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The CBD's not often mentioned as a potential suburb in discussions on this forum, but with a heap of new apartment buildings either built or approved for the near future, I think it's well worth a look. You'd be in the heart of all the action with a short commute to work plus have great entertainment options, vast parklands and public transport right on your doorstep. The beach would still be just a 15 minutes drive, or a 30 minute tram ride away 🙂

Location and Setting

The CBD (or 'the City') is the busy bit with the tall buildings in the middle of all of the suburbs. It was laid out in 1837 by Colonel Light (South Australia's first surveyor-general) in a grid pattern on the south side of the Torrens River and is surrounded by a ring of parklands on all sides. The suburb of North Adelaide sits directly to the north of the City, on the other side of the river. 


The City sits almost centrally within the Adelaide metropolitan area, with the beach and hills approximately a 15-20 minute drive to the west and east respectively.



Population and Demographics

According to the 2016 ABS Census data, the CBD area had a population of 15,000 - this has probably grown slightly over the last three years based on new apartments which have been constructed. In 2016 the median age of CBD residents was 29, probably reflecting the relatively high student population residing within the city area. 



Unlike Melbourne and Sydney, Adelaide didn’t boom chaotically in Victorian times, but rather grew steadily, evolving around well-planned streets and squares. The east end was historically affluent: here you’ll find elegant two-storey brick terrace houses, single-fronted stone cottages as well as new townhouses.





In the city’s west you’ll find heritage workers cottages, contemporary townhouses as well as apartment towers.




As at July 2019, the median house price in Adelaide's CBD was $619,000, whilst the median unit/apartment price was $416,000.



When it comes to Adelaide, all roads lead to Rome. The CBD is by far the best-served suburb for public transport - with trains, buses and trams running directly into the CBD. The Railway Station is located on North Terrace - trains run from the CBD to Gawler in the north, Seaford in the south, Outer Harbor and Grange in the west and Belair in the Hills. A spur to the Flinders Medical Centre/Flinders University precinct is currently under construction and should be finished in 2020.


Adelaide Railway Station

Trams run from the Entertainment Centre in Hindmarsh, through the CBD to either the Botanic Garden or Glenelg in the south and are free to ride between the Entertainment Centre and the southern edge of the CBD (i.e. all rides within the CBD area are free). The beachside suburb of Glenelg is about a 30-45 minutes ride away (depending on time of day) and trams run until after midnight. 


Buses to and from the CBD are numerous and run pretty much anywhere within the metropolitan area that you would want to go.

Driving to/from/within the CBD is generally a stress-free experience and certainly nothing like trying to drive through some of the UK major city centres. Many townhouses and apartments will have allocated car parking, although some of the older CBD houses and cottages will not. Parking in those areas is usually on-street via a resident's permit system.

Car ownership is not generally required for travelling within the CBD - public transport, cycling, e-scooters and walking would be a better bet. However, depending on your lifestyle, a car would probably be useful in Adelaide for travelling further afield and getting out and about on the weekends. If, however, you were looking for a suburb to live car-free then the CBD would be your best bet by far.


Parks and Schools

If there is a suburb in Adelaide which is spoilt for choice when it comes to parks then the CBD is it. As mentioned above, the City is surrounded on all sides by a 500-700m wide band of parklands which vary in format from manicured gardens, sports facilities, boating lakes, playgrounds, bmx/skate parks and remnants of native bushland. In addition to the parklands, there are also five city squares - the large Victoria Square in the very centre of the CBD, and smaller squares in each quadrant. If you live in the CBD, a park of some description will not be far away.





The CBD is home to various schools - private and public, primary and secondary - including the two public high schools, Adelaide High and the brand new Botanic High School. Both of which have very good reputations.


Botanic High School



Adelaide CBD is the State's main shopping destination - whilst there are a couple of big Westfield shopping centres in the suburbs, neither comes close to the number and variety of retailers situated within the City. 

The main shopping area is situated on and around Rundle Mall - a pedestrianised mall towards the north of the CBD. Here you'll find both local and international retailers - including the new branch of H&M as well as David Jones, Myer etc. 


Further east, Rundle Street is the home of smaller boutiques, as well as restaurants, bars and cafes. The street is closed to traffic every year around Fringe season and has a great atmosphere:



Bars, Restaurants and Entertainment

This is where the city comes into its own compared to other areas - there are numerous bars and restaurants, as well as cinemas, theatres and pop up events.

Too many pubs and bars to mention individually, there are various classic hotels such as the Exeter, the Stag, the Austral and the Franklin - some worn and homely, others newly renovated and trendy.


