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5 Best and Worst Suburbs in Adelaide

Wilson Tiong

Deciding where to live in Adelaide is a big deal. With so many different neighborhoods, each with its own vibe, it can be tough to figure out which one is right for you. This guide breaks down the best suburbs in Adelaide, looking at things like how safe they are, what amenities they have, and whether they’re affordable. Whether you’re after a busy city feel, a quiet beachside spot, or somewhere in between, we’ve got you covered. 

What Makes a Suburb Desirable in Adelaide? 

When contemplating the allure of a suburb in Adelaide, several key factors come into play. Among these, are the following: 

    • Location: Proximity to essential services, employment opportunities, and transportation networks. 
    • Amenities: Presence of quality parks, schools, shopping centers, and recreational facilities. 
    • Safety: Low crime rates and a secure environment for residents and families. 
    • Affordability: Influence on housing prices, cost of living, and overall affordability of the neighborhood. 
    • Community Vibe: Intangible sense of belonging and welcoming atmosphere within the suburb. 

Top 5 Best Suburbs in Adelaide 

Here are the top 5 suburbs in Adelaide. Factors such as family-friendliness, affordability, access to amenities, and overall quality of life. 

1. Hawthorn 

Nestled in Adelaide’s leafy eastern suburbs, Hawthorn is celebrated for its family-friendly environment. With its wide streets, lush parks, and excellent schools, it provides an ideal setting for raising children. The suburb offers a mix of housing options, from character-filled period homes to modern developments, catering to various budgets.  

Residents enjoy easy access to local amenities, including shops, cafes, and recreational facilities. Hawthorn’s tranquil ambiance, coupled with its convenient location near the city center, contributes to its reputation as one of Adelaide’s most desirable suburbs. 

2. Glenelg 

Situated along Adelaide’s stunning coastline, Glenelg is a vibrant seaside suburb renowned for its exceptional amenities and quality of life. Families are drawn to its beautiful beaches, extensive parklands, and bustling Jetty Road precinct, which features an array of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.  

Despite its popularity, Glenelg offers a range of housing choices, from beachfront apartments to spacious family homes. Residents benefit from excellent schools, convenient public transport, and a lively community atmosphere, making Glenelg a sought-after destination for families seeking a coastal lifestyle. 

3. Unley 

Located just south of Adelaide’s CBD, Unley exudes charm and character, boasting a rich heritage and picturesque streets lined with historic homes. Families appreciate the suburb’s proximity to the city center, coupled with its peaceful residential atmosphere.  

Unley offers a diverse range of housing options, from elegant period residences to contemporary townhouses, catering to different preferences and budgets. Residents enjoy easy access to local amenities, including boutique shops, gourmet cafes, and leafy parks. With its blend of urban convenience and suburban tranquility, Unley offers an enviable quality of life for families seeking a cosmopolitan lifestyle. 

4. Burnside 

Tucked away in Adelaide’s prestigious eastern suburbs, Burnside is synonymous with elegance, spacious living, and family-friendly amenities. The suburb is renowned for its expansive properties, lush green spaces, and top-tier schools, making it a popular choice for families seeking a prestigious address.  

Burnside offers a mix of architectural styles, from grand estates to modern residences, catering to discerning homeowners. Residents enjoy a tranquil lifestyle amidst beautifully landscaped gardens, while still being within easy reach of the city center. With its emphasis on quality living and community wellbeing, Burnside epitomizes suburban luxury in Adelaide. 

5. Prospect 

Located just north of Adelaide’s CBD, Prospect is a vibrant and diverse suburb renowned for its affordability and community spirit. Families are drawn to its leafy streets, vibrant main strip, and strong sense of local identity. Prospect offers a range of housing options, from character-filled cottages to modern townhouses, providing something for everyone.  

Residents benefit from an abundance of local amenities, including boutique shops, multicultural eateries, and recreational facilities. With its friendly atmosphere, convenient location, and affordable housing, Prospect offers a welcoming environment for families looking to put down roots in Adelaide. 

What Makes a Suburb Ideal for Families in Adelaide? 

When families are considering where to settle down in Adelaide, several key factors come into play. These elements contribute to creating a nurturing and supportive environment that fosters the growth and wellbeing of family members. Here are some crucial factors to consider: 

    • Good Schools: Access to reputable educational institutions that provide quality education and extracurricular activities. 
    • Parks and Recreational Facilities: Availability of green spaces, playgrounds, sports fields, and community centers for outdoor activities and family leisure. 
    • Low Crime Rates: A safe and secure environment with minimal crime rates, ensuring the wellbeing and peace of mind of residents, especially families. 
    • Affordable Housing Options: A range of housing choices that accommodate varying budgets, including affordable rentals and home ownership opportunities, allowing families to find suitable accommodation within their means. 

What are the Top 5 Worst suburbs in Adelaide? 

