Adelaide or Melbourne? Please help us choose.

We are a couple and in our late 20s. I used to live in Melbourne while studying but then moved to Adelaide(for residency) and in the beginning, I hated it. But I have to admit, a year down and we are in love. Adelaide is really good to live and easy to commute. It's limited but certainly good.

The issue is that now we are thinking about buying a home and the pricing seems almost the same 35K away from the city in Melbourne(Western suburbs like Point Cook etc) and 8K away from the city in Adelaide.

Could OZ Bargain help us to logically see the difference?

Thank you so much!


  • +3

    Which place do you want to spend the foreseeable future? Buy where you will be happy.

    • +4

      Exactly, where you will be happy and don't overstretch yourself is really the best advice. Think about how you want to raise a family.

      The other advice I can give is this… You're in your 20's so you know first hand housing affordability issues across the country. Unless you're rich in which case it doesn't matter.

      I wouldn't be taking any advice from 40+ yr olds. They are left in the dark ages on what it's like to buy as a 20yr old today. I constantly hear about their high interest when they had opportunities to pay off their homes in 5yrs, house prices 10x, wages 2/3x, free tertiary and the list goes on.

      Get ready for the downvoting ppl, this comment won't last long.

  • +5

    Could OZ Bargain help us to logically see the difference?

    Melbourne has work, Adelaide doesn't.

    • +39

      says the person from Melbourne….

      Adelaide is laid back, Melbourne is self indulgent

      Adelaide has style, Melbourne has graffiti laneways

      Adelaide is 'relaxed country', Melbourne is 'angry city'

      Adelaide - not likely to be stabbed/raped/assaulted. Melbourne - not likely to spend a relaxed evening not looking over your shoulder

      ….and I have no ties to either and have spent time in both

      • +6

        All points that I didn't touch on. I noticed you also didn't address the only single thing I did raise, and that is employment.

        The unemployment rate for the City of Adelaide is 6.67% vs 5% for Melbourne.

        There is nothing wrong with Adelaide if you can find work. For my field of work, Adelaide is dead, so not really a choice if I can live in Adelaide, but more of a choice do I want to have a job or not.

        • +19

          Precisely my point.

          YOUR work has nothing in Adelaide. Did you ask the OP their field? No. Your comment was a blanket "Melbourne has work, Adelaide doesn't."

          BIT OF A OVERSTATEMENT perhaps?

          By your figures……..

          Adelaide population 1.2 mil = 80,000 unemployed

          Melb population 4.8 mil = 240,000 unemployed

          Your post was all about you. Not about OP or the working person in general. Bigger picture Jimmy

        • +1


          BIT OF A OVERSTATEMENT perhaps?

          Ummm your reply is a overstatement.

          The simple fact is, the unemployment rate figure covers ALL fields of work is higher in Adelaide than Melbourne. I'm perplex as why you find that statement so offence.

          "Melbourne has work, Adelaide doesn't."

          This statement is correct.

          Your post was all about you

          More overstatement dribble. It had nothing to do about me and all about simple employment facts.

        • +2

          I think part of the big picture is

          You can work in Melbourne, retire, sell and get an upgrade in a similar socio demographics in Adelaide.


          You can work in Adelaide, retire, sell and accept a massive downgrade in Melbourne.

          Just sold a landed property near St Peters cathedral in Adelaide (so we are talking up market) and that would buy me an average place in SE Melbourne (which I consider middle middle)

        • +3


          Don't disagree.

          I have heard of sea-change and tree-change. Haven't heard of city-change (with reference to retiring). Not sure many people would want to 'retire' to Melbourne, if they haven't lived there during their working life.

        • @oscargamer:
          In my field of work, I see a lot of this.

          When people/spouses get old, or kids have medical needs, you need to be close to facilities.

        • +1


          Not going to argue. If that happens, we'll move again, but in the meantime I'll live my live, with a job (the wife even has a job outside of Melbourne !!!!) in a lovely town where my kids walk everywhere, safely, in clean quiet air, we know most everyone and I even leave my door unlocked ! (The dogs can take care of anyone that wants to come in without permission)

          Each to their own

        • @oscargamer:
          Can't say my life is too different from yours. I'm also coastal and I am willing to travel a bit for work so I can have an unlocked door.

