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Lifestyle in the Adelaide hills


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A 110 km/hr Freeway, with no tolls to pay, is how Adelaide hills residents get to work in the city centre . . . within 30 / 35 minutes drive.

I live a few kilometres east of Mount Barker which is one of Australia's fastest growing townships inland from the sea.

We're less than an hour's drive from Adelaide's beaches or the beaches along the southern coast of the greater Adelaide region.

Mount Barker has new shops going up with all the big retail names you see across Australia selling everything from cars to bedding, clothing to furniture, gardening stiff to hardware.

I drive past this housing estate on my way out of Mount Barker. There are another three housing estates around Mount Barker, all with new housing.

These shots were taken in 2004, but there is still building going on.

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Ginnie and I regularly ride our bikes or walk along the footpaths at this "wetland" which is right by the housing estate for residents to also enjoy. The bike riding or walkway goes for about 5 kms right thro Mount Barker to the far side of town . . . . absolutely safe to enjoy . . . . . 24 / 7 . . . all part of the lifestyle here in the "Hills"

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Mount Barker has three schools.

A State primary and high school

A Lutheran primary and high school &

A Catholic primary and high school

http://stmarks.sa.edu.au/default.asp (Lutheran primary)

http://www.cornerstonecollege.sa.edu.au (Lutheran High)

http://www.stfrancis.adl.catholic.edu.au

For info about the local council

http://www.dcmtbarker.sa.gov.au

More specific info from the Census about workforce, etc.

http://www.id.com.au/mountbarker/commprofile/default.asp

In my working life, which ended last year, I was only ever a blue collar worker enjoying an average blue collar income, my wife a part-time primary school teacher working three days a week (on average).

We had no rich uncles and no millions left to us in an inheritance or whatever, yet we managed to send our three kids to the schools listed above and we live in this district on 3 hectares of land about 6 kms further east of these houses shown.

If we can afford this lifestyle, maybe anybody with a degree of work and initiative from South Africa could do far better with the will to do so.

That's what Australia is all about!

Enjoy!

Edited by Bob
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I must say that though we are from Melbourne, I love the Adelaide Hills. If I circumstances were different, I'd be living in Stirling, Hahndorf or Bridgewater. ;) With 30 min easy access to the city center of Adelaide but living in the hills (winery area) and easy access to beaches and country living, it is idyllic. I know of no other Australian city where you can balance country living and working in the city so happily. The bigger cities are all too crowded and the infrastructure lacking.

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I must say that though we are from Melbourne, I love the Adelaide Hills. If I circumstances were different, I'd be living in Stirling, Hahndorf or Bridgewater. ;) With 30 min easy access to the city center of Adelaide but living in the hills (winery area) and easy access to beaches and country living, it is idyllic. I know of no other Australian city where you can balance country living and working in the city so happily. The bigger cities are all too crowded and the infrastructure lacking.

Adelaide has 1.1 million people living there . . . . big enough to have the critical "mass" to endorse

three Universities,

a brilliant public transport system of buses, trains, trams and (a uniquely Australian concept borrowed from Germany) an "O-Bahn", whereby buses run at 100 km/ hr thro a corridor in between suburbs to arrive at the heart of the city in 15 minutes from 10 to 15 kms out,

beaches,

Australia's first Arts centre,

restaurants and cafes galore,

parklands 1 km deep surrounding the whole of the city centre of Adelaide,

. . . . . and lots of other lifestyle options that any modern individual would come to expect from a city in the Western world

. . . . . and within 30 minutes a resident can also be enjoying country living with all the shops and schools and modern conveniences that are available.

Like "Sunflower" has mentioned, I don't of any other city in Australia where country living is so close to the heart of a capital city.

Edited by Bob
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Bob, you've long ago succeeded in selling the Hills to us!! . Now its just : will it be LittleHampton or Nairne? Will do the mayor groceries at Mount Barker. Cannot wait to be there.

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The Hills are gorgeous Bob and I would love to live there. I have just one concern: what is the price of one of those houses? Looking at the distance between the houses and the size of the houses, my Canadian experience tells me they are all on acreages and not regular lots. I guess that is why you call them estates. Any neighborhoods in and around Mount Baker for the middle class with a wetland and pathways to ride a bike or go for a walk?

Thanks

Retha

Edited by Retha_hhr
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Bob

We're also keen on Adalaide, my hubby and myself. Don't know why though, just fancy everything we've read on it so far. Tell me, what churches is close to the hills (which you've obviously sold to me!)