While Adelaide boasts many desirable suburbs, some areas may not meet the expectations of residents in terms of family-friendliness, affordability, access to amenities, and overall quality of life. Here are the top 5 worst suburbs in Adelaide, based on these criteria:  

1. Elizabeth 

Known for its high crime rates and socioeconomic challenges, Elizabeth often ranks poorly in terms of safety and community wellbeing. Despite efforts to revitalize the area, issues such as unemployment and limited access to quality amenities persist, making it a less desirable suburb for families seeking a stable and supportive environment. 

2. Davoren Park 

With limited access to quality schools and recreational facilities, Davoren Park struggles to provide the essential services and opportunities that families require. High levels of crime and social disadvantage further contribute to its reputation as one of Adelaide’s least desirable suburbs. Limited employment prospects and affordable housing options add to the challenges faced by residents seeking to improve their quality of life. 

3. Smithfield Plains 

Characterized by its relatively high crime rates and lack of community infrastructure, Smithfield Plains falls short of providing a safe and family-friendly environment. Residents may face challenges accessing essential services such as healthcare and education, contributing to a sense of social isolation and disconnection within the community. Limited employment opportunities and affordable housing options further compound the suburb’s struggles. 

4. Munno Para 

Despite recent efforts to improve amenities and infrastructure, Munno Para continues to face challenges related to affordability and community wellbeing. Residents may encounter difficulties accessing quality schools and recreational facilities, impacting their overall quality of life. High levels of unemployment and limited public transport options add to the suburbs’ disadvantages, making it less appealing for families seeking a supportive and nurturing environment. 

5. Salisbury 

While Salisbury offers some amenities and services, including shopping centers and recreational facilities, the suburb continues to grapple with issues such as crime and social disadvantage. Limited access to quality schools and employment opportunities contributes to the challenges faced by residents, particularly families seeking to establish roots in the area. Despite ongoing efforts to address these issues, Salisbury remains one of Adelaide’s least desirable suburbs for those prioritizing safety, affordability, and community wellbeing. 

What are the Top 5 Most Expensive Suburbs in Adelaide? 

Adelaide is home to several prestigious suburbs that command high property prices and living costs. These suburbs are often sought after for their luxurious amenities, exclusive communities, and desirable lifestyle offerings. Here are the top 5 most expensive suburbs in Adelaide, along with the reasons behind their premium status:   

1. Medindie 

Known for its grand heritage homes, tree-lined streets, and proximity to the city center, Medindie is one of Adelaide’s most exclusive suburbs. Its historic charm, coupled with its spacious properties and prestigious schools, attracts affluent residents seeking an elite lifestyle. Residents enjoy easy access to boutique shopping precincts, fine dining establishments, and cultural attractions, making Medindie a highly desirable enclave for those willing to invest in luxury living. 

2. Toorak Gardens 

Renowned for its manicured gardens, stately homes, and leafy boulevards, Toorak Gardens exudes sophistication and elegance. The suburb’s prime location, just minutes from Adelaide’s CBD, adds to its allure, providing residents with convenient access to top-tier schools, upscale boutiques, and gourmet restaurants. Toorak Gardens offers a serene and exclusive retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life, attracting discerning homeowners seeking prestige and privacy. 

3. Stonyfell 

Situated in the picturesque Adelaide Hills, Stonyfell offers a tranquil lifestyle amidst lush greenery and scenic vistas. The suburb’s elevated position provides residents with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, creating a sense of serenity and seclusion. Stonyfell’s spacious estates, vineyard estates, and prestigious golf courses add to its appeal, attracting affluent buyers seeking a luxurious retreat close to nature. 

4. Leabrook 

Characterized by its opulent residences, manicured gardens, and prestigious country clubs, Leabrook epitomizes upscale living in Adelaide. The suburb’s exclusive enclave boasts expansive estates, gated communities, and lavish amenities, catering to the discerning tastes of its affluent residents. Leabrook offers a serene and secluded lifestyle, yet remains conveniently close to the city center, providing residents with access to premium shopping, dining, and entertainment options. 

5. Springfield 

With its sprawling estates, historic mansions, and verdant parklands, Springfield offers a rare combination of luxury and heritage charm. The suburb’s prestigious schools, exclusive golf courses, and elegant shopping precincts attract affluent buyers seeking a refined lifestyle. Springfield’s leafy streets, spacious properties, and tranquil ambiance provide residents with a sanctuary away from the city, while still offering easy access to premium amenities and cultural attractions. 

Are Expensive Suburbs Always the Best? 

While expensive suburbs often boast luxurious amenities and exclusive communities, their high property prices may not always guarantee a better quality of life. The allure of prestige and exclusivity can sometimes overshadow other crucial factors that contribute to overall wellbeing. Affordability plays a significant role in determining the accessibility of housing and essential services, such as education, healthcare, and transportation.  

In contrast, more affordable suburbs may offer a balance between cost and amenities, providing residents with a comfortable lifestyle without financial strain. When considering where to live, it’s essential to weigh the trade-offs between affordability and amenities carefully. While expensive suburbs may offer upscale features and status symbols, more affordable areas can provide a sense of community, convenience, and financial stability.  