          My dogs are not security level dogs. About as a terrifying as an unattended buffet table.

          Just a few 9mm dispensers around to help me sleep better.

        • @tshow:

          I had my tongue firmly in my cheek when talking about my dogs. They would only leave you with a nasty dose of saliva, that's about it. But my door still remains unlocked.

        • @oscargamer:
          Saying you're likely to be stabbed and raped in melbourne isn't an overstatement at all…

        • @spook290:

          Stabbed AND raped or maybe stabbed OR raped…..not sure, but either combo isn't great :)

        • @JimmyF: IMO, there's no shortage of work in Adelaide.

          Employment figures can be influenced by the number of people who choose to be unemployed.

          Figures rarely show the whole picture.

          Side note - Adelaide, a rather boring place to visit, but an excellent place to live.

        • @oscargamer: JimmyF point is 100% appropriate. You have to live where work is, and for most big professions and careers, sydney or melbourne has more jobs, so hence why it is more expensive to live there. Howe many big corporations other than South Australia specific companies have their head offices in Adelaide.

        • @unclesnake: a majority of you are wrong about Adelaide. Being that it's going to be the only City in the near future to get gigabit fiber I see a majority of tech companies relocating there from Melbourne and Sydney. As a software engineer you also earn more in Adelaide and the dollar goes further. College grads in Melbourne and Sydney earn very little. Like 60,000 to start in places that probably cost 400-500 per week in rent is atrocious. That's not even living that's just basically working for free. You pay for food, bills and shelter. Salves were offered that when they used to work for their owners. Unfortunately there's always going to be that person that settles for less which hurts everyone else who thinks people should be earning more.

        • @kingnunu:
          Going by your logic no IT company staying in silicon valley?

        • @kingnunu: dude you don’t earn more in Adelaide as a software engineer. I have been in it for 40 years, that is utter crap.

          Big companies will not move to Adelaide from Sydney and Melbourne.

          If you jag a good job in Adelaide that’s great butt Then what options do you have when you are made redundant which will happen a lot of over your life once you are over 40

          And if you want that speed network I can rent you an office right now with that speed 50m from the beach and airport

        • @unclesnake: actually you're wrong about tech companies not wanting to move there. And yes starting salaries for entry level jobs are very similar. Maybe 10 percent more in Sydney and Melbourne but is it worth renting a place for nearly twice as much?. I moved here from Los Angeles for similar reasons. Getting like 80k usd but having to pay like 2.4k a month for a single bedroom close to work wasn't worth it. Especially after spending like 25k in taxes. Silicon valley is even worse. In silicon valley you are technically in poverty if you earn less than 120k a year…

        • @kingnunu: Melbourne rent house for 400 a week 30 min from cbd. Earn 130k

          Rent in Adelaide 300 if even that cheap, earn 90k

          I’d rather the first. Especially given the sg over all the years.

          Melbourne loads of job

          Adelaide a handful

          And I am talking big companies that are big employers, majority in Sydney and then Melbourne

        • @unclesnake: like k me these jobs, for entry level software engineers. Not senior level. And where you find rent for 400 a week near Melbourne cbd because that's bull shit.

        • @kingnunu: look up Laverton,Werribee, Hoppers Crossing,Altona,Point cook. you can get an ok house there for $400

          That is within 30 minutes on the train to a 130k a year job, which is a fair average for a decent skilled programmer etc. Which is acceptable as a daily commute.

          Took me all of 10 minutes to find them, and I have never lived in Melbourne. Suburb reviews are ok, they are not palaces and fantastic suburbs, but if that's all you can afford it is doable.

          so its not bullsh*t you just can't research

        • @kingnunu: You think with logic but unfortunately the opposite is true. Without specific reason to be in Adelaide, no IT company worth their salt will choose Adelaide as their HQ. The market, talent, and infrastructure just not up there with Melbourne or Sydney. I even think it's behind Goldcoast. I can't name one international IT company who has their Oceania HQ in Adelaide and not in Sydney or Melbourne. This is basically the same reason why retailers often prefer to open a store in shopping mall even if they have to pay more rent be next door to their competitors.