Just want to add this, you can tell I'm still in S.A., cause my first concern when looking at those houses are, SAFETY!!! They don't have walls infront, nothing!!! I still need to get used to not living in fear.

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Ek het nou al gekyk en gekyk na die topic....ek wil ook iets se.

Ons het vir drie maande in Adelaide Hills gewoon, in Bridgewater. Dit was wonderlik, die Hills is mooi, mooi, mooi! Net jammer van ons landlord daar!

Die Hills is koeler as die subburbs, lekker in die somer. Die huise staan tussen die groen bome en as jy gelukkig is kan jy die Koala beertjies in die bome sien. Daar is die mooiste voels wat ek nog ooit gesien het, papegaaie in grys en pienk, voels met blou, blou vere en oranje ook. Dis so 'n rustic gevoel wat jy daar kry. Bridgewater het die mooiste eetplekkies en 'n lieflike hotel met wonderlike kos.

In die herfs is die plek op sy mooiste, bome raak geel en rooi, blare le in 'n dik tapyt op die grond, dit lyk of 'n Meesterhand oortyd gewerk het aan 'n skildery.

Natuurlik is daar nadele ook. Die winter was koud in die Hills, die heaters moes heeldag aan bly en sommer drie van hulle. Een was te min. Die pad vanaf die Hills in Adelaide toe loop deur die tonnel, soms was die spoedgrens afgebring na 60kmu toe weens swak sig en mis op die heuwels. Ek onthou eendag was die mis so sleg dat ek niks kon sien voor my nie en jy kan ook nie van die pad af trek nie, net nou ry een van die groot lorries jou in jou kanon in. Ek weet nie hoe hulle kon sien nie, maar die mis het hulle nie afgeskrik nie, hulle het verby jou gejaag! Seker maar omdat hulle die pad ken.

Dit was so snaaks..onder in die dorp was die mis weg en die son het geskyn, maar so gou jy weer op ry boontoe, was dit weer mistig en nat. So asof jy in Sleepy Hollow in ry.

So het elke plek sy pro's en sy cons...al wat ek weet is dat ek baie lekker bly in Adelaide, City of Churches.

Groete,

Kannidood.

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The Hills are gorgeous Bob and I would love to live there. I have just one concern: what is the price of one of those houses? Looking at the distance between the houses and the size of the houses, my Canadian experience tells me they are all on acreages and not regular lots. I guess that is why you call them estates. Any neighborhoods in and around Mount Baker for the middle class with a wetland and pathways to ride a bike or go for a walk?

Thanks

Retha

There are no "posh" people in Mount Barker . . . so these places shown are about $350 000 to $ 600 000 in price, depending on house size, block of land size, and so on.

There are other estates going up with smaller block sizes, but I snapped these piccies about two or three years ago as they were going up.

If you have a half million to spend, you can buy one of these places and stroll down a few hundred yards (metres) to the wetlands to walk along the pathway for a half hour or so, watching birdlife and others strolling past with their dogs or on bikes.

The traditional house block in Australia and New Zealand had been the quarter acre block (1 000 sq metres), but developers nowadays are getting hold of farmland and trying to chop the land up into as many small parcels of land as they can get away with.

One north eastern suburb in Adelaide has been "developed" like this with perfectly manicured streets and paths, nice shopping centres and local facilities but when you drive around, you notice the rooves are almost touching each other . . . . . there is no land for a back garden even to "swing a cat"!

I dunno about you but I don't like to hear the bloke next door flushing his toilet at 7 am. I prefer a bit of land around me so I can plant a few fruit trees, build a big shed and have a spot to entertain outdoors with a barbeque and lawn to sit around and enjoy myself. I wouldn't be able to enjoy that sort thing in some areas.

The block sizes shown here are about a quarter acre (1 000 sq. m) to almost an acre (4 000 sq. m) and for that you pay a premium.

At least, though, in the Adelaide hills area, land is still available and is still affordable for this, unlike in most suburbs in the metropolitan area of Adelaide.

Bob

We're also keen on Adalaide, my hubby and myself. Don't know why though, just fancy everything we've read on it so far. Tell me, what churches is close to the hills (which you've obviously sold to me!)

Just want to add this, you can tell I'm still in S.A., cause my first concern when looking at those houses are, SAFETY!!! They don't have walls infront, nothing!!! I still need to get used to not living in fear.

Australians don't worry about security.

My fence by the roadside is six strands of old plain fence wire that is falling down.

