peteandniccy

willunga and Maclaren Vale

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Hello Poms in Adelaide, I'm just wondering what people's thoughts were on Willunga and Maclaren Vale. We are currently progressing through the 189visa and hope to make the move late 2016 early 2017. I'm in my final year of a mental health nursing degree at present. We have 2 girls 4 and 8 years of age.

 

We were over earlier this year and spent a bit of time in both Willunga and Maclaren Vale and really liked it. I would hope to find work in the Noarlunga area.

 

I would be really interested to hear peoples views on these towns, ie schools community etc.

 

Thank you in advance 😊

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Welcome to the forum. Just so you are aware your first few posts will not appear until they have been checked by a mod.

 

I can't help with your query as I don't really know those areas but we have a few members down that way that would be able to comment. @flossybeth lives down that way and I'm sure would have a view she could share.

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Both are lovely towns. Not huge, both have a nice main street with shops. Maclaren Vale is I think the bigger of the two. No more than a few thousand in each.

 

The state high school for the area is in Willunga but kids bus over from Maclaren Vale.

 

My husbands aunt and her family lived in Willunga for many years. They moved closer to Adelaide a number of years back but as all the kids have left home and bought their own places, had kids themselves, they've all headed back down that way and live in the area.

 

Not too far from some gorgeous beaches. Easy to hop onto the main routes into Adelaide when you need to, plus the train goes from Seaford iirc.

 

We really liked it down that way when we were looking to buy but for my husband it was too far out from Adelaide itself for work reasons and also as he is a bit of an avid cyclist he didn't want to be so far south for his daily and weekend bike rides. Also we have a large family in and around Adelaide and so wanted to be a bit closer so as visiting them wasn't a once a month thing and could be more of a weekly or drop by of an evening thing. Also if we had bought down there I'd have wanted more rural outside of the towns, not actually in them probably and that wasn't ideal for us at the time.

 

I often drive that way though but always take the back roads as its so pretty and for us where we live, just as quick as hitting Main South Rd. Stunning countryside :)

 

If you want to live in a proper detached from the suburbs smaller town then either of those would be good options.

 

IIRC one of our other members settled in Willunga and is very happy there. And as NicF said, @flossybeth lives that way too. Its a wine region so lots vineyards and cellar doors around. Be prepared to travel for things like a day out in the city or the zoo or some such. Its good for access into the hills and that way round but heading into the city will take time, especially in rush hour. Once you get used to it though its probably fine.

 

Things like the big shops are at the mall in Port Noarlunga (personally am not such a fan of that mall and prefer Marion but do go there from time to time for stuff). Also things like Ikea are near the airport so a bit of a drive but thats fine as its not like you head there every week. You can find sports clubs, activities etc for the family although some may need a short trip in the car to one of the suburbs along the coast. Swimming, cinema etc all not too far away in the car. Great cycling around there IMHO.

 

Well worth considering :)

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Both are lovely towns. Not huge, both have a nice main street with shops. Maclaren Vale is I think the bigger of the two. No more than a few thousand in each.

 

The state high school for the area is in Willunga but kids bus over from Maclaren Vale.

 

My husbands aunt and her family lived in Willunga for many years. They moved closer to Adelaide a number of years back but as all the kids have left home and bought their own places, had kids themselves, they've all headed back down that way and live in the area.

 

Not too far from some gorgeous beaches. Easy to hop onto the main routes into Adelaide when you need to, plus the train goes from Seaford iirc.

 

We really liked it down that way when we were looking to buy but for my husband it was too far out from Adelaide itself for work reasons and also as he is a bit of an avid cyclist he didn't want to be so far south for his daily and weekend bike rides. Also we have a large family in and around Adelaide and so wanted to be a bit closer so as visiting them wasn't a once a month thing and could be more of a weekly or drop by of an evening thing. Also if we had bought down there I'd have wanted more rural outside of the towns, not actually in them probably and that wasn't ideal for us at the time.

