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InnerVoice

Retiring in Tasmania

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Hi PiO members,

We're going to Tassie for a couple of weeks in February for a holiday, and also a reconnaissance visit as a prospective retirement location. We both love the great outdoors and the mountains, and have really missed not being able to go overseas during the last 3 years. Even though we have some nice walks and lovely places to visit here Cairns, it isn't really the same - not to mention the heat! We have also thought about retiring to NZ once my wife gets her Aussie citizenship (should be in a year or so), but my (mostly UK) pension would take a hammering courtesy of the NZ tax system.

So if anyone living (or has lived) in Tassie has any helpful suggestions about the best places to retire, then I'm all ears. I've been there once before but that was about 25 years ago and I can't remember much, so if you also have suggestions about places to visit and things to do while we're over, then that'd also be appreciated 😊

MTIA!

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9 minutes ago, InnerVoice said:

Hi PiO members,

We're going to Tassie for a couple of weeks in February for a holiday, and also a reconnaissance visit as a prospective retirement location. We both love the great outdoors and the mountains, and have really missed not being able to go overseas during the last 3 years. Even though we have some nice walks and lovely places to visit here Cairns, it isn't really the same - not to mention the heat! We have also thought about retiring to NZ once my wife gets her Aussie citizenship (should be in a year or so), but my (mostly UK) pension would take a hammering courtesy of the NZ tax system.

So if anyone living (or has lived) in Tassie has any helpful suggestions about the best places to retire, then I'm all ears. I've been there once before but that was about 25 years ago and I can't remember much, so if you also have suggestions about places to visit and things to do while we're over, then that'd also be appreciated 😊

MTIA!

Do you want to live in a large town or in the countryside?  Lots to choose from.  We live in Devonport on the NW coast and enjoy life here.  I have very good friends who live in Dover on the south coast  ............  east of Hobart and they also enjoy life there.  Inland and the mountain areas can get very cold in winter.  Hobart and Launceston can also get very warm to hot during summer.  There are a LOT of retirees from the mainland here in Tassie.  Housing is still reasonably priced though not as cheap as it used to be.  Plenty of houses for sale over $million and seem to be snapped up.  

I can't tell you the best places to retire to as everyone has different ideas about that.  Probably best if you come down here and check the place out for yourself.

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14 minutes ago, Toots said:

Do you want to live in a large town or in the countryside?  Lots to choose from.  We live in Devonport on the NW coast and enjoy life here.  I have very good friends who live in Dover on the south coast  ............  east of Hobart and they also enjoy life there.  Inland and the mountain areas can get very cold in winter.  Hobart and Launceston can also get very warm to hot during summer.  There are a LOT of retirees from the mainland here in Tassie.  Housing is still reasonably priced though not as cheap as it used to be.  Plenty of houses for sale over $million and seem to be snapped up.  

I can't tell you the best places to retire to as everyone has different ideas about that.  Probably best if you come down here and check the place out for yourself.

We'd like to be close to the amenities, so we definitely wouldn't want to live in the sticks - but no need to be right in the centre of a town or city either.

We don't want to take out a mortgage (probably couldn't get one anyway), so we'll have a budget of $600,000.

Definitely don't want to be anywhere too cold (been in Cairns for 10 years now!), so somewhere warmer and sunnier would be preferable.

What are the pros and cons between Devonport versus Launceston? - they look quite similar in terms of location.

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8 minutes ago, InnerVoice said:

Definitely don't want to be anywhere too cold (been in Cairns for 10 years now!), so somewhere warmer and sunnier would be preferable.

What are the pros and cons between Devonport versus Launceston? - they look quite similar in terms of location.

If you want warm weather then I wouldn't move to Tassie!   Though you do get some lovely sunny days, the weather is closer to the UK's than Queensland's.   Winter is freezing.

When looking at retirement locations, I think a good guide is city size.  You're used to Cairns.   If you move to Launceston, you're moving to a city that's only half the size.  If you move to Devonport, you're moving to a small town, only one-sixth the size of Cairns.   That makes a big difference in terms of amenities and activities.  

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband granted UK spouse visa, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

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1 minute ago, Marisawright said:

If you want warm weather then I wouldn't move to Tassie!   Though you do get some lovely sunny days, the weather is closer to the UK's than Queensland's.   Winter is freezing.

When looking at retirement locations, I think a good guide is city size.  You're used to Cairns.   If you move to Launceston, you're moving to a city that's only half the size.  If you move to Devonport, you're moving to a small town, only one-sixth the size of Cairns.   That makes a big difference in terms of amenities and activities.  

That's a good point. I was living in Brissie before moving to Cairns and I've always found the latter a bit small, so from the sounds of it, Hobart might be the best place to consider. I gather housing is a lot more expensive than the rest of the island though?