I think my cow would be able to walk thro or jump over it!

I just took my mother-in-law over in the car to my wife's brother's house who lives in the next town, Macclesfield. This is a 20 min drive.

We had a cuppa tea and biscuit and we talked for an hour.

I drove home, taking another 20 mins to get home.

Nobody was home when I left and nobody was home when I got back.

I am fixing my Mitsubishi van at the moment, putting a new timing belt in it so the Heidi, my daughter can drive it back to Newcastle and pick all her stuff up from University there and bring it back home.

I had all my tools out, my compressor out with its 30 m hose, my tool-box and I noticed my shed door with all my tools was open when I drove in. My lawn mower is out on the verandah. My rotary hoe for the garden is out around the side of the house.

Nothing disappeared.

Nothing ever disappears.

Welcome to Australia!

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Karl and Nanette

Hi Bob

Our hearts are set on Adelaide Hills! Can't wait to get there and start our new lives.... hopefully soon. :ilikeit:

Nanette

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Hi Bob

Our hearts are set on Adelaide Hills! Can't wait to get there and start our new lives.... hopefully soon. :blush-anim-cl:

Nanette

Is that just because you like leaving your lawn mower out cos you can't be bothered, like me, putting it away in the shed?? :unsure:

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Karl and Nanette
Is that just because you like leaving your lawn mower out cos you can't be bothered, like me, putting it away in the shed?? :)

We'll probably lock everything away like good south african citizens for the first month and then realise we can BREATHE! :ilikeit:

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  • 2 months later...

STOP STOP!

No don't stop, Adelaide for us seems so far but so near. The application is in and is "being processed" and I cannot wait to ride my mountain bike on the paths around the streets and to go exploring (with a GPS). One day the wife and I hope to live in our very own place in Adelaide Hills, it just sounds so wonderful.

I hope the adelaidians don't mind if I plague them with questions closer to the time when we intend moving. We have elected to apply for the meet and greet, plus accommidation programmes offered to assist with the transition.

thanks for all the wonderful pictures (It looks a lot like Hilton in Kwazulu Natal)

K&B :D

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Adelaide Hills sounds like the place to live! especially those larger plots of 400sqm's. Can anybody refer me to an agent/developer in this area?

I would like to start investigating property in OZ. We might even buy investment property before we come over.

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  • 4 months later...
Newcomer

Bob

I'm also sold on Adelaide Hills!!! :)

We are planning to go for the LSD beginning of August, and can't wait to drive around there...actually, I can't wait to be there permanently!! :o

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  • 1 month later...

To Bob and all the other Adelaidehillians ( I dont want to call you hillbillies :-) )

What is the situation with water in the Hills right now?

You guys must obviously have been affected by the prolonged drought, but are you also affected by the large scale problems that are affecting the Murray and the lives of people that needs the murray allocations for their livelihood?

Ever since I have started my research on where to live in Australia- South Australia/ Adelaide had just popped up every time I have added some requirements.

How accessible would a work place in the NorthEast of Adelaide be from - lets say Mount Barker?

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Dear Bloemboi,

Just go back a few posts...do a search.....and you will find all the answers re Adelaide and surroundings. This is truly a beautiful place!

good luck and regards,

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To Bob and all the other Adelaidehillians ( I dont want to call you hillbillies :-) )

What is the situation with water in the Hills right now?

You guys must obviously have been affected by the prolonged drought, but are you also affected by the large scale problems that are affecting the Murray and the lives of people that needs the murray allocations for their livelihood?

Ever since I have started my research on where to live in Australia- South Australia/ Adelaide had just popped up every time I have added some requirements.

How accessible would a work place in the NorthEast of Adelaide be from - lets say Mount Barker?

Right now (4th Aug), we are having beautiful rains that come each winter and spring to Adelaide. We seem to be having more rain than usual, making the cool winter atmosphere feel cold with the dampness.

I live out of town (9 kms) and have only rainwater to drink and use on my property. When that's gone, I don't shower, I don't wash my dishes up or flush my toilet . . . . so . . . . it's great for me to see my rainwater tanks filling up for the arrival of the long hot summer months when there is only the occasional summer storm, but nothing substantial. That will be from around November onwards, right thro to May even June some years!

Everyone in South Australia, in my opinion, would be wise to get a rainwater tank alongside their house, whether they're living in town with town water plumbed on or whether they're living in the countryside beyond the limit of town water supply which, in most cases, only goes about 2 or 3 kms out of town.

