Skip to main content

By Kim Lamb

Having grown up in the leafy Adelaide surrounds, South Australia is as familiar to me as the musky scent of my Grandpas’s aftershave. I know that Cafe de Vili’s is the place to go for a 3am craving of chips and gravy. I know that February in Adelaide is just as good as Mad March. I know that some of Adelaide’s biggest chicken parmys (not parmas) are found at The Earl of Leicester. I know that telling someone to “meet me at the balls” isn’t as rude as it sounds.

Then 12 months ago I moved to Melbourne to chase an eastern states career and lots of road congestion. But I will always be an Adelady at heart. Especially given I’m back visiting friends and family as frequently as John Mayer changes girlfriends.

As much as the bright lights of Melbourne are exciting and all that jazz, I still feel a little chest cavity ache when I think of Adelaide. I feel there were many things that I took for granted when living here.

Here are the seven things an Adelaide expat (like me) misses about Adelaide the most:


1. South Australian wine, wine bars and cider

I grew up believing it was my God-given right to be able to access good wine, at all times, for under $30 a bottle. Now that I’m outside South Australian borders, I’ve discovered how wrong I was.

Who knew that I would now feel compelled to do a little happy dance when discovering a South Australian dominated wine list (actually the choice of more than one South Australian wine is a special treat). Or even The Hills Cider Company on tap is a miracle.

I also constantly pine for a good wine bar; especially given they’re currently sprouting up through the Adelaide CBD pavement.


2. South Australian produce

I miss Beerenberg jams and sauces being easy supermarket finds. I miss Haigh’s Chocolates being a ritual workplace gift. I miss fresh food in general.

Everyone in Victoria raves about their food markets. “Have you been to the South Melbourne Market? The Queen Victoria Market?” they ask me. I generally lie and say that I haven’t because I don’t have the heart to tell them that no Victorian iteration remotely compares to the Adelaide Central Market, or any of the South Australian regional markets for that matter.

3. Adelaide traffic

I never thought I would say this, but I would happily trade South Road at its peak hour worst with Melbourne’s Punt Road (or more accurately known as C*$t Road) any day of the week. Especially if I’m stuck in a little light Adelaide traffic joyfully listening to Fresh FM.

4. Adelaide’s six degrees of separation

I miss that I can no longer walk down the street and be guaranteed to bump into at least half a dozen people I know.

I recently came back to Adelaide for a wedding and was sitting at Napoleon Marion getting glammed up, over-sharing to the make-up artist about how I wasn’t actually attending a wedding, I was walking into an episode of the Fashion Police. I then chastised myself, reminding Mrs Loose Lips that I’m in Adelaide, with its very true six degrees of separation, and for all I knew this stranger sitting next to me could be getting made up for the very same wedding I was attending.

Sure enough, when my husband kindly brought me a mug of caffeine, this stranger turns to me and says, “Sorry, is that your husband? Is his name Jude?” Me: “Um, yes…” Eavesdropping stranger: “And I just heard you saying that you’re going to a wedding today, is that the Oliver wedding?” Me: “Um, yes…”

Turns out my husband, eavesdropping stranger and the bride-to-be all know each other from uni days. Hang head in embarrassment. But in a kind of perverted way, I miss the incestial love-in that is Adelaide.

5. Adelaide’s sunny weather

Oh how I miss sun! Especially given that I still haven’t mastered the art of dressing for Melbourne winter, stupidly insisting that Havianas are an adequate year-round footwear option.


6. Adelaide’s beautiful beaches

Sometimes during Melbourne’s so-not-nice winter I imagine I’m lying on one of Adelaide’s beautiful, rubbish-free beaches. There I am, having transported myself to Brighton, Moana or Port Noarlunga, sunning myself like a lizard.


7. Adelaide’s property prices

I miss that a million dollars can buy you a five-bedroom Goodwood palace, rather than a crumbling, two-bedroom cottage in South Yarra, with no car park, and is only fit for the wrecking ball.


My husband didn’t want me to do this article. He warned it would just incite the mopiness that I have been prone to since moving to Melbourne, curable only by a trip back to Radelaide. I disagree, I see it as a celebration, or kind of therapy, to share what I miss the most about beautiful Adelaide with all you beautiful Adeladies!

Kim xx

Hayley Pearson

Hayley Pearson

Co-Creator and Writer for Adelady, she still gets goosebumps that she’s combined her creative passion with sharing the best of her stunning home state.


  • Michelle Temme says:

    Hi Kim

    As one fellow expat South Aussie I got all misty eyed reading your article I loved it!

    Thankyou for providing an insight into Adelaide from another perspective and for us interstate expats who miss it terribly!

    I too live in Melbourne but in the Latrobe Valley in Gippsland…not really liking Melbourne traffic hence why i don’t drive down there, i definitely don’t understand the hook turns etc…certainly nothing like Adelaide!!

  • Patrick A says:

    I agree with your last paragraph, but see what it’s like if your 12 months becomes 12 years. It may ache a little more! Well written, thanks for sharing!

  • Celia Alphonsus says:

    Hi, I am about to make my first trip to Adelaide next week. I am on a TR visa and looking towards making Adelaide home. Reading your article has just got me more excited than I already am. Any tips for a newcomer? Groups I could join?

  • Sarina says:

    I lived in Melbourne for 5 years. It was a dream of mine. South Melb markets are soo much better than Queen Vic. They are the closest to Cental Markets. Now I’m back I don’t know why I left. Melbourne is a great holiday/shopping place. But South Australia will always be home.

Leave a Reply