Idyllic beaches, a slower-paced lifestyle and zero crowds. That’s my type of destination.
While living in a city has its major perks (+50 options on my Uber Eats app), more and more Australians are making like Chris Hemsworth and swapping urban living for a quieter existence in seaside towns. Known as the ‘Hemsworth Effect’, fans are following the Thor actor’s example and switching their busy lifestyle for a more laid-back existence.
Because of the global pandemic, A-List stars like Zac Efron, Melissa McCarthy and Matt Damon have followed Chris to the blissful haven of Byron Bay and seriously who could blame ’em? But with the influx of celebrities, crowds of people have taken up residences in the Northern New South Wales town.
If the past few years have made you reevaluate your lifestyle and you’re thinking about a sea change of your own, here are five stunning locations to consider which are like Byron Bay but without all the people, because frankly, there is no better way to live your best life, alone and sipping a marg next to the ocean.
1. Yamba, NSW
Yamba is the lesser-known Byron. On the northern New South Wales coast, this peaceful town is located three hours south of Brisbane, between Byron Bay and Australia’s best landmark, the Big Banana.
With warm weather most of the year, Yamba has several stunning beaches including Main Beach and Whiting Beach and a local farmers’ market to embrace your new life.
2. Burleigh Heads, QLD
The Gold Coast may be all hustle and bustle, however, located just 10 kilometres south of Surfers Paradise is the charming Burleigh Heads.
If you live a more active lifestyle, but still want to live by the seaside, this is the perfect place to take up residence. The Esplanade is the ideal destination for walkers, runners, surfers, stand-up paddle-boarders and boot-campers, plus there’s a very dog-friendly beach for your floof.
3. Pottsville, NSW
The name Pottsville reminds me of Harry Potter, so I’m instantly sold. This coastal town located in Tweed Shire has everything that you miss about your childhood vacations – a small strip of shops with the classic fish & chip-local pub-fishing supply combo, plus enough beaches to keep you occupied all summer (and winter) long.
4. Murwillumbah, NSW
Murwillumbah. Say that five times, fast.
This coastal gem is on the banks of the stunning Tweed River near the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wollumbin National Park. More rural, Murwillumbah — which locals refer to it as “Mur-bah” — is also the “creative heart” of The Tweed on the far NSW North Coast. If you’re more into the creative arts, then you might like to set up home here. It even has some of the original buildings still intact. So cool.
Oh, and fun fact! It is in a green caldera, the vast crater of the eroded Tweed Volcano which is now covered in rainforest and farmland.
5. Mullumbimby, NSW
Another tongue-twister, Mullumbimby is a town in the Northern Rivers region of NSW, just east of Brunswick Heads.
This town is perfect for people who are looking for a more relaxed lifestyle but don’t want to ditch the bright lights completely, as Mullumbimby is also affectionately known as “the biggest little town of Australia”.
If you’re looking to make a permanent move and are thinking of buying a home along with your sea change, home loan specialist Southern Cross Credit Union can give you all the info you’ll need to know.
Plus, they have a super high customer satisfaction score so you know you’re in the right hands.Image: iStock / Dan Hayward