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    Hi there

     

    We are doing a Validation visit to Adelaide in July/August.  We're a family of 4 and the 2 little ones are age 2 and 7.  We have currently booked a few days in Glenelg and a few days in Stirling to get a feel for the different areas.  We are wondering on the 3rd area we could visit and need some help.  Should we also stay in the CBD?  Should we stay more down south like Brighton or Seacliff?  Maybe Norwood or more north of the CBD?

    We are trying to find out what suburbs are nice to live in, not too cramped and not congested (we're from the UK so not interested in too many queues :arghh:).  We need to also look for good Primary schools. 

    Once we move, our final destination will need a good sized garden, along with a view of some sort (sea or hills), it just boils down to space and views but not too far out with lots of traffic.  Not asking for too much are we! :).

    Has anyone got any advice on where this 3rd holiday stay could be?  I am thinking of Norwood, Brighton or going 40 mins north or south from the CBD, but don't have any idea on how remote they really are.  We both need jobs, so don't want to make it difficult for ourselves

    xxxxxx

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    Hi @sarah harmer.  I've moved this to the SA forum, as you're likely to get more replies there than in the Moving to the UK > Where to Live area.  I can't help at all with Adelaide or SA (we were in NSW), but I'm sure that someone with some advice will be along soon.

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    My first reaction is that you're trying to fit too much in.  You're not going to be able to make a decision on suburbs based on your activation visit, so don't put yourself under so much stress.

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    Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

    "The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

     

     

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    Brighton is not far from Glenelg, it’s the next suburb down so I’d not bother with there if you’ve already done Glenelg and that area.

    I’d not go 40 mins north of the CBD personally. Not much that way that I can think of. 40 mins south yes. You could stay southern coastal or go up in the foothills from there. Maclaren Vale maybe? Willunga? Noarlunga?

    Norwood could be nice but unless you have a big budget for a house I doubt you would be looking to live there once you arrive. 

    I would look and see what your expected budget for a house is going to be and perhaps focus on areas that are going to be within it and realistic in terms of affordability. The places you have mentioned so far are all going to be pretty steep in terms of housing costs. Great if you have the budget but I’ve seen many fall into the trap of renting in a more upmarket or pricey area and getting kids into school etc and then wanting to buy but not being able to afford anything in the area or nearby suburbs as it’s too expensive. So it’s a change of area, schools and so on for some then.

    Perhaps look along the southern coastal suburbs a bit? Or Belair, Coromandel Valley, Eden Hills, Hawthorndene way. Foothills and hills so views and more nature type feel than the coastal suburbs. 

    I doubt you’ll live in the CBD and I’d probably not opt to stay there if you are trying to find a family home with garden once you arrive. Unless of course you have a million dollar plus budget for it, which if you do, great :) 

     

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    Also tend to agree with Marisa that you are trying to fit too many places in and it can be really hard to make a decision based on a short stay somewhere. Especially in winter. Stirling for example will most likely be cold (hills are always a fair few degrees cooler than the plains) and wet and often sat in cloud. Hardly at its best. In Fire season it’s a high risk area as it’s in the hills, so that to consider and contend with. We had a catastrophic fire rating this summer for the first time since we moved up here. That’s as bad as it can get in terms of fire danger just so you know. You spend the entire day checking the updates, watching the CFS website for fires and schools are closed. It’s stressful and fires can and do happen. We had a huge fire here a few years back and though it was 40km or so away from us the air was thick with smoke over our way and you could see it also. Same most everywhere over the hills for a few days. I woke in the night when it broke out and windows were open and I actually thought it was closer or even our own house on fire the smell was so strong on the wind.

    We started in Glenelg (family there) and we knew the area pretty well. However we also knew we didn’t want to settle there in the long term but that for 6 months or so it would be good till we did find an area to buy a house and settle long term. And that is exactly what we did.

    I never fell in love with Glenelg as a place to live but it did the job to get us going and ticked a numbe of boxes but not all of them, nor even a majority tbh. Perhaps approach it like that with the move and once living here take time to explore, see suburbs in spring, summer and get a feel for the market, prices, demand and research schools for the longer term then. We did all that and 4 years plus on our house up in the foothills are still as happy as he day we got the keys and moved in.

    Had we rushed into settling on an area before we moved here or chose somewhere long term early on we’d probably have long ago regretted it for numerous reasons. 

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    37 minutes ago, snifter said:

    Also tend to agree with Marisa that you are trying to fit too many places in and it can be really hard to make a decision based on a short stay somewhere. Especially in winter. Stirling for example will most likely be cold (hills are always a fair few degrees cooler than the plains) and wet and often sat in cloud. Hardly at its best. In Fire season it’s a high risk area as it’s in the hills, so that to consider and contend with. We had a catastrophic fire rating this summer for the first time since we moved up here. That’s as bad as it can get in terms of fire danger just so you know. You spend the entire day checking the updates, watching the CFS website for fires and schools are closed. It’s stressful and fires can and do happen. We had a huge fire here a few years back and though it was 40km or so away from us the air was thick with smoke over our way and you could see it also. Same most everywhere over the hills for a few days. I woke in the night when it broke out and windows were open and I actually thought it was closer or even our own house on fire the smell was so strong on the wind.

    We started in Glenelg (family there) and we knew the area pretty well. However we also knew we didn’t want to settle there in the long term but that for 6 months or so it would be good till we did find an area to buy a house and settle long term. And that is exactly what we did.

