There are a list of good places to visit – or, yes, live – in Australia, but Adelaide definitely ranks amongst the top due to its many exciting characteristics. One of the most populated cities in the whole of Australia, the city boasts of a rich cultural heritage as well as beautiful natural attractions and landscapes. Consequently, these are some of the factors that have helped it develop a robust business landscape and economy from over the years.
Read more: Visit our Covid-19 Update – Going to Australia page for the latest news about moving or travelling there during the pandemic.
(Last updated on 28 May 2021)
In this guide, you will learn about Adelaide’s:
- The accessible transport systems
- How affordable everything is
- The lively art and culture scene
We’re Not Fans of
- Potholes in the roads
- Lack of nature strips
- Super markets closing early (9 p.m.)
Median House Price (as of March 2021): A$518,000 Metropolitan Adelaide and A$280,000 Non-metro (major town)
Unless you are a citizen or permanent resident in Australia, or a citizen of New Zealand, you will have to first apply to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) for permission to purchase property in the country. The conditions attached to the approval for temporary residents are that the property has to be re-sold when they leave unless their status changes to permanent resident or citizen later on.
Most applications for vacant land or new land are usually approved; the same does not apply for established dwellings, where most applications are denied.
Applications are submitted to the FIRB, with a fee, depending on the value of the house it starts at A$5,000 for one valued at $1 million. It can take up to 30 days for you to find out if it has been approved or rejected.
Mortgages for home buying are available for FIRB approved purchases.
As a general rule, the cost of buying a property is roughly 5 percent of the purchase price and includes legal fees, stamp duties, loan establishment fees and other costs.
Sites to search for properties in Adelaide include:
From the moment you move to Australia on a permanent basis you are liable for tax. You will also be a fiscal resident if you preside in the country for more than six months, holding the same job and lived at the same address over that period.
The tax rates for Australian residents are as follows (as of 2021):
- 0 – A$18,200 – NIL
- A$18,201 – A$45,000 – 19c for each $1 over A$18,200
- A$45,001 – A$120,000 – A$5,092 plus 32.5c for each A$1 over A$45,000
- A$120,001 – A$180,000 – A$29,467 plus 37c for each A$1 over A$120,000
- A$180,001 and over – A$51,667 plus 45c for every A$1 over A$180,00
Recent reports have shown that house prices in Adelaide are hitting records high, with Adelaide median house price peaking at A$510,000 in December 2020.
Average Cost of Living (as of May 2021): A$5,673 per month for a family of four
Apartment in City Centre
A$1,423.53 for 1 bedroom and A$2,515.50 for 3 bedroom
Apartment Outside of City Centre
Average Rental (as of May 2021): A$1,053 for 1 bedroom and A$1,714.35 for 3 bedroom per month
You will have to submit the following documents for a tenancy application in order to meet the 100 point identification check:
• Bank statements for the last 3 months
• A reference from your previous landlord
• The contact information for the previous landlord
• Proof that you do not owe any money and proof of income
• Identification document (passport, birth certificate, driver’s license)
• Document proving your current residence
The internet is the best place to look for a rented property:
A deposit of a month’s rent is usually requested and a bond of four weeks rent to be lodged with the state governing body. This money is returned on completion of the lease, unless any deductions are made for damages to the property.
Utilities + Connectivity
The monthly cost of utilities in a 45m2 apartment will be A$170 and includes heating, electricity, gas and water. For a three bedroom house the utilities will reach A$483.
Water Utilities Australia and Alano Australia are the two major water companies in Adelaide.
Electricity suppliers are: Lumo, Alinta Energy and Origin but there are many companies offering cheap electricity deals.
Average Utilities Bill (as of March 2021): A$171 per month
The four major mobile network providers in Australia are:
• Virgin Mobile
They all offer a range of options including package deals which include a handset. The contract options are usually 18-24 months with a monthly fee. Most companies will notify you if you are about to exceed your limits. The average price of an all inclusive contract is A$98, but make use of the one of the online comparison tools to get the best deal for you.
For 8Mbps of Internet the monthly cost will be A$59.
There are a number of reliable Internet providers and include: Optus, Dodo, iiNet, Sumo and Telstra are but a few.
Expect to pay about A$80 per month with a basic TV package.
You can compare prices and packages on a number of comparison sites to choose the best deal.
Adelaide does have a wide range of different industries; however, it does have amongst the highest rates of unemployment in Australia. The government has spent a lot of money to encourage expats to move to the city as it has experienced a brain-drain, with many young talented people having decided to move to other Australian cities.
