Emigrating to Australia? Thought about Southern Australia? Here’s what life in beautiful Adelaide will cost you.

The sixth in our series of ‘affordable places to live in Australia’ is Adelaide. Adelaide is the state capital of South Australia (SA). A stone’s throw from the internationally acclaimed Barossa Valley wine region and claiming some of the worlds best dining, it has a lot more to offer than most people think. The weather tends to be warm and dry in the summers and mild and wetter in the winters. Most locals love it there because it is affordable. Let’s see what you can get for your money.

The cost of living in Adelaide, Australia

The average wage in SA is lower than the national average but the unit rental market is also about 49% cheaper than Sydney! It is a very popular place for young couples moving to Australia permanently due to its affordability. The inner city tram system and free city bikes makes it cheap and easy to get around without also paying the price in pollution.

Adelaidians generally pay less for their groceries than their neighbouring Melbournians. They are paying around $4.33 for a medium cappuccino. In general, an inexpensive meal can cost around $18, but with such a strong foodie scene you will be spoiled for choice. Domestic beer prices here sit way under $10 in most places, and some of the best wine in the country is made locally!

Living in central Adelaide

Many people wonder whether they should move states over to busier Melbourne but Adelaide is really turning things up. No it doesn’t have the music scene Melbourne does, but it does host some amazing festivals such as: WOMADeladie, Adelaide Fringe and FEAST Festival. It’s got better coastal regions than Melbourne and a way more relaxed lifestyle.

You can get anything from a small stone-workers cottage to a penthouse apartment in the centre, but on average a city centre unit rental cost is $450pw. If you’re a student looking for a house-share, you can find these for as little as $170-200pw.

Living in the Northern Suburbs of Adelaide 


As we all know, living in Australia can be pricey. The cheapest suburbs are near Elizabeth and the surrounding areas of Elizabeth North, South, Downs and Grove. The rental costs average at $255pw but crime rates have been reported as being some of the highest here.


If you keep looking in the more affordable end of the city then another option could be Northgate. While it remains in the North which is often tarnished with a bad reputation, Northgate ranks highly for liveability. It has good access to shops, schools, parks and lakes, and is only 10 minutes from the city. Average unit rental comes in at around $390pw.

North Adelaide

Coming in closer to the city but staying North of the CBD is North Adelaide. Close to the centre and universities, this area tends to be for young professionals and students rather than families. It boasts trendy dining, great after work drinking spots and period housing. The average unit rental cost here remains under $400 at around $375pw

Kent Town

Just a short stroll Northwest from the CBD is Kent Town. It scores well in polls for its ‘hipster’ scene and ranks highly with everyone from families to young singles and retirees! Living here you can enjoy an easy walk or cycle to work and the pubs. The average unit rental cost here is around $420pw, but it’s central location is unrivalled for that cool Australian culture and lifestyle. 

Living South of the City

Black Forest

Black Forest is 10 minutes south of the city and the rental price here is only around $300pw. It scores highly in the most desirable suburbs and has great transport links and cute eateries. Worth a look if you are a young professional but be wary, properties are in high demand here.

Clarence Gardens

Clarence Gardens is a bit further south and is rated highly with locals. A unit price here could be as low as $270pw and you would have great access to schools, sports facilities and some shops. There is a tram stop not far away at Clarence Park, meaning you can nip into the city in less than 30 minutes. There is not a lot of nightlife in this area, making it popular for families with kids.

Daw Park

Daw Park is just west of Goodwood Road near the hospital, and benefits from the high street shops and eateries there. It is nestled between some more pricey areas making it popular with the locals and benefiting from some regeneration. You also can get into the city in 15 minutes. A unit price here can be under $300pw and a house for under $500pw.

Living on the coast in Adelaide, South Australia


If you want to live right by the beach there are a lot of great options. If you look west of the city you will find Fulham, which rates highly with locals. It’s proximity to the popular Henley Beach means it has great beach access but doesn’t carry the price tag. Fulham Gardens down the road has all the amenities you need and you’re right near Henley Beach Road to get you into the city in no time at all. The average unit price here is only about $300pw which is a bargain for its location.


The very popular Brighton should be high on your list if you’re looking to settle by the sea. Usually popular with couples, families and retirees. This seaside suburb has it all. You can commute into the city in 25 minutes, otherwise you’ll have everything on your doorstep. If you search well and compete with the high demand you can get a unit here for under $400pw, or you could get yourself a million dollar mansion overlooking the sea, the choice is yours!


Glenelg is voted number 1 best beach in Adelaide and is easily accessible by tram. It can get quite busy though. There is a good mix of accommodation types from new shiny apartment blocks to older Art Deco style houses. An average unit will cost you around $400pw which is no price at all if you compare this location to the equivalent in other states!

Always do your research before moving to Australia permanently 

Living in South Australia is a great option if you want a relaxed lifestyle and beautiful scenery. It’s one of the cheapest places to live in Australia, when you consider how much you can get for your money! 

But if you haven’t decided where to live yet, check out our previous article on the costs of living in Australia here. Also, this whole series is packed with things to know about where to move to in Australia and what it’s like living in Australia. To find our articles on affordable living in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin and Perth please follow the links.

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