Escape from the City: Seeking a better life in Port Stephens

Tom and Frank examine a waterways map at Lemon Tree Passage.


THE relentless flood of holidaymakers and those seeking a better lifestyle continues with real estate agents run off their feet dealing with prospective buyers.

One waterfront home at Tanilba Bay sold recently for $1.7 million.

That number may be nothing exceptional by city standards, but the property had 20 000 ‘views’ on online real estate sites.

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The reason that demand is so strong is twofold according to local agents.

Firstly, people want to escape the rat-race that Sydney has become and those already living in the coastal strip want to stay put.

These factors are forcing prices up.

Add to this the belief that real estate is a great investment and these factors create the perfect storm for the continuing boom.

Frank Vecchio from Sydney explains, “You just can’t move down there anymore,” he said.

“People avoid public transport with the Covid pandemic and the roads are gridlocked,” he added.

“Shopping is a nightmare and everybody is stressed out.

“The tranquility of Lemon Tree Passage is a great attraction for me.

“It would be lovely to move here and become involved with the community,” he remarked.

Frank’s brother Tom agrees.

“It’s the water and the laidback lifestyle that impresses me,” he commented.

Meanwhile retired Tanilba Bay School Principal Lloyd Hogg said that the escapists from the city were also headed west.

As grey nomads, he and his wife Louise have just returned from a caravan trip.

“With overseas travel off the agenda, desperate people have taken to the road for holidays which has been a godsend for the struggling places west of The Great Divide,” he said.

“You will have to book well ahead to get a spot in the caravan parks and camping areas from Dubbo out as far as Broken Hill,” he stated.

“What’s more, some of these places are undergoing a building boom.

“The Covid scare and the breaking of the drought have seen a lot of activity since we were there last time,” he remarked.




Louise and Lloyd Hogg.

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