Nicky & Vicki's Australian Adventure – Adelaide

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Two members of our International GP Recruitment team, Nicky Gregory and Vicki McLaren, recently took a trip to Australia to meet with some of our healthcare clients and also catch-up with Doctors we have previously found jobs for.

In the latest entry in Vicki’s blog series of their trip, our intrepid duo are discovering the delights of Adelaide...

Adelaide is the capital of South Australia, and the fifth most populous city in the country with an estimated population of around 1.31 million. With 1.7 million inhabitants in total, South Australia has the most centralised population of any state in the country, with more than 75 percent of residents living in the greater Adelaide area.

The airport is so central that we were in the city centre within 10 minutes. It is less than a 3-hour flight to Perth, Melbourne is only 1 hour and 20 minutes, Sydney just over 2 hours and Brisbane 2 hours and 40 minutes.

We visited a number of practices in South Adelaide on our first day. There is lots of greenery due to the Mediterranean climate, and I was struck by the beautiful green hills surrounding the city. There are many stunning beaches close-by, including Moana and Aldinga.

With three universities Adelaide has a busy, vibrant and cosmopolitan city centre with lots of restaurants and bars. There are some impressive Colonial and Victorian architectural styles mixed with stylish contemporary building design. There are lots of well-known high street stores as well as independent retailers and high end brands.

Adelaide is 7th in the current cost of living index of cities in Australia, with Sydney ranked number one. A common theme when speaking to GPs was that their earnings were similar to the other cities but they were able to buy larger properties and save more than they could in other locations.

We had a great meal in Sean’s Kitchen on the banks of The River Torrens. This is the most significant river of the Adelaide Plains and was one of the reasons for the siting of the city. The long linear parks along the river and a constructed lake in the lower stretch are iconic of the city.

Haigh’s Chocolate’s is a famous old style original chocolate shop and the weekly farmers market is also well worth a visit. Vietnamese food is very popular in Adelaide and we were spoilt for choice. Little NNQ was recommended to us and we were not disappointed.

Adelaide Festival is an extremely popular annual international arts gathering with associated fringe and film events, and is often compared to the famous Edinburgh fringe festival.

There are lots of family friendly suburbs and great practices in North Adelaide, both new and more established. You can work 25–30 minutes from the city centre and you are never far from one of Adelaide’s beautiful beaches. The stunning Barossa Valley is about an hour’s drive north of the city.

You'll find all the delights of a seaside village and more in lively Glenelg. It is a 25-minute tram ride from the city centre, and offers visitors sandy white beaches, charming heritage hotels, bustling shops, sidewalk cafes and summer entertainment. You can also swim alongside wild dolphins, or choose to go diving or snorkelling.

Glenelg’s popularity as a seaside destination certainly hasn't waned over the years. We visited on a sunny Friday morning and the place was buzzing with people of all age groups. You can browse some of the hundreds of specialty stores or dine al fresco in one of the many restaurants in the area. For more stylish dining, head down to Holdfast Marina.

If living in a more rural location appeals, look no further than Yanakalilla. You can drive there from Adelaide in just over an hour, and the scenery on the journey and upon arrival was simply breath-taking (not least the magnificent 18-metre tall Buddha goddess statue at the Nan Hai Pu Tuo Monastery, overlooking the white sands of Sellicks Beach).

The surrounding area is similar to the Scottish Highlands, and there are also stunning lavender fields breaking up the green of the hills. I spoke to some UK-trained doctors at one of the practices who had relocated from the centre of Adelaide and were loving it. As well as enjoying the beautiful beaches and scenery, being outside of the city meant that their case load was more varied and they were able to get involved in minor procedures rather than send people to A&E.

Due to time constraints we couldn’t visit both McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley, and with McLaren Vale being my namesake it naturally won out. The weather was 26 degrees and we had a fantastic day visiting some of the vineyards and the whisky distillery. The staff and locals could not have been friendlier, something we found everywhere we visited. Our last evening was finished off with an exceptional meal at the Salopian Inn. Unfortunately we were a bit too early for the massively popular Hot Dub Wine Machine, an annual music festival taking place every December.

We would have loved to see Kangaroo Island, home to koalas, dolphins and (of course) kangaroos, in addition to beautiful scenery, vineyards and some delicious looking restaurants. Unfortunately we couldn’t quite fit it in time-wise, but it is definitely on the list for next time (along with Barossa Valley).

Adelaide does not enjoy as high a profile as some of Australia’s other big cities, and having visited I'm not sure why – it has all the panache of a big city without the gridlocked traffic and high cost of living. It is known as the 20-minute city as you can travel quickly and easily to anywhere you want. For anyone thinking about a move to Australia, Adelaide is well worth your consideration.

To find out more about living and working in Australia, read our handy GP guide.

For more information on current GP job opportunities in Australia, contact Vicki McLaren on +44 (0)131 240 5263 or email vicki@headmedical.com