Where are some of the best places to retire in Australia?
You don't need to move abroad for your twilight years; there are many amazing places to retire to in Australia. How do you narrow down the choices? Well, that depends on what you want your retirement to be like. If you are a beach person, retire to the coast. If you prefer country settings, many Victorian towns are perfect for you.
Here are some 10 of the best places to retire to in Australia across each state to help with your retirement planning (or dreaming!)
New South Wales
The Hunter Valley wine region in NSW
- The Hunter Valley
This may seem like an obvious choice - the wine, the vineyards, the quaint country setting - all of these make the Hunter Valley amazing for retirees (or people any age, really!). It's also very close to the state's main hubs, with Sydney and Newcastle less than a two hour drive away. The price of houses has gradually risen in the Hunter Valley as many retirees are realising it’s an appealing retirement place. That said, it is still significantly cheaper than living in or near any capital city.
The Hunter Valley is known for its marvellous vineyards and wine, food, golf courses and a unique country-like community. The mining industry nearby continues to draw all sorts of people who love to check out the region.
This hidden retirement spot is located on the south-west coast of NSW. It takes just over five hours to travel to Merimbula by car from Sydney. This is a perfect destination if you’re looking for a relaxing and quiet retirement.
Merimbula gets some of the best weather all-year round. The weather just makes the natural beauty of this place stand out. The beaches and national parks are superb for swimming and walking excursions. There are plenty of shops, clubs, restaurants and leisure facilities too. Also, if you feel like taking a holiday somewhere, Merimbula has its own airport which will save you making the drive to Melbourne or Sydney.
Victoria's Mornington Peninsula
This little gem is located on the Murray River and has a vibrant country spirit to it. Although it may be far from the coastline, Echuca is easy to get to and welcoming. Retirees hang out at the clubs (not the disco type of club), they join associations, and participate in activities that are enjoyed by both retirees and the visitors who are passing through.
The fantastic facilities offered by this town make it cheap to eat out. In fact, eating at a restaurant in Echuca is almost half the price of Melbourne restaurant prices.
- Mornington Peninsula
A view of Melbourne’s CBD, acrylic blue beaches and coastal villages are some of the many treasures that await you if you retire to the Mornington Peninsula. Vineyards, rolling hills dotted with orchards and market gardens are some of the other attractions this great place has to offer.
Travel time from Melbourne CBD to the Peninsula has significantly decreased thanks to the Peninsula Link which opened in January 2013. The Peninsula is easily accessible so family and friends can come visit. There are also several options for housing on the Peninsula. Retirement villages are very common among other apartments and small beach-front houses. And f you like doing some walking, Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay have exquisite scenery for you to enjoy.
The famous Sunshine Coast, QLD
- Sunshine Coast
No surprise there, right? With great beaches, perfect weather, a relaxed community feel, how could this spot not be on the list? This scene is a little quieter than its counterpart - the Gold Coast. Although several suburbs like Noosa, Caloundra and Mooloolaba make up the Sunshine Coast, the area is relatively undeveloped meaning housing is cheaper than Sydney or Melbourne. Again though, it depends on what you’re shopping for. House prices can range from $500,000 to $2 million.
You have a range of retirement villages to choose from and you don’t necessarily have to buy them. You can rent an apartment if that is more to your liking. This magnificent retirement place is located just one hour’s drive from Brisbane. If you want to visit family, or if they feel like a holiday, they won’t have too far to come.
This town is on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. It’s much quieter than the party central, Surfer’s Paradise and the town is easily accessible with a nearby airport. Coolangatta has great shopping centres, leisure facilities, clubs and associations to get involved in.
The Twins Town club is a beloved club by many retirees who enjoy affordable dining, entertainment, live bands and the view of the Tweed River.
Tasmania's Huon Valley
- Huon Valley
If you love nature and open spaces (and don’t mind the cooler weather) then you will love the Huon Valley. More people are shifting towards the colder climates for retirement despite what you might think. People are attracted to the fresh, clean air, friendly locals and low cost of living in the Huon Valley.
There is plenty of affordable housing in this region as well. There are seven main suburbs that offer affordable housing for retirement in the Valley; Cygnet, Dover, Franklin, Geeveston, Port Huon, Huonville and Glen Huon. Retiring in Tasmania might not be for everyone, but those that do will enjoy quiet places with a local feel and natural beauty.
The Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia
South Australia, when combined with Tasmania, takes the title for the highest proportion of older Australians at around 16%. Many retirees are enjoying the spirit of Kadina which is located on the Copper Coast.
Kadina is approximately two hours from Adelaide by car and is affectionately known as “Australia’s Little Cornwall”. The town also offers very good health services and retirement and aged care living options making it an ideal place to retire.
Yankalilla is located on the Fleurieu Peninsula, about one hour’s drive from Adelaide. It’s on the western side of South Australia. If you visit family or friends you can find a number of bed and breakfast places. Alternatively, if you're looking to retire in Yankalila, there is affordable housing.
Unfortunately, there aren't many facilities in this town compared to other retirement places, but the short hour drive to Adelaide means you have access to larger shopping centres. This place is ideal for people who want a taste of country lifestyle but still want access to a capital city.
The Esperance from the sky
Located in the state’s south, the unspoiled coastline, pristine white beaches and friendly community make up the terrific town of Esperance. It is about an eight hour drive from Perth, however there is an airport to make the travel a bit easier.