Life in Carlyle Gardens is a breeze – with ocean breezes to boot

Carlyle Gardens Retirement Village attracts residents from all over the world!

Like honey to a bee, Carlyle Gardens Retirement Village attracts residents from all over the world, who seek out sunshine, ocean breezes, and a relaxed beachside lifestyle.

Take Noel and Judy Bowman, who have lived in Carlyle Gardens for almost 12 months. After raising their children in Tasmania, they travelled for nine years, lived in Japan, and then drove their caravan north to visit their daughters in Gladstone.

“We dropped into the Sunshine Coast but kept travelling to get away from the traffic!,” said Noel. “Our daughters told us, ‘you have to go to Bargara’. And when we visited, we knew this was it.”

They lived in a house in Bargara for a few years and, when it was time to downsize, originally chose an apartment on the waterfront. However, they didn’t envisage the difficulties of apartment living – “there was small parking underneath and it was a process to take the rubbish out,” said Noel.

“Living in Carlyle Gardens is a breeze compared to that. In hindsight, we should have moved from the house direct to Carlyle.”

Fellow Carlyle Gardens resident Eleanor McGiveron, who goes by Lenny, moved into the village in mid-July. After growing up in Canada, she moved to Australia 40 years ago to start a bird watching tour company with her partner in Cairns.

“Cairns was coming along in tourism at the time,” Lenny explained. We would normally take four people out on a tour, either over two weeks or as little as one day. A lot of people from the US would come.”

Lenny is an adventurer at heart and loves to travel and see the world. Her partner was an archaeologist and she once quit her job to go backpacking with him while still at university, going through Mexico, Belize and Peru. “With him being an archaeologist, we got to see all the sites!,” she revealed.

She moved away from Cairns 30 years ago to settle in Coral Cove, and found this area offered the best of both worlds. “I’m still able to walk to the beach but I’m much happier in Bargara away from the heat,” she said.

As for what prompted her move to Carlyle Gardens, the management and maintenance of a large property proved too difficult. “I lived on three quarters of an acre in a big house and it was getting hard to manage, with the pruning and weeding. I knew I had to size down,” she said.

“I like the village feeling and the community aspect to Carlyle,” she said. “The best thing about it is the care of the grounds. I love the privacy of the shrubs, rather than fences. It’s open and breezy, I love it!”

Noel agreed with this sentiment. “Just look about you!,” he said. “Carlyle gets nice breezes off the ocean, and you can hear the waves at night.”

“It’s the sense of freedom about this place; you can get involved in as much or little as you like. And it’s Carlyle Gardens – this is what sets it apart, and its spaciousness.”

Noel recently went travelling in his caravan, taking in Cobar in Western NSW as well as Melbourne. He left Judy behind knowing she would be safe – “and she had bridge to attend!,” Noel added with a laugh.

Judy is an avid bridge player and has found many friends in the village to play with. She also loves the beach activities that the location allows. “When the weather is right I do water aerobics and swim every day,” she said. “I usually do 1km early in the morning.”

Judy loves her bridge so much that when Noel recently ripped his arm open while tinkering in the garage, he calmly called the emergency call button. But, when Maintenance Manager Graham Lauriston came to help, he was under strict instructions from Noel: “‘Don’t call Judy – she’s at bridge!’ So Graham wrote a note to Judy saying, ‘Noel’s had an accident, but don’t worry, just call the hospital as he’ll be fine.’”

That sense of security and community is part of what makes Carlyle Gardens special. When asked about his favourite memory from living in Carlyle Gardens, Noel didn’t hesitate. “Friendships, in a word,” he said.

As for Judy, she said “all the entertainment has been absolutely first class. It’s the balance. I am happier here and couldn’t recommend it more.”

“This is one of the best moves we’ve ever made,” concurred Noel.

You might also be interested in:

Our villages

With 28 unique locations across three states, RetireAustralia's communities cater to a range of needs and preferences.