Herald Sun - Property

Welcome to the good life

- For more informatio­n see senciatheb­reeze.com.au

When Max Ramage travelled from Echuca to visit his daughter, who lives on the Bellarine Peninsula, he never imagined he’d end up finding a new place to call home.

However, by the end of the trip Max, 84 (pictured), had become one of the first residents to secure a villa at The Breeze Point Lonsdale, a premium retirement living community.

Almost 18 months after moving into his spacious two-bedroom home, Max and his 16-year-old miniature poodle, Sam, are leading a busy life. Max couldn’t be happier.

“I had no plans to move here, but I used to live by the beach and so the idea of being close to the sea again appealed to me,” Max said. “And when I learned more about The Breeze, and all the facilities that were going to be available to residents, I decided to move. I’ve got no regrets at all about moving.”

Just a 25-minute drive from Geelong, and close to Queensclif­f and Ocean Grove, The Breeze has its own exclusive amenities for residents. The club-style Waterside Pavilion features a lounge, dining and bar area, a heated indoor pool and a fully equipped gym. Billiard tables, a movie theatre, an arts studio, a library and a bowling green also form part of the lifestyle on offer at The Breeze.

Developed by Sencia, who have owned and operated retirement and aged care facilities around Australia since the 1970s, The Breeze includes 158 villas and 12 apartments which surround the Waterside Pavilion hub.

Max, a retired school teacher, was the second resident to move to The Breeze and he is an active member of the community.

A keen gardener, he helps take care of the two edible gardens, ensuring everyone can enjoy fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs.

“With some of the other residents, I help plant, water and maintain the gardens,” Max said. “I’m on the watering roster and we’ve planted pumpkins, blueberrie­s and citrus fruits.

“About three times a week I cycle with about a dozen other residents. At the end of the ride, we have coffee and a chat.”

Max also makes the most of the paths alongside the surroundin­g waterways and walks Sam in the morning and afternoon.

He’s also often spotted on the bowling green and, when it’s time to catch up with his neighbours, Max makes use of the theatre, barbecue area, bar and cafe.

“There’s so much to do at The Breeze that I just don’t have enough hours in the day to do everything,” Max said.

“But it’s not only the facilities that make life here enjoyable. People look out for each other and care about each other — it’s fantastic to be part of the community.”

For Peter and Christine Briggs, most mornings begin with a 3.5km walk or a dip in the pool. Later, the active couple (pictured main) might enjoy a game of tenpin bowling or head to the gym for a workout.

All the amenities they need to stay fit are at their doorstep, courtesy of the five-star Country Club at the heart of GemLife Woodend.

The over-50s lifestyle resort in the Macedon Ranges is the first GemLife developmen­t in Victoria.

Ideal for couples, like the Briggs, who prefer to stay active, healthy and connected, the resort offers highqualit­y, spacious homes and high-end amenities. At the heart of the resort is the Country Club that opened its doors in December.

“The Country Club facilities are akin to what you’d find in a five-star hotel,” GemLife director of sales and marketing Andrew Coulter said.

“We’ve developed a resort that is attracting a younger, active demographi­c who enjoy a highqualit­y lifestyle. So, we invested around $11m in building a Country Club that includes everything from a luxury cinema, a wine room, a library and a bar, to a tenpin bowling alley, an indoor pool and a ballroom. We’re confident there’s no other Country Club in Victoria quite like it.”

“I love the Country Club – especially the golf simulator room,” Christine said. “I can bring up any golf course in the world and play.”

The couple didn’t know any residents when they moved to Woodend, but the Country Club has provided plenty of opportunit­ies to meet, mingle and make new friends.

“It’s definitely an important place to meet and socialise — and the beauty of it is that we’re only about five houses away. We can enjoy all the facilities and we don’t have to drive anywhere,” Peter said. “Friends and family have met us at the

Country Club and can’t believe what we have. We couldn’t be happier.”

GemLife operates differentl­y to traditiona­l retirement villages with residents buying their home and paying a weekly site fee to lease the land – similar to a body corporate fee. If they later sell, any capital gains are theirs and there are no stamp duty fees or entry or exit fees.

For more informatio­n call 1800 931 188 or see gemlife.com.au

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