We Found A New Home During Covid

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Londoner In Sydney is a community of expats and locals who love sharing the best destinations and activities around Australia. Be inspired, find hidden gems, stock up on local tips and discover awesome new things to do with our authentic travel guides.
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I think it’s the first time in six years I’ve not produced any content on Londoner In Sydney for a couple of months. If you’ve been wondering why we’ve been quiet recently, we’ve actually been pretty busy behind the scenes.

We’ve had a few of you send us messages to see if everything is OK (which is so lovely), so we thought we’d give you a few updates.

We Wanted To Move To Bellingen

Bellingen is one of our favourite places in Australia.

You may remember on our Insta Stories back at the beginning of July when we could travel again, Steve and I made a beeline down the coast back to NSW to go house hunting. We had been pet sitting in the small coastal town of Agnes Water in Queensland for three months and then got stuck there when the world went into lockdown.

The more time we spent in Agnes Water, the more we started to love it. But, we had our heart set on moving to Bellingen near Coffs Harbour. We had fallen in love with Bellingen about a year earlier for its undeniably beautiful nature, fantastic hikes, waterfalls and small town vibe. We planned on basing ourselves there once our pet sitting days were over.

If you’ve not heard of Bellingen before, you can read our Bellingen guide here.

The hikes around Bellingen are absolutely spectacular!

You see, it’s been nearly three years since Steve and I put our belongings into boxes when we decided to go backpacking around the world again. This means we’ve been living out of suitcases ever since and we’ve been itching to have our own space and home again.

When we found Bellingen, we’ve spent the last year getting ready to move there until Covid happened. We had actually put in an application for a rental in Bellingen a week before the world went into lockdown, which we had to pull out of because of the uncertainty it brought for us, especially as I was running this blog full time.

We Went On A Road Trip To Find Somewhere To Live

We checked out Yamba in NSW as a possible place to live.

So when travel opened up again in Queensland and NSW, we decided to make a beeline down the coast to check out a few areas and decide where to live.

Obviously we were going to check out Bellingen again and hoped we could check out some rentals. We also really like the Sunshine Coast Hinterland (specifically around Maleny) and thought we’d check out that area too.

Getting our engagement ring designed at Bert Jewellery in Sydney

And, we were also heading down to Sydney to get my engagement ring designed and really love the areas of Avalon, Pittwater and Palm Beach, so that was on our list too.

In the end we decided not to move back to Sydney purely because we were unsure how everything would unfold with Covid. Plus, we wanted to live in a house rather than a flat, and we didn’t have enough money to do that on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

The Glass House Mountains In Sunshine Coast are absolutely spectacular!

There was also absolutely nothing to rent in Bellingen so we then spent a few days frantically looking at places in Sunshine Coast Hinterland on the way back up to Agnes Water. I really like that area because it reminds me so much of England. There’s loads of little villages dotted around the countryside that it honestly feels a bit like the Aussie version of the English countryside. Plus you have access to the many beaches around Noosa and Sunshine Coast to visit as well.

It was hard trying to find a house during Covid because each one was seeing around 150 applications before you could even view them. In all honesty, it seemed everyone wanted to leave the major cities in search of a quieter remote working life in regional Australia!

During our trip, we actually realised only one thing – that we weren’t ready to leave Agnes Water yet. Although it’s a tiny town of around 2,000 people and 150km away from the nearest city, we felt like we needed to stay a bit longer.

We’ve loved living in Agnes Water with beaches like this on our doorstep!

Luckily the airbnb we were staying in during lockdown in Agnes Water agreed to let us rent from them for the next 12 months, which is a god send because we love the house so much.

Agnes Water is the kind of place people love to visit, but to live in takes a bit of compromising. As we’re 150km from the nearest cities of Gladstone in the north and Bundaberg in the south, we’ve had to give up the usual luxuries of shopping centres, gyms, cinemas etc. It sort of reminds us of living on an island which we kinda love.

Plus, it’s been a bit of a mission to buy any homewares living this remotely. No one will deliver and if they do, it’s so expensive it’s not worth it. We’ve done a fair few Ikea runs which takes a good 5 hours to get to the Brisbane store, but we’ve just got used to it.

Plus, I’m very excited after finding Grace Removals (from SIRELO which I promote on this site), they will be delivering our belongings soon from Newcastle NSW. I have not had all my stuff in one place for nearly 10 years! After also living out of suitcases for 3 years, I am unbelievably excited to have everything in one place again! More on our interstate move very soon.
The entrance to our favourite cafe in Agnes Water called 1770 Getaway!

We love how friendly everyone is in this little town, it literally brings out the best version of both of us. We love going for a swim in the morning and being able to watch the sunset over the water, a luxury to witness on the East Coast of Australia. And because it’s pretty quiet here, it means we can crack on with loads of work on this site and visit new places to share with you too.

The main thing is, we’re both really happy in Agnes at the moment and it’s a good feeling to know we can settle for a while. But who knows how long for! We love mixing things up and as travellers, who knows if we’ll ever stay in one place for a long period of time.

We’re Building A New Londoner In Sydney

Back in Sydney in July 2020.

As we’ve been spending a bit of time settling into a home, we’ve also been working hard on bringing you a new Londoner In Sydney. With an updated look and feel, we’ll be bringing you a website which will be much easier to find our content, plus some new features too!

Our Londoner In Sydney name won’t be changing either, even though we’re currently in Queensland at the moment. When we started the site in 2014, it was all about helping expats in Australia which included our weekend getaways from Sydney.

But, Londoner In Sydney has become much more than documenting Sydney life. As time goes on, we’re branching out to produce Australia-wide content to inspire you to visit more places on your holidays. Sydney will always feel like home for us and we’ll be visiting as much as we can when it’s safe to travel again.

So for now, we just thought we’d let you know where we’re at and we’re so excited to share our new site with you very soon!

Thanks for sticking by us, we really appreciate it!