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Top 5 Retirement Locations


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OK.. I am about 10 years to retirement.. So, I am starting to plan getting the retirement property going. The only criteria I am going to give is, it has to be in Australia.. Now, as I have publicly shamed myself by admitting I haven’t yet been to WA, I am starting this thread in the hope that more than the paltry part of Australia I had seen in my 30 odd years living there will come into contention. Of course, any responses directing me away from your locality are more than understandable.. I wouldn't want me depreciating property prices in your area. But, I am very interested in your top 5, and why.


Here's mine.. In particular order..

  • Tocumwal - on the Newell highway - NSW side of the Murray river. To me, this is the jewel in the NSW Riverina. Surrounded by flat loamy plains that support cattle, graining and cropping, it also has the contrast of the Murray with a wide-berth of river gums. It has great aviation facilities, with the WWII aerodrome (with an airpark that an early instructor has retired to). I have glided on and off at Sportavia for many years - though, I never met Ingo Renner. It has excellent weather all year round (apparently Aussie's sunniest location), although a bit nippy in winter. It has good fishing and other pastimes as well, such as a few wineries. It is close to Cobram, and Shepparton is - from memory - about 3/4 hour away (by car). Melbourne is a 3 - 4  hour drive. It has a reasonable tourist trade for the missus' artistry, although in summer with the water-skiers, it can get a bit noisy. The town has 4 pubs, one seems to be quite OK.. two others average, and one, on the west of the Newell (wrong side of the tracks?) is for sale... About an hour in a PA28 to Melbourne, I would say 2.5 hours to Sydney, and maybe the same to Adelaide - though happy to be corrected. The town itself has become more refined in the tourism it is trying to attract, but has always had a special appeal to me. The windy Barooga road heads east from the Newell, past the tourism cenrtre which used to have a glider mounted on a flagpole, chicanes through the town and opens into a river gum lined avenue and out to Barooga. This is my number 1. Alternates around there are Deniliquin (although there is some annual ute shindig - not sure about that one), Echuca, and, believe it or not, West Wyalong.

  • Merimbula - Sapphire Coast - NSW. I caught my very first fish, with my very first rod given to me by my uncle and aunty in Brisbame (long story - but every Chrissie was a long drive in the back of a HR Holden from Melb to Birssie). The fish was a blue-bait and I foul hooked it. But I will take it as a catch, anyway! A lovely coastal town with a decent airport with scheduled flights to Melb and Sydney (from memory). About a 5 or 6 hour drive to Melbourne and I would imagine not too different to Sydney. I would imagine 2 hour flight to Moorabbin.. maybe a bit more (in a PA28). Fishing and prawning is excellent. I can skip the oysters unless they are cooked. It has a good tourist scene, has (or had) reasonably good gastronomical alternatives, but not sure about other pastimes (golf is not my bag). Nearest reasonable sized town is Bega (mmmmm.. cheese...) and I think that is the downside to Merimbula. But picturesque and I could see myself dropping a line, then taking a flight... Weather is milder, but it gets humid and those clouds can roll in... Good 4x4in can be had in the hills/mountains around it. An alternative, but I can't remember where, was the area where they filmed Aussie River Cottage.

  • Apollo Bay (Vic -Great Ocean Road). - Has been a favourite short-break stop of mine for years There was a time where I would go to Tucuman one weekend and Apollo Bay the next. From Moorabbin, if you're brave and can weave through all the prohibited airspace (though I guess there is less than there used to be since they stopped making Hornets at Avalon), it is a tad over an hour in a PA28 - but over a lot of shark infested waters...Great fishing, and the Fishing Co-Op will (or used to ) sell lobsters fresh form the morning's catch (OK, it is about an annual aged pension to buy one... but it's nice to know it's there).King George Whiting, Snapper, Flathead, Garfish and Aussie Salmon are to be had. There is another fish I caught once there, can't remember what it was called - no internet search can find it. but people don't eat it because it is bony - but we braved the bones and geez it was nice. The airfield has a taxiway as a runway, close to the town and challenging. but OK once you get used to it. Weather is variable and can change abruptly without notice. Flanked by the Otway’s, fertile and scenic, and tourism nowhere near as hectic as Lorne. Great flying east or west (think 12 Apostles). Biggest drawback is distance to nearest capital - Melbourne. Although Geelong is about 2 hours drive, so may work.. Except I'm a hawks supporter

