Adelaide’s metropolitan area extends by about 20 kilometres or 12 miles from the coast to the Adelaide Hills. The distance from Gawler, to the north, to Sellicks Beach, in the south, is about 90 kilometres or 56 miles.
Adelaide was originally settled as a British colony in 1836 by Colonel William Light, a prominent figure in the history of the city. This explains why migrants from the United Kingdom constitute the single largest immigrant group in the city. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, migrants from the United Kingdom make up 10 per cent of Adelaide’s total population.
Adelaide plays an important role in the state’s government. It is not only the seat of government but also the commercial centre of this part of Australia. Most of the government-owned institutions and agencies are located in the city. There are also many financial institutions in the city. These establishments are mostly located in the city centre along North Terrace’s cultural boulevard, various streets in the metropolitan area and King William Street.
Industries and Categories
Although the unemployment rate in the city is higher than for the rest of the other four largest cities in the nation, the Property Council of Australia in 2011 ranked Adelaide as the most liveable city in Australia.
The economy of the city is based on several major industries, including:
- Information and communication technology
- Automotive manufacturing (the vehicle manufacturing industries in Adelaide make an important contribution to the economy of the state). A large percentage of Australian-made cars are assembled at the General Motors-Holden plant in Elizabeth, north of Adelaide.
- Electronics (this is another booming industry in the city. More than 40 per cent of the high-tech electronics industries in Australia are located in Adelaide. These industries generated more than $A5 billion in revenue in 2010 and employed 14,000 people.
- Medical research
- Wine (South Australia produces 65 per cent of Australia’s wine exports)
- Defence. About 72 per cent of Australia’s defence industries are based in Adelaide. These include the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, the principal government-military research institution.
Among the many large companies in Adelaide’s private sector providing employment are:
- Civil & Allied Technical Construction Pty Ltd
- Arrowcrest Group (makers of farming machinery and alloy wheels)
- Coopers Brewery Limited
- Hills Holding
- Elders Australia
- Meatpak Australia
- SAGE Group
- Ellex Medical Lasers
There are also jobs in public sector areas, such as:
- Hospitals and healthcare (the healthcare and social welfare sectors provide about 13 per cent of average yearly employment in the state)
- Local and state government agencies
One of the major sectors of the city that contributes greatly in providing employment and in boosting the economy of the city is education. There are three levels of schools in the city: pre-school and primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions and universities.
There are government primary and secondary schools as well as about 100 private and Catholic schools in the city. Parents are may send their children to any of these schools.
Universities and tertiary Institutions
Adelaide has three main universities:
- Flinders University
- University of South Australia
- University of Adelaide
Besides these universities, there are other tertiary institutions in the city that provide technical and vocational education and training. Three overseas universities also have campuses in the city.
Transportation and getting around
Moving around in Adelaide is quite easy and is why Adelaide is dubbed a “20-minute city”, meaning that 20 minutes is enough for you to reach anywhere you want to go. Traffic flow is generally easy. Public transport comprises:
However, many people commute using their cars. There is one freeway in the city and two expressways. Adelaide Hills is connected to the city by the South Eastern Freeway while Port Adelaide as well as Victor Harbor are connected to the interstate routes by the Port River Expressway. The southern expressway connects the city with the southern suburbs.
Convenience/ leisure items
Adelaide is not really a good option for people who like to shop for designer-label clothing or to shop in top fashion outlets, however the city is never boring for holidaymakers and tourists. There are always a number of activities and things to do. Many sporting events regularly take place in the city, often in the city’ main sporting venue, AAMI Stadium. Excellent dining opportunities abound and would satisfy even the most discerning palate.
Adelaide is a comfortable city in which to live, with job opportunities available in many industries and sectors. Life in Adelaide can be exciting, with many important cultural events, such as the Adelaide Festival, adding a rich layer to the city’s personality.