Top Industries: Health and social services and the defense industry
Average Salary (as of 2021): A$25,300 to A$447,000
The average annual salary in Adelaide is A$100,000 (as of 2021).
The city has a large heath and social care services industry, followed by the defence industry. More than 70% of Australia’s defence companies are situated in Adelaide. These include BAE Systems Australia, Lockheed Martin Australia and the Defence Science and Technology Organization. Half of Australia’s cars are also manufactured in the area of Adelaide.
Job Seeker Sites
LinkedIn | Glassdoor | SEEK | Indeed | CareerOne | Jora
Recommendation For Professional Job Seekers
Australia needs skilled people and it is one of the requirements for obtaining a visa to work there. Unless you are being sent out by your company to work there you will need skills such as tech skills, manufacturing experience and engineering. These requirements do change from time to time.
Job opportunities in Adelaide are advertised in the local daily newspaper, the Advertiser and this is a great way for someone already in the city to find a job.
There are online sites which also advertise positions. The best are:
Work Permit Process for Foreigners
Visa applications in Australia can only be processed by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship. You will need the appropriate visa on arrival otherwise you will not be accepted in the country.
The requirements for the work permit process in Australia include:
- A job offer
- Contract of employment
- Presentation of studies and qualifications
- IELTS Tests for applicants over the age of 18
- Everyone over the age of 18 needs a police clearance
- X-ray and medical
Once issued, the 457 work permit is valid for 4 years. If you meet certain criteria in a points test you may qualify for a Skilled Independent Visa (189) allowing you to live and work in Australia for as long as you like.
Each state has the right to sponsor 190 visa applicants for professional skills needed in their rein. These visas are known as Skilled Nominated Visa (190) or the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (489). These visas oblige their recipients to work in the area that they are given for and for a minimum time, after which you can seek a permanent visa.
Adelaide has many options for getting around and includes trains, trams and buses.
Driving License and its Requirements
To be eligible to drive, drivers must first be issued a South Australian driver’s license before they can be allowed to drive on its roads. Obtaining a drivers’ license from the state’s authorities is simple. Applicants only need to follows a step-by-step process, which could be initiated on the South Australia state’s official road license website.
The basic requirements before application are:
- Applicant must be over 17 years of age
- Such persons if over 25 years of age, must have been holders of the learner’s permit for a period not less than 6 months. If less than 25 years of age, then applicant must have been holder of such permit for not lesser than 12 months
- Should have passed a practical driving test, aptly monitored by an approved instructor. The driving test includes a 75 hour driving record, out of which 15 hours must have been carried out in the night
- Applicant must also complete a CBT and A course, under an instructor
The price of gasoline in Adelaide is A$1.42 and the price of a new Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI 150 CV (or something similar) is A$22,606 with no extras included.
Booking an Appointment
You can easily book an appointment by visiting any VicRoads customer service center. You do not need any documents to book an appointment.
Here’s what you should bring on the day of your appointment:
- Evidence of identity (current interstate license)
- Proof of a new address, that is, any document that shows your new address. It could be utility bills, your rental agreement, or an updated bank statement
- A secondary form of identification, like an ATM card
- Your current overseas license written in English. If you have it in another language, then you will need to get it translated into English
- A letter of confirmation. This is necessary if your current overseas license is currently unavailable, you should get a letter with a formal letterhead to confirm your story. This letter could be written by your issuing country’s driver license authority
- A completed license permit application form
- Payment of necessary fees. A new driver’s license usually costs around A$80
Once all of this is verified, you will be issued a temporary form of license, until your plastic license is ready.
Public Transport System
Average Public Transportation Cost (as of May 2021): A$101 per month
• Fares on the metro network of public transport cost between A$2 – A$3.65 per ride
• Daytrip Metro tickets will cost A$10.40 and can be used for as many trips needed
• A monthly ticket will cost A$85
• A trip in a taxi for an 8 kilometre drive at the basic tariff will set you back A$21
• The tram runs every 10-15 minutes and starts at 7 a.m. until midnight
• Their city airport is very accessible with a regular bus service between it and the city
Rules for Travelling in Adelaide
You are eligible for paying a fine of A$220 (with a maximum penalty of A$1,250) if you violate the following rules when travelling on any Adelaide Metro bus, train or tram:
- Travel without verifying your metroCARD or ticket when you onboard the transportation or enter/exit applicable barrier gates
- Travel with your valid proof of entitlement without obtaining a Regular fare ticket
For more information on Adelaide metro transportation fares, visit this website.
Living and working in Australia requires that you have a bank account. Wages are usually deposited into an account.
