From Darwin (Northern Territory) To Echuca (Victoria)….
The people here are very friendly and helpful. The universal question that is asked of us is “why did you pick Echuca?” Our response is that we like the River and after reading “Where to Retire To Retire In Australia” which gave Echuca a good report, we came to see for ourselves. The rest is history.
We are settling in here very well. Echuca is a really great place. The only real challenge we have faced is the ‘cool’ weather over winter. However, coming from 25 years in the tropics our first winter was always going to be a shock! The other aspect that we are conscious of is the water situation. In the Territory, there was never a problem with water and here you have to be constantly “water wise”. Besides looking at Solar Power (back into the grid systems) I am investigating grey water recycling
Not long after we arrived, we bought a 3000 litre rainwater tank and managed to fill it very quickly with the April and May rains. I have connected that to the irrigation system but only use it sparingly. It took a while with plans and all but we now have a double garage and workspace where the carport used to be. From there, we have replaced the front lawn/weeds with pebbles with a couple of boulders as a centre piece. I have put in a path from the rear door of the garage to the patio and am currently working on a screen/fence between the patio and the ‘utility’ area. My garden railway will take up another area off the patio but that project is “pending” at this stage.
We are starting to get into the town. My partner has joined the “Y” and goes to exercise classes at least 5 days a week. I have joined the SES and that is pretty interesting. I have been away twice already for weekend training courses which are good. They are a good bunch of people. We are currently working on rooftop rescue, which is one of the basic requirements – once I have achieved that training, I will become a full member and will be able to go to “real” incidents.
I also went and got my forklift licence a couple of weeks ago.
The medical facilities here seem pretty good. The hospital, whilst old, has a fair bit of modern equipment and there are visiting specialists from Melbourne on tap. There are also specialist facilities in Bendigo, which is about an hour away.
In all, we reckon Echuca is a great place!The people are very friendly, the services and amenities are first class and anything we can’t source locally, we go to either Shepparton or Bendigo to get. We can visit my partner’s mum in Melbourne easily (3 hours from here) and apart from the freeway system, which is a nightmare, the trip is quick and easy (after the Territory that’s not saying much). I find driving in Melbourne traffic a bit stressful but I have had it too easy for too long and I am getting used to it! We have not tried it yet but the new fast rail service between here and Melbourne is running and seems to be well patronised.”