    I never fell in love with Glenelg as a place to live but it did the job to get us going and ticked a numbe of boxes but not all of them, nor even a majority tbh. Perhaps approach it like that with the move and once living here take time to explore, see suburbs in spring, summer and get a feel for the market, prices, demand and research schools for the longer term then. We did all that and 4 years plus on our house up in the foothills are still as happy as he day we got the keys and moved in.

    Had we rushed into settling on an area before we moved here or chose somewhere long term early on we’d probably have long ago regretted it for numerous reasons. 

    Thank you so much.  You are always so helpful.  You take the time to reply in detail and wow, it really is nice to get some good advice.

    I do agree, and trying to get a feel for places in a week or two is not going to work.  We just want to have a little variation and make the most of the month we're there.  I think we'll look at the 3rd stay somewhere south, not sure if it'll be coastal or more in the foothills.  (Question. Does the foothills mean at the foot of the hills?)

    What are Maclaren Vale, Willunga and Noarlunga like?  Someone else mentioned Noarlunga.  Is it a nice place in general and is there much to see?

    xx

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    Maclaren Vale and Willunga are both lovely small towns. And actual towns, not a blending in of a town into an outlying suburb of Adelaide. Neither are right on a beach but both are an easy drive to miles of coastline. They are small communities both with a nice feel, Mclaren Vale being the bigger of the two and having more shops and homes. Lovely wineries in the area too which is what it is known for. 

    The Noarlunga area is nice/ok (this is my view of it remember ;) ). Has a lovely beach. There isn't much to see/do there per se. Its a coastal suburb, so the beach is the main thing. Has an ok shopping mall at Colannades, I prefer Marion as far more choice https://www.colonnades.com.au/.  It has some shops and a few take aways, cafes etc near the beach at Port Noarlunga. Personally it doesn't do anything for me in terms of living there. I find all the southern coastal suburbs pretty bland and uninteresting personally (lack of trees, rolling hills and wildlife being the main thing, plus feeling too far out for that connection with the city IYKWIM though it is in on a train route). Also its close to some not so great suburbs. And again, a personal POV here but I didn't find the schools to be that great (on paper/myschools website mainly but some word of mouth feedback on a few) stacking up against other areas closer to the city/plains and the hills. I don't know if I mentioned before but my way of ruling out areas/schools was to take the ranking of them and put a line through anything that didn't make the top 100. So that at the time meant pretty much all the schools along the southern coastal suburbs were ruled out and therefore we ruled out those areas totally, which was easier as I hadn't been keen on them anyways. Also ones that ranked poorly on the educational disadvantage index got ruled out (you don't move the other side of the world so you can send your kid to a troubled struggling school). This also meant lots of areas got ruled out as places to live (none of them had been on our list to consider tbh but it helped to cross reference and ensure I was looking in the right areas).

    When I say foothills, places like Flagstaff Hill, Coromandel Valley, Blackwood, Belair, those sorts are more foothills but are still suburbs. You can see the outline of what is classed as the 'Adelaide Hills' here. You can see the suburbs I mentioned are the southern ones lying near it. Belair National Park is lovely, miles of walking, can see roos, emus, koalas and more there. Has bike trails and adventure playground, BBQ's, tennis courts and more. Plus from those suburbs its not too far to commute to the city and is also on a train line (takes us about 7 minutes to drive to the train station from where we are). 

    https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/goodliving/posts/2017/07/10-things-belair   and     https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/find-a-park/Browse_by_region/Adelaide_Hills/belair-national-park#see-and-do

    What you need to do is look at the map and see how vast Adelaide sprawls out. Its huge. I didn't want to live any further south than where we are as it meant our connection with things to do in and around the city and the plains was too far out and we'd be less inclined to make use of it all. As it is, I feel we are positioned in an area that gives us great access to the coastline (10 minutes or so to nearest beach, 20-25 mins to Noarlunga beaches or Maslins for the surf), 30 mins on train into the city from the hills. 30-35 minute drive into the CBD (outside of rush hour when its more like 45-50). And then we can be down in Mclaren Vale on the country roads in less than 30 mins and up and out into the Adelaide hills within minutes from leaving our house. Can be in Clarendon in minutes, lovely bakery we get our weekend treats from :$ Sort of the best of all worlds for us.  

    I'd suggest going hills a bit more over coastal but thats more because you'd have already done Glenelg. Plus it'll be winter and you can visit those further out southern coastal suburbs for a day and drive round, get an idea of them and walk the beach easy enough. I'd give somewhere like Coromandel Valley or any of those other suburbs I mentioned a try for some variety in the foothills. Plus you can find places with amazing views although they may come with a price tag.  

    If you want the school rankings and educational disadvantage index info I am happy to send it via PM. Just let me know. 

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    I’m going to completely disagree with Snifter and suggest staying somewhere north of the CBD.  Both Glenelg and Stirling are south of the CBD and Willinuga and McClaren Vale are also south of the CBD given you little opportunity to experience and explore the areas further north.  In spite of what some Brits on the forums and Facebook groups would have you believe there are whole areas north of the CBD that are lovely places with good schools and good commute times to the city.  I’d focus on either north east, around Athlestone, up through Highbury and towards Fairview Park and surrounding suburbs or North West near the beach somewhere like Semaphore or Largs Bay.  Or somewhere like Mawson Lakes, which is one of the newer, nicer northern suburbs.  


    Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.

    Dale Carnegie – 1888-1955, Author and Lecturer

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    I must admit I didn’t really think just north of the CBD re north when i replied. I was thinking more north north that that :$ 

    And yes, agree there are some good suburbs. 

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