Guest pg77

Adelaide - great lifestyle, great for families? A challenge

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    Guest pg77

    Hello,

     

    As an introduction: I plan to move to Adelaide in 2015 together with my wife and 2 kids (7 and 4 at the moment).

     

    You can hear everywhere that Adelaide is great for families and the lifestyle is absolutely superb etc., but on the other hand parks are said to be empty, the Zoo is charming but tiny and there are no attractions like an aquarium or so.

     

    So a challenge for all Adelaidians with small kids - convince me life is great in Adelaide :D

     

    How do you spend your time with your children and how does it differ from what you used to do before moving to Australia.

     

    Thanks in advance :)

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    Guest Claire-n-tel

    Hi PG77

     

    Personally i don't think life in Australia is about 'attractions' there is more to life as they say! Have you visited Adelaide at all? Have you applied for a visa yet? Lots can change in a year with visas, jobs etc.

     

    it might not be the best idea to uproot your family accross the world if you need convincing to do so?:wink:

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    Guest pg77

    Yes I have applied for a 189 visa and I am trying to decide on a city. So far Adelaide appeals to me most, but there are always doubts. No I have not visited Adelaide nor Australia before.

    This is why I am posting my question - to receive some more insights than 'it is great over here' and 'life is not about attractions' ;D

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    Personally, I think life in Adelaide is more about being outdoors and doing "family" stuff rather than attractions. The parks are certainly not empty. On a warm, sunny day, many families head to the larger parks and either use the bbqs or take a picnic. They play football, soccer, cricket, whatever and have a great time. You can head for the beach for the day in summer, or the outdoor pool and in the winter you can head for the hills and discover how beautiful it is around there. You can go kayaking on the river, wander round Central Market, have friends round for an impromptu barbie, cycle the miles and miles of cycle paths, visit stunningly beautiful wineries etc etc etc. What you WON'T do is spend a fortune in trashy theme parks or amusement arcades, because we simply don't have any! Hurrah!

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    Guest BurgessFamily

    Great for families... until the kids get older and decide to move to a modern city. :P

     

    If you like festivals, wine, and beaches... you'll have it all in SA.

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    I don't have kids, but have nephews and a niece who visit often from Victoria. From what I can see it's a great place for kids - in fact that seems a major drawcard for families with young children moving here. No, there's not an aquarium - Adelaide doesn't have the population to support aquariums, theme parks etc. However, from what I can see in my local council area, there are great playgrounds all over the place - clean and free of grafitti with clean toilets and BBQs to use that are always clean and well maintained. My parents are always shocked when they visit and we use the great (free) public BBQ facilities and say 'things like that would just get trashed in the UK.' Cycling around my area at weekends, 9 months of the year I see big groups of families/friends sat in chairs picnicking at parks whilst the kids roam around, or similar at the beach.

     

    Because of the great weather there is a lot more opportunity to be outdoors more and be active. Plus the huge amount of beaches - more than makes up for an aquarium in my opinion!

     

    Whilst the zoo isn't huge, there are loads of wildlife parks around as well as the actual zoo - I can think of four wildlife parks within 45 mins of the city with kangaroos roaming around to feed, koalas to cuddle etc. In terms of attractions for kids that we do have - there are a few smaller 'amusement' parks (google Semaphore foreshore waterslides, Glenelg Beachouse, Greenhills adventure park), a huge range of sports clubs / active activities for kids (including some that just don't happen in the UK such as 'nippers' - junior lifesaving/water safety), there are loads of indoor adventure playgrounds (usuaully referred to as 'play cafes' here), loads of great outdoor swimming pools (Usually open oct - may, again you see families setting up to spend a whole day there with a picnic/BBQ, very cheap way to spend a warm day), lots of great indoor swimming centres (the new SA Aquatic centre is a world class swim centre), there are hundreds of gorgeous parks, reserves and outdoor nature spots for walking, bike rides, treasure hunts, games, picnics, duck feeding etc (botanic gardens and Linear Park along the river torrens are my favourites), playgrounds (check out http://www.playgroundfinder.com/listingstate.php?state=sa ) outdoor movies in the park all summer (in the city and various council areas plus there is a drive in movie theatre), 2 or 3 indoor rock climbing centres, indoor trampoline centre (plus a huge Bounce Inc trampoline 'universe' opening up soon),plus all the usual bowling, roller discos, ice skating, laser skirmish, lots of festivals and 'community events' - I could go on. I really can't see anything here in Adelaide that kids would miss growing up elsewhere.

