Who We AreMarket InsightsMessage Us

Best places to retire in Australia in 2022

May 29, 2023
Craig Gibson

Researching the best places to retire in Australia?

If retirement is on the horizon it makes sense to get an idea of what places will suit your lifestyle and needs. You could be looking to make a fresh start in a dream destination and get out of the big smoke, or find somewhere that gives you access to everything on your retirement bucket list. Read on to discover five locations across Australia we recommend you look at, based on criteria that appeal to retirees.

Caloundra, 4551 Queensland

Why is Caloundra one of the best places to retire?

Caloundra on Queensland's Sunshine Coast has been a popular retirement destination for decades. With Brisbane being accessible by a short drive, and year-round sunny weather, it's not hard to see why.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Caloundra has become popular with other age groups too, mostly from interstate who benefit from the flexibility of remote-working. As a result, property prices on the Sunshine Coast have exploded in recent years, with the current median house price over $900k, and rising.

While prices are higher than they were, Caloundra still offers retirees relative value for money when you compare property values with Noosa Heads, where the median house price is nearly 2 million dollars.

The boost in population and diversity in demographic mix is also making the Sunshine Coast and all-round more exciting place to live, with more amenities, boutiques and cafes in high supply. And with a mix of newer apartments and older houses to choose from, you also get uncrowded beaches, access to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and the Sunshine Coast Airport.

In the works is the Sunshine Coast Light Rail system which will link Maroochydore, Caloundra, Mooloolaba and Kawana.

Key draw cards:

  • Mild climate year round
  • More affordable than other Sunshine Coast towns like Noosa
  • Uncrowded beaches
  • Lots of outdoor activities on land and water
  • Mix of apartments and houses
  • Great health facilities and infrastructure

Caloundra town demographics

According to realestate.com.au Caloundra has a growing population of elder or maturing residents, which now make up a whopping 62.4 per cent of this postcode’s demographic. Queensland as a destination continues to grow in popularity, regularly leading the charge on gaining the most people from net interstate migration. South East Queensland is most popular for interstate migrants; in fact, the Sunshine Coast Council is expecting an increase of approximately 166,580 people by 2041. We've also heard through the grapevine, that the use of buyers agents in Brisbane and South East Queensland is becoming norm, given the fierce competition for properties.

And while many younger professionals are making the move north from our southern states, the largest population increases are expected to be in the 75+ age group, closely followed by more established families aged 40-54 years.

To prepare for population growth, the Sunshine Coast region is planning for an increase in approximately 71,230 new dwellings.

How much does it cost to live in Caloundra?

  • Median price of a house:  $917,500 (March 2022)
  • Median price of a unit: $666,666 (March 2022)

If you want to be near the water on the Sunshine Coast, and are looking for a location which offers relative affordability then put Caloundra  on your shortlist.

Have you considered buying before selling?

Don’t miss out on your dream home — talk to Doorsteps Finance about bridging finance

Speak to a broker
Speak to a broker

St Helens, 7216 Tasmania 

Why retire in St Helens?

If you're looking for one of the best places to retire in Tasmania then presumably you want to be away from it all, something that St Helens definitely is! Some 160 km east of Launceston on the edge of the Bay of Fires, with a population counted in the low thousands, this small town is all about laid-back living and the ocean.

Known as a game fishing hub, it also has excellent bird watching opportunities if you are a keen twitcher, as an important breeding site for seabirds. If you're worried about the weather, you’ll be happy to know it has a mild temperate climate compared to the rest of Tassie. The price of property is another drawcard, with median prices of $480,000 and $310,000 for houses and units respectively. 

Key draw cards:

  • Mild year-round weather for Tassie
  • Affordable property
  • Excellent seafood 
  • Bay of Fires on your doorstep
  • Game fishing opportunities
  • Additional income opportunities if you want to rent part of your property out on Airbnb

St Helens demographics

In terms of demographics, 47.8 per cent of  St Helens residents are classed as either elderly singles, older couples or older independents - giving you an instant social network. 

How much does it cost to live in St Helens?

  • Median house price: $480,000 (March 2022)
  • Median unit price: $310,000 (March 2022)

If a small town in Tassie is just your cup of tea then St Helens should definitely be on your retirement shortlist, especially given the relative affordability of property there. 

Retirement properties tasmania
Choose from heritage properties, acreages, and more in St Helens. Source: Tin Dragon Trail cottages.
Thinking about purchasing a property?

Chat with Doorsteps Finance so you can buy with confidence

Speak to a broker
Speak to a broker

Nelson Bay, 2315 New South Wales

Why retire in Nelson Bay?

If you're looking for one of the best places to retire in NSW, away from Sydney or larger centres like Newcastle or Wollongong, put Nelson Bay on your shortlist. It ticks a lot of boxes including a stunning coastal location, with a foodie scene that includes Rick Stein’s new Bannisters restaurant.

If you like the great outdoors then there is plenty to do on the water - including boating, whale watching and swimming with dolphins! The median house price in Nelson Bay is $875,000, while units are around the $550,000 mark, which is relatively affordable compared to places like Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

Key draw cards:

  • Beautiful coastal location
  • Comparatively more affordable than Sydney and Melbourne
  • Number of retirement villages
  • Excellent seafood and dining options 
  • Angling, boating and water activities

Nelson Bay demographics

In terms of demographics, nearly half the population of Nelson Bay (46 per cent) are classed as older couples & families, elderly singles or elderly couples - a pretty clear indication that it is a retirement hotspot in NSW.  

