Geerlings go for the Good Life in Grenfell
Highway designers David and Karen Geerlings have hit the road, swapping a two-bedroom apartment in Sydney’s CBD for a five-bedroom historic home and large, established rose garden in Grenfell, central New South Wales.
“All of our family members say we look 10 years younger,” says Karen, now firmly ensconced in their new community after making the move in October 2020.
While the view from their Sydney balcony was hardly shabby – overlooking Hyde Park — the soundtrack was city traffic. Now, they run their national business from a home office which overlooks the beautiful Weddin Mountains and they’re serenaded with birdsong.
The Geerlings’ work over the past three decades has taken them across much of rural and regional Australia, but it’s Grenfell, with a population of two-and-a-half-thousand people, that they fell in love with during recent visits.
“We were immediately attracted to the stunning open landscapes, the four distinct seasons and discovering the genuine sense of community that exits in Grenfell,” says Karen.
David agrees, recounting that “shortly after moving in, a local arrived on our doorstep to welcome us with a plate of homemade cake.”
The self-confessed history buffs say Grenfell gave them the chance to buy a grand Federation home, built onto an 1868 cottage, all set amid one and a half acres of garden — a piece of paradise they’d never afford in Sydney or even other larger regional centres.
While COVID-19 was the catalyst for moving, the lower cost of living, reasonably priced tradespeople, and excellent digital connectivity were key influences behind their decision to relocate permanently.
They can get next-day freight from Sydney, 370 kilometres east, and it’s an easy drive to surrounding regional centres such as Forbes, Cowra and Young.
“Grenfell offers all the benefits of living regionally without feeling remote,” says Karen.