- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Adelaide Guide (PDF)
While there is public transport available in Adelaide, services aren't as extensive or regular as in Australia’s larger cities. While many commuters are happy to use public transport in and around the city centre, those who live further out find it useful to have their own car, particularly those with children.
Public transport in Adelaide
Integrated train, tram and bus networks make getting around in Adelaide fairly easy, and the cost of public transport is reasonable, especially in comparison to other Australian cities. Frequent commuters may want to invest in a MetroCARD – a plastic card that can be recharged online and used on buses, trains and trams.
Adelaide has a comprehensive bus system that runs every 15–30 minutes, but commuters often complain that the buses are slow or late. One of the city's most popular systems is the O-Bahn Busway, a guided bus route around the city. In addition to this, there is a free City Connector bus service that runs throughout the Adelaide CBD and North Adelaide.
Once quite an extensive service, the Adelaide tram network has since been significantly reduced, but it does still offer a route all the way to Glenelg. Although the tram network is limited, it serves as a novel alternative for those wanting to avoid traffic congestion in the city centre.
Adelaide’s metro system consists of only a handful of lines, including interstate lines to Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Darwin. Though the trains and tracks are slightly outdated, they generally run on time. Trains depart every 20–30 minutes all day.
Taxis in Adelaide
There are a number of taxi companies in Adelaide. Taxis can be hailed on the street or pre-booked by phone or app. Rates vary from company to company, but charges generally increase at night and on weekends. Ride-hailing services such as Uber are also operational in Adelaide and are generally more convenient than regular taxis.
Driving in Adelaide
Although it is possible to walk or use public transport close to Adelaide’s city centre, the system is somewhat limited and service outside the city is infrequent. Many expats find it useful to buy a car, especially those living in the suburbs.
Expats can drive on a licence from their home country for a period of 90 days after their arrival in Australia. For residents hoping to stay longer, a South Australian driver's licence must be obtained to continue driving legally.
Cycling in Adelaide
Adelaideans love to cycle, be it for fun or function, and the city’s flat geography makes it easy to do. Though the entire city may not be accessible by bicycle, the government is working hard to develop cycling infrastructure in order to accommodate those hoping to cycle as a means of transport.
►For an overview of popular expat neighbourhoods in the city check out Areas and Suburbs of Adelaide
Are you an expat living in Adelaide?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Adelaide. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
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