As the smallest mainland state capital, Adelaide is often overshadowed by Australia’s larger cities yet can match them all for culture, landscape and lifestyle. Beautiful parklands surround the neat grid of tree-lined boulevards that make up the city centre. The suburbs retain a real sense of community with polite and friendly residents who wish each other good morning. Beyond the city, there are stunning beaches, hills, bushland and some of Australia’s best wine regions all just a 30 minute drive from the centre.
While the other capitals are keen to promote themselves as ‘new’ cities, Adelaide happily embraces its Victorian history in its architecture and structure. It is still, however, very much a modern city with a vibrant arts scene and a range of cafes, bars and restaurants that is second to none. Once a well-kept secret, more and more expats are moving to Adelaide as they discover the benefits of this elegant, exciting city.
Semaphore is less than 30 minutes north west of central Adelaide, yet maintains the feel of a separate seaside town with pretty limestone homes and a cosy village feel. The attractive beach is ideal for families with fantastic fish and chips and a funfair nearby.
Considered by many to be the jewel of Adelaide Hills, Stirling is a green, serene haven just 15 kilometres from the city centre. Its pristine streets, numerous parks and great schools are perennially popular with expats moving to Adelaide.
With its beautiful coastal location, Henley Beach is understandably popular with families and professionals alike. It boasts one of the best beaches in Adelaide and a beautiful esplanade as well as a great choice of shops, cafes and restaurants at Henley Square.
The central eastern suburb of Norwood is a warm, vibrant community close to the city with top schools and plenty of green spaces. It boasts leafy streets, great architecture and superb cafes and antique shops as well as a popular cinema and theatre.
Transport / Getting Around in Adelaide
Adelaide’s road system is safe, well maintained and easier to navigate than most large cities. There is also a fast, efficient public transport network run by Adelaide metro incorporating buses, trams and trains. The iconic tram network is clean and reliable and is free when traveling within the city centre zone. Adelaide’s natural gas and diesel run bus network covers the majority of the greater metropolitan area including a free city centre connector service and the largest guided busway in the world, the Obahn. Adelaide is committed to promoting greener travel and has recently added ‘Tindo’, the world’s first solar powered bus, to its connector fleet and even offers free cycle hire around the city.
Leisure Activities and Things to Do in Adelaide
Adelaide’s North Terrace is packed with enough sights and attractions to occupy all tastes and ages including the National Wine Centre, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the South Australian Museum. Head to the nearby Botanic Gardens and discover the beautiful flora and fauna both exotic and native, or visit two of Adelaide’s most famous furry residents, the Zoo’s giant pandas, Wang Wang and Funi. The Central Adelaide Markets are packed with delicious delights to fuel you up before an afternoon hitting the boutiques of Rundle Street or Ebenezer Place. To get away from urban life, hop on one of the free City Bikes and follow the River Torrens Linear Park Trail out to the stunning beaches of Glenelg or Henley. Alternatively, take a tour of the renowned McLaren Vale or Barossa Valley wineries and sample some of the best food and drink the area has to offer.
Interesting facts about Adelaide
- Adelaide is the only state capital founded as a free settler’s colony, initially there wasn’t even a police force or prison.
- Known as the ’20 minute city’, it is said that you can reach any major point within Adelaide in 20 minutes.
- Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens are home to the largest and oldest glasshouse in the Southern Hemisphere, which was imported all the way from London.
- The Adelaide Festival of Arts and Fringe Festival is Australia’s leading festival, cementing South Australia’s reputation as the ‘Festival State’.