You only have to go once to see how restrictive living without water is . . . . . and how expensive it is to truck it in. You can bet that if you run out, lots of other unfortunates will also be in the same boat . . . . . not a good time to be a "buyer" in any market.

I learnt years ago, the value of having even 10 000 litres of water so that you can use it for the garden, or to wash you car, etc. when water restrictions apply to the use of town water. You have that by getting a rainwater tank put in and, possibly, plumbed into your laundry or kitchen.

The River Murray is one of the world's great river systems. It starts way up in central Queensland and meanders thro the Outback of Australia to end in the Southern Ocean at Goolwa in South Australia, some 3 000 / 4 000 kms downstream.

At the moment, the lower reaches of the Murray are dying.

The river level is a few metres below sea level and isn't flowing out to sea any more.

It's not flushing itself of the salts that build up and is becoming acidic in the process which will eventually kill most of the aquatic life in areas affected.

Imagine all the water gushing over the Victoria Falls, which I've been to, not reaching the sea in Mozambique. . . . . . all that water disappearing.

That is the scale of things in south eastern Australia.

Adelaide and South Australia gets most of its water supply from the River Murray and when that is affected, we are in trouble.

Little wonder that the South Australian government is appealing to Queensland and Victoria to release some of their water stored in dams upstream. Whether this will happen and save the River Murray is any man's guess, at this stage.

It will happen, but democracy isn't the fastest deliverer on Earth. By the time we have three Royal Commissions and two Senate enquiries and get all levels of government onside to do something, it may be too late . . . . . a bit like the global warming situation.

On a positive note, driving to the north eastern suburbs of Adelaide thro the Adelaide Hills is just about any man's ideal commute. You'd be driving thro leafy countryside with no traffic lights, windy lanes with tractors and country vehicles to suddenly drop out of the hills into the suburbs.

Time? . . . .varies from about 45 minutes from Mt Barker to less if living closer, of course.

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Thank you Blossom for the kind words, yes Adelaide does seem to be a good place to stay.

Bob

Thank you for that extensive dose of information on my questions. The Adelaide Advertiser had been my second daily newspaper, alongside the "Volksblad" for the past 3 years , so I have a reasonable idea what is reported in Adelaide.

I visit the Darling-Murray Basin related sites on a monthly basis, as it is those issues that needs water, that one must understand - in order to make an informed decision, on where to settle, in a sustainable fashion, for the long haul, as I dislike moving intensely.

An old engineer once said- "time, tide and sewage waits for no man" and water plays a direct role in two of those and the 3rd one, a very strong indirect role.

So it is with huge interest that I watch the said power wranglings that you have described, as reported in the mainstream media, both state and national.

It was also good to hear from your personal experience, on water management in the Adelaide hills region, and the challenges it provides. I am busy designing a closed looped habitat, which will for sure feature a rain water catchment process, which I hope to build, within the next couple of years, after settling in, in Oz.

Of course Job opportunities will dictate where we will settle , but I have the fullest confidence that Adelaide will not only be a growth centre for the immediate turn but in the long run as well.

I hope you do not mind that I will discuss this in future via the PM feature?

regards

Edited by BloemBoi
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This is the second house I've had the opportunity to build with my own hands, so I designed it with the intention of being self sufficient in a number of ways.

My water supply is self sufficient, and it amuses me to see so many folk without rainwater tanks alongside their houses being affected every time the State gov't brings on water restrictions in summer-time. It only began about a couple of years ago, but already city people are starting to realise that water isn't always there "on tap" and for free.

My next big project, after building a hay shed for storing a couple of hundred bales of hay each summer to feed out thro the long droughts we get, is to hook up a power system so that we are isolated from power charges and increases in fees.

South Australia has coal fired power stations that are fuelled by the coal dug up at Leigh Creek to the north of the State.

This is one of the major polluters of the atmosphere and we're starting to look seriously at the contribution it makes to warming planet Earth and the effect it's having on the weather systems world wide.

Since South Australia has 40% of the world's recoverable uranium, it makes sense that we switch from coal to nuclear power or we'll be paying a hefty "carbon tax" on our power bills in this State in future years.

If Sweden can have 19 nuclear power stations and not be worried about it, we can look at it, in distant South Australia, where the stuff (uranium) comes from!

Anyhow . . . I'm digressing again.

I'll be happy to look at plans you might draw up for living the "good life" in the Adelaide Hills . . . . . from an Australian perspective.

