12 Feb 2018
Whilst a sea change is typically the most popular choice for retirees looking to relocate, there is an ever-increasing number of Australian’s relocating inland for their little piece of paradise. The trend coined ‘tree-change’ is growing in popularity for retirees craving the call of the rolling hills and peacefulness of rural Australia.
So what makes a tree change so appealing? Here are five of the top tree changes guaranteed to get you day-dreaming…
1. Green Your Thumbs
The quintessential way to retire to the country, a hobby farm, or ‘farmlet’, means you can be somewhat self-sufficient when it comes to food, without having to rely on your crops for income. You might gain a little extra retirement income selling your produce at the local farmer’s market or at a roadside stall, but the main reason for owning a hobby farm is for the joy of playing farmer.
Rural properties for sale vary considerably in size, and this, along with the climate, will dictate what you can grow or raise successfully. In NSW, rural properties that suit hobby farms typically range from between 10 hectares to 40 hectares. Areas like Armidale have rural properties available for as little as $200,000. Staying closer to the city, in a place like Bowral or the Blue Mountains, may make the price rise closer to the $1 million mark.
2. Life Among the Vines
The lush, rolling hills, winding narrow roads and clean fresh air of Australia’s wine regions draw more than just tourists every year. Retirees are discovering it’s easier than one might first think to purchase a vineyard and set up a cellar door. Most wineries up for sale come with already established vines and sellers all too happy to help you get on your feet.
Australia is home to some of the world’s most beautiful wine regions. One of the lesser known areas is the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, in South East Queensland. Nestled behind some of the country’s most pristine beaches, owning a winery here means retirees can have both a ‘tree’ and ‘sea’ change.
And the best thing about owning a vineyard, aside from the ready supply of wine of course, is that they typically come with stunning views.
3. The Perfect Host
After leaving the workforce, some retirees find they miss the companionship of their work colleagues. Which is one of the reasons that operating a B&B has become a popular choice for older Australians. Opening your home to an array of travelling guests means you’re never alone for too long and there are plenty of interesting stories to hear (and tell).
A B&B can be a great way to top up retirement income, especially if you are retiring with less than you originally hoped for.
Tasmania is an increasingly popular holiday destination for foodies and B&B owners in the Apple Isle often find themselves becoming tourism ambassadors, as they help their guests to get to know what their little piece of paradise has to offer. In Tasmania’s Huon Valley, a 20 minute drive from Hobart, the median house price is just $315,000, making it one of the cheapest places to retire.
4. Tiny Home Big Living
If your retirement dream has always been to buy a block of land and build your own home, going tiny might be a dream come true. Australia’s tiny house market has grown significantly over recent years and these cleverly designed homes present a real opportunity for retirees who want to downsize or live ‘off-the-grid’.
Forget paying $700,000 for a home in the Adelaide Hills, one of the top ranked rural locations to retire*. In this area you can rent land to accommodate your tiny home and you may not even require a building permit. An architecturally designed tiny home starts from as little as $22,000, leaving you plenty left over to explore this picturesque region.
5. The River-Boat Life
If you’re after water views but don’t want to live in a coastal town, what about taking up residence on a houseboat on one of Australia’s most iconic rivers? Boats are significantly cheaper to purchase than regular homes and have the added benefit of mobility. Whenever you grow tired of the scenery you can pull up anchor and drift downstream to another location. While you will have to pay mooring fees, other expenses such as utilities are quite a bit cheaper too.
Located on the banks of the Murray River, Echuca is the ideal spot for river craft enthusiasts and makes Canstar’s list of top 10 best places to retire*. In February, the town plays host to the Riverboat Music Festival, where majestic old paddle steamers meander up and down the river, accompanied by live music. There’s also a blues festival in Winter and foodies are catered for all year round with a huge variety of cafes and restaurants.
If you’re still not sure if a ‘tree change’ is for you, we recommend taking a holiday in the rural area you’re thinking of relocating to so you can test out the lifestyle. Who knows, it could be the change you never knew you needed.