If you open a bank account within six weeks of your arrival you will only need your passport as identification. If you wait more than six weeks then you will be asked for extra identification, such as a birth certificate, driver’s license and a bank or credit card.
The biggest banks in Australia are:
The healthcare system in Australia is remarkable, especially Adelaide which ranks amongst the country’s best. There are national free health service schemes for immigrants, as well as subsidised health provisions for the population. Note that the free healthcare provisions only applies to immigrants coming from countries like the New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden and a few other countries.
But, the subsidised healthcare provisions would cover the indigenous populations, as well as other immigrants to a specific extent.
The Medicare service is responsible for the free healthcare services. Its office in Adelaide is located along Port Adelaide, while two other functioning branches are located at Torrensville and Modbury.
Do note that healthcare, infrastructure, education and other factors have contributed to the reasons why Adelaide ranks amongst the first 10 most liveable cities in the world.
Prices vary depending on if you will just have a hospital plan or an all inclusive medical plan. It is very difficult to price insurance because there are many factors that will affect the cost: family members, age etc.
The Medicare service is responsible for the free healthcare services. Its office in Adelaide is located along Port Adelaide, while two other functioning branches are located at Torrensville and Modbury.
Do note that healthcare, infrastructure, education and other factors have contributed to the reasons why Adelaide ranks amongst the first 10 most livable cities in the world.
According to the Government of South Australia, your child can begin preschool at the beginning of the year if s/he turns four before 1 May. However, if your child turns four on or after 1 May, they would have to start preschool next year. If your child has additional needs or a disability, early entry to preschool is possible if the school has available places.
Steps to enrolling your child
1. Find your school zone based on your address at this link because priority will be given to children living in the preschool’s catchment area. If your address falls outside the catchment area of a particular preschool that you want, you can register your interest in the preferred preschool by lodging an enrolment registration form. But you are advised to consult the preschool director or principal for more information regarding this matter.
2. Provide a registration of interest form to the preschool(s) you are interested in by 30 June in the year before your child is due to start. The form can be downloaded at this link. You are advised to register your child with the local preschool. If not, you should register with at least three other preschools.
3. Preschools will send out offer letters in term three. You can accept the offer by filling in and sending back the acceptance slip by the due date. You will then need to complete the preschool enrolment form and submit it to your child’s preschool. Do note that you will have to provide evidence of your child’s immunisation status when s/he enrol.
Because Adelaide is massive state with its four regions which are further divided into multiple suburbs, it is difficult to provide a list of preschools. But you can click on this link for a comprehensive listing of preschools and their ratings and fees in every suburb across Adelaide.
Public High Schools in Adelaide
- The same zoning system applies to public high schools in Adelaide
- The entire registration and enrolment process is similar to that of the primary school above. Refer to this website for a comprehensive guide on the process
- Check out this website for a listing of all Public High Schools in Adelaide
- Public High School tuition fees are FREE as well. As of 2019, miscellaneous charges that parents would have to pay are A$830 for materials and service fee, A$100 book deposit and A$33 yearbook
Most of the tertiary institutions are amongst the best in the world, with the University of Adelaide, consistently ranked in the top 1 percent of the world universities. According to the 2021 QS World University Ranking, the University of Adelaide is ranked 106 (as of 2021).
The other two state universities are Flinders University and the University of South Australia. There are also a number of private universities to choose from.
There is also an extensive network of community colleges and institutions that provide knowledge and diplomas in the hospitality, business and trade sectors.
South Australia’s educational system is well structured to provide one of the best educational services in the world. Aside from the fact that the educational system is top notch, you wouldn’t find it any difficult putting your children in a school with guaranteed standards.
Education is compulsory for everyone between the ages of 6 and 17 years.
Public School System
Adelaide has around 200 private schools and children do not need to live near these to attend them. Use this guide to find the best-suited schools for your children in your chosen area.
Private Primary School Fees: A$3,000 – A$5,000 (average fee is around A$4,700)
Private High School Fees: A$3,000 – A$6,000 (average fee is around A$5,600)
Year 12 High School Fees: A$5,000 – A$10,000 (average fee is around A$9,700)
To find out more about the costs for top-end private schools and the most affordable private school fees, click here. During senior high school, the students aim to qualify for the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE). Others do the International Baccalaureate (IB). With their credits, a minimum of 200, they then qualify for their choice of studies.