     

    Adelaide is well known for theatre, arts and festivals and there are lots of shows aimed at kids all year round. There are also opportunities for cheap family camping weekends at lovely spots all around Adelaide, SA and interstate. Plus Melbourne is only a short and cheap (ish) flight away to get a bigger city fix for better shopping - and the aquarium ;) I honestly think Adelaide would be a great place to raise a family.

     

    For me, the things I might miss if I have a family here would be doing things like popping over to another country and experiencing completely different culture, food etc without spending loads of time or money to get there - such as a weekend in France. Also the sheer choice of theatre in London (though in Adelaide doesn't lack in theatre), all the historic attractions of England and Europe but mainly being close to my parents. However, I think having kids here they have so much more opportunity to be outdoors and be active and not be cooped up in a house 9 months of the year in the rain.

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    How many times in 3 years did we go to the aquarium in Bristol when we lived there? Twice. And it was very expensive. Here we hit Port Noarlunga and the reef there. Throw in the beach on top and that it's free, quite happy thank you. And that we can go anytime we wish rather than opening hours only, works for us.

     

    Things we do more of here

     

    Cycling (including school run)

    Cricket (there is an oval round the corner and public are welcome to use it so we do, most days).

    Beach - we often head down early evening after school, tea and homework are out the way. Over the summer especially it's lovely and warm in the water to swim and splash before heading home.

    Nature reserves - have them a plenty here. Hallet Cove is a great one to start with, then can head up into the hills to walk some trails there.

    Wildlife spotting - it's all new! Koalas, kangaroos, lorikeets, galahs, possums.

    Parks - there are some great ones. Just don't go middle if the day on hot days and it's fine.

    Cinemas - here too

    Skate parks - check

    Swimming pools and water slides, indoor and out - check

    Cycling club events for kids - check

    Milo cricket for kids - check

    Lots of other sports to choose from. Near us we have tennis courts, rugby pitch, park with basketball hoops, public gym equipment, gym and more.

     

    Also places like the Beach House for soft play or water slides and other stuff.

     

    We've done the Christmas lights, usual Christmas stuff, been to the Fringe recently and son saw a couple of kids shows too. It runs for a month. Plus Adelaide museum, free, lovely for an hour now and again. Wildlife park or two. Also loved the Tour Down Under week. Have also been to lots of smaller towns and places for day trips.

     

    We are not sitting on our backsides that's for sure. We like it but then we were an active family before we moved so nothing really changed for us. Sure the 40C plus days were not great but we got put early, hit the beach at 8am, was lovely, then back down in the evening. We've had far less days stuck indoors here due to 40c plus than we had rainy cold days indoors in the UK.

    Far less. For us it's been a noticeable difference.

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    Guest ColinOz
    Great for families... until the kids get older and decide to move to a modern city. :P

     

    If you like festivals, wine, and beaches... you'll have it all in SA.

     

    But just in march, then this town looks like a ghost town from a zombie movie :biglaugh:

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    Guest Watkinsfamily

    It is definitely about lifestyle here and weather not attractions - the countryside and wildlife are free attractions. Having said that there is plenty to do with my 2 boys - 3 years and 11 months old. We live 3 streets back from the beach - something we could not afford to do in the UK, we can do lots of outdoor activities - again can't do them very often in the UK and the wildlife is amazing - not many places to see British wildlife left now. Beaches are stunning - as are the ones in South West UK and the city is adequate for shopping and such like (lived in Dubai for 5 years so malls are no where near on a par to that but equal to the UK) We have been here 7 months and have not looked back love everything just need to get stable jobs and we will be sorted! In addition facilities are available (and clean / graffiti free) including public BBQ's for free, great parks, National Parks and lots of sporting opportunities in addition to the beaches.