  • Esperance (WA): OK - I have never been there, but a friend of mine packed up and started on his 3 year journey around Australia. After about 9 months, he got to Esperance. And has been there ever since. That was about 30 years ago. He has since been to most places he wanted to see, so he is forgiven (like I can talk!!). Anyway, fishing, excellent. Airfield, and importantly social flying with an aero club is apparently very good (though that is from following their Facebook page - not my mate who sweats from his palms when on the big jets). I haven’t checked the weather, but I imagine it is OK most of the year, but will suffer the usual fog and cloud associated with coastal southern climes. And it has this: https://www.realestate.com.au/property-lifestyle-wa-bandy+creek-700047066 Admittedly a poor imitation, but good for a bit of fun.

  • Gold Coat (or Sunshine Coast).. Normally, I would eschew the Gold Coast, but the hinterland, and towards the NSW border would be great. But there is some nice space in Broadbeach as well. And since seeing @cscotthendry''s latest vid, where he is stunningly able to perform aerobatics before even starting the engine, knowing there is an airfield other than Coolangatta has sparked my interest. Also, Grumpy's Wharf, which I am happy to say is still going over 30 years since I visited it, is (or at least was) an institution. I have always done well fishing there, and there is a multitude of other things to do (even outside Kino or Keeno at the RSL on a border town). For the sunshine coast, Peregian Beach was my favourite where I could throw a line in and hit a dart within seconds. 5 minutes and we were barbying a sumptuous dinner. The water is warm in the winter (you could spot me as a Mexican a mile off) and all the nasties have swum away until summer. Sumer weather isn't the kindest for flying though, at it gets stinking humid (same for the Gold Coast). Less bling and brashness than the Gold Coast, there is a good hinterland and more pineapples than locusts. Plenty of other things to do.. Both are between an hour and 1.5 to Brissie, so no worries there. We would probably go for the Sunshine coast because the tourist demographics would seem to fit the missus' artistic market better. The only downer is that I have never, ever, had a decent pizza at either place, nor Brissie.


OK - so other places that I would think of that missed the top 5: Tassie. Most beautiful part of Australia I have visited. All times in winter.. Apart from Mt. Wellington behind Hobart, crisp, cold days - perfect flying. I can imagine the fishing is amazing... But too cold. Lakes Entrance (and other Gippsland areas). Lovely part of the world. But my last contract in Aus was in that area and there is a reason why I left Aus... Grampians (Halls Gap).. I love it there.. Lots of wildlife, great tourism, the areas around Ararat are great olive growing. Fishing is carp, though. Glenelg, Adelaide, SA: I fell in love with the seaside village/suburb. But I don't want to retire to a city. Ballina (well, the area north of it). I am limited to 5 places. I could retire there. There are many more. but it is immaterial.


So, what are your top 5?


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I retired to Central Qld, just South of Galdstone. The reason being that I came here years ago and didn't want to come here, then I stayed for further jobs and joined local groups. I still reckon I didn't want to come here, but it gets hard to leave friends and quiet country living.

For me I would not want to live South of here as it is too cold in winter and I would not really want to be further north into the cyclone affected areas which are even more humid in summer. South and inland can be brutally hot in summer and cold in winter with the added attraction of flies, which we don't get here. I used to reckon Bowen was the place, but it has been taken over by people living in Victorian style houses. The roaor of air conditioners must be horrendous.

The Sunshine Coast of Qld was named that to try to convince tourists it would be sunny. It worked in a way, the tourists think it is sunny, but really it rains a lot. Something I don't get enough of.

