Where to live in Australia? Darwin v Adelaide

Author: KU Legal

Published: 16 Jan, 2023

For those of you who are planning to move down under, you may be wondering which is the best city or state to live in.

Over the next few weeks, you will find our take on each of the States and Territories, and their capital cities for your information.

Darwin v Adelaide

If you fold a map of Australia in half you will have Darwin at the top and Adelaide at the bottom. Right in the middle of the country, these who cities are polar opposites on the map, but they are more similar than you would think.

Why Darwin?

Located in the stunning Northern Territory of Australia, Darwin is a small city surrounded by turquoise oceans and Australia’s closest Southeast Asian neighbours to the north, and to the south expansive deserts, incredible natural landscapes and world-famous sights including Uluru and Kakadu National Park.

In city of Darwin itself you will always have something to see and do. Not only can you meet Australia’s iconic Saltwater Crocodiles at Croccove, you can also enjoy the sparkling lagoon at the famous waterfront precinct, or experience the rich Aboriginal culture of the region through the amazing art in the city’s galleries and museums.

If you’re looking for more adventure, Darwin is a great base to explore more of the delights found in the Northern Territory, with day trips to visit Katherine Gorge, the Tiwi Islands, or Litchfield National Park to swim at the Wangi Waterfalls (pictured above).

Darwin is one of the most culturally diverse places in Australia, with a mostly transient population of people seeking opportunity and adventure.

It has a tropical climate, with a wet and dry season, so you can almost predict what the weather will be like every day of the year – Wet and 32℃ or Dry and 32℃.

Why Adelaide?

Still one of the smaller cities but not as small as Darwin, Adelaide in South Australia is the world’s only “city in a park”, surrounded by over 9 square kilometres of park lands. It is also Australia’s City of Churches, with magnificent churches and cathedrals around every corner of the city.

Like Darwin, there is always something to do if you live in Adelaide. It is home to Australia’s biggest annual arts festival, the Adelaide Fringe which has been being events that include cabaret, theatre, comedy, circus, music, visual arts and much more to the city and its surrounds for 60 years. For those sporting fanatics, nothing compares to the thrill of watching a game at Adelaide Oval, except maybe taking a twilight Roofclimb tour of the stadium itself.

Another reason to love Adelaide is its close proximity Australia’s best wineries in the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Clare Valley. There are more than 200 cellar doors to visit, all situated in magical green rolling hills or with spectacular coastal views. It’s only 15 minutes from the city centre to visit Australia’s most famous winery, Penfolds Magill Estate to taste their most prized wine, Penfolds Grange.

With a climate that is hot and dry in summer, and cooler with some rain in the winter, Adelaide gives you a taste of all seasons, unlike Darwin.

So, which one is the best?

Darwin and Adelaide are polar opposites on the Australia map, but they are both fantastic small cities, surrounded by natural beauty.

Weatherwise, it’s the choice of two seasons, wet and dry in Darwin, or the full experience of all four in a year in Adelaide.

Location wise, both are in the same time zone which is different to the major East Coast cities, but by being in the middle, they are great bases for visiting more of what Australia has to offer.

All in all, both cities have advantages and disadvantages. Deciding on which is right for you will depend on many reasons, such as if you have friends and family in one of those areas.

We think both Darwin and Adelaide are both very interesting cities.

Good luck with your move!

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