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25 minutes ago, InnerVoice said:

That's a good point. I was living in Brissie before moving to Cairns and I've always found the latter a bit small, so from the sounds of it, Hobart might be the best place to consider. I gather housing is a lot more expensive than the rest of the island though?

If you find Cairns too small then I'd say Hobart is definitely your only choice.  It is a lot more expensive than the rest of the island, but it's all relative. If you don't mind not being in Hobart proper, then take a look at Kingston.  It's got a decent shopping centre and a lot of new homes, so you don't need to go to Hobart for the essentials, but it's only a short drive if you feel like a night out. 

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband granted UK spouse visa, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

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3 hours ago, InnerVoice said:

We'd like to be close to the amenities, so we definitely wouldn't want to live in the sticks - but no need to be right in the centre of a town or city either.

We don't want to take out a mortgage (probably couldn't get one anyway), so we'll have a budget of $600,000.

Definitely don't want to be anywhere too cold (been in Cairns for 10 years now!), so somewhere warmer and sunnier would be preferable.

What are the pros and cons between Devonport versus Launceston? - they look quite similar in terms of location.

Launceston is inland and Devonport is on the coast.  Devonport is rapidly growing and spreading out but where I live I can walk to the shops/cafes/cinema/library also a few minutes walk to the beach and the river.  Launceston is in a dip so it can be colder in the winter and hotter in the summer.  It's a very nice place but the same as most large towns  ...........  it has its rough areas to avoid.  It has also retained some lovely old buildings as has Hobart.

The Tasmanian weather suits me just fine.  I really dislike hot, humid weather.  During winter, Devonport can have really stormy weather off the Bass Strait but it doesn't rain for days on end.  There are a lot of lovely frosty mornings.  The frost has usually gone by 9 am.  Inland towns are much colder at that time of year and also get snow.  Today it's 25C.  I've just been for a swim at the local beach.  Very busy with tourists.  Campervans all over the place.

You will get a good idea of Tassie when you come in February.  I'm a bit of a country bumpkin so I'm not interested in nightlife or shopping malls.  Hobart and the surroundings areas may suit you far more than smaller towns.  There are many very small towns scattered around Tasmania but even I wouldn't  choose to live in them.  Too remote for me.

 

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An interesting thing I learnt the other day.  Taiwan is slightly smaller than Tasmania.  It's population is 23.5 million.  Tasmania's population is just over half a million.  I definitely know where I'd rather live. 

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My thoughts echoed by another poster. Why would one move to Tasmania from Cairns if prefer the heat. I've lived in Cairns and while smallish it makes up for in its international tourist and migrant settlement. Hense not entirely parochial. Can Tasmania say the same? Never been but heard cliché together with own social issues. 

In fact we were talking only yesterday  of doing a trip over there from WA. Last state yet to visit. As want to leave Merth (Perth) as soon as find somewhere enticing, don't want a repeat of what is deeply entrenched over here. Cairns was a consideration as well, but hear crime has got far worse than when lived there back in 1997. Wonder how your experience of that is? 

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3 hours ago, Toots said:

You will get a good idea of Tassie when you come in February.

I would only add that if you like it when you visit in February (which is the warmest time of year), then make sure to do another visit in winter, to make sure you can handle the colder, darker months.

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband granted UK spouse visa, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

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4 hours ago, Toots said:

An interesting thing I learnt the other day.  Taiwan is slightly smaller than Tasmania.  It's population is 23.5 million.  Tasmania's population is just over half a million.  I definitely know where I'd rather live. 

Thank you for all the information about Tassie - really appreciated. We will focus our attention on Launceston, Devonport and Hobart, as I'm sure the other places will be a bit too small.

Taiwan has some densely populated cities but there some high mountains, and large areas that are virtually uninhabited. It's amazing how many people can fit into a small space. I once read that the entire world's population could fit on the Isle of Wight, if they stood next to each other (and didn't shuffle around too much). This was a while ago though so I'm not sure that's still the case with 8 billion people!

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1 hour ago, Marisawright said:

I would only add that if you like it when you visit in February (which is the warmest time of year), then make sure to do another visit in winter, to make sure you can handle the colder, darker months.

I think that's when we'll be going back to visit friends in Cairns!

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1 hour ago, Blue Flu said:

My thoughts echoed by another poster. Why would one move to Tasmania from Cairns if prefer the heat. I've lived in Cairns and while smallish it makes up for in its international tourist and migrant settlement. Hense not entirely parochial. Can Tasmania say the same? Never been but heard cliché together with own social issues. 

In fact we were talking only yesterday  of doing a trip over there from WA. Last state yet to visit. As want to leave Merth (Perth) as soon as find somewhere enticing, don't want a repeat of what is deeply entrenched over here. Cairns was a consideration as well, but hear crime has got far worse than when lived there back in 1997. Wonder how your experience of that is? 

