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!


    • To the point :)

    • Melb Angeles.

  • +4

    Have you considered Canberra? All the benefits of Adelaide (laid back, calm, cheaper to live in) plus way more employment, and closer to places you might want to visit - within a 1-day drive to all eastern capital cities. But imagine driving from Adelaide to Brisbane…. In Adelaide you're near nothing except some desert and a large number of hours from Melbourne. Melbourne to Brisbane is no picnic either, and then you have the downside of higher cost of living (but that is compensated with culture and coffee).

    • +3

      near nothing except some of the best beaches, very affordable real estate and the highest restaurant ratio.

      • There's a lake you can sail on right in the middle, hot air balloons in the mornings, lots of bike tracks, close to good whitewater (when there's water) and skiing when there is snow. And a pretty big MTB scene with purpose built tracks, again very central. Of course, those things mean nothing if you're not interested in them - just a different angle.

      • I didn't even know Adelaide had beaches. But wouldn't it be cold? Isn't it the Southern Ocean down there? Canberra is only 2 hours from the beach and 3 hours from the snow. Not to mention if you have or are planning to have kids, we have the best maternity services in the country plus free preschool for 4 year olds and more adventure parks and bush reserves and walkable mountains in the city than you can poke a stick at.

        • I'm sure melbourne is far colder than Adelaide. Sure, the water can be cold, but it's colder in melbourne I think. and in late summer, it's very nice at the beach.

        • @nuttapillar: possibly, Melbourne isn't known for having any beaches

        • +2

          @Quantumcat: I spend half my life in Canberra for work and it does have a similar feel to Adelaide in a lot of ways. I would say they're about even for access to countryside / parks / hikes, though Canberra has some interesting stuff that Adelaide doesn't and vice versa.

          Adelaide does have cracking beaches, including nice suburban ones 15 minutes from the city and some really cool wild ones about 40~ minutes away.

          Lifestyle is quite similar though Canberra is a bit quieter I find, the food is getting better in the last few years at least.

        • @Quantumcat: Isn't there a beach at St Kilda and at Brighton? (Never been to either)

        • +1

          you said free, i'm sold, lets sell the house and move to Canberra!

        • @kerfuffle:
          mate, there's dozens of great beaches. the entire coast is pretty much one great big beach. 30km of perfect beach. More beach space than one can poke a stick at.

    • i dont think we will ever see a thread on ozbargain in regards to "should i move to canberra?"

      • Because everyone already knows the answer is yes

  • +4

    If you are looking at Melbourne but like the country feel you might want to consider Geelong. Cheaper, seaside and an hourly train commute. Also the gateway to the coast.

  • +9

    Having commuted between the 2 ( I'm based in Adelaide and have been going to ego central , aka melbourne about every month ). I prefer Adelaide hands down. I have a well paid job and can get to it easily . the traffic in melb, particularly outer suburbs, is incredibly time consuming. Whilst not perfect, and we did give Australia it's dopiest politician( s.h.y. ) we are nowhere as backward as melb in the pc b's stakes. ie when cops are told to not arrest left wing protesters and allow packs of Sudanese to do whatever they want ( my sister in law is a cop…. believe me… the average member of the public has no idea of what this crowd is doing ). Aydd to that melbs weather.. 4 seasons in a day . Give me Adelaide any day,

    • Apart from shy don't forget we also gave Australia Christopher Whine.

    • Radelaide ain't that bad if you can score a cushy government job there, even more cushy and more cash in your pocket than Canberra.

  • +2

    Why not brisbane. Beautiful sunshine here.

    • -1

      Have a +

    • Rednecks everywhere

      • u mean bogans and cubs

  • +10

    Are you planning on kids?

    Home is where the grandparents are!!

    • Home is where the grandparents are!!

      More like help is where the grandparents are ;-)

  • +1

    I live in Adelaide but visit my cousins in Melbourne often.

    Adelaide is cool but you have to put effort into finding the good things.

    We have nice clubs for everything from martial arts to salsa.
    Glenelg is small but a lovely beach town/thing.
    Traffic isn't too terrible, however our highways are poorly designed, there is no highway to cross the city, only to get into it.
    Public transport is "Alright".

    You can afford nice houses down south in the 350k mark.

