The 7 best Australian towns for a seachange


Every year more and more Australians are opting for a slower pace of life and moving from capital cities to settle down in coastal towns, a move commonly referred to as a seachange.

According to The New Daily, around 15,000 Australians annually are seeing if the grass is really greener on the other side by moving from the city to a small town in a tree or sea change.

No longer just a venture for retirees, the ABS found that 79 per cent of seachangers moving to coastal communities are aged under 50, with half aged under 30.

If you’re tired of the hustle and bustle of city living, sick of sitting in rush hour traffic, unhappy living a little too close for comfort to neighbours, and dreaming of more affordable housing and wide open spaces, a seachange may be the worth considering.

To inform your decision, The New Daily released a list of the best seachange towns in Australia. A town planner and urban geographer looked at 11 criteria when combing Australia for these coastal gems including employment prospects, vibrancy, natural beauty, beach quality, housing affordability, infrastructure and climate.

Here's what you need to know about the top seven best Aussie towns for a seachange if you're considering whether a big move and change of lifestyle is right for you.

1. Noosa Heads, QLD

As the number one Aussie town for a seachange Noosa Heads has a lot of things going for it. Highlights include a breathtaking coastline, its national park, nature walks, rainforest views, resorts, restaurants, shopping, surf beaches, great fishing, water skiing and farmers markets, just to name a few! Our local experts describe it as 'the ideal seachange' where 'the lifestyle is relaxed, the people friendly and the community is really engaged in maintaining what makes Noosa special'.

Distance to a capital city- Situated on the Sunshine Coast 135km north of Brisbane or a one hour and 50 min drive.

Stats- $795k Median House Price (MHP) & 3.06% Annual Capital Growth (ACG) (Your Investment Property Mag).

View properties for sale in Noosa Heads.

2. Terrigal, NSW

With postcard perfect beaches, serene lagoons that are a hit with families, paddleboaders, kayakers, kite surfers and fishermen alike, its easy to see the attraction Terrigal holds for many in search of a beachy small town feel. Local experts sing praise of this 'awesome little towns' relaxing vibe, 'great coffee culture and amazing holiday feel!'. Residents report that living there is 'like being on a permanent holiday'.

Distance to a capital city- Located 88km north-east of Sydney, about an hour and a half drive. 

Stats- $811,250 MHP & 4.19% ACG.

View properties for sale in Terrigal.

3. Warrnambool, VIC

For those looking for a seachange in Victoria with affordable housing and some of the most stunning coastline in the country in mind, then look no further than Warrnambool. For families Warrnambool has great prospects for eduction, hosting three primary schools, four high schools, a TAFE and university. Additional drawcards include whale watching, good job prospects and an excellent local art scene. Locals say it's 'a wonderful seaside town for a seachange' and 'it’s a top spot to surf for those that love the beach lifestyle'.

Distance to a capital city- 257km south-west of Melbourne or just over 3 hours drive along the Great Ocean Road.

Stats- $324,000 MHP & 1.99% ACG.

View properties for sale in Warrnambool.

4. Kingscliff, NSW

A great location for nature and beach lovers, Kingscliff is home to lush rainforests, several great beaches and Cudgen Creek. If you love staying active you can go diving with turtles, whale watching, paddleboarding, fishing, bike riding, hiking or surfing. Foodies will delight in the main street cafes, restaurants and Kingscliff markets showcasing local produce and gourmet foods. Residents say Kingscliff is 'A great place to bring up your kids!' and 'a safe community, quiet and very friendly'.

Distance to a capital city- Set on the northern NSW Tweed Cost, about 115km south-east of Brisbane or an hour and half drive and just a 15 min drive to Gold Coast airport. 

Stats- $852,500 MHP & 4.92% ACG.

View properties for sale in Kingscliff.

5. Byron Bay, NSW

A vibrant tourist destination thanks to the wonderful reefs, beaches, whale watching, hinterland and events, Byron Bay is also increasingly a place where many people are opting to make the move permanently. The great surfing, snorkelling and diving opportunities, and huge variety of annual festivals (Falls Festival, Spirit Festival, Bluesfest, Writers' Festival, Surf Festival and Splendour in the Grass) are sure to keep you entertained.

One local describes it as 'a friendly hippy town with great surf, a unique range of fabulous food and a friendly atmosphere welcoming all'. Another resident suggests it 'is becoming more and more popular both for tourists and those wishing to escape the city life and move somewhere peaceful'.

Distance to a capital city- 166km south-east of Brisbane or just under two hours drive.

Stats- $1,005,000 MHP & 6.44% ACG.

View properties for sale Byron Bay.

6. Port Douglas, QLD

The year round warm weather and magnificent scenery of the far north Queensland town of Port Douglas are two major drawcards for tourists and new residents alike. With the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef on your doorstep residents are spoiled for choice with natural wonders and outdoor activities around every corner. There's also cosmopolitan touches including award-winning dining options, boutique shops and weekly markets, so you won't miss city living too much! Locals describe it as 'perfection in the tropics', having a 'friendly village atmosphere' and 'paradise'.

Distance to a capital city- Located 1,746 km north-west of Brisbane or a 2 hour 20 min flight. A 45 min drive to Cairns.

Stats- $504,500 MHP & -0.31 ACG. 

View properties for sale in Port Douglas.

7. Lennox Head, NSW

A surfers haven, Lennox Head is home to a 7.2km stretch of beach with a world-famous right hand point break. Other attractions include dolphin spotting, the coffee culture, burgeoning art scene and the sleepy laid back small town atmosphere. Locals say Lennox Head is a 'gorgeous village, with great community feel', offering 'an amazing lifestyle...golden sand beaches, community spirit, relaxed environment and wonderful food are a few points to wet your appetite to come and live and or invest here'.

Distance to a capital city- 185km south-east of Brisbane or a 2 hour 20 min drive. 

Stats- $770k MHP & 4.39% ACG.

View properties for sale in Lennox Head.

For more help deciding whether or not a seachange could suit you take a read of the pros and cons of country living.

Happy house hunting!

The homely.com.au Team

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