:26 pm | Link

      Hi Andy

      Great roundup of Adelaide, thanks for taking the time to do it. Glad to hear I helped you in some way in your journey to move to this country.

      I’ve only visited Adelaide once, that was six years ago, actually almost 7, I really liked it. I’m thinking it’s about time I made a second visit, and I’m glad you mentioned the Fringe Festival, because I would definitely like to see some of that. I think we are already working on different plans for our holidays next year, but maybe I’ll check it out in 2019.

      Thanks again, Bob

  • Princy October 30, 2017, 10:20 pm | Link

    Hey Could you pleade suggest whicj area is most suitable to live with family with job requirement as a manufacturer, nearby high elemenyary school and child care too.

    • BobinOz October 31, 2017, 6:15 pm | Link

      Not sure there’s much manufacturing going on in Adelaide and the moment, so I think your best bet would be to try and find work first and then decide on your where to live based on that.

      My page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship can help you look for work.

  • Ashley Rees October 20, 2017, 7:26 pm | Link

    Hi there,
    I have worked in the homelessness sector for approx. 6 years, I will also become a a qualified social worker in June 2018 (which is on the skilled list along with listing homelessness as experience in that sector). I will be 31yrs old once qualified and considering wanting to emigrate by the time I am 33years old with my partner who will then be 30 years old. We have no children at present (plan is once I am 35). Adelaide has caught my attention in terms of what we would want from an area to live. Social work jobs appear to be fetching in approx. $90,000 a year so I am wondering if this would be enough to live comfortably in Adeliade?

    My partner has a Domestic/Commercial Cleaning Business (Windows, gutters, paving, rendering, fascia’s and in store big cleans) in the UK and I am wondering how it would be for him to find work in Adelaide? We are open to other places if work would be easier to obtain for him. He also has a tyre fitter qualification. He is also considering completing a skilled qualification before we apply such as welding.

    Do you think we could live on my $90,000 until he could secure work and of course have some savings? The hope is also that a family member will run his business so that would still be a small income but we have to wait to see with that.

    Kind regards


    • Gareth October 20, 2017, 8:53 pm | Link

      $90,000 a year is probably $35k above the average wage in Adelaide and you should be very comfortable. I operate a commercial cleaning business, it’s a tight market and I’ve now moved interstate. I’m breaking up the business and would be a good starting point for your partner to get a foot in the door.

      • Not trolling Gary October 22, 2017, 11:37 pm | Link

        Hi Gary

        No pun intended but I recall your comments about being unemployed here is just for lazy people 😅😅😅 Guess Adelaide not all what it’s cracked up to be after all?

        • Gareth October 23, 2017, 7:42 am | Link

          We’ve had a three year plan to move and it’s finally come to fruition. Adelaide is still a town of opportunity, but after 37 years it’s time for a change and set ourselves up for retirement. If I were to chose between the high crime rate and burgeoning population explosion of Victoria, the corruption and high cost of living in Sydney and the challenges of employment and an inept government in SA, I’d still take SA without a doubt.

          I’ve a friend who just came from Queensland to set up a business and in the space of two weeks has a $200k p/a turn over just from knocking on business doors.

          • Josh October 28, 2017, 4:36 am | Link

            The original poster mentioned they work in homelessness, this is certainly a growth area in adelaide, and gareth, if adelaide was a place of opportunity, why are you moving away ?

            • Gareth October 28, 2017, 7:54 am | Link

              Again, as previously mentioned, it’s about moving into a different stage in our lives, wanting more balance, more adventure, different opportunities. I had lived in Adelaide 38 years and didn’t plan on being a one town kinda guy. We still have our business there, it funds our lifestyle and over the past week many opportunities have come at me based in Adelaide or from Adelaide connections. I would still chose Adelaide over Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane if I was in the position to do so. Rest assured, I haven’t moved to any of those places.

              • Ozimandias October 28, 2017, 8:12 pm | Link

                from an kutsider’s view, Adelaide has for many years entertained socialists at the expense of enormous opportunity to become an energy behemoth.

                It is an example of what happens when the populace yields to a malevolent centralised politically driven power structure.

                Downtown Adelaide in summer is fearsome. Yet, despite being in possession of cheap energy resources, we see the elected government consistently directed efforts to enslave the populace with nigh impossibly expensive energy, to the point that there are power failures in summer,

                • Ozimandias October 28, 2017, 8:21 pm | Link

                  Adelaide has the archetypal socialist government. In my own field, I was offered a job not long ago for $250 per hour. I know in my bones, this level of remuneration is to harm the South Australian taxpayer and to compensate for decisions by people who are in entrenched positions in government, rather than from the perspective of a good deal for the employeee and a good deal for society.

                  I see South Australia as a more obvious crucible of the mentality that is hell bent on indebting and crippling the West.