     

    P.S. Snifter - we are originally from Bath have lots of family and friends (and good memories) in Bristol, small world sometimes :) X

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    Guest Guest12727
    Guest pg77

    thank you all, especially for the elaborate responses :)

     

    but of course I am not closing this post, any new comments are welcome :)

    Edited by pg77

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    People can give plenty of examples of attractions, and make all sorts of comparisons between Adelaide and the UK (or of other parts of Aus), but that's just part of the story. Migrants get the chance to change their lifestyles when they make the move, begin to do things they didn't do before. That's great, but that's not (just) a reflection of the place they've gone to or left behind. Migrating is about starting with a blank slate; the old routines suddenly end, making it easier to make wholesale changes. That's why some people say they made the move to work shorter hours and spend more time with the family; you don't need to move across the world to do that (and Aussies work some of the longest hours in the developed world, so this wouldn't be the natural choice for achieving that ambition), but you can set out your stall that way when you migrate.

     

    Regarding the place itself, there's certainly things to do in/around Adelaide for those willing to get out there, but for us it's probably too quiet to remain here long term, which is one of the reasons (the other being lack of career opportunities) why SA loses more of its young people interstate than any other mainland state. As a family we had no shortage of things to do back in the UK, and the weather excuse is pretty much that - an excuse. It's not raining constantly in the UK any more than it's sunny all the time here (and even if it is, so what? stop being such wimps and get out there ...) and there's no shortage of great beaches in the UK, indoor attractions, big cities, drives out to quaint villages etc.

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    Guest Guest75
    People can give plenty of examples of attractions, and make all sorts of comparisons between Adelaide and the UK (or of other parts of Aus), but that's just part of the story. Migrants get the chance to change their lifestyles when they make the move, begin to do things they didn't do before. That's great, but that's not (just) a reflection of the place they've gone to or left behind. Migrating is about starting with a blank slate; the old routines suddenly end, making it easier to make wholesale changes. That's why some people say they made the move to work shorter hours and spend more time with the family; you don't need to move across the world to do that (and Aussies work some of the longest hours in the developed world, so this wouldn't be the natural choice for achieving that ambition), but you can set out your stall that way when you migrate.

     

    Regarding the place itself, there's certainly things to do in/around Adelaide for those willing to get out there, but for us it's probably too quiet to remain here long term, which is one of the reasons (the other being lack of career opportunities) why SA loses more of its young people interstate than any other mainland state. As a family we had no shortage of things to do back in the UK, and the weather excuse is pretty much that - an excuse. It's not raining constantly in the UK any more than it's sunny all the time here (and even if it is, so what? stop being such wimps and get out there ...) and there's no shortage of great beaches in the UK, indoor attractions, big cities, drives out to quaint villages etc.

     

     

     

    Great post Jim - honest and to the point.

     

    Our move was based upon 3 reasons.

     

    "Because we could" - Simple but there it is.

     

    The need to "start again" - having lost my father around the time of making the decision to move here made me think.

     

    "New challenges" - been there / got the t shirt too many times ............. looking forward to paying off my mortgage and playing bingo on an afternoon was not a tempting option / future.

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    Guest pg77

    again, thanks to all for your responses.

     

    for us it is not a matter of escaping nor trying to start up a new lifestyle but rather setting for a better future for the kids.

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    Guest murphyslaw

    we are in the middle of visa and was wondering if there are any dance clubs for daughter and what the schools are like in your area

     

    How has it been for children settling in the area your in now

     

    many thanks

     

    I don't have kids, but have nephews and a niece who visit often from Victoria. From what I can see it's a great place for kids - in fact that seems a major drawcard for families with young children moving here. No, there's not an aquarium - Adelaide doesn't have the population to support aquariums, theme parks etc. However, from what I can see in my local council area, there are great playgrounds all over the place - clean and free of grafitti with clean toilets and BBQs to use that are always clean and well maintained. My parents are always shocked when they visit and we use the great (free) public BBQ facilities and say 'things like that would just get trashed in the UK.' Cycling around my area at weekends, 9 months of the year I see big groups of families/friends sat in chairs picnicking at parks whilst the kids roam around, or similar at the beach.

     

    Because of the great weather there is a lot more opportunity to be outdoors more and be active. Plus the huge amount of beaches - more than makes up for an aquarium in my opinion!