The Stag Public House

There have been a glut of new bars and restaurants opening across the city since the previous State Government introduced a new category of liquor licence for venues with a capacity of under 120 people back in 2013 - there are now in the region of 120 new venues operating across the CBD that did not exist in 2012.


Small bars on Leigh Street

There are also hundreds of eateries located across the CBD providing every type of cuisine imaginable - as in most places in SA, quality is usually top notch. You certainly won't go hungry in Adelaide.

For entertainment the Festival Centre attracts many international shows and acts - theatre, caberet, music etc.


And there's the historic Her Majesty's Theatre which is currently being completely renovated:


And not forgetting the fact that every March the city and parklands come alive with Fringe and Festival-related activities.


All in all, if you're looking to move to SA, aren't desperate for the quarter acre block in the suburbs and would instead prefer to be in the heart of the action the the CBD is well worth considering. 

Edited by llessur

309 visa granted and moved to Adelaide from Brighton UK in 2012. 100 visa and PR granted 2013. Became a citizen on Australia Day 2017. 


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A timely article in CityMag:


The shortest move in history

Satu Teppo and Matt Clemow have trialled city living in different modes and different countries, but have settled on the perfect apartment – just a stone’s throw from where they currently reside.


Satu Teppo sold her apartment in Helsinki last year so she could buy a place in her new hometown of Adelaide. The Finnish expat has lived in Adelaide for the past eight years with her now-husband, Matt Clemow. A little over three years ago Matt and Satu were joined by a son, Oskar.

Oskar speeds across Tangkaira Hurtle Square on his balance bike – a small orange bike with no pedals – while dad, Matt, watches on.

Mum arrives on her own bike, a Lekker, purchased from Sam Neeft at Treadly Bikeshop on Ebenezer Place. She looks every part the sophisticated Nordic woman, riding in boots with a heel – fashionable but comfortable – and dismounts to join her family in the square with only a light sheen of perspiration visible on her brow.

Oskar is happy. “Mummy!” he says.

Satu’s response is in Finnish. Oskar comprehends perfectly but replies in English – for our benefit, obviously.


“You hated being in the ‘burbs didn’t you?” says Matt, recapping what he’d been telling us prior to Satu’s arrival.

Matt and Satu did a brief stint in Parkside while they cared for Matt’s parents who were both undergoing significant health treatments at the metro Adelaide hospital.

“I know it’s ridiculous,” says Satu. “I put something on  Facebook when we moved, something like, ‘Oh no –  we’re in the ’burbs’ and then everyone was like, ‘You can see the parklands from Parkside! Stop being ridiculous’.”

Satu laughs when recounting the situation, but explains how different Adelaide was – and still is – when compared to Helsinki or Copenhagen, where she was living and working before moving here in 2011.

“In Copenhagen we don’t have the tall buildings like here but everywhere in the city is four to seven stories – everywhere,” she says. “I am still amazed to see open-air car parks and light industrial in the centre of Adelaide.”

Having Oskar only galvanised the couple’s resolve to remain in the city. Matt has lived in various accommodations in the downtown area; a cottage on Claxton Street, an apartment in a three-storey development by Forme Projex on Storr Street, and the pair owned their own apartment in the high-rise Uno Apartments on Waymouth before they took up renting in Parkside.

Now they are just 12 months away from moving into a brand new three-bedroom, separate space apartment on the southeast corner of Tangkaira Hurtle Square. Matt, Satu and Oskar can see the construction site – diagonally opposite – across the park from their apartment in Hurtle & Co. Stage 01.


“There are more than 10 kids under six in our building,” says Matt, pointing at their current home atop the six storey building. “There are often a couple kids down here on their bikes.”

“It was really clear we wanted to be in the city and then we thought, ‘How can we get something we really want to live in long-term?’” says Satu.

“We were pondering that and then Craig [Holden, director of Forme Projex] showed us this,” a three-bedroom apartment the couple have just bought.

The family can envisage their future here on the square and they like what they see; walking to school with Oskar in the morning, riding to and from work without traffic concerns and even spontaneous Uber Eats picnics in the park.

Satu has seen Adelaide evolve exponentially since she arrived. She can see this city’s becoming more and more liveable and loveable by the day, and feels every bit at home on Tangkaira Hurtle Square as she ever did in Helsinki.

From: https://citymag.indaily.com.au/habits/home/hurtle-co-forme-projex-shortest-move-history/

Edited by llessur

309 visa granted and moved to Adelaide from Brighton UK in 2012. 100 visa and PR granted 2013. Became a citizen on Australia Day 2017. 


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