The coastal hamlets of Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest in NSW - known as the favoured holiday destination of former Prime Minister John Howard - have once again been named as Australia’s oldest communities.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released today provides a breakdown of the youngest and oldest locations across the country in 2020.
Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens are small towns, with a combined population of around 4,100 people, connected by the ‘Singing Bridge’. This bridge is so named because it makes a whistling noise in high winds.
Both are located in the NSW Mid-North Coast, on the northern foreshore of Port Stephens.
Former Prime Minister Howard and his family holidayed at Hawks Nest for 19 years, but stopped doing this in the late 1990s after a campaigning local newspaper published a photo of the Howards’ holiday home on its front page.
The median age of Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens has increased from 62.7 per cent in 2018 to 63.4 in 2020, indicating that the area’s popularity as a retirement destination is increasing.
According to the ABS, the locations with the next highest median age are:
- Cooloola, in the Wide Bay region in Queensland (61.4 years)
- Tuncurry, on the NSW Mid-North Coast (61.1 years)
- Bribie Island, on Moreton Bay North in Queensland (61.1 years); and
- The towns of Goolwa and Port Elliot in South Australia (59.8 years).
In 2018, Sussex Inlet in NSW’s south coast was in the top five list for older people, but it has since dropped out.
Meanwhile, Acton and Duntroon in the Australian Capital Territory top the list for the youngest localities in Australia (with median ages of 22.8 and 23.3 years respectively). Acton is home to many students from the Australian National University.
This is followed by Yarrabah in far north Cairns, with a median age of 23.4.
The youngest capital was Darwin with a median age of 34.7 years, while Hobart was the oldest (39.7).
The median age for capital cities (36.5 years) was also younger than the rest of Australia (41.4 years).
Find out more:
- Escape from the city: Small regional towns where retirees can save money and have a great lifestyle
- How to access Australia's glamour downsizing areas for a fraction of the price
- Link to latest ABS statistics
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