As many of you know, we have been threatening to move back to Australia for many years. While it has been a noble goal, we had to find a new residence that we felt had the same wow factor as our current house and location. Housing in Oz can be very expensive, particularly in Sydney where our daughter lives. We also wanted a moderate climate without too much hot weather. Last year, we did a house exchange in a unit in Urangan which is a beach area close to where I grew up in Maryborough. We really enjoyed the experience and decided that this might be a possibility. We looked at a few units that were for sale and earlier this year purchased one of them.
So this blog is for our friends who are thinking of visiting to give you an idea of what to expect.
Urangan is about halfway up on the east coast. It's about the same distance to the equator as Key West, but in the southern hemisphere of course. The closest major city is Brisbane about 200 miles to the south.
The large island off the coast is Fraser Island and it is the largest sand island in the world. It encloses a large bay called Hervey Bay which whales use as a nursery on their way up the east coast from the colder waters of the Antarctic. Tour boats go out to see the whales from August through early November.
The bay acts as a funnel which leads to high tides twice a day. The tide difference can be as large as 12 feet, particularly in Spring. The water has few waves because Fraser Island blocks the ocean surf.
Our unit is right on the water near the eastern tip. The airport (HVB) at the southern end of the map is a 10-minute drive from our unit. There are three flights to and from Brisbane (BNE) each day and a non-stop service from Sydney (SYD) once a day about lunchtime. It is a small airport and you have to use steps to descend from and ascend to the plane.
There is also a daily train service to Maryborough which is about 40 minutes away. It takes about 3.5 hours to drive to Brisbane Airport.
One of the main attractions is the jetty that sticks out about 900 yards into the water. It is about a three-mile walk from our unit at the Breakfree to the end of the jetty and back. There are no hills.
Google view of the units. To the south is the boat harbour along with a few shops and restaurants. It will be a huge change for us to be able to walk to a restaurant.
Our unit is marked by the white line and is on the top two floors of the building. There is no lift or elevator and there are several flights of steps.
The main bedroom on the top floor looking out to the view at low tide.
Same room from the other direction. There is usually a cooling breeze off the water so cross ventilation is easy.
We get a hot tub which Marianne is gleefully looking forward to. There is also a shower.
The beachside deck on the top floor.
There is also a large deck at the back of the unit. I am planning to have a workbench back in the corner where the white chair is sitting. There I will build amplifiers.
And yes, repairs are needed on the roof overhang.
View from the back deck. We get an enclosed one space garage just to the left of the walkway with the grey roof. The sun is so strong that in the morning it is sometimes more pleasant to sit out the back in the shade and look at this view.
It's quite a view and it's really interesting to walk on the sand in the late afternoon when the tide is out. There are all sorts of things to see such as soldier crabs.
There are two smaller bedrooms on the lower level for guests. The smaller one will become Marianne's sewing room and she plans to get rid of the bed. We will have some sort of blowup bed in there as well.
There is a bathroom and toilet.
The bed to be removed.
The main lounge. We plan to move the TV to the wall. The unit came furnished and we will leave most of the furniture in our house. We still plan to bring our big round dining table.
Downstairs beachside deck. It's very pleasant sitting out there in the afternoon watching the birds enjoy themselves playing in the wind.
The collection of units is known as the Breakfree and has two pools, a tennis court, a games room and other facilities. The community is gated. Some of the units are rented to guests.
There is an Aldi and Woolworths supermarket about five minutes drive away. The main shopping area for Hervey Bay is about ten minutes away. I will probably buy most of my wine at Dan Murphys. Since the area is very popular with retirees, there are two hospitals.
We are very much looking forward to living there. I am already in contact with some old school friends and I am planning to join the local Men's Shed.
Of course, visitors from outside of Australia will want to see more of the country than our happy smiling faces. You should check out this blog entry which gives more information about coming to Australia.
This link shows the temperature range throughout the year. The temperatures in our unit will be slightly lower because of the proximity to the water and the breeze. Typically, it feels quite balmy.
Some more blog entries.
So if you want to visit, let us know. We think you will like it.