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North Adelaide, Croydon or somewhere else?

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My partner and I will be moving to Adelaide early 2018 and are trying to narrow down with area to live in when we first arrive. We would probably initially look to signing a short rental agreement of about 6 months before we take the plunge and buy a house. My partner has secured a job as a GP in the Para Hills area and can drive, not usually minding a commute of around 20/25 minutes. I, however, am awkward and cannot drive, so am dependant on public transport. I think we would prefer to be somewhere with a train station for easy and quick transport into the city, as, at least initially, we would love to get into town to sample all the great restaurants. We would like somewhere fairly smart-ish, safe and clean. 

From the research I have done North Adelaide or Croydon seems to fit the bill. Would anyone happen to have any recommendations which would be best, or even a secret third option? Any heads-up about no-go areas would be greatly appreciated too.


Ofolopomus :)

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I agree North Adelaide is lovely and would happily live there myself given enough money.  My advice would be to arrange a short term rental for 2 to 3 weeks for when you first arrive and have a good look round at different areas.

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North Adelaide if you can find something in your price range would get my vote. If you want to be able to get to the CBD with ease I'd suggest the southern end of it more (nearer the golf course and O'Connell) so its within a reasonable walking distance (more so in hot weather) of that and the main shopping mall in North Adelaide. Buses run and of course once you get over the river you are at the train station so can take that or the tram to go elsewhere or simply carry on and walk. Melbourne St side is lovely also but a bit further walking although of course buses run. Best bet is to check the routes they cover. 

FWIW though, even somewhere within the CBD would get my vote. When I first met my husband he was living a couple of streets away from the Central Market and it was fab being so close to everything and also having the parklands not far away. Norwood would be another area that could be appealing. Has a lovely main street, shops, cafes etc. Easy for the bus into the CBD also. 

Not all the good suburbs around the CBD have an easy option re a train. Depending on where you are in a suburb it could still be a bus ride to the train station. Or no train station possibly?? I don't know all the routes and stations. Check them out via the Adelaide metro website to see what areas are covered by what. 

I'd also look at suburbs served by the tram line (although they are more south than north at present but you can see how far the line goes and where it is extending to). If you can be within walking distance of the tram its a big plus point IMHO for access to the CBD. 



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To be honest, buses in Adelaide aren’t too bad in the grand scheme of things but, as per the UK, they’re probably the least desirable form of public transport for most people if given the choice. Whilst there is being some work done on giving buses priority at intersections, in peak hour the crawl into the CBD along some of the major arteries (e.g. ANZAC Highway, Port Road etc) can be a bit frustrating.

If you’re going to be truly dependent on public transport then I’d highly recommend finding somewhere along a train or a tram route. It’s worth bearing in mind that on a 40 degree day then your idea of walking distance might be reduced considerably from what you are used to in the UK.

I’ve attached a crude map of the train, tram and O-Bahn lines as they leave the city – I’ve only included a fairly small radius from the CBD at this stage as Google Maps removes most of the suburb name labels if I zoom out any further (rail/o-bahn should be no more than 15 mins from the edge of this map, tram will be 15-25 mins depending on time of day). You should be able to follow the lines out further from here on Google Maps if you are interested in living further afield.

Red is the tram line (the dotted bits are the North Terrace/KWS extensions which will be finished by the end of the year – don’t rely too much on any of the other planned extensions you may read about appearing in the immediate future – especially if the Libs win the state election in March), blue are the rail lines (the Outer Harbor and Grange lines to the north-west, the Gawler line to the north and the Seaford/Tonsley and Belair lines to the south). Google maps should give you some approximate journey times if you plug the start/end destinations into the directions tool. Bear in mind that the trains run largely to schedule any time of the day but the trams will get slower in peak hours as more stops will be required (a peak hour trip into the CBD from Glenelg can take 45 minutes but only 20 minutes off-peak).

The green line is the O-Bahn – Adelaide’s guided busway. Think of it as a train line and not as a bus – it works really well and by the end of the year will feed directly into the heart of the CBD via a tunnel making it even quicker.

As mentioned before, the buses are fine but can be frustrating if they get caught up in traffic and therefore turn up late. You’ll also find that as far as public transport’s concerned, all roads lead to Rome – you can get into or out of the CBD from most suburbs pretty easily, but try going from suburb to suburb and you’ll most likely end up having to change in the CBD, meaning that even short inter-suburb trips can be made painfully long by PT.