        • @pig: coming from Los Angeles adn San Francisco. A majority of companies in silicon valley have been moving out because of inse times offered by other states. Austin Texas is one of those places that has been doing it and they have been growing and developing faster because of it. So yes it is possible for companies to relocate when the cost of living for it's employees matters. People will move once they realize they can't afford to live there. I had a friend quit his job at Google because even though he was making 6 figures and working at the largest tech company he was living in a van because it's so expensive.

      • +1

        So oscargamer, why do you live in Melbourne then and not somewhere else?

        • +8

          Very good point. As someone else who lives in Melbourne I call horseshit on most of Oscar’s assertions. Not sure what Godforsaken hole he is living in, but Fitzroy is a brilliant place to live. My suggestion is we back out of the room, not make eye contact, and leave him muttering to himself.

          Not sure if Adelaide’s water has improved but Melbourne’s is great straight from the tap.

        • +2

          Unfortunately their water is still quite terrible.

        • +2

          I used to live in Melbourne, for 10 years after emigrating here. Moved 300km down the coast 6 years ago, to raise the kids in a better environment. But thanks for the question.

        • -2


          I used to live in Melbourne

          and yet your profile still says you live in Melbourne.

        • +1


          If I was to name the town I lived in, no-one would know where it was. So why bother?

          Easier to say Melbourne, for all the ignoramuses that think VIC = Melbourne

        • +3


          Easier to say Melbourne, for all the ignoramuses that think VIC = Melbourne

          Clearly Melbourne hurt you bad, as you have a massive chip on your shoulder.

        • +7


          Not at all. I thank Melbourne for being my first Aussie home town. Met the wife there. Had 2 kids. Bought first house and first dog.

          My comment is that Melbourne NOW, is not a very nice place to live in. Even in my short time there, it's become way too busy, too angry and not at all welcoming.

          All my 2c.

          Adelaide however, is what Melbourne was.

        • +1

          @oscargamer: you yourself said you don’t live in Melbourne NOW, having moved a long way away 6 years ago, so what would you know?

        • @Mitch889:

          Go there regularly for business. Stay there regularly.

        • +1

          @oscargamer: That really depends where you live. If you drop a few mill on the inner South East, its a wonderful place to live.

      • +2

        All that's good and well, but useless if you can't find a job.

      • +1

        What a bizzare load of nonsense lmao

      • +1

        Lol what BS. Melbourne is safe as… Don't listen to everything in the media. Adelaide would get boring as if you want to actaully get out and about. Melbourne also has much more "style"/ is way more "hipster". Not even going to touch on the other points

      • Lol.. looked like someone took comparison between Sydney and Melbourne …

    • +4

      Melbourne has 7 eleven, Adelaide doesn't. House ain't everything. We need fuel for our high yield investments.

      • ADL has OTR which I've always found to be far more superior than 7/11.

  • +7

    As someone who's been to both: if you like shopping and business, Melbourne (I'm from Sydney and it still floors me that the shops close at 5 on Sundays in SA, even supermarkets).

    If you like eating and drinking and a slower pace of life, Adelaide (plus 8km is so close to the city!)

    • Basically this yeah. And I guess this doesn't affect OP (if they're a doctor?), but "business" kind of includes jobs.

      • +2

        Oops, I meant to write busyness but can't spell i.e. a fast-paced city

    • +1

      And doesn't open until 11am on Sundays! Talk about a sleep-in!!

      • I think it's because they have church, Adelaide being the City of Churches

  • +4

    35K away from the city in Melbourne

    8K away from the city in Adelaide

    My arithmetic is a little rusty, bit seems like about 27K to me.

    That aside, it's pretty much down to: Melbourne is a bigger, more crowded, but also busier and more cosmopolitan city. I've only been to Adelaide once or twice, and… well it's quieter. But great wines!

    • +8

      35k Melbourne equates to about 2 hours commute.8k Adelaide equates to about 20 minutes commute. How much is your leisure time worth? Adelaide beaches are only at most 20 minutes from any suburb (except Mount Barker) and are world class although a bit cool but that means no stingers, Geelong beaches are freezing but nice to walk along. Adelaide is still the 20 minute city and you can still find car parking close to the cbd from only $4 a day.