Really it all depends on what you want but anywhere will be wonderful for you if you look at the traffic. In the time it would take you to get to Bath I reckon I could get nearly to Brisbane. As far as the cities go they are all alike, full of people who speak a different language and the women wear head scarves or worse. Maybe not true for WA.

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Jerry, I don't know when you last visited the Sunshine Coast but you are about twenty years too late to move there unless you are looking for a city environment. ABS estimates of near future population numbers from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast including Brisbane are scary. I forget the exact figure, but it's close to the population of Melbourne in the next few years. The biggest problem is rampant subdivision with hardly any new roadworks causing traffic gridlock. In reality, the biggest problem is too many people in a small space.


The worst areas are the big centres of Caloundra, Maroochydore and Noosa. The smaller towns are suffering as well. Coolum Beach for example is not so nice any more. The traffic jams there sometimes spill out onto the motorway and parking spaces are hotly sought after. Even the formerly nice little hinterland towns are getting non stop sub divisions packing in thousands more with the resulting traffic jams. Living here, you can notice a significant change from one 3 month period to the next. In 10 years time, the only way to enjoy living here would be to stay home and get Woolies to deliver your food. I can't see how they will ever catch up with the road network.


A lot of long term locals are leaving and recently, even some southern migrants to the area are starting to think they made the wrong decision. A point that escapes a lot of people is how it will be in 5 or 10 years time. For people that want a city with a nearby beach that you can't get a car park at, it would be ok. I live on a formerly quiet hinterland side road in a rural area. When I first owned the place, there would be a car drive past about every twenty minutes, now there's one every few seconds. To get out my driveway, I often have to wait for five or six cars to go past and that's in the country. All due to rural residential sub divisions popping up like mushrooms.

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Depending on how long you or your missus expect to live, I would look carefully at the effects of climate change and choose to live away from it.

And be aware that sea-levels are due to rise so don't buy too low.

Already there are places suffering from these things and the effects are only just starting.

Already it is silly to retire in Darwin unless you can afford lots of air-conditioning. And there are suburbs of Adelaide which can flood with sea-water right now.

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At Tocumwal, you don't get the sea-breeze up through the Kilmore gap, which effects Benalla. It is a great gliding town.

Be aware that the wonderful old ww2 hangars are nearing the end of their lives. I have no idea what will happen if the politically-correct lot look at those asbestos-cement clad hangars which have doors so tall I think they were for Liberators. They are difficult to open these days.

A good mate of mine flies from there. He has a Lancair and an ASH 25.

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I can't comment on any Eastern States towns or areas mentioned, because I've never lived there. But I can offer some advice on Esperance. The first thing you need to understand about W.A. is the real meaning of the word "isolated".


Being isolated is a two-edged sword. One is, you don't have the crowding of the Eastern States - and this means you can have your choice of oceanside land without much fear of it being overpriced - unless you want to reside in the older oceanside suburbs of Perth.


The second point about being isolated, is costs are higher. Food and the necessities of life are more expensive - not hugely so - but a noticeable difference to the Eastern States cities. Distances are greater and fuel costs are higher, accordingly.


Esperance is more isolated than any other W.A. regional city - apart from perhaps Kalgoorlie-Boulder, which is bigger than Esperance (32,000 pop., as against 12,000 pop.). There's nothing of any consequence within 700kms of Esperance - in any direction - except Kalgoorlie-Boulder, which is 400kms away. 


Esperance is basically an agricultural industry town with a modest-sized port with a reasonable amount of export activity in the form of minerals and grains. There's a small local fishing industry and some tourism activities.

Esperance is basically an "outdoor camping, 4WD-ing, and recreational fishing" town. There's no major cultural activities, because the place is just too small to support anything culturally-based.


Esperance has stunning beaches and magnificent scenery. The fishing is exceptional, whether you fish from jetties, off rocks, or from a boat. The fish varieties are huge, and the taste of them, outstanding.