I don't prefer the heat. I find it quite oppressive up here most of the time, and we can't wait to leave. That said, we don't want to move back to the UK - or somewhere with a similar climate. Tassie seems to have about the same amount of sunshine as the south of France with cooler temperatures, which sounds good to me.

I don't know Perth too well, except that it's a city with decent infrastructure, whereas Cairns is just a town. Most of my colleagues have said that if they were diagnosed with a serious illness, they'd be on the first flight down to the RBWH. Yes, crime has been on the up here - especially if you live in or near suburbs beginning with 'M' - but it it's hardly Mexico. Cairns has been good to us over the last 10 years and I can't knock it, but it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea.

 

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1 hour ago, InnerVoice said:

I think that's when we'll be going back to visit friends in Cairns!

A lot of Tasmanian retirees tootle off to Qld during the colder Tassie months.  As i've said before the winters here don't bother me at all.  They aren't as cold as for instance Canberra or Bendigo and Ballarat.  I can handle the colder weather no problem but I don't like cold WET weather..  Thankfully, the wet days don't drag on and on and on. 

Edited by Toots
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1 hour ago, InnerVoice said:

I don't prefer the heat. I find it quite oppressive up here most of the time, and we can't wait to leave. That said, we don't want to move back to the UK - or somewhere with a similar climate. Tassie seems to have about the same amount of sunshine as the south of France with cooler temperatures, which sounds good to me.

I don't know Perth too well, except that it's a city with decent infrastructure, whereas Cairns is just a town. Most of my colleagues have said that if they were diagnosed with a serious illness, they'd be on the first flight down to the RBWH. Yes, crime has been on the up here - especially if you live in or near suburbs beginning with 'M' - but it it's hardly Mexico. Cairns has been good to us over the last 10 years and I can't knock it, but it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea.

 

The M's are quite known for issues for a long time. Word has it that anti-social activity (youth crime) is rampant. I recall Cairns does from memory have something like the third highest crime rate in Australia. Not sure if the heat wouldn't get too much for me longer term. I was far younger when last lived there. I have been looking at Northern Suburbs along the beach. I note prices have risen over past few years. 

I'm finding it very hard to select an alternative anyway in Australia. Odd in some ways how such a big country can appear 'limited' at the end of the day. I have stayed often in The South of France , but suspect it would be warmer than Tasmania. 

But worth giving it a shot. I will be interested to read your findings on living there, if indeed do make the move.  In my case Perth has passed the point of no return . 

Edited by Blue Flu
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1 hour ago, InnerVoice said:

Thank you for all the information about Tassie - really appreciated. We will focus our attention on Launceston, Devonport and Hobart, as I'm sure the other places will be a bit too small.

Taiwan has some densely populated cities but there some high mountains, and large areas that are virtually uninhabited. It's amazing how many people can fit into a small space. I once read that the entire world's population could fit on the Isle of Wight, if they stood next to each other (and didn't shuffle around too much). This was a while ago though so I'm not sure that's still the case with 8 billion people!

While you are in the Hobart area and if you have time, take a drive to the Huon Valley and also the little town of Cygnet.  Lovely places and worth a visit.  They are approx. 45 minutes drive from Hobart.  I think you would really like them.

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12 hours ago, InnerVoice said:

. Tassie seems to have about the same amount of sunshine as the south of France with cooler temperatures, which sounds good to me.

We like Hobart and have visited several times and I have to say, that's not what it feels like on the ground!   We once spent the Christmas holidays in Hobart.  New Year there is great (all the celebrations for the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race) but it was so cold, we had to go and buy fleece jackets and gloves.

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband granted UK spouse visa, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

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3 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

We like Hobart and have visited several times and I have to say, that's not what it feels like on the ground!   We once spent the Christmas holidays in Hobart.  New Year there is great (all the celebrations for the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race) but it was so cold, we had to go and buy fleece jackets and gloves.

You certainly can't guarantee what the weather is going to be like that's for sure.  I've been to Hobart and along the south coast when it was nearly 40C.  That was in a January a number of years ago.  We used to come to Tasmania from Sydney round about Easter time for a few days and the weather was always perfect.  I've found the weather doesn't settle until just after Christmas but it can still change very quickly.  We could do with a bit of rain now.  Everybody's lawns are looking a bit parched and the farmers are using irrigation systems on crops.

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Probably worth investing the time in looking into hospital/aged care in Tasmania. I know Cairns has a poor reputation , but have heard Tasmania is not rated highly. That would be my sole major concern returning to live in UK. If me, would be looking into that if moving to another state in Australia. 

Another thought. Isn't Tasmania the state rated as having the highest Bogan influence in Australia? I'll look into that a little more. 