With this in mind, North Adelaide would be a great place to live and will give you good access to the CBD by bus, uber or a 15-30 min walk depending on where you start and finish. Croydon is also great – but then I’m biased because I live there. Some of the suburbs along the tram line are also nice – Goodwood, Forestville, Black Forest for example. Glenelg and Glengowrie are safe bets too – but further out. The hills are beautiful and are serviced by the Belair rail line – about 35 mins from the CBD from Blackwood/Glenalta. I’m not sure about the areas in-between Goodwood and the foothills (e.g. Mitcham) – it’s not my neck of the woods so someone else might have to chip in here. Likewise, I’m not sure about the suburbs to the northeast along the O-Bahn, but I’m sure someone else can advise.

Cost of rentals will also vary by area - with North Adelaide being particularly pricey I think. Check out realestate.com.au for some examples.

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Also, if you don't drive at all then it's also good to bear in mind that not all suburbs here have much in the way of a 'centre' - in many you might get a supermarket, a chicken shop and that's about it. Some are great and have their own centres - Dulwich has a great little village atmosphere, Norwood, Goodwood and Unley are like a large British village with a longish shopping and eating strips, Glenelg's very busy but slightly more on the touristy side - still a great place to live, Croydon has a nice little village centre with shops, cafes etc and then of course the City and North Adelaide would be the holy grail of having convenience within walking distance. However, the City doesn't have much in the way of residential properties other than apartments, small but cute historic workers' cottages and some modern townhouses. North Adelaide, despite its proximity to the CBD, is more like a separate suburb - with a size and feeling a bit like a smallish British town. There are some amazing historic properties - but have a price tag to match. I've never lived there but it has a reputation for being a bit posh and stuffy. Great location though and would work much better for your other half's commute if he's heading north (I'd be inclined to avoid anywhere too far south of the CBD if this likely to be a long term job).

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Thank you so much everyone for the information. This has been a great help in knowing I'm looking around the right areas. I will continue my search for the right property!


Ofolopomus :)

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North Adelaide will be pricey rental wise. And depending on your wants with cats, you will need to research rentals carefully. If you have a budget it could be you will be looking at units or apartments and these can have no pets allowed (it could be in the title for the entire block IYKWIM). Houses are a big jump up price wise although you can get a smaller town house type place (usually very small walled back yard type of places) for somewhere inbetween unit and larger house price). Keep in mind prices are given per week. 

Have a look at some recent rentals for North Adelaide to give you an idea of prices and options re pets. If you have 4 cats, it may rule you out with some landlords. If an ad says 'No pets' then pass it by. If it doesn't say anything or says pets allowed, then consider it fair game. Keep in mind there may be a limit or 1 or 2 pets (cat/dog type) per household and the landlord may not want 4 cats. 


Also keep in mind viewings of rentals are open house and usually about 30-45 mins long, often after 5pm on weekdays and some on weekends. Its usually a case of view the property along with everyone else, if you like it, grab an application and hand it in before you leave or very soon after. If there is interest in the property and they get an application the landlord likes they won't usually hang around for others to apply. If you have 4 cats it could be worth having a couple of references to support your application and perhaps offer to pay a larger bond up front if you really want to snag it and they are not so keen on so many cats. 


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North Adelaide would be great, so would Croydon. However they are quite different. Croydon is a much smaller area with a different feel. It's a very arty area - very 'up and coming' with some hipster cafes, retro furniture stores etc popping up. However the small strip of shops is a small one. North Adelaide is more comparable to a small town centre in the UK with two main streets of shops (O'Connell and Melbourne) and many more restaurants, pubs, etc. It is also a more 'prestigious' area for want of a better word. Lots of old money. Big grand houses etc. I really like both, but they have a very different feel.

I agree North Adelaide is better for choice of shops, cafes etc and to be able to walk into the city itself. And I agree with Snifter - also consider the city centre itself. In fact I think that's a better option than North Adelaide and Croydon, but would add some time to your partner's commute north.

Have you also considered Prospect? It is probably in the middle of Croydon and North Adelaide in terms of both size and 'feel'. However please note it's one of those areas where the exact street can make a huge difference. Eg some areas (and prices, accordingly), generally the Southern end closer to North Adelaide are much nicer than the areas close to Churchill Road in the West and Kilburn in the North. But definitely worth looking at. Buses go regularly down Churchill Road and Prospect Road, or if you're towards the north end, can get the train from Kilburn.

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It's good to hear different people's perspectives. I think at the moment we are still interested in the Croydon area. So thanks for the insight guys!


Ofolopomus :)

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Hi there,

I have just joined this forum.

We have a beautiful home that we would like to rent out, and it is right where everyone is suggesting. Its in Ovingham, right next to North Adelaide and only a 20 min walk into the CBD, or 5 mins to the free tram into the CBD. It is perfectly positioned and if you have kids, we are zoned for the best Primary school in the area. Top 5 in the state.

Let me know if you are interested in further info and we can chat off line.

Good luck with it all - Adelaide is a beautiful place - Welcome.

