Top 12 Australian Retirement Destinations

With more Australians retiring later than they had originally planned, the demand for the perfect retirement destination has increased. This could largely be due to the fact that Aussies are staying in the workplace longer (either at their full-time career or at a part-time job) to ensure they are financially secure when it is finally their turn to retire, and they want to really treat themselves to a more fulfilling retirement.

Why not reward yourself? You’ve most likely raised a family, worked hard all of your life, and possibly worked for longer than expected (or will work for longer), rewarding yourself by retiring in your dream destination is not such a bad idea, right? While not everyone will have the luxury of choosing where they would like to retire, it is certainly nice to dream, or have some motivation to work harder towards a retirement goal.

Keep reading to check out the top Australian retirement destinations and learn how you can incorporate one of these or similar destinations into your retirement plan.

  1. Esperance

Located in Western Australia, Esperance is number one on our list for many reasons. First, it is a stunning beach location that is relatively affordable in comparison to most other retirement destinations in Australia. For example, the average housing cost is around $395,000 or $300 per week to rent, which makes it a much cheaper option for those looking for a beautiful, quiet beach destination.

What makes this location so quiet is that it has a population of less than 14,000 people. The average age is 48 due to the variety of outdoor activities available in the area. In fact, it is the perfect retirement spot for those looking to stay active well after they officially retire. Residents can snorkel, swim, go on beautiful long walks, enjoy boating, take up bird watching, relaxing on Esperance’s beautiful beaches, and so much more. If you’re looking for a variety of places to dine, this may not be your ideal spot, but those who choose to retire here enjoy peaceful days relaxing and staying active far away from the hustle of more metropolitan locations.

  1. The Sunshine Coast

We’re not biased or anything, but we really do love the Sunshine Coast. In fact, it was hard to decide on whether or not it was our number one choice because of what it has to offer retirees. The reasons it did not make it to the top of our list is due to higher housing costs (the average being $515,000) and the fact that it has a much higher population since it has more than 95 retirement villages alone.

If you’re looking for a much slower pace, then the Sunshine Coast may not be ideal for you, but considering the location, amenities (excellent shopping and fine dining), and gorgeous beaches, and the fact that it considerably less commercialized compared to the Gold Coast (making it quieter in comparison), you really cannot go wrong with the price of housing and you can find more seemingly remote retirement villages, making you feel like you are getting away from it all without moving hundreds of kilometers away from all things familiar. Additionally, how could one not love the perfect summer temperatures with the average ranging from 17-28 degrees?

  1. Coolangatta 

Also in the Queensland, but located on the southernmost suburb of the Gold Coast, the average age in this destination is 49 years old. It has approximately 19 retirement villages with a median house price of $605,500 and $525 per week for rent. This location borders on Tweeds Head, another popular location and has much of the same activities and amenities. While the housing prices are higher here, you really cannot beat the location and easy access to amenities.

  1. Tweeds Head 

As previously mentioned, Tweeds Head and Coolangatta border on each other, making it part of New South Wales. It is a very popular destination for retirees with the average age being 54. Besides its beautiful, quiet beaches and stunning ocean views, this area lies directly in the centre of Australia’s Green Cauldron National Landscape. The area also has 14 national parks and reserves and a vocano, which is extinct.

Tweeds Head is not just a retirement hot spot, it is also popular holiday destination due to the amount of activities available to residents and visitors alike, for example, whale watching, dining, live music, interesting day trips, tours, and various sports. RealEstate.com.au shows the average price for a house being $585,000 or rent being $470 per week. Making it slightly more affordable than Coolangatta with a host of activities at your disposal. Keep in mind though, it is the sixth most populated location in NSW, so if you want something less populated, this may or may not be the right location for you.

  1. Port Macquarie

Depending on what type of lifestyle you’re after, Port Macquarie may or may not be the perfect location for you. It has a population of approximately 70,000 people and is located on the Hastings River. The area is quite diverse with mountains, forests, and wetlands. The climate is beautiful and tends to get cooler at times with ranging from 7 to 27 degrees.

If you’re into the night life and enjoy dining out on a regular basis, Port Macquarie has a lot to offer on the food front. They also have festivals and attractions in the port each year, making it fun for retirees to get out and enjoy the crowds. The average property price is $520,000 or $420 per week, also making this location quite affordable. There are 13 retirement villages, making it retiree friendly, but it is a highly desired retirement location.

  1. Adelaide Hills

Part of the Mount Lofty ranges and located in South Australia, The Adelaide Hills has a very low population of 29,000 but the perfect temperature for producing wine. The area is probably one of the coolest areas in Mainland Australia with cold nights and cool daytime temperatures, making this a great spot for wine lovers and anyone who prefers cooler temperatures.

The average house prices are $667,500 or $520 per week to rent, which considering the location, is quite high since there really isn’t much to do here other than dine out and drink wine. However, if this is appealing to you, then you the price, weather, and location may be worth it to you.

  1. Yankalilla

If you’re looking for a really cheap place to settle down in the retirement phase of your life and don’t care much for activities and access to amenities galore, Yankalilla might be worth looking into. It is known for its Mediterranean type climate and very small population of 450 people.

It is full of bed and breakfast establishments and is a really a great place for getting away to enjoy some peace and quiet. It is not entirely isolated with Adelaide being around 45-minute drive. The median house prices here are $290,000, which is really affordable, but not necessarily a destination for everyone but great for those who really want to get away from it all.

  1. Huon Valley

Located in Tasmania, the Huon Valley made it to our list due to its very affordable median house price of $285,500 (very affordable housing), its 300 days a year of sunshine, and relaxing lifestyle, however the climate is cooler than most other regions. It’s not necessarily an exciting location, but this where artists, craft makers, and local farmers sell their produce. After an extra long life of hard work, it may be the ideal retirement destination for you. It is also a 20-minute drive from Hobart, known for its wine, seafood, and fresh produce, and is also part of the Huon trail.

  1. Echuca

Ehuca is located 214 km north of Melbourne and is located in Victoria. It has a very small population and very low housing costs. It does not have the beaches and coastlines that the other locations on the list have, but that all depends on your preference. If you’re retiring on a budget and love community spirit along with cafes and restaurants, and are looking for a low population (Ehuca has around 14,000 people) you might love this retirement location with housing costs at $310,000 or $330 to rent.

  1. Mornington Peninsula

This is a popular destination but a very expensive one. It is also located in Victoria and has beaches, wineries, and a wide range of outdoor activities for visitors and retirees to enjoy. Its one major plus is it is not very remote since it is a 40 km drive to Melbourne, which is great for medical care and visiting family and friends. The median housing price is $620,000, which is quite high but it is quaint and quiet with the closeness to a major city, which may be worth it to some.

11. Hunter Valley

Hunter Valley is great for the wine lover and those who love outdoor activities including golf. It is also very affordable considering what it has to offer with a median house price in the low $400,000 range. It is located close to Sydney and Newcastle. What is there not to love about this destination?

  1. Merimbula

Also located in New South Wales, this is a hot retirement location. Considering the increase in demand for this location as a retirement destination, the median housing costs are not the cheapest but not the most expensive either with housing costs sitting at $477,000. This beautiful, peaceful coastline is the perfect holiday location due to its year-round sunshine, beautiful scenery, safe location, and the fact that it is full of amenities, it is the perfect place to call home after years of hard work.

Do any of these retirement destinations interest you? Are any of them part of your retirement plan? If you would like to make one part of your retirement planning goals, you may want to consider sitting down with one of our financial advisors Sunshine Coast to learn how you might be able to set yourself up to live the retirement lifestyle of your dreams.