 

I often drive that way though but always take the back roads as its so pretty and for us where we live, just as quick as hitting Main South Rd. Stunning countryside :)

 

If you want to live in a proper detached from the suburbs smaller town then either of those would be good options.

 

IIRC one of our other members settled in Willunga and is very happy there. And as NicF said, @flossybeth lives that way too. Its a wine region so lots vineyards and cellar doors around. Be prepared to travel for things like a day out in the city or the zoo or some such. Its good for access into the hills and that way round but heading into the city will take time, especially in rush hour. Once you get used to it though its probably fine.

 

Things like the big shops are at the mall in Port Noarlunga (personally am not such a fan of that mall and prefer Marion but do go there from time to time for stuff). Also things like Ikea are near the airport so a bit of a drive but thats fine as its not like you head there every week. You can find sports clubs, activities etc for the family although some may need a short trip in the car to one of the suburbs along the coast. Swimming, cinema etc all not too far away in the car. Great cycling around there IMHO.

 

Well worth considering :)

 

 

Well summed up.

I live near to McLaren Vale and it's one of my favourite areas. Stunning scenery, good food and wine, a great village atmosphere etc. My son lives on a farm in McLaren Vale and we take the other kids there all the time.

I would also like to live in Willunga and am seriously considering a move for when my grandchildren get a little older so that Willunga high school would be an option.

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Seen - just heading out to a couple of appointments but will certainly post a bit later.

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Apologies for my horrible typo. I am aware there is a C in MaClaren but was in a hurry this morning trying to type on the run and got lazy :unsure:

Edited by snifter
typo :P

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Hello Poms in Adelaide, I'm just wondering what people's thoughts were on Willunga and Maclaren Vale. We are currently progressing through the 189visa and hope to make the move late 2016 early 2017. I'm in my final year of a mental health nursing degree at present. We have 2 girls 4 and 8 years of age.

 

We were over earlier this year and spent a bit of time in both Willunga and Maclaren Vale and really liked it. I would hope to find work in the Noarlunga area.

 

I would be really interested to hear peoples views on these towns, ie schools community etc.

 

Thank you in advance 

 

Both offer something quite unique in the Adelaide area - distinct small towns, in rural settings within ten minutes drive to the beach. We choose McLaren Vale as we felt Willunga was just that little bit further out for city jobs and it's a bit more convenient in terms of shops, but Willunga is more rustic. Urban sprawl from Seaford is encroaching but there are restrictions on building in the McLaren Vale area for the next 30 or so years, though time will tell how that stacks up but its a gem of an area to live in. You are at the gateway of the Fleurieu Peninsula as well - Victor Harbor is only 30 minutes away. On the downside, as Snifter says you are a bit removed from city things but it depends on what you like. Good luck!

Edited by zebedee

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Thank you all for your replies, very informative and much appreciated. My wife and I have been looking at this site for a while now and its been a great source of info.

 

Both my wife and I are hoping that we might find employment in the southern side of Adelaide or Noarlunga if possible. I don't mind a wee bit of travel if it means we get to stay in such a lovely area. We have friends who live in Willunga as well. We are from Inverness in the highlands of Scotland so are not used to cities. Its funny to us how Adelaide is classed as a 'Country Town' yet to us its huge!! Mind you when compared to Melbourne etc I suppose it is small. I'm also a very keen rock climber so basically the outdoors are very important. We were blown away by how amazing this area is and feel that it has everything we need. However with two young girls school and community it of critical importance.

 

Thankyou Once again, I'll no doubt have other questions in the near future,

 

Cheers Pete and Niccy

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Hi - if you're a keen rock climber Willunga/McLaren Vale is a great area because there's Southern Boulder recently (about a year I think) opened up; it's in one of the wineries at the top of Willunga Hill (http://southernboulder.com.au/). We've taken our children up there a couple of times and it's good for them but from what I can gather it's used by serious climbers too. I couldn't tell you about actual real rocks to climb but I'm sure they could.

