Lockdowns in Australia have caused people to be tempted by a tree change. In fact, many people have done exactly that: made a treechange. Have lockdowns meant you are now more tempted by a treechange?

The Regional Australia Institute says ‘COVID-era migration patterns are underscored by an increasing preference for regional areas: capital-city dwellers are moving to the regions in greater numbers, while regional people are electing to stay in place in greater numbers’.

Sharp Acceleration

Domain journalist Sue Williams writes, ‘While “the big shift” began in the 1980s and ’90s, the number of city dwellers undertaking tree or sea changes accelerated sharply when COVID-19 hit. “We’re now seeing the move on steroids now,” says Alan Stokes, the executive director of the Australian Coastal Councils Association, formerly the National Sea Change Taskforce.

The ability to work remotely suddenly swept away many of the last hurdles remaining for people deciding to chase their dreams and settle in the kind of destinations they’d earlier only ever been able to consider for holidays’.

Country fence with brown, soft colours along a road that could be right for a treechange.
Photo: MHJ Ellis

It all sounds great? You move from a congested metropolitan area to the country for a tree change. Are there any drawbacks? Are they really drawbacks or just minor irritations?


Here’s some of the feedback I’ve received:
*there’s difficulty accessing technology supplies
*there’s not as much variety in shops
*there’s an ‘inquisitive’ community
*there’s not enough to do (pre Covid)
*too much ‘parish politics’
*difficulty getting an appointment to see a medico
*friends not willing to travel to visit (pre Covid)

(I’m thinking of Basil Fawlty: ‘What did you expect to see…. the Sydney Opera House perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain?….’.).

Koala holding onto a tree branch. Wonder if he is affected by lockdowns and treechange?
Photo: David Clode

Many who dream of moving to a country area would say these are ‘minor irritations’.


A sense of community, fresh air, less traffic, less high density living, more affordable housing, slower pace of life, more connection with nature, different climate, less noise, easier car parking and a less expensive lifestyle may outweigh any perceived disadvantages.

It’s a good idea to research the area before moving. Look at the facilities and utilities, look at the cost of living (does it rise during peak times?) and will you ‘fit in’?

Are you more tempted by a treechange?

Have a read of Sue William’s Domain article, by clicking here

Jill Weeks has been an educator and author for many years. She is the author of 21 Ways To Retire, which gives insights into how 21 Australians from different backgrounds adjusted to retirementShe is also the co-author with her husband, Owen, of several editions of Where To Retire In Australia and one of Retire Bizzi.

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