    Really depends what you like to do lifestyle wise.

    • +3

      Glenelg has the advantage that you're living in a palindrome. I would love to be called Hannah or Bob or Otto and live in Glenelg!

  • +20

    I prefer if less people move to Adelaide so that I can enjoy it the way it is. What can I say, I'm selfish

    • I wish that I could upvote this comment more than once.

  • +6

    Assuming you're in a normal kind of line of work (ie one that doesn't pay high 6-figures $$$ or above each year, in which case you can afford to live wherever the hell you like), then financially Adelaide is the better choice assuming you can find work. I work in IT and live in Adelaide and I've been out of work for a total of about 6 weeks in the past 20 years. Similar story for my wife - she works in the food manufacturing industry and has spent even less time out of work than I have. End result is that our house is basically paid off and we've also been able to build a decent base of savings / investments to give us some security for the future. Neither of us are really big city people, although my wife grew up in Kuala Lumpur so it's not like she hasn't lived in big cities. She found it an adjustment at first but now she loves it and doesn't really like going back to the relative chaos of bigger cities like KL, Sydney, Melbourne, etc.

    Leaving aside the financials and talking lifestyle, if you want the big city experience then obviously Melbourne is the better choice. If you want something more laid back, less crowded, less noisy, easier commuting etc, then Adelaide is the better option. While Adelaide is a little quieter, it's only a 1 hour flight to Melbourne so if Adelaide misses out on something (e.g. there are times when a musician I like has been touring but only doing the east coast) then it's easy and cheap enough to hop over there for a day or a weekend, so you don't really miss out on much.

    So for me, it's pretty simple - as long as I can find steady full-time work in Adelaide, I wouldn't dream of moving. If I found myself in a position where I couldn't find work then I'd have to consider Melbourne or maybe Brisbane (but not Sydney I'd die first :P). But that would probably just be to get me to the point where I was ready (and could afford) to retire, in which case I'd probably be on the first plane back to Adelaide.

  • +1

    Flip a coin .
    I wouldn't want to live in either tbh.
    Too cold, and I love my warm days on beachside.

  • +2

    Heaps Good

  • +2

    I'd like to see the same discussion on Sydney

  • I'm born and raised in Melbourne but now residing in another city. Lifestyle is important but quality of life is more important. I am not sure of the work you do, but if you have a good job in Adelaide, I would stay there. I wouldn't willingly move to the western suburbs of Melbourne (no offense intended to people living there). If I had no choice and that is what I could afford, then yes, I would go there. Seeing as how you are already in a decent city with good infrastructure, I would look at moving to an area of Adelaide with good education and standard of living.

  • +4

    I always tell my friends migrating to Australia - Adelaide is fantastic, especially for young families, - fantastic - only if you have a good job. Think about simple things like buying close enough to the city to jog in/cycle into the city. Not spending hours stuck in public transport/jams.

    Yes, the shopping is not great, we don't even have a Uniqlo (but we can buy online). But for the pace of life, quality of life, if you are undemanding, don't need to head to the shops at night, don't need to expand your social circles it's the best.

    Speaking as someone who spent 2 years living in Melbourne, 2 in Perth and many more in Adelaide.

    Melbourne and Sydney are great to visit, but I wouldn't choose to live/work there. Top tier private schools are through the roof in terms of prices.

  • +4

    If you choose Melbourne you must forfeit the ability to complain about house prices.

  • +1

    What about Perth?

    • +4

      What about it. It's basically in another country.

      • Which map are you using?

        • +9


    • +1

      Perth is better than Melbourne is a lot of ways. It's also seemed to bottom out this year, while the other big cities peaked earlier this year.
      If my family was from Perth I'd happily have stayed. Now I live in Old Misery again, and enjoy its benefits every day. Traffic jams all day long, no matter the day of the week. One month of summer. Trains that are overflowing if they even arrive. And violent packs of African drug addicts, the existence of whom the government is falling over itself to deny.

      • Damn. Try not to think about the six month Summer in Perth :S

        • Perth's summer was a bit too long for me yeah…

    • Having just come back from a holiday in Perth I am impressed with the city. The CAT buses are a great way to get around and there were some nice restaurants. Kings Park Botanic Gardens was magnificent.

