Why the Toners made the move to Rockhampton

Car entering Rockhampton Base Hospital

Why Rockhampton

Tom and Lisa Toner who recently made the move to Rockhampton Region

Tom and Lisa Toner who recently made the move to Rockhampton Region

Eating out and days out are some of the hallmarks of a luxuriously laidback life in Rockhampton for recently arrived British migrants, Lisa and Tom Toner.

Originally from Wirral in the North West of England near Liverpool, Lisa (31) and Tom (34) spent the last couple of years living in Leeds, West Yorkshire before choosing to move to Australia in January.

“After having busy lives and a long commuting time in England we wanted to live somewhere laid back but with easy access to everything we would need as a young couple. We wanted a new base that would allow us to explore further within Australia and South East Asia where we both love,” said Lisa.

Despite being offered employment in Western Australia, Northern Territory and also in Townsville, Tom and Lisa settled on Rockhampton where Tom now works as a clinical nurse consultant with Queensland Health and Lisa with Alzheimer’s Australia as a Community Development Officer.

Queensland was always top of our wish list as we have visited twice before and have previously travelled from Cairns south to Sydney.  Rockhampton appealed to us due to its location and its ease of access to the rest of Queensland and in particular the Great Barrier Reef. We needed to live somewhere with easy access to the coast. In addition it appealed to us that it’s only a 60 minute flight to Brisbane should we want the sights and sounds of a big city.

So is Rockhampton the city that pretty much has it all? It isn’t often that you can have a buck each way or access the best of both worlds but Rockhampton really is a place that seems to effortlessly cheat the modern life quandary: how to access city conveniences without forfeiting work/life balance.

From our research on the internet we expected a quiet town, potentially with some cowboys and a country and western feel.  We weren’t sure we would be able to get everything we would need relocating to another country. We hoped it would be more affordable than living in a larger city but we are both impressed!

“We were very pleasantly surprised. We got off the plane during peak summer and the heat did not put us off.  Straight away we felt Rockhampton was undersold during our research and had so much to offer. We can get everything we need here and more, there are stunning outdoor areas such as the Botanic Gardens, and the drive to the coast is beautiful. Lots of shops and it didn’t have the country and western feel we expected.”

“It has been a long process in moving from England to Rockhampton. Everything has been made easier by all the lovely locals who have helped us on our way.  It can be daunting arriving in a new place with lots of practical things to arrange but lots have people have pointed us in the right direction.  We have thrown ourselves into the community to meet new people, we have joined a local gym, Tom joined a football team and I have joined the Central Queensland Women’s Network.  We have also gone to CQ Eat Streets and loved the Rockhampton River Festival,” added Lisa.

People in front of Customs House at Rockhampton River Festival 2017

For anyone considering a move to Rockhampton for work or for any other reason, the Toners recommendation is to come and give it a try.

We can’t believe how lucky we are to have Great Keppel Island on our doorstep. We have already planned a trip to 1770 and are going to try surfing. We love that you can get to most places in Rockhampton in around 15 minutes and our daily commute to work has reduced from 45 mins each way to 10 minutes.

The weather is glorious and it feels like we have a lot more quality time together.  We love spending our days off outdoors in the parks, outdoor pool or on the beach. We miss our family and friends but we are hoping they will visit and see for themselves how lovely Rockhampton and surrounding areas are”.