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Retire To Echuca, Ambassador Ian's Update

Echuca Ambassador Ian sent us an update on life in Echuca. Ian moved from the Northern Territory to Echuca (after buying a copy of Where To Retire In Australia).

'Actually, the work situation has been about the only thing that we have found difficult in the move. I have had a couple of jobs since coming here but not all that challenging and enjoyable. Still I keep looking and applying for various things. It has been an interesting aspect one way and another. Add to that the drought affecting this part of Victoria and the GFC and it gets pretty tricky but we are surviving so I guess that is OK.

The weather here is pretty good. No good rain to speak of but it is dry compared to the Territory. We are slowly getting used to the concept of ‘winter’ although we much prefer the warmth still.

One thing that I have been enjoying is the challenge of gardening here. We have dug up all the lawn and laid pebbles since there is no point in watering lawn and weeds! I have a small garden - we have some roses that take a fair bit of work. I also have a vege garden that is going well. On one side of the yard we have orange, lemon and lime trees and on the other side I have planted a nectarine tree (absolutely delightful fruit off it this year), a satsuma plum and tomato, eggplant, capsicum and asparagus.

I am also trying to get some Sturt Desert Pea seeds to grow and that is a huge challenge! I can get it to the seedling stage but so far not beyond so I keep trying! We have a couple of olive trees along the fence which are fruiting well but the pickling process is a pain so I am thinking about replacing them with an apricot and cherry trees this year. We figure if we prune the fruit trees to just above fence height they will remain manageable and provide us with some nice fruit.

The interesting thing we have found is that everyone we talk to asks us “Why Echuca?” The answer is, "We got onto this book, 'Where to Retire in Australia' and Echuca rated a mention so we came for a look. We liked it so much that we moved here." The rest is history. People are fascinated that we moved so far and I guess it was a big step but given that there are limited facilities for growing old in the NT I don't think it was such a difficult decision.

We have been out to lunch at Morrisons, a restaurant and winery on the River. Very nice!

It is also good to go for lunch on the Paddle Steamer - there is nothing better than sitting in the shade on the aft deck with good food and a glass of wine watching the river pass by. People just don't know what they are missing!!

Overall I think our choices were pretty good!