  • +1

    Recently had a holiday to visit friends and spent some time in Adelaide.. great city. I've lived in Melbourne before and now Perth. Prior to 2013 I'd have recommended Melbourne in a heartbeat but the city has now gone to the dogs.. crime out of control and the whole city so insufferably PC that they are incapable of doing anything about it. It will just get much, much, much worse. Adelaide by a long margin.

    All the hours you save on your commute will be time you get to relax, spend time with your friends, raise a family. Time you will never have in Melbourne.

    • +3

      crime out of control? is this based on real life experiences or over exaggerations from the media.

      • Did you notice in my post I said avoiding the crime and the people that are so insufferably PC they deny it?
        Consider yourself in the latter category - you probably accept the biased ABC "fact check" of the data and the way they spun it rather than consulting the raw report itself to see overrepresentation in non-family violent crime (rape, assault, aggravated robbery) at rates 60x higher than the general population.

        95% of my family are in Victoria, none of them appreciate how Melbourne is failing.

        • I live in the real world, not in ur abc stastics nonsense.

  • +1

    Should've asked melbourne or sydney. More troll posts that way.

  • +5

    Actually, I changed my mind. Adelaide is a horrible city.

    • Food is meh and overrated.
    • Unless you have a job in hand, no work.
    • Cars cost more than eastern states.
    • Kangaroos - more than people.
    • Open hours for shops are limited.
    • Far too many old people.
    • F***ing hot in summer.

    Well there is no reason to stay in Adelaide
    Even if you hate VIC trams, there are now more trams in the city.
    Reduced earning power is another issue.
    Every time you compare notes with another stater you'll realise this.

    For me, melbourne/sydney is the best.
    Unique and bustling, real arts.
    Lifestyle is bustling and metropolitan.
    Leaving Adelaide soon and heading there.

    • You changed your mind within 5 hours. How about Brisby comparing to Mel or Syd?

      • +2

        Oops sorry forgot /sarcasm + hidden message

    • +3

      i remember being in adelaide for work, went to coles one morning around 10am, it was closed!

    • F***ing hot in summer.

      It's not exactly cold in Melb during summer either you know… You get 40+ regularly. I think a year or two ago we had 9 days consecutive of 30+.

      • +1

        9 days of consecutive 30+ haha that's almost every year in Adelaide. Sometimes we have 5-7 days of 40+, that's why we say it's F***ing hot in summer.

  • +4

    Café De Vili's should have settled this argument a long time ago. The only downside of living in Adelaide is all your friends live in Melbourne and Sydney or eventually move there and you have to travel to some musical acts that don't tour.

    Don't @ me

    • Except for the MSG they pour into many of their products. How hard can it be too make a tasty meat pie without MSG?

  • +4

    Adelaide is great, especially if you're a Doctor and in a relationship.

    Live here, invest in Melbourne.

    Unfortunately as a single 35 year old, there isn't many single females hahaha

    It all depends on your circumstances

  • Melbourne has more reliable electricity…. actually scrap that, not for long.

    Move to Japan.

  • On pure personal tastes and having been to both I would like to live in Adelaide.

    That being said I have had 2 family friends move from Adelaide to find work here (Melbourne) so that is concerning. As others have mentioned, think long term and about your life and job prospects.

    Adelaide is slow, small but you get space and similar leisure opportunities to Melbourne. If you are in to big city with a thing for almost every niche than sure, move to Melbourne. If you are moving to Melbourne though and living in somewhere like Point Cook the commute is so large it won't feel like living in Melbourne, the commute will ruin it. Point Cook is also not a pleasant area by any stretch, the West has a long way to go before I would consider living there, particularly the outer suburbs.

    • i would be embarrassed to say i was from point cook

  • +3

    My boy JimmyF got the biggest hard on for Melbourne right now

  • -2

    I'd go for Melbourne as they have electricity.

  • +2

    My experience - born and raised in Adelaide - have been living in Melbourne for the last 2 and a half years, have recently bought a house here with my partner.

    My view - if you can find a good, fulfilling job in Adelaide, and you have pre-existing connections (friends and/or family) there, then it's a fantastic place to live.

