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In continuation of my “Where to Live in Australia” series, this blog post will give those of you thinking of living in Adelaide a snapshot of the lifestyle in one of Australia’s most affordable and underrated cities.

I’ve visited Adelaide a couple of times now: once during my exchange student days, and again on my big Aussie road trip in 2015/16. Since a few Australians had joked that we shouldn’t spend long there the second time around, I was surprised to find an attractive, revamped city with cool beaches, quirky bars and a beautiful backdrop of hills.

To find out if moving to Adelaide could be the right choice for you, keep on reading!

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Where is Adelaide in Australia?

Adelaide is located on the south coast of Australia, about an eight-hour drive north-west of Melbourne. It lies at the end of the popular travel route that runs down the east coast and then west past Melbourne.

Where is Adelaide in Australia map.

Continuing west from Adelaide takes you past a few more settlements then out across the isolated Nullarbor Plain towards Perth. Heading north takes you through the outback to Alice Springs and Ayers Rock.


How Big is Adelaide?

With a population of 1.3 million, Adelaide is the fifth most-populated city in Australia. It’s also the capital of South Australia. It certainly has a smaller feel than Sydney and Melbourne, the two largest cities in the country.

Moving to Adelaide: map of the city.
Information board up at Mount Lofty viewpoint

The city centre (aka CBD) is fairly compact, but the suburbs sprawl outwards and up into the beautiful Adelaide Hills. I thought the glimpses of the hills between the buildings in the city gave Adelaide a lovely, less urban feel than the larger cities.


Living in Adelaide: Weather & Seasons

Adelaide has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, slightly rainier winters. It’s less humid than Sydney, and much sunnier than Melbourne.

Even though the dry heat in Adelaide can be more comfortable than Sydney’s humidity, the city still experiences some extremely hot days. When I spent Christmas and New Year there the temperature exceeded 40 on a few occasions!

I also thought Adelaide looked much less green than Sydney. It still had some lovely, tree-lined streets, but some very parched-looking grass! The mean rainfall in Adelaide is only 551mm, vs 1,216mm in Sydney.

Typical dry weather in Adelaide.
North Adelaide

The average maximum temperature in Adelaide is 29.6 degrees in the hottest month (January), and 15.3 degrees in the coldest month (July). Overnight, the average minimum in January is 17.3 degrees, and in July, 7.6 degrees.

Per year, Adelaide has an average of 88 sunny days. As a comparison, Perth has the most with 139, and Melbourne only has 49. Adelaide also has an average of 83 rainy days (of at least 1mm) per year.


Daylight Hours in Adelaide

Since Australia is so large, and not all states have daylight saving, sunset times vary greatly across the country. Since South Australia has daylight saving, Adelaide benefits from lighter summer evenings than Brisbane and Perth.

In the height of summer in Adelaide, the sun goes down just after 8:30pm, only slightly earlier than Melbourne. In midwinter, the sun sets just after 5pm, as it does in most of the other capitals.


Adelaide Beaches

The most well-know beach in Adelaide in Glenelg Beach, but the city is actually blessed with over 30km of continuous beaches to the west of the CBD! Perfect for all that warm weather and sunshine.

Popular Glenelg Beach in Adelaide.
Glenelg Beach

You can hit the coastline in about 20 minutes from the city, so with the longer summer evenings you’ll be able to spend time there after work if you live in the right direction. I remember Henley Beach having a great atmosphere around sunset time.


Living in Adelaide: Things to Do

With its fine weather, Adelaide is a great city for those of you who love the outdoors. As well as its choice of beaches and parks, the nearby Adelaide Hills region has beautiful botanic gardens, hiking trails and quaint little villages such as Hahndorf.

Shopping in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills.
Exploring Hahndorf up in the Adelaide Hills

Adelaide also seems to have upped its game in terms of food, arts, live music, cafes and bars since I first visited over 15 years ago. The city that used to be known as a bit of a hole amongst Australians is now nicknamed Radelaide and often referred to as Australia’s most underrated city!

There’s also some beautiful old architecture dotted around. Try North Adelaide for leafy streets and quirky bars. For more ideas on things to do in Adelaide, check out the blog post below.

Top 10 Things to Do in Adelaide


Trips from Adelaide: Holiday Destinations

Despite Adelaide bordering on the long, empty roads to Ayers Rock and the Nullarbor Plain, it still has some stunning scenery and holiday attractions nearby.

Directly south lies the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula, and a ferry ride from there takes you to enormous Kangaroo Island. Both places are high on my list of future holiday destinations, with pristine beaches and coastal scenery.

Gorgeous Gunyah Beach in Coffin Bay, South Australia.
Gunyah Beach at Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula

Heading north-west takes you to the Yorke Peninsula and gorgeous Eyre Peninsula, which I loved exploring on my Perth to Adelaide road trip. You can even swim with wild dolphins and sea lions in Baird Bay!

The Clare Valley wine region lies a couple of hours north. You can also easily hop on a domestic flight from Adelaide to other cities or holiday hotspots in Australia, such as the Gold Coast.


Adelaide Real Estate

While many people dream of living in Sydney or Melbourne, the high property prices there can be extremely off-putting. In terms of real estate, Adelaide is one of the cheapest cities in Australia.

Adelaide’s median property price of $441,250 (from this realestate.com.au report in April 2019) is lower than all the other Australian state capitals apart from Hobart.

Living in Adelaide: a beautiful residential street with heritage real estate.
Beautiful residential street in North Adelaide

As a comparison, the median property price in Sydney was $830,000 and in Melbourne, $660,000. Obviously property prices will vary greatly across each city, depending on the size, type and location.

This rental report by rent.com.au in June 2019 cited Adelaide as the second cheapest capital city in Australia (after Perth) in terms of renting an individual room in a share apartment, with a median cost of $133 per week.


Hopefully this blog post on living in Adelaide has helped with your potential move! To compare living in Adelaide vs Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne, make sure you check out my other Australian city lifestyle blog posts too:

Living in Sydney: Lifestyle, Beaches, Weather & Property

Living in Melbourne: Most Liveable City in Australia

Living in Perth: Is Australia’s Sunniest Capital for You?

Living in Brisbane: Lifestyle in Australia’s River City