Private School Systems
Similar to preschools, if you choose for your children to attend a specific public school you will have to ensure that you live near it as there are particular zones which they serve. You can go to this link to find out more about primary school zoning as well as how to register for an out-of-zone school. Remember to submit the registration form prior to the end of term two, in the year before your child is due to start school. It appears that many schools will ask parents and students to attend a pre-enrolment interview or information session and these are the following items that you will need to bring to the interview:
- A birth certificate or extract
- A passport, or travel documents such as a visa, citizenship certificate or ImmiCard
- Official Centrelink documentation stating the child’s name and birth date
- Proof of the child’s residential address
- Copies of any relevant family law or other relevant court orders
You may also be asked about
- Your child’s interests
- Emergency contact numbers
- Custody and family dispute issues or court orders
- Visa information
- Immunisation records, medical information and health care needs
- Friends already attending the school or starting at the same time
You could also ask the school to help you organise an interpreter to help you complete the enrolment form.
The tuition fee for public schools is FREE however a materials and services charge is set each year to cover the cost of books, computer technology and other essential items and services used by students during the course of their study. Each school sets its own charges based on the cost of the items and services provided to the students so you would have to contact the school directly for the charges amount. Standard charges is around A$211 but leading public schools may charge from as high as A$500 to A$920.
If you require financial assistance, there are many schemes available. Check out this website to find out more.
Food + Culture
In the whole of Australia, Adelaide prides as one of the cities with the most diverse array of food cuisines and culture. In fact, this is a reason why it has become a popular tourist destination for people coming on vacations and other visits to the country. Enjoy the varieties of food and drinks from palaw to pickled octopus, lamington, oxtail broth and a list of others. The Kaurna customs and cultural legacies are an ingrained part of contemporary Adelaide’s cultural presentations.
Food and Grocery
Adelaide offers a variety of stores for food and grocery shopping. These include the top supermarkets in the country like Coles, Woolworths, Foodland and IGA.
International grocers to try
1. Kim Wang Asian Grocery (62-63 Grote St., Adelaide SA 5000, Australia)
This is a Chinese grocer that also carries Japanese and Korean products. This shop has an entire aisle dedicated to instant noodles!
2. Afghan Supermarket (376 Prospect Rd., Kilburn SA 5084, Australia)
This supermarket has halal meat and a massive range of products that includes a variety of teas!
3. Indian Traders (345 Anzac Hwy, Plympton SA 5038, Australia)
Here you can find all kinds of Indian spices, products and delicacies!
4. Little Tokyo! (Central Market Arcade, 2A Victoria Square Arcade, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia)
This Japanese supermarket not only carries Japanese groceries and teas, but they even have tablewares and bento containers as well!
5. Thuan Phat (87 Grote St., Adelaide SA 5000, Australia)
Located north of the CDB, this place carries southeast Asian groceries – think dried noodles, fish pastes and herbs!
6. SA in SA (Africa) (233 Sir Donald Bradman Drive, Cowandilla)
Here you can get traditional South African sausages like boerewors and droewors YUMS!
These are but a few of the huge variety of stores available to shop from.
Dining in Adelaide is quite an experience with its huge variety of ethnic and local restaurants and it has become the new foodie capital of Australia. The chefs in the city are pushing boundaries by making full use of the vast array of ingredients available to them.
1. Golden Boy
Golden Boy is one of South Australia’s best & most-loved contemporary Thai restaurants. The busy kitchen delivers contemporary takes on authentic Thai dishes, while the drinks menu places gems of South Australian wine & brewing alongside balmy twists on a traditional cocktail menu.
Serving authentic South African cuisine featuring rotisserie meats, seafood and flavour-packed vegetables, Africola’s robust menu has earned rave reviews in multiple articles and food guides.
The newest venture of prolific restauranteur Simon Kardachi (owner of Press*, Melt, Osteria Oggi, Maybe Mae), this Japanese hotspot takes a contemporary spin on yakitori bars of Tokyo. Sommelier Joshua Picken will match the perfect wine, Japanese whiskey or sake to each dish that you order.
Check out the offering on this site for more high-end restaurant options.
From vineyards to pubs to beaches to walking trails to museums and galleries to stadiums, theatres and concert halls… this vibrant coastal capital of South Australia has something for everyone!
Children play spaces
Adelaide offers year round activities for kids be it pottery classes, dance classes, sports, camping or even a chance for you to meet other mums in Adelaide by going for one of the many social activities… there are just way too many to be contained in a list here! Instead, check out this all-inclusive page to find all the information on things to do with kids in Adelaide.
1. Pink Moon Saloon (21 Leigh St., Adelaide)
Described as “visually intoxicating inside and out” by a travel guide, this timbre house located in an alleyway offers Australian-made beers, wines, gins and more!