     

    Whilst the zoo isn't huge, there are loads of wildlife parks around as well as the actual zoo - I can think of four wildlife parks within 45 mins of the city with kangaroos roaming around to feed, koalas to cuddle etc. In terms of attractions for kids that we do have - there are a few smaller 'amusement' parks (google Semaphore foreshore waterslides, Glenelg Beachouse, Greenhills adventure park), a huge range of sports clubs / active activities for kids (including some that just don't happen in the UK such as 'nippers' - junior lifesaving/water safety), there are loads of indoor adventure playgrounds (usuaully referred to as 'play cafes' here), loads of great outdoor swimming pools (Usually open oct - may, again you see families setting up to spend a whole day there with a picnic/BBQ, very cheap way to spend a warm day), lots of great indoor swimming centres (the new SA Aquatic centre is a world class swim centre), there are hundreds of gorgeous parks, reserves and outdoor nature spots for walking, bike rides, treasure hunts, games, picnics, duck feeding etc (botanic gardens and Linear Park along the river torrens are my favourites), playgrounds (check out http://www.playgroundfinder.com/listingstate.php?state=sa ) outdoor movies in the park all summer (in the city and various council areas plus there is a drive in movie theatre), 2 or 3 indoor rock climbing centres, indoor trampoline centre (plus a huge Bounce Inc trampoline 'universe' opening up soon),plus all the usual bowling, roller discos, ice skating, laser skirmish, lots of festivals and 'community events' - I could go on. I really can't see anything here in Adelaide that kids would miss growing up elsewhere.

     

    Adelaide is well known for theatre, arts and festivals and there are lots of shows aimed at kids all year round. There are also opportunities for cheap family camping weekends at lovely spots all around Adelaide, SA and interstate. Plus Melbourne is only a short and cheap (ish) flight away to get a bigger city fix for better shopping - and the aquarium ;) I honestly think Adelaide would be a great place to raise a family.

     

    For me, the things I might miss if I have a family here would be doing things like popping over to another country and experiencing completely different culture, food etc without spending loads of time or money to get there - such as a weekend in France. Also the sheer choice of theatre in London (though in Adelaide doesn't lack in theatre), all the historic attractions of England and Europe but mainly being close to my parents. However, I think having kids here they have so much more opportunity to be outdoors and be active and not be cooped up in a house 9 months of the year in the rain.

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    Guest Sarah Bradley

    We moved here with an 11 year old. We love the fact that cycling to school every day is possible without getting cold and wet and we go to the park regularly, our new Christmas tradition is in a park by the beach having a bbq using the free council provided ones. Regular walks in the local area (near the Marion shopping centre) include parks and lakes and we can go out any time of year. The fact that you only have to stay in because of the weather maybe 7 or 8 days a year (usually because it is too hot) is amazing. There is lots of free family stuff, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra had a free concert in the park with about 5000 attending and on Saturday. These events are also relatively trouble free, I think it is because Adelaide is very spaced out so people don't feel like they are on top of each other all the time. We also joined a community band when we arrived which meant we got out and about very quickly. I would recommend visiting so you can see what we are all on about. It's a bit like a village here everyone knows someone who knows you, I have stopped being surprised by meeting people I know everytime I go anywhere. Good luck with your plans.

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    Guest murphyslaw

    thanks for great advice (what area you live in)

     

    Its a diffcult age 11-12 for our daughter, did your children settle in quickly at there schools

     

    we do have family in highbury areas

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    Guest Sarah Bradley

    We only have the one and she settled in really quickly. I think joining the dance (several good dance studios near us), drama and music clubs helped, as she soon had friends all over Adelaide as well as at school. She went into Primary year 5 which made her one of the oldest in her year but meant she had more than two years in Primary before going to high school (they move up at year 8 here) and we had time to look around at the schools and work out the entry requirements for the ones we liked. She is now at Brighton Secondary and we are very pleased with the care and curriculum.

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    Guest murphyslaw

    where were in uk and how old is your child now.

     

    Our daughter is into dance and cheerleading there are clubs in adelaide then, what surburb are you in now and areas do u reccomend

     

    + Our daughter does drum classes so we would like this to carry on

     

    We only have the one and she settled in really quickly. I think joining the dance (several good dance studios near us), drama and music clubs helped, as she soon had friends all over Adelaide as well as at school. She went into Primary year 5 which made her one of the oldest in her year but meant she had more than two years in Primary before going to high school (they move up at year 8 here) and we had time to look around at the schools and work out the entry requirements for the ones we liked. She is now at Brighton Secondary and we are very pleased with the care and curriculum.