                  It has nice streets and a pretty good quality of life, but summer is a case of being baked if you are a pedestrian.

  • Basil October 4, 2017, 8:34 am | Link

    Hi, I am planning to move to Adelaide from Sydney next year. I work as a Business Analyst/Consultant and am hoping to get a transfer to Adelaide. My wife would be looking for an HR/admin role, she is currently working 3 days in Sydney. Kids are 10 years (currently year 5) and 4 years (currently in playschool).
    The reasons for the move are to get away from the busy hustle and bustle of Sydney, reduced commute time to work, and opportunity to buy a house (Sydney has priced us out, or I do not see value in spending such large amounts for an house). I have been to Adelaide multiple times for work and always liked the organised streets and clam lifestyle. We also plan to visit the city to see how it feels from a family, kids growing up perspective.
    I am looking for a suburb with good primary and secondary schools (preferably public), hospital, and general shopping close by. Not too far from the CBD, preferably with public transportation. Being near a beach is not a requirement, though wouldn’t hurt. We live in Waitara/Horsnby (north shore) in Sydney, everything is close by here. Any suggestions on similar suburbs would be appreciated.

    • Ozimandias October 4, 2017, 10:31 pm | Link

      Hornsby is well out from the centre of Sydney. Big hills. Somewhat leafy, a shopping strip right on the train station, with a typical large mall. Quite Asian. I liked the banh mi near the station, but not much to say about the place otherwise fondly. OK gym down past the station. Sardinesville on the train there from Central Station on the morning train. Can’t say I blame you for wanting out.
      Adelaide is not something I am really familiar with to live in, only visit. Glenelg struck me as pleasant. Trams are a welcome sight. You probably want to go to the Aussie suburbs forums and surf there, cognisant of people who are shilling for their suburb and the fact you can’t see that person in public to get an instant assessment as to whether they are giving a fair assessment to your needs. The playing field online is a bit different! Good luck. On your side is there isn’t much to choose from suburbanise in Adelaide. It is well planned, the streets wide and grid-like in arrangement. Against you is the oppressive thermal beatdown in summer that makes walking for any distance impossible. This now comes with Australia’s worst energy prices (despite clear access to some of the world’s richest cheap energy resources) and not only that, power failure in summer. Choose carefully.

    • Gareth October 5, 2017, 7:16 am | Link

      Lots of areas to choose from, East coast Somerton Park up to Henley and Grange. Eastern leafy foothills from Cambelltown through to Glen Osmond, or up the freeway to Aldgate, Stirling and Bridgewater. South of the city through Unley, Goodwood. Lots of options really. Also, where some people may complain about the price of power, sensible usage and the installation of a Tesla battery or like will over ride that problem, and the money you will save with less travel time to and from work in fuel and parking will quickly pay that off. Every city has it’s pro’s and con’s, if you’ve done thr research you won’t find anything new being thrown at you here.

    • Basil October 5, 2017, 3:29 pm | Link

      Thanks both for the response. My hope is that I would be able to find a less crowded suburb with all facilities as the one I am currently in, closer to the CBD, at a much more affordably price point. The research is on, hopefully will be able to make the move.

      • Josh October 7, 2017, 8:03 pm | Link

        if you already have a job then that’s a huge advantage, but make sure it’s secure as many people have left adelaide because no work

    • Scott October 8, 2017, 8:28 am | Link

      Hello Basil
      I live in Adelaide with no children although have allot of family in Sydney, also my age and who have very high mortgages. The price over there is astronomical compared to other cities, especially Adelaide, and it is a very family friendly area.
      I would like to suggest this website for you to view, here you can see average household income, mortgages people pay, rental prices, people with education, average age, and so on in a map form or even analysis data for most council regions. It gives a great overview. The website is and you can click on Burnside for example (Wealthy eastern suburbs area), and click on median mortgage payments and the map with show you the colored areas or analysis shows you the figures. All the best.

    • Scott October 8, 2017, 8:32 am | Link

      Also forgot to mention, that website has population density and the colored areas too, so you can specifically see what areas are high and low, and if your current council area in on there in Sydney you can do a direct comparison without all the guess work.

      • Basil October 8, 2017, 10:34 am | Link

        Thanks Scott for the website reference. I’ll have a look. Thanks.

  • Pol August 21, 2017, 9:24 pm | Link

    I’m Pol 26, and I’m from Spain, Barcelona actually.
    I’m really looking forward to move to Australia and live there some time, I need to change my daily habits.
    I’m a computer science engineer and I have 3 years of meaningful experience under my belt, but still I’m a bit worried about the fact that I might not get a job in there with the money I have saved (Around 4k€)

    What are the best options to come? What visa and what are the next steps after the visa?
    What city do you recommend for someone who has been living in Barcelona and in Budapest?