2. Udaberri (11-13 Leigh Street)
Garnering mostly four to five stars ratings to Facebook and mentions on multiple food guides, this wine and pintoxs bar offers traditional Spanish tapas and jazz music to accompany you for the night!
3. Hains & Co (23 Gilbert Pl., Adelaide SA 5000, Australia)
This nautical-theme boutique bar is “lifting spirits” with an extensive selection of rum and gin while its deep-fried bar foods will feed your soul.
1. Laneway Bars
One of the locals’ favourite hangout spots is the intimate laneway bars on Peel and Leigh Streets. Clever Little Tailor is a favourite among office workers and hipsters while Maybe Mae boasts an ever-changing menu of cocktails as well as beers and wines.
2. 2KW (2 King William Street, Adelaide, South Australia, 5000, Australia)
A hotspot with Adelaideans, 2KW is located on the top floor of one of the city’s most iconic buildings overlooking the iconic Adelaide Oval. This rooftop bar serves contemporary cuisine and a wide range of liqours. Just make sure you are all dressed up!
3. Adelaide Central Market (44-60 Gouger Street, Adelaide, 5000)
Just like the central markets of Budapest, Finland, Spain and London, Adelaide’s 145 years old central market is bustling with a diverse and culturally rich shopping experience with over 250 stallholders! The mouth-watering foodie scene here is integral to the lives of Adelaideans!
Sportivore Social Sports Hub
Sportivore Social Sports Hub provides the platform for you to stay fit as well as make new connection! Register with sportive.com.au to play social sports (soccer, basketball, volleyball, badminton and touch football) on a casual basis. Game fees range from free to just A$10!
1. Art Gallery of South Australia
Attracting almost one million visitors every year, this gallery houses more than 40,000 artworks with permanent exhibitions showcasing artworks Southeast Asia, India, Japan, modern 20th Century Australian art and Aboriginal dot paintings.
2. The Jam Factory
Jam Factory is Adelaide’s best-known art centre that showcases and sells the high quality creations and design pieces of Aussie artisans. It houses four studios producing ceramics to glass to furniture to jewellery and a special viewing platform to watch the glass blowing process.
According to major world rankings, Adelaide has continued to top the list of cities with the best characteristics, like security. Over the years, the city has recorded relatively low instances of security challenges or inadequacies. In fact, Adelaide has been tipped to be the safest city of all the 30 major cities in Australia. But you might want to take some precautions when you are visiting Hindley Street. Known as Adelaide’s nightclub and semi red-light district, it is better to have company if you are coming here at night. Bear in mind also that it can be difficult to catch a taxi at night and during summertime.
Dos and Don’ts
• Do enjoy the culture, entertainment and outdoor activities that the city has to offer.
• It will be appreciated if you learn the local sports teams and discuss their progress with your new mates at work and in the pub.
• Do make a point of mixing with the locals.
• Don’t swim outside the red and yellow flags at beaches and always read the warnings posted at beaches.
• Don’t walk on the right side as Australians drive on the left. The same applies at stair and escalators.
• Don’t eat, smoke or drink in public buildings, transport or stores.
All Things Adelaide
1. Adelaide is famous for its laidback lifestyle
2. Many festivals and sporting events
3. Food and wine
4. Long beachfronts
5. Being highly accessible
Below are some five interesting facts, that you probably did not know about Adelaide:
- The city is the largest reservoir of aboriginal artefacts and cultural elements.
- The new Royal Adelaide Hospital (nRAH) situated on a 10 hectare piece of land, costs over $2 billion Australian dollars, and hence one of the most expensive buildings ever constructed.
- Adelaide plays host to the largest glass houses in the whole southern hemisphere. It’s botanic gardens is a massive entity, that has become a major wonder to tourists.
- The city is highly accessible such that you can reach every major point in the city within 20 minutes. This is an indicator to its top notch transportation framework.
- Adelaide is remarkably known for its best wine brew products, and is definitely one of the world’s best wine originators.
- The city of Adelaide is a good reason to travel, and you wouldn’t know much of this until you’ve arrived at the city. Everything is well organised, with a lot to enjoy and explore.
Other Popular Cities in Australia
Friendly. Inclusive. Progressive. Nation’s “coolest” city.
Golden beaches. Great night life. Theme parks. Some of the best quality of life in the world.
Melbourne Cricket Ground. National Gallery of Victoria. World-listed Royal Exhibition Building.
Cosmopolitan. Great surfing. Multicultural. One of the world’s most beautiful harbours.
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