What are the Top 5 Cheapest Suburbs in Adelaide? 

There are several suburbs where property prices and the cost of living are notably lower. These suburbs offer budget-conscious residents the opportunity to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank. Here are the top 5 cheapest suburbs in Adelaide, along with the amenities and lifestyle offerings they provide: 

1. Elizabeth Downs 

Located in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, Elizabeth Downs offers affordable housing options in a convenient location. Residents benefit from nearby shopping centers, schools, and recreational facilities, providing essential amenities at accessible prices. The suburb’s affordable housing market attracts first-time buyers and budget-conscious families seeking value for money. 

2. Davoren Park 

Situated adjacent to Elizabeth Downs, Davoren Park offers similarly affordable housing options with a focus on community living. Despite its reputation for social challenges, the suburb provides residents with access to essential amenities, including schools, parks, and public transport. Affordable rentals and entry-level housing make Davoren Park an attractive option for those on a tight budget. 

3. Smithfield Plains 

Another affordable suburb in Adelaide’s northern region, Smithfield Plains offers a range of housing options at competitive prices. Residents enjoy proximity to shopping centers, schools, and recreational facilities, contributing to a comfortable lifestyle without the hefty price tag. While challenges such as high crime rates persist, the suburb’s affordability makes it an appealing choice for budget-conscious individuals and families. 

4. Elizabeth East 

Adjacent to Elizabeth Downs, Elizabeth East offers affordable housing options in a family-friendly environment. The suburb’s proximity to schools, parks, and public transport enhances its appeal to residents seeking convenience and affordability. Despite socioeconomic challenges, Elizabeth East provides essential amenities and services at accessible prices, making it a viable option for those on a limited budget. 

5. Elizabeth North 

Rounding out the list is Elizabeth North, which offers affordable housing options in a suburban setting. Despite its modest reputation, the suburb provides residents with access to schools, shopping centers, and recreational facilities, ensuring a decent quality of life at affordable prices. With a focus on community living and affordability, Elizabeth North appeals to budget-conscious individuals and families seeking value for money in Adelaide’s property market. 

What are the Top 5 Most Dangerous Suburbs in Adelaide? 

While Adelaide generally enjoys a reputation for safety, there are certain suburbs where crime rates are higher, raising concerns about safety for residents and families. These suburbs often grapple with socioeconomic challenges and social issues that contribute to elevated crime levels. Here are the top 5 most dangerous suburbs in Adelaide: 

1. Elizabeth 

As one of Adelaide’s largest and most socioeconomically disadvantaged suburbs, Elizabeth experiences higher than average crime rates. Factors such as unemployment, poverty, and social isolation contribute to the prevalence of property crime and antisocial behavior. Despite efforts to address these issues, Elizabeth remains a hotspot for criminal activity, impacting the safety and security of residents. 

2. Davoren Park 

Located in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, Davoren Park faces similar challenges to neighboring Elizabeth. High levels of poverty, unemployment, and social disadvantage contribute to a heightened risk of crime in the area. Residents may encounter issues such as theft, vandalism, and antisocial behavior, affecting their sense of safety and wellbeing. 

3. Salisbury 

While Salisbury offers a range of amenities and services, including shopping centers and recreational facilities, the suburb also contends with elevated crime rates. Factors such as socioeconomic disadvantage and drug-related activity contribute to the prevalence of property crime and violence in the area. Residents may experience concerns about personal safety and security, particularly in certain pockets of the suburb. 

4. Munno Para 

Despite recent efforts to improve amenities and infrastructure, Munno Para continues to grapple with higher-than-average crime rates. Factors such as unemployment, poverty, and social isolation contribute to the prevalence of property crime and antisocial behavior. Residents may feel uneasy about safety and security in the area, particularly after dark or in certain areas with a reputation for criminal activity. 

5. Smithfield Plains 

Another suburb in Adelaide’s northern region, Smithfield Plains faces challenges related to crime and safety. Factors such as socioeconomic disadvantage, drug-related activity, and social isolation contribute to the prevalence of property crime and antisocial behavior. Residents may encounter issues such as theft, vandalism, and assault, impacting their sense of safety and wellbeing. Despite efforts to address these issues, Smithfield Plains remains one of Adelaide’s most dangerous suburbs in terms of crime rates. 

 Finding Your Ideal Suburb in Adelaide 

When searching for the perfect suburb in Adelaide, it’s essential to consider a range of factors to ensure it aligns with your lifestyle and priorities. From family-friendliness to affordability, access to amenities, and safety, each suburb offers a unique set of advantages and drawbacks.  

By conducting thorough research and assessing your own needs and preferences, you can make an informed decision that meets your requirements and enhances your quality of life. Explore different neighborhoods and weigh the trade-offs between cost and amenities, so you can find your ideal suburb in Adelaide and enjoy all that this vibrant city has to offer.