How Woodgate ‘won’ my heart for the next chapter in our life.

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What matters most to me? Where am I picture myself when no longer working? What will I need to make me happy?

These are all questions I have asked myself and of course Anthony to make the important decision of where to next. Anthony’s response to these questions differed to mine – he just wants me to be happy, so back to ‘all about me’ 😂.

We then did research, took a road trip and whilst we have now made our decision, I wanted to share our thoughts and process.

So, what matters most and what makes me happy – these can be combined I feel. I basically want quiet – that’s my biggest core want – no noise, no people close by, no garbage trucks each and every day, no people yelling on the street, no avoiding people walking everywhere – I’ve had enough – 23 years in Brisbane, in an apartment, working in the city. I want to just ‘be’, relaxing in my quiet – quietening my mind and my space.

Where can I picture myself – that’s simple – quiet and by the water. We have the river now but its view is between buildings and the reflective relaxing shimmer is broken by the noise around it……but water is 100% needed. We are so lucky to have many beautiful vistas to live don’t we?

Kilometres of beautiful beach

Having been born and lived in Bundaberg until our 30s we knew we couldn’t go any further north in Queensland than that temperature and humidity wise. The preference for cooler weather made us think of northern New South Wales – hence a 6-7 hour drive coastline window.

We visited Woodgate in June 2021 for a few days and loved it straight away – quiet and by the ocean. As part of our research we visited again for a week in January – how hot and how busy would it be?…..the answer was still lovely – the beach is 16 kilometres long and if there were people in the beach you could just walk 50m away and feel all alone again. Plus the sea breeze and of course air conditioning makes the temp very pleasant too – win win.

Now whilst I pretty much had made up my mind, Woodgate doesn’t have many units or townhouses on the Esplanade – must live on the Esplanade otherwise really why bother, right? – so we needed to do more research. Most people who move to Woodgate apparently want a shed for their caravan/boat, have a dog and don’t want Body Corporate – so we are not the norm.

Hence a road trip weekend was planned into northern New South Wales. We headed off and stopped at each beachside township between Gold Coast and Ballina.

Tweed HeadsMarina Parade quite busy with lots of cafes & shops – reminded me of Hastings Street at Noosa. Couple of units double our budget.
Casuarina/South KingscliffLovely quite beach, but appears to be only single dwellings along oceanfront but cannot see ocean anyway due to trees.
Cabarita beachAnother nice beach but not much property along oceanfront – smaller unit double our budget. Plus loads of shops and cafes along main street – had a Woolworths so population is there to support – too busy.
Hastings pointLovely ‘point’ but doesn’t appear to have any oceanfront development. Only 1 house for sale at our visit.
PottsvilleOlder township, no units along the oceanfront – didn’t take to this town.
Brunswick headsNo units for sale at time of our visit, recent house sales well and truly outside of our budget. Felt it was too old and didn’t like the environment.
Lennox headsHeaps of surfers, very busy esplanade, nothing suitable for sale at our visit – way too busy.
East BallinaSurfing beach again, but didn’t appear to have many oceanfront units built and a tad too far in NSW I felt.

This road trip just reinforced that Woodgate was the perfect location for us – quiet, properties (though limited numbers) right on the beach, not busy, and still within our budget.

Now lots of friends are concerned about what we will do at Woodgate. Comments are ‘but you’re a city girl’, ‘you like shopping’, ‘you like dining out’ but honestly the need for quiet far out ways these points…….and that’s what weekends away are for. But seriously Anthony will get back into water sports, I can still do my Share the Dignity volunteering and am just looking forward to doing whatever we want.

Once Woodgate was chosen as the ‘winner’, I emailed Real Estates to get on their books for any limited Units that came on the market and it was meant to be – the very same day Woodgate Realty had spoken with the owner of ‘our’ unit on the Esplanade – he didn’t want to spend anything on advertising – wanted the real estate to just have it on their books should serious buyers come along – voila US.

On our January visit we had walked along the Esplanade and checked out all the Unit/Townhouse places and this block of 5 townhouses was the ideal choice, so when Woodgate Realty said the unit address, I was so excited. Following a quite difficult negotiation, where at times we were ready to walk away, but I also couldn’t bring myself to, we now own our perfect ‘next chapter’ home – now just to end this work treadmill in 2023 and make the move.

In summary, work out the most important things you want in your next chapter, be it location, activities, type of house – what will make you smile – what makes your heart and soul joyful – and then do all that you can to get there.

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  1. Veronica says:

    Well done looks a lovely place to set down roots 🙌

    1. Susan says:

      Thanks Veronica, is lovely and undeveloped, which is perfect 🙂

  2. Jen Bray says:

    Looks lovely Susan! So pleased for you making plans for the next stage!!!

    1. Susan says:

      Thanks Jen, cannot wait until next year and just be there 🙂

  3. Jenny Edwards says:

    Sensational and what a beautiful place to relax and enjoy life without the stress of work.

    1. Susan says:

      Certainly looking forward to it 🙂

  4. Judith Himstedt says:

    Susan, I loved reading about your journey to your next happy place. The time will fly by and you will be relaxing before you know it! xxx Judith

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