10 best places to retire in Australia

What are the best places to retire in Australia (by state)?

You don’t have to be the most well-travelled person to know that 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 of the best places to retire to in Australia:

New South Wales

  • 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. However, it is also very close to NSW’s main hubs, Sydney and Newcastle. 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.

  • Merimbula

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.


  • Echuca

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 a 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 to the Peninsula has significantly decreased thanks to the Peninsula Link which opened on the 18th of January 2013. The Peninsula is easily accessible so family and friends can come visit.

There are several options for housing on the Peninsula. Retirement villages are very common among other apartments and small beach-front houses.

If you like doing some walking, whether it be in the morning or evening, Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay have exquisite scenery for you to enjoy.


  • 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. 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.

  • Coolangatta

This town is on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. It’s much quieter than the party central, Surfer’s Paradise. 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.


  • 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 offer housing.

Retiring in Tasmania might not be for everyone, but those that do will enjoy quiet places with a local feel and natural beauty.

South Australia

  • Kadina

South Australia, when combined with Tasmania, takes the title for the highest proportion of older Australians at 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

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.

Average prices in the Yankalilla area are around the $240,000 point. 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.

Western Australia

  • Esperance

Located in the state’s south, the unspoilt coastline, pristine white beaches and friendly community make up the terrific town of Esperance. It is about an eight-to-nine-hour drive from Perth, however there is an airport to make the travel a bit easier.

Median house prices are around $267,000 for units or $370,000 for houses.

So once you’ve figured out if you want a beach-like retirement or if you prefer more a country or nature setting, you now know the best places to accommodate your needs.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) the Australian Capital Territory has 10% of the retired population and the Northern Territory has 6%. Although these territories, combined, have a significant portion of Australia’s retirees, many choose to move interstate and retire in NSW, Victoria or South Australia.

Jacob Joseph

Jacob is a writer and video journalist with finder.com.au. Credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts are his bread and butter, and he likes nothing more helping people understand the sometimes overly complex world of personal finance.

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2 Responses to 10 best places to retire in Australia

  1. Default Gravatar
    Courtney | August 3, 2016

    I can suggest the addition of Geraldton in Western Australia? It is a relative bargain for land you can purchase right on the ocean, which is still close to the city centre.

  2. Default Gravatar
    Davis | June 20, 2016

    Is Australia LGBT friendly? I am a gay man.

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