      • +1

        Not to mention you can go strawberry picking only half an hour or so away from the city in Adelaide! (Massive Beerenberg fan here and one of my main reasons why I went to Adelaide was so I could go pick strawberries at Beerenberg)

        • You can do the same in Melbourne

        • +2

          @lambo100: Within half an hour like Adelaide? Do tell

        • +1

          Lilydale, Bacchus Marsh, all through the Dandenongs

        • @unqualified89: They aren’t within half an hour drive of Melbourne CBD though; they take at least fifty minutes to get there. Beerenberg Farm is literally half an hour’s drive from Adelaide CBD

        • +4

          Stop saying Adelaide is great. Too many people and it'll soon turn into Melbourne.

          Adelaide sucks! Stay away! Keep out!

        • @schwinn: I'm a Sydneysider, so no great loss to me haha ;) (I could live in Melbourne but not Adelaide; a tad too quiet for my liking but I did enjoy it when I visited for the first time this year)

        • +1

          You've got me there! I gave some examples for each side of the city because not everyone lives in the cbd. Lilydale and the dandenongs are 40ish mins from cbd on a decent run (google maps says 41) but yeah still not halfa. So yes you are right, adelaides strawberries are closer to the cbd! All the best with the picking.

        • +2

          You should move to Koonoomoo; their CBD is prettt much just a strawberry farm. And they have the world famous giant strawberry :)

  • If you're buying based on proximity to CBD and ignoring the direction from city, you're going to have an unpleasant discovery later.

    Glen Iris and St Albans are similar distance to city.

    • Please explain?

      • +8

        St Albans - bring your armoured Hummer and personal protection personnel

      • Same distance. Chalk versus cheese.

        • "chalk" ;)

        • +4

          @Quantumcat: veiled drug reference

      • There is the concept of Central of Business District CBD and also Demographic Centre. The later has been Glen Iris for many years. When measuring the distance to buy house, I suggest to also take that is into account. CBD is where people find work. DC is about leasure, school, health care and other facilities. These things are important when you are about to raise a family.

        Being first gen migrants, we lived in the West for a while. I found Footscray as lovely as St Albans though they are all improving rapidly. We moved to Glen Iris when kids reached school age. It is probably the equivalent of Clearview in Adelaide. Huge reserve running along the M1, similar to Clearview's St Albans park. I had to move again as I could not afford to buy there but you can always look at surrounding suburbs like Ashwood or Carnegie.

        If I found work in SA, I probably would choose to stay there rather than Melbourne. Melbourne is getting more and more crowded and less affordable

  • We had offices in both cities and I stayed in both many times. While Melbourne is more vibrant, I'd rather live in Adelaide - far less crowded and everything flatter so fewer big shadows.

    • +1

      i think your the first person in the history of mankind to consider "shadows" a positive aspect of a city.

      • +3

        ?? I think you misinterpreted ihbh's comment.

      • Urm he mentioned LESS shadows

        • +3

          I know exactly what he said. Like i said, ive never seen anyone mention shadwos (less or more) as a pro/con of living somewhere

          "Hey im moving to california"
          "Nah bro dont go, theres too many shadows, go to miami instead, they have barely any shadows!!!!"
          "Thanks bro, dont know what i would do in a city with too many shadows"

        • @DiscoJango:

          Ok I see where you coming from now. That is probably true. I personally prefer a flatter city as it feels more natural

        • @DiscoJango: I guess most people are referring to high-rise blocking the view instead of their shadows.

  • +9

    I'm from Adelaide and moved to Melbourne for work three years ago.

    I would say Adelaide if you can get a reliable job there. Great place to live, heaps of good food and plenty of things to do if you are prepared to make some effort and find out what that is.

    You can live life fast or slow depending on what you like. Transport is good enough; there's nothing I can get in Melbourne that I can't get in Adelaide; there's more good bars and restaurants than you can keep up with anyway, so even though it may be less bustling than Melbourne, it doesn't really make a difference on a human level. Good festivals and arts all year around.

    Importantly for me, access to nature and outdoors - e.g. beaches, camp grounds, countryside, is all much easier than living in Victoria.

    • +6

      there's nothing I can get in Melbourne that I can't get in Adelaide

      Other than a job to the sounds of it ;)

      • +9

        @JimmyF — you seem really hung up on the job thing. What industry are you in?