 

As far as Willunga/McLaren Vale goes we live in McLaren Vale and chose it over Willunga because I don't like having to be reliant on the car for everything and felt that Willunga would mean that we would end up using the car. We moved over from a small town in Devon and didn't want to live in a city - much as I like Adelaide as an easy city to get around and get to know it is still a city - and because I was keen to live near to the beach (although I would have compromised with a pool!) our options for actual towns over suburbs close enough to the CBD for my husband for work were limited. And when we were making our choice the train lines were just being extended to Seaford (although it does take about 50 minutes into the city from Seaford) and the Expressway was near completion. We also have NBN down this way which I think is a good thing :)

 

McLaren Vale is definitely the larger town and has Coles and very soon we're to have a Foodland as well as good butchers, a green grocer, chemist, etc... We also live within walking distance of the school which is what I like. Willunga though I think has such a lovely vibe to it and they have a lot of community stuff going on - Cinemallunga springs to mind but I know there's tonnes. There's the farmer's Market every Saturday which is a lovely place to browse - although if you've friends who live there already I'm sure they can fill you in on all of that! The surrounding countryside is beautiful - up to Kuitpo Forest, easy drive through the hills to small towns like Meadows, Mount Barker, Strathalbyn...

 

Between Aldinga, McLaren Vale, Seaford and Noarlunga there's not much call to go into the city for a lot of shopping but like Snifter says Marion is only about 25 minutes up the express way anyway and has a few more specialist shops.

 

As far as I know Willunga Primary is fine as is McLaren Vale (ours go there) or there's a Waldorf school in Willunga if you'd prefer that route. The high school in Willunga has really flourished in past few years as far as we can tell (we've only been here for 2 years) and has moved away from it's previously poor reputation. Our eldest goes and we're mostly happy - as always there's a few things we'd do differently if we were in charge but we're not (nor are we even teachers!). She's had the opportunity to raise and take goats, orchids and steers to the Royal Adelaide Show, they have a vineyard where they follow the whole process through to wine-making. There are loads of bus routes which bring children in from the surrounding areas. There are quite a few private schools around the area too - Tatachilla Lutheran is a popular choice but if your eldest is only 8 you'll have plenty of time to sort a secondary.

 

About 15% of the population of McLaren Vale is from the UK and I wouldn't even like to think how much higher that would go if you add in Seaford and Aldinga (both areas that are expanding rapidly) so don't be surprised by the number of non-Australian accents you'll hear.

 

I should think there's more reasons we live here and I'll let you know as I think of them. Good luck with your process.

Edited by flossybeth

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Hello Flossybeth,

 

A great post, thank you.

 

One of the first things I did was research the climbing, I just couldn't live somewhere if it didn't have climbing! There's loads in the area!!

 

We went to the farmers market in Willunga when we were there in July, it was just fantastic! Lovely fresh produce and plenty of people enjoying themselves. The whole area appeals greatly to us. As I said before we are not city people so the rural nature of both Willunga and MacLaren Vale is just what we're after. We have thought about Aldinga and Noarlunga as well. We would initially be renting and have been told that rentals are scarce in Willunga and more readily available in Maclaren. I see your point about shops etc in MacLaren and to be honest it is an important consideration as I want to be able to walk rather than drive all the time. When we were in MacLaren Vale we went to a really nice Italian restaurant on the main street, I forget the name?

 

We are not particularly looking for any expat community or avoiding it for that matter, it would however be nice to find a small friendly community for us to fit into with other young families and kids.

 

 

 

I think the most important thing is getting the right school for our girls. We are not religious orientated people so would shy away from schools that are that way inclined. The activities that your daughter has taken part in sound just the sort of thing my girls would love! My oldest has started horse riding and my youngest is a keen swimmer and they're both mad on animals!! As for my wife and I , well we just like the tranquillity the area has to offer.

 

A few hurdles to cross yet... but we're getting there...slowly!

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