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Name: Ray P
Previous Home: Melbourne
Current Home: Castlemaine area

How long have you lived in the area for?
Every weekend for 4 years staying in a caravan on our 10 acre site, followed by 7 years full time retirement in our new house.

Why did you move here?
We could not envisage retirement in suburban Melbourne, so we started investigating prospective options, well before normal retirement age. Attracted by the beauty of this area plus the observation that it always seemed to be lovely weather. We were also looking for a location that was approximately 1.5 hours out of Melbourne so that we were still close to family.

What was the deciding factor for you to move here?
A combination of two factors. Retrenchment after 35 years employment followed by immediate re-employment saw me with the ability to finance the retirement house on our land, which would otherwise have been a pipe dream. Soon after, I then had a heart condition rectified and immediately started making plans for early retirement, leaving after 2 years with the new employer.

Do you miss city life?
No way!!! We only return to visit our adult son and daughter and even then we try and meet them half way.

What are the main attractions of Castlemaine?
Castlemaine area offers a variety of retirement options.
You can buy a house in Castlemaine township itself, you can opt for farm life or like my wife and I, live in one of the numerous closeby, historic goldfield's villages.

Village life centres around the general store and the pub and the local currency seems to be slabs of beer.

Castlemaine shopping is less than 15 minutes away. Castlemaine has thankfully retained many of its beautiful and substantial buildings financed long ago by the wealth of its gold, be they government or private.The area is blessed with an abundance of venues and regular opportunities to enjoy the arts and crafts provided by talented locals. Facilities and services for the aged are of a very high standard. My wife looks after her aged mother full time in our house, so we can personally vouch for the excellent standard of care provided cheerfully by these very special personal care attendants. This latter point is a known important factor in people chosing Castlemaine for retirement.

What activities are you involved in?
Castlemaine Historical Society and more recently I have enrolled with the Guildford Rural Fire Brigade and have commenced training for operational duties with them.

Your advice for anyone thinking about moving when they retire?

  • Don't move to be near friends, as they will up and move to where they want to go.
  • Don‘t just change locations, search for your piece of paradise that feels 'right’ and you just know is where you want to be.
  • Don't join any club or activity for at least a year, until you can establish what free time you have in your new life and what organisations you want to donate your precious time to.

Editor's Note: The Castlemaine area is well worth a visit - whether it be for a day or longer, there is much to see and do. Historic buildings, great food and wine, galleries, antiques, a thriving art scene and very friendly people make this a must see place - to live or visit. We were impressed with the region on our research visits, when writing 'Where To Retire In Australia'
Have a look at the area