Newly-wed downsizers David and Anthea Yates were willing to travel 200km across South Australia for the chance to start a new life together.

The couple, both in their early 70s, married in February 2020 and in the same month moved from the regional centre of Waikerie to Stockland Hillsview retirement village in Happy Valley, south of Adelaide.

David and Anthea met around two years ago, after David - as a local men’s shed volunteer - helped Anthea move into her home at Waikerie. David had joined the men’s shed after the passing of his previous wife.

“It blossomed into a love affair,” said David.

The couple decided to get married, have their honeymoon and move - all in the same month. 

Anthea and David on their wedding day

David and Anthea had several reasons to move regions, including to find better weather, be closer to family, meet new friends, reduce home maintenance and simply to leave the past behind.

“I was living on my own at an eight hectare property, which had a lot of natural scrubland and a  four bedroom home,” said David.

“It was a lot of land to maintain and it had hot, dry and dusty weather conditions.

“Anthea and I then decided to move, after we stayed here in the retirement village for a trial period for a week and absolutely loved what they had to offer.

“In addition, we’ve both had heartaches during our lives and we needed to move away to be able to ease the hurt and the memories...not to completely forget but to ease the pain, and to start a new life together.”

For Anthea, it was important that she moved closer to her daughter and grandsons, and also meet new friends in a like-minded community.

“I found that, in a small and very close community (such as Waikerie), and as someone who was a retiree who didn’t take children to school, that it was hard to meet people.

“I enjoy living here in the retirement village where everyone is in a similar age group and friendly.”

A scene from the grounds at Stockland Hillsview

Darren Ward, Village Manager at Stockland’s Hillsview Retirement Village, said that many residents from regional locations have been attracted to Hillsview as a retirement option.

"Almost half of our new residents in the last twelve months have moved from regional locations including the Riverland, Barossa Valley, Victor Harbor and Strathalbyn,” said Mr Ward. 

“Hillsview offers a sense of space and community, and beautiful views. “It has the country feel but is close to facilities, health services and it is pet-friendly which is often a drawcard for residents.”