    • there's nothing I can get in Melbourne that I can't get in Adelaide

      UNIQLO, Sephora, a Zara in the city (yes I know there's one in Marion) … They're all lacking in Adelaide if you wanted to shop in person and not online

      • Depends what you're into. I like Uniqlo but I'm happy to do one or two big shops there a year. If you travel for work or pleasure at all they're at most of the big stopovers / you'll end up interstate with some free time anyway.

        In the end it's whatever floats your boat, I prefer an easy lifestyle over access to a few shops, but everything has their own thing!

  • +1

    My brother lives in Adelaide and I'm in Melbourne, we both agree Melbourne.

  • +20

    I'm American and wife is from Adelaide. We met when we were both living in New York. We moved to Adelaide 7 years ago. At first, I hated it. Now I'm proud to call it home. Adelaide is the best of both worlds. It has all the advantages of a big city (as long as you can get past shops shutting at 5pm) without any of the hassle. Virtually everything is cheaper, its less crowded, its easier to get around (although public transport is a bit lacking).
    People who say that Adelaide is "boring" or that there "isn't anything going on" has, in my opinion, never spent any real time in Adelaide. To put it simply, there's always stuff going on, but if you prefer to hang in and have a quiet one, you totally can (this option is what makes Adelaide so good). My wife's sister and many of our friends live in Melbourne so we're there fairly frequently. Even though Melbourne is more similar to New York than Adelaide, I always leave thankful that we live in Adelaide.
    If you need any more proof that Adelaide trumps Melbourne, check out what Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age said about Melbourne:

    • Shops shut at 5pm everywhere.

      • Not in Sydney; smaller shopping centres open until 5:30 and major ones like Parramatta close at 6

        • 6pm?

        • @ATangk: Yeah. Except during the days before Christmas where they do 34-hour trading in the case of Parramatta

        • @kerfuffle:

          But most shops that arent major retailers or in large shopping centres shut at 5pm anyways. Special occassions like Boxing day sales don't really count.

        • @ATangk: Not in Sydney …

        • -1

          Which special place in Sydney do you live in? Its not the case for most of us m8.

    • Well Josh Homme is god and QOTSA are the best band in the world, so must mean something
      But I am sure that when I saw them at Festival Hall last time they were here he said that Melbourne was his favorite city and like home to him.
      And his wife is from Melbourne.

      I have lived in London, San Francisco, Cape Town, Perth, and Melbourne is the best city in the world

  • +2


  • +1

    Adelaide. Grew up there but been in Syd for over 10yrs now. If you can find a job the quality of life is so much better. If you want to have kids in the future its a great place to grow up with big blocks, plenty of open space and access to beaches.

    • +1

      This. From Perth but lived in Sydney the last 7 years. Would move back to Perth for the quality of life in a heartbeat (job permitting).

  • +2

    congested Melbourne or non congested Adelaide

  • +13

    As a former Adelaide boy now living in Melbourne, I would retire in Adelaide, but not yet, Melbourne is still too good for another 40 years.
    I want my kids to go to certain selected schools in Melbourne, enter some extracurricular programs and access more choices as far as university is concerned.

    You have to decide which of the following metrics are more important to you:

    • Economic strength
    • Education (Look where Australia's Universities are ranked on the world stage)
    • Healthcare
    • Infrastructure
    • Sporting events
    • Outdoor activities (Hiking, Fishing, Mountain biking, Skiing, Snowboarding etc)
    • Clean water (seriously, Melbourne probably has the best water supply I've tried out of all the major capital cities)
    • Living expenses
    • Whatever other metrics you want to use, such as those used by the Economist Intelligence Unit to rank the World's Most Liveable Cities
    • +1

      Great post, agree on the water part very much!

  • +1

    My take is; if you commute by bike, Melbourne can be fun. There are bike tracks and quiet urban back roads everywhere. And, you can take your bike on the train which adds to flexibility. If you insist on driving; hello frustration, wasted time, competing for parking space etc. It's a simple thing, but a huge difference in quality of life. Adelaide is great too on a bike; not as many tracks or trains though, but traffic is much less. Melbourne has more urban adventure, but if you want to get out of Melbourne (driving) it's a nightmare.

  • +4

    Stay in Adelaide, Melbourne is full

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