Are you ready for a seachange?

You’ve probably seen or heard of that long-running, quirky Australian series Seachange - high flying city lawyer Laura Gibson undergoes a 'seachange' and moves to the small coastal town of Pearl Bay where she becomes the magistrate. There she meets her love interest, Diver Dan who owns the local cafe/boatshed. 

It’s a dream for many to get closer to nature and away from the stress of urban living by working or retiring in that quiet, idyllic coastal town or to that quaint country cottage – also known as a ‘treechange’. But to do this successfully and without hiccup takes some careful consideration and planning.

Pros of making a seachange
Obviously the ability to de-stress in a more natural environment is one of the major drawcards of the seachange, but there’s also the advantage of small-town community spirit, which is becoming increasingly elusive in the city.
Housing on the coast or in the country can be much more affordable, freeing up funds for your retirement. There’s also the environmental advantage of less pollution, less noise, clean air, less traffic and generally lower living costs.

Cons of making a seachange
There is always the possibility of feeling a little socially isolated now that you are further away from your family and friends. You may find yourself struggling for things to do now that you are away from the activities and amenities that are more varied and accessible in the city.

Getting access to quality medical attention may be more challenging. You may find the ‘small-town’ closeness and mentality difficult to adjust to. You may find longer travelling times to shops, etc. irritating.
Top tips for a successful sea or treechange

Test the waters – spend an extended period of time in a holiday rental in your chosen seachange destination before you make a property purchase
Keep a city pad – If you can afford it, it might pay to keep a small unit in the city, especially if you plan on making regular visits back to the city, or in case it turns out the seachange is not for you

Meet the locals – you need to make an effort to get to know the people in the community and join in community events or organisations if possible. This will make the transition far more enjoyable and fulfilling

Carefully consider the location – is it close enough to a large regional hospital? Do you still want to be within a reasonable distance from a capital city or not? Are there local organisations/amenities to support your personal interests/hobbies?

Top Seachange Locations in Australia:

  • Geraldton, WA
  • Warrnambool, VIC
  • Mornington Peninsula, VIC
  • Gerringong, NSW
  • Nelson Bay, NSW
  • Ballina, NSW
  • Gold Coast, QLD
  • Noosa, QLD

Remember a seachange is not for everyone, so don’t be disappointed if it turns out the grass is not necessarily greener.