    I had a good, fulfilling job in Adelaide but wanted to try living somewhere else after having lived in Adelaide for nearly all my life (save for a short stint in Hong Kong in 2012). I don't regret moving to Melbourne but my girlfriend and I are regularly looking for excuses to visit and catch up with family and friends in Adelaide - I have realised that I will never make the connections in Melbourne that I made over a 26-year life in Adelaide and that those connections are actually really valuable to me.

    I think the current plan is to pay down as much of our mortgage as possible and move back to Adelaide in the next couple of years. Minor snag in that plan as I know that in our industry, both my girlfriend and I have significantly better ongoing job prospects in Melbourne. Both of us have received substantial promotions in the last 12 months and would be earning at least 30% more here than we would in comparable positions in Adelaide.

  • -1

    I think you should move to Brisbane

  • -1

    Come to Brisbane. Your curtains won't fade so quickly here because we don't have daylight saving.

    • You can always buy white curtains.

  • As long as it's not Perth, you can't really go wrong :)

    • What's wrong with Perth?

      • You list everything that's good about Perth, and I'll list everything that's not.

        Let's see who finishes first..

  • Everyone wants to live in a capital city on the east coast. I am all for people moving to other parts of Australia and encouraging growth across the whole country. I would do it but all my family and friends are in Melbourne.

  • +5

    I can't answer your question. But I just want to say that as a Melbournian, I want to know how our city got voted the world's most livable city once, much less 7 times in a row.

    What is good about it? There's so much that sucks. Our trains are crap, always delayed and crammed like sardines during peak hour. Japan's bullet trains are so much more advanced. And our PT ticketing system (Myki) is garbage and sucks for tourists because they have to buy a card to use even for a few days.

    Our roads are congested like a hayfever person's nose in spring time. Even after the morning rush. The SE freeway is bumper to bumper even after 10, 11AM sometimes.

    Everything's expensive also.

    If this is the most livable city, it leaves me very depressed about the livability of the rest of the world's cities.

    Health centers, hospitals, public dental.. all overloaded. Many GPs don't take new patients. You turn up on time for your appointment and often have to wait at least 45 minutes. Hospitals you could be waiting 12+ hours in emergency unless you're going to die in the next 5 minutes. Public dental, forget about it. Just about everything public is overloaded. I don't know how much of this is Melb centric or if it's an Australia wide problem. Probably the latter. To a tourist visiting Melb, they aren't going to care though. This should affect Melb's livability rating.

    As a resident, I think it's overrated as hell.

    You seem to have fallen in love with Adelaide. If you can find stable work there, maybe you should stay?

    • +4

      As a fellow Melbournian I am inclined to agree. I think (profanity) hipsters painted a bit of a romantic picture of Melbourne to everyone and everyone fell for it. It is not anywhere near as sophisticated or trendy as many people think.

      • The city also looks ugly and outdated. Flinders St station and Fed Square. What an eyesore.

        • Flinders St Station already has plans finished and will be rebuilt soon

          Fed Square isn't old, it's just ugly

    • Imagine you are an expat moving to a foreign city. Money isn't an issue, you make 200k USD a year.

      How liveable is Melbourne now?

      This is how the survey is designed

      • To an Expat, any new place to live is always something to enjoy just because it's new and different, no matter what the locals think of it.

        I don't know what utility prices are in other states but Victorian Labor who have ruled for so long have given them so much power to rip us off. Costs inflate by a massive percentage each year (50% or thereabouts), and that smart meter they installed in every home which was designed to save the supplier/retailer money by being able to read your meter without sending people out? Makes sense if they invest money to save money right? But no, YOU are paying for the smart meter to save THEM money. They get to have their cake and eat it.

        I remember a few years back they changed the fire levy collecting from home insurance company to council rates. My rates went up by $300. Wow, that's an expensive fire levy. But I'll get it back when my Insurance goes down right? My insurance went down by $30-50. Either the insurer was ripping me off by not reducing the full levy amount, or the council is ripping me off by overcharging on the levy.

        In any case, the cost of living is very expensive, and anyone who charges you bills has a lot of power to raise prices by as much as they desire, and not the 3% CPI you expect.