    • BobinOz August 22, 2017, 9:22 pm | Link

      Well, I can’t give advice on what kind of visa to get on how to go about it, you would need to see a MARA migration agent about that, for more information see Would I Qualify?

      As for jobs in Adelaide, you are right to be worried, they are very hard to get, especially for new migrants. Have a good skim through the comments made here already about that to get an idea of what you will be up against. Also, my page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship will help you do some research.

  • Warnika August 21, 2017, 3:48 pm | Link

    I am from Sri Lanka and plan to move adelaide by 489 visa category.
    please let me know about job finding details, children’s schools and living cost?which area is prefer to live in adelaide ?????day care centres and other needs.

    • BobinOz August 21, 2017, 6:12 pm | Link

      Have a look around my website, I’ve written about all of those subjects at great length. Please take a look at the sub-menu links under my Migration Advice link in the main menu above to access this kind of information.

  • Ash August 15, 2017, 6:35 pm | Link

    My partner and I are relocating to Adelaide and I’m hoping to get some suggestions for suburbs to focus on for rental searches. I’ve been recommended some general areas like ‘inner west’ or ‘southern suburbs’ but could really use some specific suburbs to plug into and the like.

    Here’s what we’d like in a rental (roughly in order of priorities)
    – $400-$500 per week
    – 2+ beds
    – small backyard/courtyard garden for indoor/outdoor cat
    – cycling distance (within about 8ks) of Adelaide uni
    – prefer walking distance to tram/train line (not bus)
    – walking distance to a nice coffee/brunch spot
    – close to cocktail bars/restaurants (walk or short uber)
    – would love an early 20th century house that’s been renovated but am guessing these come at a premium outside our price range

    I’ve scrolled thru previous posts up til about feb but haven’t found quite what I was after in terms of recommendations – if there’s a better way I should be searching the posts please let me know.

    • BobinOz August 16, 2017, 8:50 pm | Link

      I don’t know Adelaide well enough to help you here, but I think your budget is very good and as you are only required 2 beds, I think you would be able to meet all of your criteria.

      Hopefully someone local will give you more information, but I would suggest staying as close to the city as possible to have easy access to everything you want.

      I have a couple of other pages that will help you with your search, they are Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia and Which Suburb?

      On the first of those mentioned pages, which has a link to real, I put in your budget, chose Adelaide 5000 with the surrounded suburbs ticked and set it at a minimum of two bedrooms and a maximum of four. Got quite a good selection, about 80 properties in all. I’m sure plenty of those would be close enough to the university for you.

      Hope that helps a bit.

      • Ash August 20, 2017, 11:47 am | Link

        Thanks Bob – some really great pointers here 🙂

    • Josh August 20, 2017, 11:44 am | Link

      Hi Ash,

      Goodwood, Forrestville and Clarence Park are perfect for you as they are on train and tram (light rail) lines and have older housing stock (stone cottages, villas) with cafes on Goodwood Road, and good cycle ways to the city

      • Ash August 20, 2017, 11:49 am | Link

        Thank you Josh – this is a great help 🙂

  • Priyan August 13, 2017, 9:23 pm | Link

    Hi all,
    We are from Sri Lanka planning to move to Adelaide in December this year under 489 visa. Our daughter who will be 17 years by then needs to get admitted to Grade 11. Is it possible to seek admission to a Public High School when we arrive in December? Is it possible to apply from here as it looks like many schools close their applications by October this year.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Paul T August 14, 2017, 6:46 am | Link

      Hi Priyan
      I am pretty confident that you will not have too many problems enrolling your daughter. You will need to decide where in Adelaide and it’s suburbs, you are going to live first, as you don’t want your daughter having to get up early each day to catch multiple buses or trains to school? Most suburbs have a local public school, and you should be able to email them for enrollment advice once you have somewhere to live, sorted out?

      • Priyan August 14, 2017, 10:21 pm | Link

        Many thanks, Paul. Relieved to hear that. Will email and check on the enrolment process and plan our move accordingly.

        • Paul T August 15, 2017, 8:06 am | Link

          Hi Priyan
          Depending on what you do for a living, it’s probably better to live in one of the suburbs closer to the Central Businesses District (CBD) which is the main heart of the city bounded by the four terraces (North, South, East and West terrace) though you will find buying a house or renting more expensive. There are many apartments within the cityitself, with new ones being built right now. Alternatively the further you move away from the city centre, the cheaper properties will become, but may be offset by the cost of commuting each day, assuming you work somewhere in the CBD?
          Just some further food for though? A good online map of Adelaide and it’s surrounds should help, and I have identified some possible suburbs in my previous posts to others
          Best of luck with your move.
          Cheers, Paul

    • MD August 30, 2017, 11:29 pm | Link

      Don’t go to Adelaide unless you are planning to go into aged care.

