With Australia renowned for its stunning beaches, rivers and inlets, it’s no surprise that so many over 50s want to move to a picturesque waterfront location in their retirement years.

January is a popular month to begin to consider such a retirement sea change, given many Australians get to explore these coastal locations as part of their annual Christmas-New Year school holidays.

The good news is that, to enjoy a ‘million dollar coastal lifestyle’, you don’t necessarily have to shell out a million dollars. In fact, Downsizing.com.au has found some great properties in waterfront sites which can be snapped up for $500,000 or less.

New South Wales locations

The Beachfront lifestyle community is located immediately behind Black Head Beach at the peaceful seaside heaven of Halliday’s Point, located just 20 minutes north of the NSW mid-north coast village of Forster.

Needless to say, the community is perfectly positioned for those who love beachside living. You will also find many birdlife and bushwalking tracks in the nearby national parks, including the Hallidays Point Rainforest Nature Walk, which takes you from Black Head to Diamond Beach.

This is a land lease community, which means you purchase the dwelling (without needing to pay stamp duty) and then rent the land on which the dwelling is located. Dwellings range in price from $292,000 to $380,000, and include both two and three bedrooms.

Beachfront lifestyle community at Halliday's Point

Meanwhile, Hampshire Villages’ Jettys by the Lake land lease community adjoins Lake Illawarra, at Windang in the State’s Illawarra region. 

At this community, pre-loved homes are usually above $360,000, with an absolute waterfront home currently on sale for $459,000. As of December, there weren’t any brand new homes available for sale.

At Jettys by the Lake, residents are said to enjoy “prawning, fishing, kayaking, crabbing and boating” - which sounds like a fantastic lifestyle! The site is close to Shellharbour and Wollongong, which both offer beaches, shops and medical facilities.

Jettys by the Lake community at Windang

Meanwhile, the NSW suburb of Chain Valley Bay, situated alongside Lake Macquarie, is one of the most regularly searched on our website. 

The suburb contains a number of land lease communities, including Teraglin Lakeshore Home Village where prices start at $215,000. 

You may also want to check out the Port Stephens region, a little to the north of Lake Macquarie, where you will find the Karuah Waters Estate land lease community on the banks of the Karuah River. New home prices start at $260,000.

Queensland locations

Maroochy Lifestyle Resort is located on the gentle Maroochy River at Maroochydore in the State’s Sunshine Coast. The wonderful waterfront location provides many opportunities for fishing, boating, crabbing and bird watching as well as a myriad of water sports.

This community has an active and very friendly social committee that makes full use of its new community centre. Residents enjoy regular Friday night get togethers at the onsite Shali’s Courtyard Café as well as exciting day trips on the community bus.

Dwelling prices range from $375,000 to $415,000, with two and three bedrooms available.

Maroochy Lifestyle Resort

Meanwhile, prices start at $449,000 at Seachange Riverside Coomera on the Gold Coast. 

Positioned on the banks of the Coomera River, this boutique community is limited to 124 premium homes. The resort features a five-star country club.

Victorian locations

Pelican Shores is located on Corio Bay, just outside of Geelong and at the gateway to the Bellarine Peninsula. There is a village boardwalk that runs along the waterfront, which many residents use to go for a walk, including with their dog.

The village is exceedingly well-named, given adjoining waterway is home to many friendly pelicans and black swans.

At Pelican Shores, absolute waterfront homes sell for around $500,000. However other homes within the village start at around $220,000. Brand new homes are around $350,000 mark.

Pelican Shores is 10 minutes from Geelong and an hour from Melbourne, so has easy access to shops, medical facilities and transport. Its close proximity to the Bellarine Peninsula also allows for easy outings to historic townships, beaches and wineries.

Pelican Shores village near Geelong

Although its entry price of $515,000 is a little over the $500,000 mark, it is also worth considering Rivervue, which is situated on the Maribyrnong River just 9km from the Melbourne CBD. The site includes two hectares of private parkland alongside the river.

Western Australian locations

Western Australia’s long coastline and rivers provide a great backdrop for retirement living. 

You can, for instance, check out, Mandurah Gardens Estate where a three-bedroom home with sweeping river views is available for $249,000.

Meanwhile, you can find properties starting from $270,000 at St Ives Greenfields, which is  surrounded by parklands and lagoon on all sides.

Waterfront sites across Australia

Downsizing.com.au is your number one location to find over 50s homes across Australia, including retirement villages, land lease communities and general downsizer-friendly homes. 

Take the following steps to find waterfront sites in your preferred area.

  1. Search for a suburb on our home page
  2. Go the ‘filters’ tab at the top of the results page
  3. Scroll down to ‘Onsite facilities’ and click on ‘waterfront sites’ and then update your search.

You can also search for properties with a range of other aquatic facilities, including boat storage areas, boat ramps and swimming pools.