How much does it cost to live there?

  • Median house price: $875,000 (March 2022)
  • Median unit price: $550,000 (March 2022)

Read: See other affordable coastal towns in New South Wales

Mornington, 3931 Victoria 

Why retire on the Mornington Peninsula?

The Mornington Peninsula is a well established retirement hotspot, and for good reason. If you opt for Mornington itself you get laid back village charm with a great selection of local amenities, including an efficient bus network and well serviced public and private health facilities.

Choose from old weatherboard cottages, modern units or a selection of retirement villages - but be prepared to pay for the privilege of living in this idyllic location. Median house prices are $1,112,000, while units are $732,500, which means you do pay for the privilege of this idyllic spot.

Key draw cards:

  • Just over an hour to Melbourne by car
  • Great coastal lifestyle location
  • Choose from houses, cottages or apartments  
  • Local wineries on your doorstep 
  • Great council services for seniors

Mornington demographics

In terms of demographics, 41.8 per cent of Mornington residents are at, or close to, retirement age - classed as older couples & families, elderly singles or elderly couples.. 

How much does it cost to live in Mornington?

  • Median house price: $1,112,000 (March 2022)
  • Median unit price: $732,500 (March 2022)
Mornington peninsula real estate draw cards
The Mornington Peninsula offers an idyllic coastal lifestyle for downsizers. Source: istock.com.

Read about other areas to retire in Victoria.

Victor Harbor, 5211 South Australia

Why retire in Victor Harbor?

If you like a slow pace of life and a coastal lifestyle then you can do worse than Victor Harbor, on the picturesque Fleurieu Peninsula. At just under an hour’s drive south of Adelaide, you can access the SA capital fairly easily if needed. Otherwise there is plenty to keep you busy here, including the magnificent coastline, the Southern wine region, as well as Kangaroo Island which you can access via the ferry just down the road at Cape Jervis.

There's also decent access to medical services here, including the South Coast District Hospital and Victor Harbor Private Hospital, which provide medical and surgical services locally. In terms of property prices, the median house price in Victor Harbor is $467,000, with units at a median of $330,000, which is some of the most affordable property on this list.

Key draw cards:

  • Slow pace of life
  • Affordable property prices
  • Access to wine region, coast and Kangaroo Island
  • Close to Adelaide if required
  • Houses dominate this market

Victor Harbor demographics

In terms of demographics, people who are retired or about to retire are growing - with 21.8 per cent in the town classified as elderly singles, 15.8 per cent older couples & families and 15.3 per cent elderly couples. 

How much does it cost to live in Victor Harbor?

  • Median house price: $467,000 
  • Median unit price: $330,000

If SA is on your shortlist of locations to retire in then Victor Harbor has a lot going for it, including competitively priced housing.

Wondering what your home might be worth?

Get a free property report with recent sales in your area and an estimated property value

Get your free property report
Get your free property report


What factors should I consider when looking for a place to retire?

Everyone will have different criteria when it comes to choosing a place to retire to, but you should ask yourself the following before you make the move:

  • Is property affordable in the area?
  • What is the current state of the property market?
  • What is the cost of living?
  • Do you want to be near family, such as your children or grandchildren?
  • What local amenities, like shopping, transport and medical facilities, are available?
  • What is the weather like?
  • Is crime an issue?
  • What sort of retirement lifestyle do you want? Do you want to retire by the sea or amongst the trees?

If you want more tips on downsizing, we've written an entire guide on how to approach the downsizing process.

Disclaimer: Blogs are written expressly for education purposes and content is based on the opinions of the authors or as otherwise cited.  All information is current as at publication release and we  take no responsibility for any factors that may change thereafter. Doorsteps Finance Pty Ltd and Doorsteps Solutions Pty Ltd do not accept any liability or responsibility whatsoever to any error or omission or any loss or damage of any kind sustained by a person or entity arising from the use of this information.  It does not constitute legal, tax or financial advice and you should always seek professional advice in relation to your individual circumstances

Disclaimer: Doorsteps Finance Pty Ltd ACN 648 541 879 (credit representative no.531036) is authorised under Doorsteps Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 654 334 246, Australian Credit Licence 537369 (together, “Doorsteps”). Doorsteps are not making any suggestion or recommendation about any particular product or service. The information provided constitutes information which is general in nature and has not taken into account any of your personal objectives, financial situation, or needs. Any credit application made through Doorsteps Finance Pty Ltd is subject to approval, terms and conditions, fees and charges.

Disclaimer: Doorsteps Finance Pty Ltd ACN 648 541 879 (credit representative no.531036) is authorised under Doorsteps Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 654 334 246, Australian Credit Licence 537369. Any credit application made through Doorsteps Finance Pty Ltd is subject to approval, terms and conditions, fees and charges.

Disclaimer: Property reports contain property estimate data and information provided by RP Data Pty Ltd trading as CoreLogic Asia Pacific ABN 57 087 759 171 (CoreLogic) and OpenAgent Pty Ltd, which is general in nature. It is not a professional property valuation or advice to be relied upon. The actual market value of the subject property may differ. We and CoreLogic do not warrant the accuracy, currency or completeness of the data and information to the full extent permitted by law, each excludes all loss or damage howsoever arising (including through negligence) in connection with the information. You rely on the property estimate at your own risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

No items found.

Recent Post

View All Market Insights
View All Market Insights