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    Guest Sarah Bradley

    We lived in Didcot Oxfordshire and I grew up in Barnham West Sussex nr. Bognor Regis. There are classes and dance troops all over Adelaide. I have a friend that does circus skills which is quite good too. Your best bet is to get on the internet and search. The two music specialist public high schools are Brighton and Marryatville, but there are lots of music programs in the others and private schools too. Drum classes are available in the city (look up Billy Hyde Music) and also South at Christies Beach (Southern Music) but we found a local private tutor which worked well. My daughter plays drums and percussion for the band, but isn't having lessons at the moment. She is now in her last year at High School.

     

    Areas is a hard one, depends on what your priorities are. Ours were good transport connections and fairly near to the beach so we looked at all the suburbs between Alenby Gardens and Seacliff along the coast and settled on Oaklands Park as being near bus and train stations, we are also near (5 minute walk) one of the largest shopping centres (which has a cinema) and less than 10 minutes from the beach in the car. My daughter can cycle to school and we can hop on a train into the city which takes about 25 minutes. I work in the hills at Aberfoyle Park and North East of the City at Trinity Gardens so we are quite central for me as I travel in different directions depending on the day. Both of these suburbs are lovely too but they all have their good and bad points. The best way is always to come and have a look you will soon get an idea of which places would suit you and your family.

     

     

    where were in uk and how old is your child now.

     

    Our daughter is into dance and cheerleading there are clubs in adelaide then, what surburb are you in now and areas do u reccomend

     

    + Our daughter does drum classes so we would like this to carry on

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    It's all about what you want in life. We worked very long hours in the UK. Had both children in childcare full time. I never saw my kids!!! I'd get home from work then the old routine.... bath, dinner, story and bed.. And then repeat the flipping thing day after day. I never had time to spend with the children or my hubbie. It was down right hard. Yes Adelaide is much slower, but that's exactly what we were looking for. I spend so much time with the children now, were in the garden, in the park, have time for church. Have friends round for dinner. Simple things like this was near impossible for us in London. I learnt that in the UK, we lead a very stay at home and watch tv lifestyle, here its so much more then that. Yes we miss family, but its what we get here that counts. I can drop and pick up my kids from school, seeing their faces everyday as I roll up to drop off zone is priceless, this I would never ever have been able to do in the UK. Get the entertainment book, it's packed with discounts and heaps of stuff to do. If you want zoo's we have them, if you want museum's we have them, if you want a theme park go to the gold coast. My son thinks its super cool when we have possums in the tree, and skinks in the back yard. When its hot we head to the beach. There are even free paddling pools at some parks. We go to mount lofty, morialta falls, and waterfall gully, all a stones throw from us. This weekend we took a short drive to summertown and uraidla.

    When we first got here we made a point of going to all the different parks. Hazelwood park has a flying fox, Kensington park has as my son would call it spiderman park, Bonython park has a huge hamster rolling thing that the kids love, tusmore park has a free padding pool, oh the list is endless. not to mention you can have a bbq in the park!!!

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    Guest Spitfire
    Hello,

     

    As an introduction: I plan to move to Adelaide in 2015 together with my wife and 2 kids (7 and 4 at the moment).

     

    You can hear everywhere that Adelaide is great for families and the lifestyle is absolutely superb etc., but on the other hand parks are said to be empty, the Zoo is charming but tiny and there are no attractions like an aquarium or so.

     

    So a challenge for all Adelaidians with small kids - convince me life is great in Adelaide :D

     

    How do you spend your time with your children and how does it differ from what you used to do before moving to Australia.

     

    Thanks in advance :)

     

    I don't think asking others to sell a place to you is a particularly wise way to go about it because people value such different things. Adelaide is a good place to raise kids in my opinion, but if you're the type that needs constant entertainment like theme parks then it's not for you. The major drawback is not specific to Adelaide and that, of course, is that your kids will only see their extended family/grandparents about once every two years or something, and watching them growing up and knowing your family in the UK is missing all of it can be difficult.

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