    • Not really fair to compare Japan's bullet trains to Melbourne's metropolitan trains. The bullet trains in Japan are for travel between cities - it's basically what you do instead of taking a domestic flight. And yes, it sh*ts all over flying as a mode of transportation, but it is expensive (especially if you're not using a Japan rail pass) and you're not taking the Shinkansen to work every day, you're just taking a regular commuter train.

      The commuter trains in Japan (Tokyo, at least) during peak hour are VERY crowded. But at least they're reliable, frequent, punctual and clean.

      • I just don't know if there's anything Melbourne does better than any other city.

        It's certainly not a bad place to live, but most livable? I want to know on what criteria they based that on. There are a lot of cities in the world. To be ranked the best place to live, it has to be something very special, and honestly I'm not seeing it. I've visited many cities that are much more beautiful than this, that I wouldn't mind moving to.

        It also just feels very… old.

  • Speaking as a melbournian (Coburg), i prefer Adelaid much more. Melbourne's a rot now. Ain't what it used to be years ago..

  • +3

    35k from Melbourne isn't Melbourne lets be honest.

    You aren't going to be going to a bar or restaurant after work in the city, it's over an hour away.

    The schools, shopping, restaurants, lifestyle, culture etc etc will all be better when you compare Adelaide to a western suburb of Melbourne

    • Agreed, and when you account for traffic, damn trams congesting everything because of how slow those things are and cyclist. A 10min drive will become 30min.

  • Melbourne lost the title, most liveable city for a reason. Adelaide is a better choice for the future.

  • +1

    Most things you can do in Melbourne, you can do in Adelaide. Due to globalisation, more airports, Internet, and better logistic, everything that you can't get, is a click away or a flight away.

    The main difference is that you have more control of what you can do, since, there are less people, hence less external influences dictating your life.

    I use to live in Melbourne for 18 years, moved to Brisbane, now I live in a regional town. And I do not regret one bit. I am an introvert, hence, places with less people is much better. I'm less stressed in general as everything is so laid back.

    Also you might say jobs are scarce, which is true, but because there are less people. Jobs that requires professionals or skilled labour will pay more.

    If I am missing out on entertainment, I just pay for one of those $49 flights to get back to Melbourne. When you don't live in a big city and you travel to one leisurely, it's a much better experience.

  • +1

    Sounds like Adelaide is pretty similar to Brisbane

    • Same, but weather not as nice and no floods as brisbane

      • +1

        Weather is better in Adelaide because less humidity.

      • One thing I realized about Brisbane/GC is that there is no sunsets on the beach. Facing the wrong way!

    • That's what I'm trying to illustrate, as long as a town has an airport, you have internet, at least one shopping centre and post office= Most towns or cities are similar, minus the culture and people.

  • Perth

  • +1

    Adelaide, or any major city other than Melbourne and Sydney.
    That is, as long as you get a job locally or work from remote.

  • +1

    Here is a good way to look at it.

    I'm from Adelaide, have been my whole life. I have been to all cities in Australia, Melbourne many times. I still have absolutely no reason to live in any other city. Even if i had no friends/family, i would still pick this place. I look at this city as a jack of all trades, it's not perfect for certain things, but its good/great in every area (assuming you have a job!)

    People living in Melbourne/Sydney, can you say the same thing about your city?

  • +2

    I live in Melbourne, its great but 35k out is not exactly Melbourne so no compelling reason to come and live in a suburb. As you say you love Adelaide so why not stay for now and keep building up your home deposit. With the benefits for first time buyers in Victoria and the gradually falling price of Melbourne housing stock, why not revisit in a year - you might be able to look at properties within 10k of CBD and then Melbourne is a much more exciting prospect. Its possible that you will still love Adelaide or find that you have been everywhere and tiring a little of the place.

    Melbourne is growing rapidly and there is pressure on public transport, roads etc - that is a fact.

    Some of the comments here are from lifelong Adelaide residents who will have a very different perspective from the OP and many others who seem to hate big city life. I've enjoyed my time in Adelaide and could be a great downsize/retirement location for us.

    • +1

      As much as I would like Melbourne to become more affordable, with a growing population housing will never get cheaper, especially anything in the affordable range for first home buyers under 800k

      If the price of homes in Camberwell drops from 1.8 to 1.7 million , that means nothing to 95% of the population

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