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Southerners downsize to Queensland for a breezy retirement

Queensland has increasingly become the dream destination for keen downsizers looking for a sea change, away from the southern winters and toward more tropical weather − making a holiday out of retirement.

A recent survey of older Australians looking to downsize has revealed an increase in searches for Queensland properties, reflecting a growing interest in interstate migration north[1].

One in three respondents of the survey were interested in downsizing to Queensland with only one in four respondents already living locally[2]. Many are viewing Queensland as a safe place to be during the pandemic.

Cranbourne, Victoria locals Suzie and Philip Medlyn began preparing for their Queensland downsizing dream back in February when they purchased a home at Ingenia Lifestyle Hervey Bay.

“We have family up in Queensland and when we went up to visit and had a look at Ingenia Lifestyle Hervey Bay it just looked like paradise – the weather was beautiful, the people were genuine, the community is fantastic, and the ocean is so close by,” Mrs Medlyn said.

“We knew we didn’t want endure another freezing Victorian winter, so we made the jump to go interstate – looking back, we can’t believe how lucky we are to not be in lockdown.

“It’s a long drive from Victoria to Queensland and we transited through New South Wales without a hiccup until we reached the Queensland border and they said we couldn’t enter until we’d quarantined.

“This was news to us because we’d left Victoria in the morning before the announcement was made so we were at a complete loss − we had been driving for days and were essentially homeless with all our belongings packed up in our truck.

After the Medlyns had satisfied the quarantine requirements after a night spent in a truck stop and two weeks isolated in Moree, New South Wales,  they were allowed through the Queensland border to reach their new home at Hervey Bay – and they’ve never looked back.

“It’s a dream – there is just so much to see and do here and when restrictions ease we will be doing all the touristy things that Hervey Bay has to offer.”

Editor and researcher Mark Skelsey of leading downsizing publication Downsizing.com.au said most Australians look for a relaxing retirement, which is the lifestyle that Queensland offers.

“In recent months we’ve noticed more people viewing Queensland as the ultimate retirement location. In addition to property and retirement village, developers are reporting strong demand and sales in their Queensland communities,” Mr Skelsey said.

“Current border closures are understandably making interstate movement quite difficult, but when we start to see any sign of loosening restrictions, we are likely to see an influx of retirees migrating north.”


[1] Downsizing.com.au, August 2020, COVID-19: Downsizer dreams turn to a safe and sunny Queensland

[2] Downsizing.com.au, August 2020, COVID-19: Downsizer dreams turn to a safe and sunny Queensland