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Aircraft noise. Just saying. We looked at several rentals in North Adelaide and some were right under flight path. And I didn't like it. Double glazing not common. 


We ended up in Norwood and really liked it. Now live in Adelaide Hills. 


The noise does vary and just a few streets can make a difference. 


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      The Village of Croydon was laid out in 1855, comprising the 40 acre Croydon Farm and was most likely named after Croydon, England based on the birthplace of one of the original land owners, Philip Levi.
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      Croydon and West Croydon are predominantly heritage suburbs with only a few new dwellings. The most common house styles are late 1800s-early 1900s Federation cottages and 1920s-1930s bungalows (a particular housing style in SA, not to be confused with the generic UK term for a single-storey house). Some particularly grand examples exist along the railway corridor of Euston Terrace/Day Terrace.

      A 1900s Federation-style house

      A 1920s/30s bungalow
      To the west of Rosetta Street (i.e. the western side of West Croydon), more 1940s and 1950s dwellings exist, many in the Spanish Mission or Art Deco styles.
      The median house price as of April 2017 is $559,000 and the median weekly rent is $420.
      The majority of houses in the area are set on large (700sqm) blocks, with good-sized back yards. The area has commonly been known for its ‘market gardens’ so fruit trees, veggie patches and backyard chooks are very common. The area is rapidly gentrifying and many houses have been renovated, although period features and frontages are usually retained (many properties are local heritage-listed). Large rear extensions with open plan living and outdoor entertaining areas are quite common, as people take advantage of the block sizes in order to extend. There are still a few ‘fixer-uppers’ to be found if you fancy a project.
      Shopping, & eating
      Unlike many suburbs, Croydon has a bustling ‘village centre’ - the Queen Street/Elizabeth Street area. This popular shopping and eating precinct boasts:
      Red Door Bakery – award winning pies, cakes and all manner of baked goods. Coffees, teas, croissants - the works.

      La Lorientaise Crêperie – by far the best crêpes (sweet and savory) I have ever tasted.

      Croydon Social – family friendly dining where everything is cooked in a wood-fired oven. Fantastic pizzas and always a great range of craft beers.

      Queen Street Café – friendly and popular café for breakfasts and lunches

      Hype and Seek – vintage, industrial and mid-century furniture and clothing store

      Azalia Boutique – women’s clothing store
      One Small Room –mid-century furniture plus jewellery, cards and books.
      Oscar and Willow - homewares
      Queen St Pilates Studio
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      West Croydon also has a growing shopping and eating precinct on Rosetta Street - currently featuring The Bruncherie Cafe, two hairdressers and Pineapple Vintage retro clothing store - https://www.facebook.com/pineapplevintageretro/.
      For the big weekly shop, Welland Plaza is within easy walking distance just across Port Road. Here you’ll find a mid-sized Coles, a Post Office, Sushi Train, Dan Murphy’s liquor store, a great independent fruit and veg shop, pharmacy, café, two bakeries, butchers, newsagents, book shop, noodle bar and even a DVD rental place.
      A 5 minute drive along South Road is the new Brickworks shopping centre. Here there’s a mammoth new Woolworths supermarket as well as a Big W, another fruit and veg place, an EB Games and various other stores and cafes.
      Parks and Schools
      In the heart of Croydon, next to the Queen Street shops and cafes is a ‘village green’ complete with grassed and landscaped park area, toilets, basketball court, BBQ and picnic area and a very cute train-themed kiddies playground.

      Grab a cup of coffee from Queen Street and join the other families in the park area, whilst the little ones play on the equipment and wave at trains as they pull into the adjacent station. As well as this, there are various parks dotted throughout the suburb, most with play equipment – you’re not going to be more than a 5 minute walk from a park wherever in Croydon/West Croydon you live. Additionally, the whole suburb is zoned 40km/h, making it very family-friendly.
      Kilkenny Primary School is located in West Croydon (http://www.kilkennyc7.sa.edu.au/) whilst several other unzoned primary schools exist in nearby suburbs. The suburb is zoned for Woodville High School (http://www.woodvillehigh.sa.edu.au/) - two train stops west from West Croydon station.

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      Trains: The suburbs are serviced by two train stations only 1.6km apart. Trains to the CBD run every 15 minutes and journey times are 7 minutes and 8 minutes from Croydon and West Croydon stations respectively. Trains home from the CBD run until after midnight. Due to the short distance, trips between Croydon Station and the CBD are approximately half the price of a standard ticket ($1.92 as of April 2017). In the opposite direction, trains run to the cruise ship terminal at Outer Harbor, via the historic city of Port Adelaide and the bustling beach-side town of Semaphore, or via a spur to Grange with its quiet beach and pleasant 2km walk to the busier Henley beach.

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