But the water is cold, and even in mid-Summer, it's still cold. So swimming is not as enjoyable as it is in warmer areas. It's really about 5 deg too cold for comfort.

Then there's the shark problem. Esperance is not alone in this problem, but the sharks are on the increase, and shark attacks are becoming more prevalent in recent years. 


Boating is a major recreational activity here, and the islands of the Recherche Archipelago are magnificent. But you can't stay on any of the islands, they are all Nature Reserves, and deadly snakes abound on most of them.

Then there's the wind. Windiness is common in W.A., due to the largely flattish terrain. Perth is supposed to be the 3rd windiest capital in the world - but Esperance beats Perth for wind, hands down.


The wind blows nearly all the time in Esperance, and it gets very windy a lot of the time. In Winter, strong Southerly winds will bring icy Antarctic air to Esperance, and give a wind-chill factor that make you think you're in the Northern Hebrides.

If you get a strong Northerly or Nor-Easterly wind in Summer, it will bring heat down from Central Australia, and you will get 40 deg days. But it only takes a wind shift to the West or South and the temperature will drop 20 deg in a couple of hours.


The major advantage of most of W.A. is that the prevailing winds from the West or South are as clean as you can get. They come 6000-8000 kms with no interference or pollution added. 

The flying in Esperance is good, and the small band of aviators there are welcoming. But there's not a lot of places within 2-3 hrs flying time, that are highly worthy of visiting. Perth is 360 air miles away.

The coastline East of Esperance, and through to the Gt Australian Bight is stunning from the air. But there's only one major East-West highway, and a few roadhouses out there. Not much choice if you want lodgings.


I'd suggest a better choice would be Busselton, or somewhere in the region near to Busselton. The S.W. of W.A. is a highly scenic, attractive and fairly-well populated region. Busselton has a new airport and recreational flying has a modest following in the S.W. of W.A.

The fishing and beaches around Busselton are nearly as good as Esperance - and you don't have the isolation that Esperance suffers from.

Perth is just 2-1/2 hrs away, and Albany, another major regional city is just 3-1/2 hrs away, through some very scenic heavy native trees and farmlands. The housing costs in the Busselton region are not over-the-top, but they are higher than Esperance.

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@willedoo, It has been about 17 years since i have been to the Sunshine Coast.. Stayed at Caloundra (elderly Aunty was living there at the time). Caloundra had already developed then (we stayed at some apartments across the road from the beach which were reasonably new). Though the belt between Caloundra and Noosa was not too badly developed at the time.. Coolum Beach had I think one apartment block on the beach and there was a lot of noise about it and the loval government had put in height restrictions since. There was some swanky Hyatt hotel development, then it was normal suburbia until Noosa. But checking out the real estate sites and the satellite pictures.. it's a real shame.. And if the traffic is rubbish, that defeats the whole purpose of the lifestyle we want to achieve.  It got me wondering, we almost bought a house near here off a bloke who oved back to the Sunshine Coast. Made his money in insurance, apparently. Though, I would guess his property has a helipad to beat the traffic. I guess with all those people, the fishing isn't quite as good as it used to be.  @Yenn, if QLD is my destination, I may have to look up that way. NRG Gladstone was a client of a company I worked for and I was there for a day.. the client rep was ill, so I had a day to myself at Gladstone before hopping onto a plane for Brisbane. That was in 1995 (maybe 1994).. so I bet it has changed since then. If it is south of the worst of the cyclones, then maybe worth a shot..