  • Archit Bhutani August 11, 2017, 5:48 pm | Link

    Hey Bob,

    Very informative blogs about Australian cities. I have received my 489SS visa from Adelaide and planning to come by October end. Wanted to know what could be the best areas for renting an accommodation for a single applicant and what could be the estimated weekly expenses including bills (just an estimate)

    Appreciate your help


  • Kasun August 10, 2017, 9:20 pm | Link

    Hi Bob and everyone,

    My wife and I got Temporary visa for SA (489 Skilled Visa) and we are hoping to move to Adelaide in December. I am a Systems Engineer and do have 5+ working experience in Sri Lanka. Please let us know what kind of opportunities do we have when settling down there ?


    • BobinOz August 11, 2017, 7:25 pm | Link

      I couldn’t specifically tell you about system engineer opportunities, but you can do the research on my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.

      I’m afraid a lot of the talk in the comments here on this page though are about just how difficult it is to find work in Adelaide at the moment, especially for new migrants. I would suggest you spend a fair amount of time going through these comments so you can see what you will be up against. Good luck, Bob

  • Josie August 6, 2017, 6:40 am | Link

    Hi I am emigrating to Oz along with my hubby and 3 children, 8,6 & 2. My hubby is an Engineer. We are considering both Adelaide and Brisbane subject to employment. Ideally, we want a nice 4+ bed house in an area suitable for a young family, parks, clean, quiet areas. We like eating out and the boys enjoy BMX-ing.

    • BobinOz August 7, 2017, 6:55 pm | Link

      Well, I could help you out with Brisbane, but not Adelaide. I think what we would need to know though before anyone can answer you is what your budget is and whether you are renting or buying.

  • Issa Youssef August 5, 2017, 7:18 pm | Link

    Hi Bob and everyone,

    I am planning to move to Adelaide within few months, me my wife and my about 2 years son. We are coming from the middle east. I am planning to come for a short visit ( less than 1 month ) before coming to settle there. Could you please suggest the areas that are the best to stay in, during the short visit and after that when we come to settle down. At first, we will not have a car, so we have to rely on public transportation. I would also like to stay somewhere close to train/bus stations, and to shopping places, in addition to parks.

    Your kind help will be much appreciated.

    Many thanks,

    • BobinOz August 7, 2017, 6:37 pm | Link

      Well, you haven’t said anything at all about what you really want from a suburb, so it’s impossible for anybody to give you any meaningful advice. May I suggest you have a quick skim through all the comments that have already been made here, as many of them are about the suburbs and what they are like.

      I’m sure you will find out a lot about the various places in and around Adelaide. Good luck with your move, Bob

      • Issa Youssef August 7, 2017, 8:21 pm | Link

        Thanks for your reply, Bob. I mentioned that we need a suburb/area where it is not far from shopping places, public transportation ( train/bus stations). Besides that, the area should be suitable for a family to live in i.e. not very noisy, decent, reasonable prices…

        I will also check the previous comments.

        Thanks again !

  • Dominator July 31, 2017, 8:43 pm | Link

    I’m an undergraduate from India. I have 3 years of experience in a reputed BPO. Have traveled to Australia for being the bezt performer at my work.
    Can I get a job in Australia?

    • BobinOz August 1, 2017, 8:15 pm | Link

      That is very much an impossible question to answer, but my page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship will help you research it and assess your chances from available opportunities in your field.

  • Patrick July 26, 2017, 4:03 am | Link

    HI, I am Patrick I want to study in Australia…Adelaide to be specific, please which universities are the best for an international student and also with tuition fees between AUD$15,000-AUD$20,000.also what are my work opportunities and approx. earnings.

    • BobinOz July 26, 2017, 11:36 pm | Link

      Maybe somebody who knows about this can help you, but it’s not a question I can answer. I do know someone who may be able to help you though, see my page about Student Visas.

    • Amerie November 30, 2017, 12:24 pm | Link

      Hi Patrick

      It really depends on what you want to study. Flinders University and Adelaide University are very strong in the Medical, Legal and Engineering areas and University of Adelaide (which I have known a lot of international students go to) have more along the business degrees etc.
      Adelaide Uni or UniSA would be ideal for an international student as most of the classes are taken in the CBD and there are a lot of Student Housing options that are offered by the Universities themselves nearby. Flinders Uni is towards the southern suburbs and the distance from the CBD can make some newcomers feel isolated if they are not confident or have not lived out of home before.
      Regarding work opportunities, I can’t really help there as I dont know what field you are interested in. I know that UniSA pride themselves on getting their graduates ‘job ready’ with ‘real hands-on experience’ and that the Uni can help you with placements (if that is a requirement of your course) which often lead to employment.
      Good Luck.


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