Well, just over 24 hours since coming back from our Reccie:(. Thought we would share with you how we found things and our impressions of things we came across. Obviously this is only our opinion and no more than that.
Getting there - we flew out on Singapore Airlines and found them extremely good. Airplane was as comfortable as only any "Cattle Class" could be. Shame we could not afford an upgrade! Got chatting to an ozzie lady on the way out who has flown to and from the uk with most major airlines and she reckoned Singapore are hard to beat and we would 2nd that from our experience.
The airport at Chang Hi is totally mind blowing and puts our airports here to shame. Worth going there for a look in itself. When we finally move we may well stop over in Singapore its self as if as impressive as the airport should be a good place to visit.
Adelaide 1st Impressions - Amazed at the open spaces and large roads everywhere you go. layed out on the grid system makes getting around easier. Best way we felt to describe it is scale of America with English Traditions and buildings. We stayed at The Rendezvous Allegra Hotel in Waymouth Street which we found to be superb and comfortable. Did not get a chance to use all the ammenities but found the location to be perfect for getting around.
Adelaide - Lovely looking city with some stunning old buildings mixed with modern designed office blocks which do not ruin the charm of the city. Retail shops are in abundance and everything you want or are used to in the uk can be found there albeit under a different name. Central Market is one of the most colourful places we have ever visited. The fruits displayed look as fresh and clean as they can possibly be and the range of meat and dairy products just blows your mind. Very lively especially on a friday evening when it opens later till 9pm. Great cafe/coffee shop life style in city, more coffee shops than people i think at times!
Eating out was mainly done for us in and around China Town off Gouger Street where every type of cuisine from around the world seems to be available and very reasonably priced from $30 - $50 for a meal for 2!
Getting about - We hired a car out for 2 days only which cost around $160 with full cover etc which we felt was good value and obviously makes getting around alot easier.
Saying that, the Adelaide Metro Transport System is superb. For $7.70 each for a day ticket which gives you unlimited travel on all the buses, trams and trains in the metro area
makes getting around so simple. You just pick up a guide which gives details of bus stops etc to go and jump on a bus/tram to wherever you want to go to. If when there you want to go somewhere else just get on another bus and you can get wherever you want and its a good way of looking round areas that you would not normally go in a car. The Adelaide O'bahn is an amazing experience and something worth going on where the bus is one minute driving along the road and the next the bus drives straight onto a concrete "track" and basically steers itself at 100km/hour! Amazing! There is also i believe a free bus that runs round the city where you can just hop on a go round and jump off when you like.
Driving we found was simple and actually easy to do, roads were great and although busy during peak times was no problem. Agree with earlier comments that Oz drivers dont give way so at times getting out of junctions you just have to put foot down and hope for the best!
Auzzies - Such a friendly bunch of people. Makes a change to go in shops and be greated with smiling faces and asking how your day is going and what you got planned. When we got off the tram back from Glenelg we wanted to find which stop the bus went from to get to Tee Tree Shopping Centre. Just asked a guy working for Tram company only to be told "sorry only involved with trams not busses" But then he gets on his mobile phone and rings someone and gets the information about buses. Could not imagine our transport system being bothered to do that for you here!
Got a few jokes about us walking round in Tee shirts when all Ozzies walking round in coats and hats!! Well it was about 18 - 21 deg!!!!!
Out and About! - Went through some great looking areas and some not so great. Every area will obviously have some nicer places to go with a few not so. Would not want to upset anyone in any areas so suggest only a visit and everyones perception of what is good and bad.
Some of the properties in the hills are amazing and will certainly be our aim to end up somewhere like that! Obviously beach front properties have an amazing outlook and there are some extremely nice looking areas. We would say most of the "inner" areas seem nice and would be a great place to live. We have all heard about some "not so nice" areas to live but on the whole we found most "ok" When comments have been made about bad areas i think you need to take a look and decide for yourselves as to us they are not as bad as some of the so called rough areas here in the uk, obviously you get an odd house or small section of street but then you would get that in any country let alone town. None we would describe as a ghetto!
Sandy beaches at Glenelg and all down the the bulk of the coast are great and will look forward to many a nice day at the beach with the kids and friends!
Driving round in the hills was amazing and managed to see Koalas in the trees with babies right along side the road in mid afternoon which was un unforgettable experience and one the kids are already looking forward to seeing.
I challenge anyone to walk past the pet shops in the shopping centres and see the puppies in the windows and not stop to take a look. Certainly not used to that in the UK! Shopping centres are modern and big with everything you can ever want including a massage!
Ceratinly noticed all the golf courses but had to behave on the trip so had no chance to take a closer look but seems plenty of
Our House - Had a look round at our "plot" which is in early stages of being built. Really pleased with location which is not in one of the areas that people seem to talk about but we found to be very good with plenty of new houses going in the area and would be close to building work which is what i need which will do us a fine for an early base for a year or two and then give us a good rental return as an extra income when we move somewhere else. The team we have got on board for the purchase including solicitor, accountant, property managers etc seem to be a great bunch and great in offering advice as to how to get the best out of the property and to suit our needs some which totally surprised us and made us think about what and how we do things. May well take take up property developing!!! Apparently since completing in June a reasonable judgement is that if starting now it would be about $20k more expensive for plot and house with the price increases and boom going on.
We called in a got a school prospectus from a well regarded school in the area which certainly seems good from an initial quick visit
Summary - Adelaide is a great place and we are now more convinced we are doing the right thing for our family. Dont get me wrong Adelaide is not "Paradise" with just lazy days on a sandy beach with loads of money available to live a champagne lifestyle. You got to work to get what you want as you aint going to get handouts! We are used to working and do not mind working as hard as required to get what we want. Its the chance to be able to do it whats exciting and not being screwed by the system to support those that dont want to work that makes us want to go for it. The lifestyle is the main thing, having the weather and space to do things with the family that is so appealing.
Certainly glad we spent the money on the reccie, at least we have seen what to expect and find our way round for when we get there which will hopefully help us settle quicker.
I have posted on Myspace photos taken if anyone interested and hope the ramble helps someone.
Hope everyone else finds what ever they are looking for.:D