@Bruce Tuncks, our life expectancy is propotional to the proximity of decent vineyards 😉 The closer we are, the closer our end... Hence, Coonawarra, Barossa, Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Hunter Valley, McLaren Vale,  and a whole lot more are out of bounds 🙂 My partner and I had children late (we still and an early  teenage daughter). I am pushing for us to move out earlier because, frankly, the late year schooling we can get her is miles better than here. If it weren't for COVID, there's a good chance we may have been out there already. I am hoping to come out in the next 5 years, and I would hope that would give me at least 20 years barring the dreaded C or heart issues. Good call re climate change - which has me more worred about bushfires than the sea levels (although at Merimbula, I almost bought a sea-fron house about 10 years ago). My concern about Tocumwal is the bushfires. As far as I am aware, the last real bad ones were in the early to mid 1990's.. I suppose, there's not too much Euclaypt forest there, but it does get dry and grass fires can be pretty nasty. I do have a retirement business plan though, and Tocumwal is one of the few places that has the location for it... Well, anywhere arounf there that has a decent airfield does - but one with a bit of history is the cherry on the cake. BTW, is there no where in SA you would recommend?


@old man emu, Moruya looks lovely.. It has a nice estuary, which should give a good variety of fishing. Has a decent airport and not too farfrom Sydney. Took a look at the real estate there and there are some decent properties up for sale.. Looking at the photos acceeible from Google Maps, the local flight operation has quite a few there. But, I love the beach and the rocks.. Could go rock fishing, and then in the evening, cast form the Surf Rod (by brother has been storing  my rods for nigh on 20 years now.. including one for the original Shimano Crystal tips). One to throw in the kit bag, me thinks..


@onetrack, thanks for the detailed write up.. All you write about Esperance makes it more atttrractive to me, though the distances to what my partner would call civilisation would be a step too far (given she hates flying). However, the pristine winds sound enticing. I recall leaving London and arriving in Bismarck, North Dakota. I seriosuly coughed because the air was so clean compared to London. Until people have experienced it, they have no idea. But, Busselton may be a good alternative. I took a look at properties there, and there are some nice ones. The jetty is someting else and I can see myself dangling a line off there for hours on end, planning the next aerial sojourn. I was about to say for my retirement business idea, it is not the ideal locality, but Esperance would be worse.. However, I think I have a couple of ideas that would work in both. I think it is close enough to Perth to make my partner's vocation wothwhile, too. What about North of Perth? The only place I know north of Perth is Broome, but that won't work for the missus (though she would love to visit).





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Retire? Why? 


Being near the most important people in your life is high on my list of priorities- but not too near.

Having access to wide open spaces, some bush and hills to walk in or fly over.

The coast is nice to visit, with lots to see and do, but I wouldn’t want to live there; it’s rapidly filling up with refugees from the Big Smoke. Each time I visit, another pleasant rural valley has been converted into yet another Human Feedlot.

Land is poisonously expensive, some of it in danger from big storms and rising seas. 


West of the range we have much more room; almost any budget can afford a block large enough for some trees, chooks, maybe a horse or two.

Compared to the coast, we do get much bigger temperature variations, but that just makes life more interesting. Heat waves rarely lasts more than a week and the inevitable cooler change is enjoyed like the breaking of a drought. Thru summer we put aside fallen branches for winter firewood. The larger ones we push together to make a bigger bonfire than the neighbour’s. 


Half our Aero Club members have their own strip. We enjoy far better flying weather; sometimes we go weeks without cloud or big wind. It’s also much safer to fly west of the divide, with less Yowie country to cross and open paddocks if the engine (or bladder) dictate a stop.

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Jerry. Gladstone hasn't changed much since 1995. Just got bigger with suburbs spreading for miles, brought on by the gas complex on Curtis Island. It is still a poor quality town, hard to get anything and expensive. It does have a great harbour, but the flying while being good weatherwise is not pursued much and the airport wants to get rid of GA.

My personal preference for a retirement spot if I was looking would be Northern NSW near the coast. Not too hot, not too cold and it gets reasonable rainfall, a bit more crowded than Qld, but travelling is easy.There are differences between the states in how you are hit by government, I think for example retirees do quite well in NSW with vehicle rego, but Qld know how to charge. I have a bill to pay for a camper trailer, over $200, can't remember what the car costs.