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Hi Bob

Thanks for that offer of a local perspective.

Local knowledge is always priceless, as newspapers only give you a snapshot of what is deemed worthwhile reporting, not necessarily "what is happening".

I am not by default a "tree hugger" but it make sense to build green, with its associated initial capital expenditure and long term savings. I want to make Australia my home, that means I shall build a home - in all facets, not just the physical.

Pls digress as much as you want, I shall bounce it against what I know.

regards

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  • 5 months later...

Wow Bob, this looks wonderful!! Is it usually this green? I love gardening... a bit worried bout the Murray...

Edited by Maplasies
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  • 8 months later...

Hi All,

I'm reading this thread with great interest, as my family and I are moving to Adelaide, arriving on the 11th November (one-way ticket). I'm trying to do as much homework as possible, but obviously one can only do so much over the internet. The rest needs to happen once we're there.

The Hills are indeed very (VERY) appealing, and I don't particularly care about colder winters. We're South African, but managed to survive the last 2.5 years on the west coast of Ireland.

Just a quick, but important question. Would the Hills bring enough support for a "young family"...early 30's and two small kids? It seems that way...but some opinions (good and / or bad) would be quite interesting to read

Cheers,

:ilikeit:

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  • 2 years later...
Robbie_P
Just a quick, but important question. Would the Hills bring enough support for a "young family"...early 30's and two small kids? It seems that way...but some opinions (good and / or bad) would be quite interesting to read

Bump :)

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I reckon that a 30 Somethings family with kids would thrive in the Adelaide Hills. It would take patience to get that "perfect" job, but life is also what happens to you while you're busy making other plans, and the Hills lifestyle is enjoyable.

In the end, any place is made up of people . . . . and it's largely the people that tend to make a place, or break it. (The "people" in South Africa are making life very unsafe for whites there now, so they are "breaking" it apart)

Hills folk are friendly and supportive once they get to know you.

There are two families that I know of (last month and about now, this month) that have / are arriving from South Africa to start a new life in the Adelaide Hills.

One such family is "house sitting" our place until we get back at the end of September, arrived on June 10th from the old South West Africa, now Namibia.

They were intimidated at first staying in my house because I don't have burglar bars, no high walls, no security fence, no security alarm or panic alarm, no guns and no dogs.

I live how we are all meant to live . . . in peace and accord with our neighbours and all the others in my local community of about 12 000 people.

I left my house in mid May, leaving it empty for 3 weeks until they arrived, with a house full of furniture and household things.

Nothing has ever gone missing in my house, so why should I worry about leaving the place empty for a while?

The husband has a job locally, which is great in some ways, because it's bringing in Australian $$$$ while their funds are taking their time to be released from the banking system in Namibia.

They were all picked up from Adelaide airport on June 10th by a marvellous Afrikaans lady I know in town, who goes out of her way to help her fellow South Africans. I was invited to their Australian citizenship ceremony last night, but couldn't make it from 3 000 kms away in the tropics. Otherwise, wild horses wouldn't hold me away since I go for a coffee with Abraham, the husband, every Tuesday lunchtime when I'm living at home.

My wife keeps in touch with lady house sitting my place and the two boys are now enrolled in a local Christian private school and she is doing a course in what she really would love to do.

The other family, coming from Jo'burg, should be just about touching down now. They have a job to come to, as they are sponsored.

When I asked a lady at church, Debbie, in her mid 30s, to write to the family that house sit for us and arrived in June, she said she would be happy to. In passing, Debbie said that they would . . . "fit right into the local community, because they have young kids and are 30 Somethings themselves." . . . .

There is a particularly supportive South African community in Mount Barker that go out of their way to welcome newcomers into the Adelaide Hills, take them under their wing, introduce them to others in the community and know their own special needs since they've had to cross the same bridges themselves on arriving in Mount Barker.

I go to a Men's group in Mount Barker, once a week, largely made up of local blokes who are retired. There are about 15 of us Aussies. We have two South African blokes, both with families that sponsored them to come from South Africa. They are now my mates. I play cards with one of the blokes each week and have braais and a few drinks with them and their wives from time to time. I don't see them any differently from the rest of my Aussie mates except for the fact they talk with a plum in their mouth! I think they must see us Aussies as uncultured and rough, but able to be mates with. One of the South African blokes was helping me put a new clutch and replacing the gearbox in the Toyota 12 seater diesel van that the Men's group has acquired. We worked together well and I miss Pete's sense of humour while I'm away.

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