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Timothy Brook


An easy life in East Gippsland

Young professional couple Heidri and Tim Brook have found the perfect work-life balance in East Gippsland.

Tim and Heidri, both in their mid-20s, recently moved from Brisbane to Eastwood when Tim took up a position as a pharmacist in Bairnsdale.

“I like the ease of everything around here; it’s very relaxed and everything’s nice and close,” Tim said. “My wife used to spend 45 minutes each way getting to work in traffic and we had to deal with all of the other city stuff there.”

Heidri, originally from South Africa and a former resident of New Zealand, has moved a lot in her life. Finding employment as a small business banker at the Commonwealth Bank meant the couple have no intention of leaving East Gippsland.

They live in Eastwood, a large housing estate on the outskirts of Bairnsdale that has its own shopping centre, the region’s largest primary school and 10 kilometres of walking and cycling tracks. They have taken full advantage of the area since moving down six months ago.

“We recently bought a puppy so he takes up a lot of our time. We go for walks around the backwater, and there’s a nice walk we like doing. East Gippsland has nice scenery to enjoy.”

The young couple are also enjoying being three hours’ drive from Melbourne, spending time on weekends travelling to see family and friends, getting some retail therapy and visiting “hipster” cafes. Heidri also said it reminds her of how busy their lives used to be living in the city.

“When we go to Melbourne, I think how different it is in the city, having to wait in line, you can’t park anywhere,” Heidri laughed. “Our lifestyle has changed. I used to get home at 6.30 at night, after being in traffic, and it was just busy! Here we’ve had time to hang out, go and see friends and on the weekends we have a fair bit to do. We go to play putt putt (mini golf) at Lakes Entrance often. In summer we are looking at getting a little catamaran and doing some sailing or maybe paddle-boarding.”

Heidri and Tim also belong to the Riviera Church in Shannon Waters, which has helped them settle into the community. Now they are looking for a house to buy as they settle into living in East Gippsland.

“This area is so beautiful and we could buy a property overlooking the water for a reasonable price,” Heidri said. “We pay same amount of rent we did in Brisbane but our house is about three times bigger and we have a yard big enough for a dog!”

“There are so many nice places to live,” Tim added. “The affordability of the land and housing is attractive because it’s just so hard to break-in to the property market starting off in the city.”

Tim has recently taken up a new position in Orbost, a small country town set on the historical Snowy River. When he starts, he will spend his commute meandering through Australian bushland and catching glimpses of the coast and the river flats – quite a change from the busy traffic in Brisbane.