Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
Ever wanted to get away from it all, change the scenery, live life more simply, maybe have room for a veggie patch or just rejoice in having plenty of fresh air and to be a part of a small community? well you're not alone if you do. Thousands of people are selling up for a simpler lifestyle every year and I have to say, I wouldn't mind joining them.
The question is where is Australia's best sea or tree change location? and if you have made a sea or tree change what advice would you offer prospective sea/ tree changers to help make the transition smoother?
After researching Australia's 100 top spots, the number one spot was Yamba in N.S.W with it's comfortable year round climate, seaside town location and relaxed atmosphere. I like the thought of the Adelaide Hills in South Australia for the scenery and closeness to the city and the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria for the fantastic walking trails, autumn colour and close proximity to Melbourne but both areas are on the pricey side.
Here are some more great sea/tree change locations broken down into states and territories, though these are just the popular well known ones, it would be great to hear about small relatively unknown places:
Victoria: for a tree change the Macedon Ranges and Dandenong Ranges are very popular along with the Hepburn region , Beechworth , Bright, Echuca , Drouin , Bendigo, Warburton and Ballarat all getting a look in. Popular sea change areas are the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas, Phillip Island, Inverloch , Gippsland , Torquay , Portarlington and Warnambool to name but a few.
New South Wales: has many top spots to look at, think Orange, Bowral, Hunter Valley, Armidale and Kangaroo Valley, Bellingen, South West Rocks, Mudgee, Byron Bay, Yamba, Merimbula but I think New South Wales offer a lot for both sea and tree changers. It would be great to hear from anyone who is happy in their sea/tree change location in NSW.
Queensland: is well known for great beaches, tropical rainforests, big tourist towns and theme parks and great sea/tree change locations such as Kingaroy , Mareeba , Warwick , Harvey Bay, Maleny , Mapelton , Bowen , Port Douglas , Mission Beach and Noosa along with many others.
South Australia: has it all, great wineries in the Barossa, the picturesque Adelaide Hills, scenic coastal towns and plenty of history. Some towns to consider are Kapunda ( near where the McLeod's Daughters T.V series was filmed), Angaston in the Barossa Valley, Hanhndorf in the Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley, Streaky Bay, Port Lincoln, Coffin Bay, Penola, and Robe to name but a few.
Tasmania: Is an obvious choice for a tree/sea change, it has plenty of lovely small communities such as Richmond, Huon Valley, Kingstonv, Blackman's Bayv, Huonville , Stanley , Swansea, Strahn and Delorine though I do wonder about how easy it would be to gain employment if you're not self employed but this may be a misconception.
Western Australia: is the home to the famous Busselton Ironman and is also on my list of towns to look at , along with Margaret River , Port Headland , Esperance , Binningup , Broome and Freemantle.
Some things to think of before moving are education, health facilities, employment opportunities, travel costs, real estate, life style and most of all adaptability because starting off in a new town with no familiar faces can be tough especially if you are retired or shy.
We would love to hear of your experiences of a sea/tree change and where you have chosen to live.
Temora, NSW. Named the friendliest town by the Sydney Morning Herald. Relaxed atmosphere, people genuinely supporting each other and showing great kindness. Great aviation museum and a wonderful Rural Museum featuring the first house lived in by Don Bradman when he was a baby, a lovely lake and a thriving shopping centre.
I came from Tas when I was 25 and have been in Syd for about the same number of years. Tas has everything and housing is so cheap. The problem really is employment. I left to find work after finishing uni and found it in Syd, and a husband yo and stayed. Many graduates and other young adults do and then return to retire. Employment of all types is hard to get there. Suggest securing a job in a small town before moving there if you need to work. I need to stay in Syd this year and might do a NSW tree change next year so all suggestions are valuable to me. Thanks for article.
Kandos near Mudgee. Pretty town surrounded by beautiful escarpment. Wonderful schools, huge Olympic swimming pool, picturesque golf course and great friendly pubs near by. Best kept secret and house prices a total bargain.