From the rolling hills of its winelands to the energy of the city centre, Adelaide has much to offer expats – particularly those looking for an Australian city slightly off the beaten path.
Living in Adelaide as an expat
While Adelaide is known for being far removed from the rest of Australia, many expats find it to be the perfect antidote for the stress that so often plagues big-city dwellers. Along with Adelaide's natural beauty, its uncluttered urban geography adds a sense of space and luxury. Large parklands, wide streets and classic suburban housing styles make for a refreshing way of life.
In terms of economics, Adelaide has billions of dollars of projects in the pipeline, many of them in the mining and defence industries. Expats skilled in these sectors, as well as those in healthcare, tourism, food production, and manufacturing should have no problem finding work in the city.
Adelaide has relatively affordable housing, and expats will have a range of accommodation types to choose from. The city centre is generally the priciest area, but expats will find plenty of cheaper surrounding suburbs to choose from, many of which are only a 10 to 20-minute drive from the CBD.
Public transportation in Adelaide may not be as extensive as in other capitals, but the city centre has plenty of trams, buses and a train network. Even though a car is not always necessary, expats may find having their own vehicle quite convenient, especially those in the suburbs.
The healthcare in Adelaide is excellent, with well-equipped hospitals and well-trained staff. Permanent residents and locals are covered by the universal healthcare programme called Medicare, whereas ineligible new arrivals should strongly consider private health insurance.
Cost of living in Adelaide
Salaries in Adelaide are generally lower than those in the other major Australian metros, but this is offset by an overall lower cost of living and a great quality of life. In fact, Mercer's 2023 Cost of Living Survey places Adelaide at 106th out of 226 cities surveyed. This places the cost of living in Adelaide on par with that of Perth and well below that of Australia's most expensive city, Sydney (56th).
Expat families and children
Adelaide offers an array of great schools. Public education is free for permanent residents and the quality of these schools is generally excellent. Catholic and non-Catholic private schools are available, but international schools are rare and expensive.
The lifestyle in Adelaide is enviable, with wine farms close enough for a day visit, and plenty of family-friendly getaways nearby. Residents of the city can fill their time exploring the city’s multitude of restaurants, shopping centres and nightlife venues. Getting out and about in nature is also a popular pastime here, with multiple hiking trails just waiting to be discovered.
Climate in Adelaide
The Mediterranean climate in the region makes Adelaide an enjoyable place to live. Summers can be hot, but the sea breezes often counter the heat and winters tend to be mild. Rainfall in Adelaide has decreased significantly over the years, making droughts quite common occurrences.
For those looking for a respite from frenetic city living, Adelaide is well worth considering. The city's relaxed lifestyle is the perfect remedy for strung out expats from big cities, and the high standard of living is an attractive prospect for any expat.