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Hmmm.. QLD seems to be waning in the states, although, as a youngan I could withstand the cold pretty well, but as I age, I am less tolerant of it... so maybe not. Not sure I could habdle the road rules, though...



@Old Koreelah, Why retire? Well, I don't think I ever will until brain and body limit my options; it is more about being more picky about the work I do - and having the time without the pressure to try new projects. Your reasoning is one of the reasons Tocumwal is high on the list, although I am not ruling out areas further north. It just happens that Tocummwals is located almost perfectly for one of my pet retirement projects. But, in addition to running some chickens and maybe a couple of goats (kid meat is delcious), I intend to increase seafood in my diet and I prefer saltwater fish and fishing. So, keeping an open mind re the coast (although it will probably be inland in the end). I just took a look at some real estate for sale up your way and it does look good...


Now, back to the grind stone to fund this.

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I agree with your thinking Jerry. The biggest mistake my father ever made was leaving Alice Springs for the supposed better medical treatment in Adelaide. The reverse happened. In Alice Springs he was a respected man, while in Adelaide he was just a number.

In my own case, I see that the geriatric care is way better in country Victoria than in suburban Adelaide. ( ten hour wait at casualty in Adelaide, ten minutes in Edenhope.)

In SA, I would look at retiring to Naracoorte or Waikerie. They both have good health care and good airfields. 

I am sending this from Edenhope, about 50 k to the east of Naracoorte. Dont worry about bushfires at Tocumwal or Waikerie or Naracoorte. There is not much to burn at any of those places.

Years ago, you needed to have ancestors etc to be welcome in a new place. Now I reckon that if you are a sociable person, there are many avenues to get accepted in a community... like the men's shed, or the hospital volunteers, or the bowles club, or the flying club.

As for wine, the best wine comes from the SE of SA, like from Penola. The Barossa valley was in the wrong place.

cheers, Bruce

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Jerry - The suburbs of Perth extend about 70 kms up the coast North of Perth, with Yanchep and Two Rocks being the most Northerly.


From those suburbs, further North, you rapidly run out of "civilisation", and you're into low native vegetation, more wind, and into small fishing/tourist villages, such as Lancelin, Leeman, Cervantes, Greenhead and Jurien Bay.


Jurien Bay is around 200kms N of Perth and is turning into a bit of a sizeable "retirement village", simply due to cheap land, a coastal lifestyle, and people with limited finances being unable to buy into the more established regions around Perth.


Dongara (Dong-gra) is a nice spot on the Irwin River and is reasonably close to a large regional town in the form of Geraldton. Geraldton has some serious crime levels caused by a substantial number of local black-skinned inhabitants, and I wouldn't recommend it.


It always pays to look at the availability of aged care and medical facilities in any region in W.A. that you might plan to move into. Many of these smaller towns and villages have very limited medical facilities and medical help, and you then need to travel considerable distance to Perth suburbs or larger regional towns, to acquire the medical assistance needed.


A wealthy associate in his mid-70's is living in Hopetoun, and has farmland there, after a lifetime of farming, earthmoving contracting, and then selling rural real estate.


He likes Hopetoun, but when his wife had a fall and broke her wrist recently, he said to me, "It's not until you get to our age and have a medical event, that it makes you realise that a local nursing post that is only staffed part-time by one local nurse, isn't enough, when you're really in need of some substantial medical assistance and care". They had to travel to Esperance, some 180 kms away, to reach a doctor and get his wifes broken wrist attended to, by a full professional.


The bloke below has a great website showcasing nearly anything worth seeing in W.A. He's been to virtually every country town and hamlet, and photographed anything worth photographing, and worth writing a story about!



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Getting back to wine, many years ago the best deals were at cellar doors. These days, you get the best price from a discount bottle shop. I think that the discounters screw the wineries, while at the cellar door, they charge a fair price. 

Being a cheapskate, I buy from bottle shops or online. There is good stuff from WA and NZ around, I bet it is even in England.