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13 hours ago, Blue Flu said:

The M's are quite known for issues for a long time. Word has it that anti-social activity (youth crime) is rampant. I recall Cairns does from memory have something like the third highest crime rate in Australia. Not sure if the heat wouldn't get too much for me longer term. I was far younger when last lived there. I have been looking at Northern Suburbs along the beach. I note prices have risen over past few years. 

I'm finding it very hard to select an alternative anyway in Australia. Odd in some ways how such a big country can appear 'limited' at the end of the day. I have stayed often in The South of France , but suspect it would be warmer than Tasmania. 

But worth giving it a shot. I will be interested to read your findings on living there, if indeed do make the move.  In my case Perth has passed the point of no return . 

Yes, youth crime and anti-social behaviour definitely more of an issue here than when we first arrived, and no longer confined to the 'M' suburbs. We've always lived on the northern beaches (Trinity Beach and Clifton Beach) and break-ins and car theft were unheard of up here, but not these days. I'm not getting into the politics, but have formed an opinion why this is the case. That said, there are still far worse places to live in Australia and Cairns has a lot going for it. Even after 10 years we can still find new things to do that don't involve expensive boat trips. It's probably the only place in Queensland outside S E Queensland I'd consider living, to be honest.

On that subject, have you considered the latter? S E Queensland has similar temperatures to Perth, but a little more humid. We considered moving to the Sunshine Coast, but the houses prices have gone mad down there over the last couple of years. We could only afford an apartment now, and we're not quite ready for 'retirement living' just yet!

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2 hours ago, Marisawright said:

We like Hobart and have visited several times and I have to say, that's not what it feels like on the ground!   We once spent the Christmas holidays in Hobart.  New Year there is great (all the celebrations for the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race) but it was so cold, we had to go and buy fleece jackets and gloves.

Good grief! Thanks for the heads up - we hadn't planned taking much other than shorts and T-shirts!

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13 hours ago, Toots said:

While you are in the Hobart area and if you have time, take a drive to the Huon Valley and also the little town of Cygnet.  Lovely places and worth a visit.  They are approx. 45 minutes drive from Hobart.  I think you would really like them.

Thanks - we'll definitely fit this into our itinerary. Is Bruny Island also worth a visit?

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1 hour ago, InnerVoice said:

Good grief! Thanks for the heads up - we hadn't planned taking much other than shorts and T-shirts!

Even in summer, come prepared. 32 in Hobart on Saturday, by 11pm last night (Sunday) if was 13 with a feels like temp of 7.

1 hour ago, InnerVoice said:

Thanks - we'll definitely fit this into our itinerary. Is Bruny Island also worth a visit?

Definitely, stunningly beautiful and still largely unspoilt. Plan ahead for the ferry though, queus can be 3 hours long com8ng back from Bruny at the end of summer weekends. 

Possibly my favourite place on the planet, its like another world. 

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2 hours ago, Blue Flu said:

Probably worth investing the time in looking into hospital/aged care in Tasmania. I know Cairns has a poor reputation , but have heard Tasmania is not rated highly. That would be my sole major concern returning to live in UK. If me, would be looking into that if moving to another state in Australia. 

Another thought. Isn't Tasmania the state rated as having the highest Bogan influence in Australia? I'll look into that a little more. 

There are plenty of so called Bogans here but they don't bother me and I don't bother them.  Actually, through one of my voluntary jobs I meet loads of them and I get along with most of them just fine.  Sure a lot of them are on the rough side but there are reasons for that -  mainly poverty and lack of education.  There are also plenty of well educated people with good jobs and running their own businesses.  Try not to always be looking for the negatives @Blue Flu.  You come across as a proper Eeyore.

My husband and I have no complaints with hospital care.  So far so good.  I now have a very good cardiologist in Devonport for my dicky heart.  I used to have to go to Launceston for checkups until a specialist cardiology practice opened here fairly recently.  Local cancer patients are treated at Burnie Hospital.  The biggest concert is the hospital staffing shortfall and the shortage of highly trained medical specialists.  I know two people who were transferred to the Austin Hospital in Melbourne because they couldn't be treated here due to the shortage of specialists.

What are you looking for with regard to age care?  There are nursing homes here.  I also volunteer at one of them.  I'm hoping I never need to have to go into a nursing home but if I did have to, then that one would be fine.  There is also a lot of help for  elderly people who are still in their own home.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Nemesis said:

Definitely, stunningly beautiful and still largely unspoilt. Plan ahead for the ferry though, queus can be 3 hours long com8ng back from Bruny at the end of summer weekends. 

Possibly my favourite place on the planet, its like another world. 

You've certainly extolled it's virtues there! I'll add it to the list, and make a point to avoid the weekends.

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