BIG MOVE: Stewart and Lorraine Richmond moved to Bundaberg from France.
BIG MOVE: Stewart and Lorraine Richmond moved to Bundaberg from France. Contributed

New arrival explains why he chose Bundy over France

WHY Bundaberg?

This is the first question we are asked when we tell people we have returned to Australia after four years living like locals in France.

My wife, Lorraine, and I moved to France to experience new cultures and immerse ourselves in European history.

Affordable housing, great bread, cheap cheese and plenty of wine were bonuses.

We bought an old maison d'maitre (masters house) on two acres in a small town well off the tourist route in Limousin and settled into rural French lifestyle with our two dogs.

The house itself was a bit ostentatious for two people. Eight bedrooms and three bathrooms over three floors plus a huge cellar. The property backed onto a cemetery so while we had a lot of neighbours, they were very quiet.

Our view was over a valley to picturesque mountains in the distance.

The boulangerie (bakery) for fresh baguettes and croissants was a short walk away.

One of my ambitions was to walk in the footsteps of famous people from history. Among others, I stood where Joan of Arc was burnt, where Richard the Lionheart was fatally shot with a crossbow bolt and where Saint Dominic spent nine years trying to convince the Cathars to return to the Catholic Church.

We spent time in Spain and Portugal, as well as making several trips to the Hungarian capital Budapest for dental work (cheap and excellent), where we did the usual things like take a cruise on the Danube and soak in ancient thermal baths.

But for family reasons and hating the six-month-long cold European winters, we decided to return to Australia.

Which brings us back to the question of why Bundaberg?

Before deciding where to live we did a lot of research.

We wanted to live somewhere warm. Somewhere close to a beach and which has good facilities like healthcare and shopping but not too big. We wanted good travel options like an airport and trains.

Simply, Bundaberg ticked all the boxes.

It is a vibrant, modern city offering everything the big cities have but retaining its small-town charm.

Real estate is affordable and we bought a fabulous old Queenslander in a cul-de-sac and have terrific neighbours. There is a big park nearby for walking.

Bargara Beach is only 10 minutes away, we've joined a local club and look forward to getting to know plenty of people.

Sure, we miss some of the things in France, like buying wine at the supermarket and trying to decide between 200 different cheeses.

But when it comes to liveability and lifestyle, Bundaberg has it all.



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