Adelaide : Australia


What It Is Like to Retire in Adelaide

Adelaide, near the mid south coast, is the 5th largest and one of Australia's most important cities. It is the capital of South Australia.  Adelaide, a planned city with over 1.2 million inhabitants, has a compact central site is compact and surrounded by parkland. There are rolling hills to the north and several interesting suburbs like Hahndorf and Adelaide Hills.  The city has an active food and cultural life with many exciting festivals, abundant nice restaurants and great local wines.  While many would say it is not as sophisticated as Melbourne or Sydney, it does have a very livable urban vibe that makes it appealing and livable.  The Rundle pedestrian area downtown is a big hit with lovely shops and plentiful restaurants to choose from. There is a mixture of charming older buildings and some not so successful newer ones that were built before the strong current preservation laws were put into place.

There are 3 universities in town including the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia. The downtown area is quite walkable with good public transit.  The Central Market and surrounding Chinatown are a very big draw in the city. For more about retirement see our Retirement Guide to Australia.


Where to Retire in Adelaide and Home Prices

There are some moderate high rise buildings with apartments and condos in the downtown center although most people seem to live out of the city center. Median value of a home was about $380,000 ($Aus) in 2012, down slightly from a few years before. Hahndorf and Adelaide Hills to the north are very nice places to live.


What Is Special about Adelaide

Adelaide has many special things about it. It is a compact city that combines central planning, old charm, and a vibrant infrastructure. There are universities, great medical, and excellent transportation. There are exciting festivals like the major Adelaide Festival of the Arts which goes for more than 2 weeks in Feb and March.  The food and wine resources are excellent and the inhabitants give off much charm and energy.  Sports are also excellent. The Oval is called the most beautiful cricket stadium in Australia and it is a fantastic, beautiful facility on the river downtown.


What Is Not Special about Adelaide

Real estate prices and the cost of living are high.  Although the city is self-contained it is either a very long drive or an airplane flight to the rest of Australia.


Who Will Like Retirement in Adelaide

People looking for a livable urban environment to retire in will really like Adelaide. Likewise those who prize good food and love wine will like it.  Active people who like to cycle and go to the beach will also enjoy it.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Education, health care, and government are the most important parts of the economy, although manufacturing and agriculture are important.


Climate and Physical Environment

Adelaide is midway along the southern coast of Australia in South Australia.  The Barossa wine region is immediately above it. The average July temp is in the low teens (C.) and the average Jan temp is in the low to mid 20s. There are dry summers with mild winters. There are occasional frosts but snowfall in the city is extremely rare.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Adelaide Festival has expanded to include the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Adelaide Film Festival, Adelaide Festival of Ideas, Adelaide Writers' Week, and WOMADelaide, all held predominately in the autumnal month of March (the locals sometimes call it 'mad March' because of the hectic clustering of these events). The Adelaide Festival Centre, on the banks of the Torrens, is the focal point for much of the cultural activity in the city and home to the State Theatre Company of South Australia. There is the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. The Art Gallery of South Australia,  the South Australian Museum and State Library of South Australia, while the Adelaide Botanic Garden, National Wine Centre and Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute are in the East End. The State Library lies the Migration Museum. Contemporary art scenes include the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia. Excellent restaurants are to be found along Rundle, Leigh, and Peel Streets - including Bread and Bone for a casual bite and a lively scene. Sports are very big too with Australian Rules Football, cricket, soccer, and rugby.



The crime rate seems low for an urban area. There are laws about public drunkeness and consumption which seem to help.


Medical Facilities

Adelaide's first  and major hospital is the Royal Adelaide Hospital; it is a teaching hospital of the University of Adelaide.  There are 5 other large public hospitals in the Adelaide area.



Transportation is excellent with a convenient train station downtown, an extremely modern and convenient airport just 20 minutes out of town, and public buses. There are also major roads into and around the city.


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