Settling Into Adelaide

You may have been born overseas, but now that you’re here we consider you an Adelaidian. Welcome! Life is fairly laid back in Adelaide, but if you dig a little deeper in this peaceful city you’ll unearth all sorts of interesting secrets. We want to let you in on them.

These days the city is in the midst of a new cultural explosion. Edgy bars and eateries are springing up all over the place - head over to the Peel Street district off Hindley for example and explore the laneways. Long time favourites, the Central Market and Chinatown district are always buzzing. And all sorts of new markets and pop-up shops are showcasing the talents and wares of young creative entrepreneurs (wander through the ‘Renew Adelaide’ shops in Regent Arcade or the Flinders Street Market, for example). It’s no wonder Lonely Planet recently recognised Adelaide as one of the world's top 10 cities to visit.

You’ll find that Adelaide offers a whole lot of major arts and sporting events throughout the year, including WOMADthe Festival of ArtsAdelaide 500 and the Tour Down Under, plus much more. For more information on places to see in South Australia, see South Australian Tourism.

Discover a whole lot more about Living in Adelaide, from time zone and climate, to making friends.

Read on for the inside scoop on:

Getting around Adelaide is easy whether on foot, by tram, bus, train, bike or car. For more information about how to get to uni, check out Parking and Transport.

  • Public transport: Adelaide Metro is the local public transport system for buses, trains and trams. You can usually buy tickets on board, but you’re much better off getting yourself a Metrocard from either the Adelaide Metro Info Centre (at 79 King William Street, on the corner of Currie St), the Adelaide Railway Station or from Metrocard Agents. Remember to always carry your student ID card so you can travel on a concession fare (available to full-time students).
  • Bike: Adelaide is increasingly bike friendly, with many dedicated bike paths and lanes. You must wear a helmet by law. Visit Bicycle SA to learn more about cycling around Adelaide.
  • Motor vehicle: If you are interested in getting your car or motorbike licence contact, or call 131 084. Emergency roadside assistance is provided by the RAA.

Adelaide has a wide range of shopping options, from the city centre, to large suburban shopping mall complexes and local area shopping strips. All will offer you a variety of choices, whether you’re looking for groceries, fashion, household goods or entertainment.


Food and groceries

Your local supermarket will offer a wide range of foods and general household groceries. Markets are a great way to buy fresh, seasonal produce at bargain prices: the Adelaide Central Market is an institution (and located next to Chinatown), or you might like to the try the Farmers Market at Wayville. For super cheap veggies head over to the Gepps Cross Markets early on a Sunday.

Adelaide also offers a wide range of specialty grocers. Head to Chinatown in the city for Asian foods. Prospect Road in Kilburn has Afghan supermarkets and fantastic kebabs. Mercato in Campbelltown stocks all things Italian.

A list of halal food suppliers, restaurants and eateries in the Adelaide metropolitan area can be found here. For further information contact the Halal Helpline on 1300 307 337.



You can buy clothes just about anywhere (with K-mart and Target being a good source for basics), but when locals are looking for a bargain they head to Harbourtown, where many different brands have low cost outlet shops. Otherwise, Rundle Mall in the city, or one of the many suburban Westfield malls, each have a big range of fashion retailers for you to browse through.


Shopping hours

You can always find an open restaurant somewhere in the city, and 24-hour convenience stores are located all over the place, including in suburban petrol stations. However, most retailers and grocers keep to standardised shopping hours.

City centre shopping hours

Monday to Thursday 9.00am to 7.00pm
Friday 9.00am to 9.00pm
Saturday 9.00am to 5.00pm
Sunday 11.00am to 5.00pm

Two major supermarkets have different opening hours:

Coles shopping hours

Monday to Friday 6.00am to 9.00pm
Saturday 6.00am to 5.00pm
Sunday 11.00am to 5.00pm


Woolworths shopping hours

Monday to Friday 7.00am to 9.00pm
Saturday 7.00am to 5.00pm
Sunday 11.00am to 5.00pm

Suburban shopping hours

In the suburbs shops usually close at 5.00pm except on Thursdays when they are open until 9.00pm.

Most supermarkets in the suburbs are open until 9.00pm on week nights and 5.00pm Saturdays, and from 11.00am till 5.00pm on Sundays. Check with your local supermarket for hours.

We all pretty much run our lives from our smart phone these days, right? Here are a few handy apps for living in Adelaide:

  • XE Currency Converter will give you real time updates on the value of your money
  • CFS FireApp will keep you up to date with fire warnings, which is important if you live in a fire-prone area
  • Google Maps - probably the easiest way to find public transport information in Adelaide and plan your trip is via good old Google Maps
  • Ebay and Gumtree are the places to go if you want to pick up a second hand bargain of just about any sort
  • Weatherzone is a good, reliable weather map for Adelaide
  • What’s on in Adelaide helps your find fun things to do and places to go in Adelaide.
  • Adelaide Street Eats is great for finding awesome places to tuck in
  • And don’t forget your UniSA Student App!

Here are some must-dos during your time in Adelaide - including a few South Aussie secrets.

  • Make the most of our world famous Fringe Festival and Festival of Arts each February and March by getting along to see some shows. The Garden of Unearthly Delights is a key Fringe location each year, where you can catch a quick show for as little as $5. Be sure not to miss the free Fringe Parade which gets bigger and better every year.
  • Take in the view of Adelaide at night: marvel at the twinkly lights from Windy Point lookout on Belair Road, or Mount Lofty up in the hills.
  • Hike at Morialta, a beautiful gorge less than 10km from the city centre. You are guaranteed to spot a koala here every day of the year if you know how to find them. The trick is to look out for Koala droppings on the ground (fibrous, light brown, greenish tinged, oval pellets about the length of a 20c coin), and then look up the nearest tree.
  • Catch the Popeye from Elder Park to the Zoo. This is a childhood ritual for all Adelaidians, but is a simple pleasure of life that can be enjoyed by adults too.
  • While we’re speaking of Zoos, it’s really worth a trip out to Monarto. At this huge open-plains zoo you’ll be taken around in a bus for a close up experience with wonderful creatures such as Bison, Lions, Hyenas, Rhinos and Mongolian Horses.
  • Tour the wineries of either the Barossa, McLaren Vale or the Adelaide Hills. Oh, and eat cheese!
  • Come along to Australia Day in the city on 26 January each year. Witness the wonderful parade of cultures, followed by a free concert in Elder Park and some fabulous fireworks. The atmosphere is great.
  • Spend a day at Victor Harbour - it has to be done and there’s plenty to see and do. But if you want to know the favourite nearby spot of many a local South Aussie, head to Horseshoe Bay at Port Elliot. Here you’ll find a stunning cove, a long stretch of beach, a lovely lawn to picnic on with plenty of shady trees, and a great cafe.
  • Check out Port Adelaide, a place of fascinating industrial history which on a quiet day has the strange feel of a ghost town. There is a great Sunday bric-a-brac market by the wharf. You’ll also enjoy a dolphin-spotting boat cruise, which is ridiculously low cost.
  • Take the time to travel a little further afield: the Adelaide Hills, Kangaroo Island and the Flinders Ranges are incredible places. You’ll find plenty of other great destinations too.
  • Wriggle your toes in the soft while sand of our beautiful beaches. Explore popular Glenelg beach, or try Semaphore for something peaceful but full of character. Beware the biting Australian sun and make sure you protect your skin. Sometimes the beach is at its most lovely in the evening when the sun has gone down a bit.

For more information, please contact the Connect Adelaide Experience team via email at

Study Adelaide

Take a look at Study Adelaide for some great advice on life in Adelaide.