Once, in England, I tried a French white wine that was very expensive and good, but it was only as good as a much cheaper Australian wine.

The point is that you can get good wine wherever you live.  I have a hankering to try making my own stuff, but this will be another ambition which will be unfulfilled on account of life being too short. Like making my own propellers.

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Quite right OME, but what about when you have 20 years of projects in mind but only 5 years of time left?

I'm still converting a farm buggy to electric, need to do house extensions, need to keep maintaining my Jabiru plus the kid's Lancair , need to provide the grandkids with robotics stuff, need to improve fencing here at the farm, need to clear up lots of paddocks from excessive fallen tree timber, need to build and fly better thermalling models using a telemetry vario system.

I'd like to make my own beer too but the wife says I drink too much without making more. And I look at those moonshine stills advertised on ebay and think about making my own spirits too.  Too much to do huh.  Not to mention making a wind-generator to charge batteries and adding a water-heating feature to the  combustion heater ... gosh the list has grown ...

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I suggest that you make a To-Do list with the most important jobs at the top:

1. Add the water heater to the combustion stove

2. Do the house extensions.

3. Service the Jab

4. Make beer.


If you complete 1 & 2, the SWMBO will be happy and let you get on with what you want to do.


The Christmas School holidays are coming up so set the grandkids to:

5. Clearing timber

6. Mending fences

7. Assembling the wind generator.

8. Make beer (Tell them drinking beer is a way to prevent dysentery)


Then you can get the kind and grandkids to

9. Start building thermalling models to get practical experience about airframes

10. Start maintaining the Lancair. They'll inherit the Jab, so they'll have to know how to maintain it, too.

11. Make beer. (You need something to sip on while you plan how to make a moonshine still)



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Jerry, I think it's good that you are planning and identifying priorities.


Besides what you listed, another thing to consider is the local environmental issues of a location. Stuff that isn't mentioned on Real-estate dot com.


For instance, Moruya is a nice seaside town. It has a small hospital (major medical work has to travel over the mountains to Canberra), has fairly good services for a small town, is a shortish drive from the major centre of Batemans Bay.  It does have great beaches and fishing. It has a nice sealed airstrip, but it is not far east of some serious hills (called the Great Dividing Range) which are steep tiger country, and are known to cause serious turbulence during westerlies. And there is military airspace just north of you. And although it has nice weather in summer, during winter those westerlies blow straight off the Snowies. If you don't like cold, you won't like winter. If you don't like tourists, you won't like summer either - as Moruya is the closest beach for Canberrans to holiday at, and is less than a days drive from Sydney.


So after you narrow down your choices, contact a couple of people who live at your shortlisted areas, and get their opinions to further refine your thoughts. After all, it's a big pain to make the move and it can be disheartening to get committed then find out about some deal breaker and have to go through it all again.


BTW, I do like Moruya, been visiting it for 40years, but it just wouldn't suit me.

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@nomadpete, you are absolutely right that you can't glean stuff from places like realestate.com.au that make the difference, which is why I started the thread. The first three areas in my opening post I am still intimately familair with; I knew the Sunshine coast had changed since I was last there... but didn't realise by that much. And i have never been to WA, but I know a good friend there who swears by Esperace, but I feel @onetrack has brought a little more balance to that equation.. There are great places in Aus, I ashamedly don't know about. And I hope to learn  a bit more of them here I hand't thought about the Westerlies through Moruya - yes, they would be cold in winter.. I still don't entirely discount it though..


@onetrack, gerat info re Perth and WA... 70k "radius" north - how far south and east? I am not one for outer suburbs... I took a look at Jurien Bay and the prices seemed like they were attaracting some demand there... Although I am happy being remote, even as we approach retirement (touch wood, nothing serious yet)... my partner isn't so enthusiastic and I would say a couple of hours - maybe 3 form a major centre would be her max (a major centre could be a decent centre on the outskirts of a capital or someting of decent size).


The search continues...





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