Best Places To Retire in Australia

You’re thinking of escaping from the big city for a more peaceful, less polluted life in a country town or beachside community. You want to avoid the known – and unknown hazards – like man-eating koalas and deranged gunmen. So before you sell up and move, it’s a great idea to do investigate your options. And there’s no better guide on how to avoid disaster than Jill and Owens Weeks’s well-researched retirement advice.

For more than a decade, they’ve investigated Australia from north to south, east to west, for their best-selling publications.

Here’s their pick of the best places to retire.

New South Wales

The state with “by far the greatest number of ideal retirement locations.  North of Sydney, the entire coastline all the way up to Newcastle is popular, particularly as retirement trends change in favour of semi retirement.”

Port Macquarie – “vibrant and dynamic area which offers many of the services and culture of a large city.”

Ballina “good for those who want to get away from capital cities and can live without many of the facilities they offer.”

Tweed Valley “offers most of the good features of the Gold Coast without many of the downsides . .  and close to Coolangatta international airport just across the border in Queensland.”

Victoria

Torquay (near Geelong) “There’s a buzz about the place . . . close to Geelong’s facilities. Fastest growing non-metropolitan area in Victoria and a clear favourite with retirees.”

Bass Coast (Inverloch, Wonthaggi, Phillip Island) or Echuca (on the Murray River) “Cost of housing reasonable and a compelling list of positive features with few if any down sides.”

Western Australia

Mandurah (south of Perth)  – “Special appeal because of the number of services focused on retirees,” or Geraldton.

Queensland

Toowoomba “affordable housing, good facilities, relaxed pace, and not over-crowded with tourists in holidays. Not as humid as the coast, and Brisbane is accessible.”

Bribie Island “preferred destination for those who want to get away from the congestion of the Gold coast.”

South Australia

Victor Harbor “Outstanding geography, access to Adelaide, vineyards and fine food. Holiday destination for over 100 years, town is full of well-preserved buildings, museums,” or the Copper Coast Yorke Peninsula  (Kadina, Wallaroo, Moonta.)

Tasmania

St Helens “Ideal climate on the Sun Coast, an affordable and relaxed lifestyle that few places in Australia can match,” or the Tamar Valley

Checklist for Retiring

Jill and Owen Weeks suggest:

  • Consider renting in the location of your choice. House-sit or even caravan-sit before you buy.
  • Subscribe to the local newspaper for at least 12 months before you move. This provides a good source of jobs, real estate and what’s happening in the community.
  • Research the utilities and services. Does the mobile phone work? Is there internet connection and educational services? This is particularly important if you are running a home-based business. Also check local services such as the nearest mechanic or electrician.
  • Will your new home require major renovations? Is it ‘older body friendly?’ Will you eventually need to move because of stairs? What happens if your mobility is impaired?

See also Where to Retire in Australia for additional advice.

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