Is a tree or sea change the right move for you?

It’s a thing many of us consider – packing up the city life and heading for the beach, the hills, or the country. Whether this is driven by a desire for more affordable homes, living more in touch with nature, or just for some peace and quiet, a tree or sea change may have all of this and more.

Benefits of a tree change or sea change

Some potential benefits of a tree or sea change may include:

  • A clearer, cleaner environment.
  • A slower, more relaxed lifestyle.
  • Lower living costs.
  • Meeting new people.
  • Being part of a close-knit community.

Things to consider before making a tree or sea change


Leaving the hustle and bustle of the city behind means saying goodbye to peak-hour traffic, packed pathways, and a fast-paced way of life. In return, a tree or sea change can offer a slower, calmer lifestyle and, potentially, a better work/life balance.

Cost of living in rural and coastal areas

The upward trend in the cost of living is putting pressure on everyone. Rural and coastal towns are feeling the pinch too – according to the Australian Institute of Health1, people living in rural and remote areas generally pay more for goods and services, while earning less in income. This means, depending on your chosen getaway spot, your living costs may go up rather than down.

Be sure to do your research beforehand – you don’t want to find out how expensive somewhere is after you’ve made the move.

Finding employment in a tree change or sea change location

If you’re planning to move and are yet to retire, be sure to investigate what job opportunities are in the area. Research, explore, talk to locals, and consider chatting with a financial advisor.

This may even be the chance to start up your own business or do some volunteer work. So get out there and see what you can find!

Housing options in a tree change or sea change location

Australia is in a housing crisis, and the effects of this are not only found in our major cities. Many idyllic towns are now mostly made up of short-term rentals2, meaning that securing somewhere to live may be more difficult than in years gone by.

Increasing populations and house prices1 in many popular getaway and retirement locations (like the Sunshine Coast) mean some towns may hit your wallet harder than lesser-known alternatives. Consider what works best work you and what you value most. And if you’re after a quieter lifestyle, avoiding the crowd is a good place to start.

Access to health services in rural and coastal areas

While living away from the city has its perks, fewer health services probably isn’t one of them, with many small towns unable to offer every health service locally. Consider the impacts of this, and take the time to research the local health services before making the move. You may even want to book an appointment at the local GP and have your questions answered.

Transport options

Say goodbye to trams and the metro – and often even buses, too! In smaller towns, a car is king. You may still be able to go without if you live right in the heart of your new community, but if not, transport for everyday things like groceries, visiting friends, and seeing the sights can become a real issue.

To get a proper idea of what the transport options are, it can help to have a short stay in the town you’re thinking of moving to – plus, you can always ask the locals what it’s like!

If you do find yourself behind the wheel, consider car insurance. Apia Comprehensive Car Insurance provides cover for accidental loss or damage to your car caused by an insured event including flood, fire and theft, as well as legal liability (up to $20 million) for damage your car causes to other people’s vehicle or property. Read the PDS for more details.

Explore Comprehensive Car Insurance


Though you may be moving away from existing friends and family, there are plenty of new friends to make!

There is often a greater sense of community in smaller towns, which can be quite the change from the anonymous suburban blocks and apartment towers you may be used to.

There are plenty of ways to connect with your new community. Here are some examples:

  • Join a hobby club or gym.
  • Frequent local cafes.
  • Volunteer at an op-shop.
  • Head on down to the local pub or RSL.

You’ll start seeing familiar faces before you know it!

Insurance after a sea change or tree change

Once you’ve made the change, don’t forget home insurance! The last thing you’d want is to have to replace your things right after a big move. Plus, if you have two or more eligible policies with Apia, you could get 10% off your premium with our Multi-Policy Discount^.

Apia Home and Contents Insurance provides cover for a wide range of insured events, including:

  • flood, storm and fire (including bushfire)*
  • theft or burglary, and
  • damage caused by an animal – which means you’re covered if your new roo neighbours come by uninvited and become accidentally trapped inside your home!

Limits, exclusions and conditions apply. To find out more about insured events, refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement.

Explore Apia Home and Contents Insurance

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1 Rural and remote health |

2 Air BnB in rural towns |

*Actions or movements of the sea and loss or damage due to storm surge are not covered (unless the storm surge damage occurs at the same time as damage caused by storm), other exclusions apply. There is also no cover for bushfire, storm, storm surge, flood or tsunami in the first 72 hours of your policy. Very limited exceptions apply. For full details including limitations, exclusions and conditions that apply and what constitutes a 'flood', please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement.

^ A multi–policy discount (MPD) rewards you with a discount off your premium for holding two or more eligible paid Apia general insurance policies. There must be a common mailing address and the person(s) seeking the discount must be nominated as an insured with the exact same name on each eligible policy.

Eligible Apia general insurance policies are home, contents, landlord, car, motorcycle, boat, caravan and motorhome insurance. This discount does not apply to the Personal valuables, Apia Home Assist, Excess-free Glass and Apia Roadside Assist optional covers.

If you take out a new policy and qualify for the MPD, you are eligible for the MPD on that new policy from its start date (if the discount is not applied at purchase, we endeavour to process the discount within 90 days from policy start date). You are eligible to receive the MPD on your other existing eligible policies from their next renewal date, provided you are eligible for the MPD when we calculate your renewal offer. If you quote a new policy via our website, we rely on your answers to our questions to establish eligibility. Please phone us if you believe you are eligible for the MPD but it is not shown on your certificate of insurance. See full terms and conditions.

Australian Pensioners Insurance Agency Pty Limited ABN 14 099 650 996 is an authorised representative of AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807, the product issuer. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. 


The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.