View Full Version : From city to country?

Katrina (Guest)
30-03-02, 01:14 PM
Well, I've done it, sold my inner-city house and bought a twenty-acre property with house about an hour out of Melbourne. Goodbye town water, town gas and nearby public transport, hello horses at home, quiet, space and mowing. :-)

I'm sure some of you have done the same thing, any advice for a city girl moving to the country? I've thought about doing this for ages, spent nearly two years looking for the right property, and think I'm prepared, but now that moving day is less than eight weeks away I'm getting anxious. What have I forgotten to think about? What things do I need to know? I'll be doing it on my own so it's a big step.

I think I've got moving day nerves! :-) Any reassurance or suggestions welcome.


Lin (Guest)
30-03-02, 01:29 PM
Want some advice, K? Don't get too stressed by having to feed the Big Terror at a certain time of the evening (if you are planning to hand feed). Much as horses like a routine they DO survive if they don't get fed at exactly 5.35 pm each night. :-)

I know that when I moved out to the Swan Valley I would rush home after work each night to do the horsey chores and if things conspired against me (eg late work or netball training) then I got really stressed that the nags weren't getting fed at the right time. I would try and tee up someone (ie my sis-in-law or nephews) to go and feed but they have their own lives and couldn't always find the time.

So some nights the horses would just have to get fed and put away when I damn well got home - and on netball nights that was at 11 pm! Yes, they were keen to go to bed when I got home finally but they hadn't been pacing up and down or fretting at all. Believe me, they cope!!

As for other advice, well, be prepared for never going out after work again. The last thing you feel like doing after getting home from the office on a week night is someone ringing up with a great dinner offer that involves travelling back into town!

Also, buy a ride-on mower and brushcutter. :-)

Have fun!! Can't wait to see it. Lin (possible Melb trip happening in July!!!)

Karen (Guest)
30-03-02, 01:42 PM
I did the same as you six years ago and haven't regretted it...however, there are some major adjustments: no local cafe's for coffee and breakfast, very limited access to takeaway foods, a supermarket trip needs planning, as do trips to the bank, cinema, dinners with friends etc.

Also don't underestimate the amount of maintenance you'll need to do on fences, pasture, clearing up for fire season (always a big task - which reminds me, you will need a bushfire plan for you and your horses). All this AND you have to put up with city friends talking about 'going bush' every time they visit you...I have developed some interesting muscles since coming out here (!) and have, by necessity, had to develop a network of tractor owners, water carters, fencing people etc

However, after a hard day working in the city there is honestly nothing better than escaping home to the fresh air, the dogs, horses and the sounds of the bush at night. If I'm home in time I might get to ride, take the dogs for a walk, say hello or wave to people who actually respond (!) and generally marvel at the sheer beauty of it all. Now, instead of feeling trapped on a Saturday morning and needing to escape into the country, I am already there. After feeding the horses, I trot back to bed with a cuppa and gaze at my heavenly view.....


country girl (Guest)
30-03-02, 02:23 PM
Check on the average rainfall in the area and if there are long periods with no rain, think of having a bore put in. When we moved to the country it was the first thing we did. It meant not having to worry if we had a long dry spell. Water for us and the horses without having to 'take care' We can shower as long as we like, wash the horses, water the garden, irrigate the paddocks, without having to worry that we might run out.

Kassy (Guest)
31-03-02, 01:51 AM
I envy you totally. My greatest wish is to move from Sydney to the country (about 1 hour from town)but have reluctant husband and children!!! I longingly look at the real estate ads and picture myself in some of these lovely places with my horse(s) (obviously when I have my own place the amount of animals I will have willincrease!). I will just have to be patient I suppose.
Good luck with your move and enjoy the peace & tranquility and the best thing of all you can spend as much time as you like with your horses.....
All the best

31-03-02, 02:57 AM
Lucky girl, I am sure you will love it. we did it a few years back and never looked back. We put in a large rainwater tank to back up the dam and have had no water probs. We have occasional power outages but can live with that (make sure you have some candles). You may find it harder to get shopping at good city prices, my hubby does mine in Perth as he works up there mid week. Get used to such things as knowing your neighbours and townfolk, bird life, stars at night, peace and clean air, etc... and good luck!

Katrina (Guest)
01-04-02, 09:47 AM
Thank you all! Postive advice and experiences. :-)

You must come and visit Lin...it's a big house, I think I can find a spare bedroom or three for you. :-)

I think a fire plan is a must as well...I thought I'd contact the CFA and ask them for assistance. Moving in the middle of winter will give me a couple of months to plan and organise.

Now all I need is a ride-on mower...

Chas (Guest)
01-04-02, 02:40 PM
Hi Katrina,
Welcome to the country bumpkin lifestyle - can be as frustrating as hell, but none of us would swap it for quids !!!
I have spent a fair bit of my lifetime as a farmer, and have now scaled down to 25 acres and the horses, as well as agistment.
There are too many things to mention but if you have any queries feel free to drop us a line - if we don't know or have an opinion I can ususally point you in the right direction for help.
Biggest one is water - that is drinking water a la household, and stock water cum garden water. If you have adequate supllies of these then everyhing else can be acquired if need be. ( you can in fact buy water but it wil be a tad expensive).

Local knowledge is the best, ask around for advice, ask who are the best operators, most of these if you ask will be more than willing to offer some advice to someone keen enough to ask.
All the best for your new venture,
Chas and A-M


02-04-02, 02:17 AM
Hey Katrina!!

Welcome to the country world... now... I've just moved too from a suburban home, to acreage.. and it's the best thing we could have done!

Now.. just watch out for all the star gazing/view gazing you'll do from the bedroom/kitchen/any window.... *laughs*

The peace and quiet, you'll adore....

Ride on Lawnmover, with a trailer attachment thats a tipper too, is handy as anything, as you can collect the wood throughout the paddocks and turf it into the trailer (rather than gasp halfway up the hill trying to lug it all...!)

You can also put horse manure in it (if cleaning stables)... and dump it as FAR away from the house as possible (rather than take 30 mins to get to the end of the paddock with the wheelbarrow... and then add on more trips! ugh!).. gets the fly population down, and no stink as a bonus! We tend to put all ours into any possible holes - fill them up/fill in the bouncy sections on the land outlay, to smooth it out even more...

Be water conservative as much as possible, you never know when you just might run out...

Feel free to email me if you wish to 'swap' stories etc... :-)

Rachael (Guest)
02-04-02, 04:04 AM
HI Katrina
I made the move a couple of years ago too. Best thing I've ever done. Lots of good advice above. I think the main thing for me has been building up that network of skilled people (fencing, plumbing etc)and best of all great neighbours (whole road actually). Getting all the right gear has also taken a bit of time and money but is well worth it. I have a little spreader (for super/seed etc) that tows behind my mower and a spray unit that does also. Sure beats carrying spray units around on your back. Everything you buy or get done, spend the extra and get the best, it really does save in the long run.
With all the friends that come to visit (and I am sure they will),do what I do and put them to work! We have sort of working bees at my place, followed by a huge dinner or BBQ and loads of wine. People really love it, a day in the country, fall into bed exausted, big cooked breaky next morning LOL! Its amazing how much you can get done.
Good luck and enjoy. Also one more bit of advice, I have had a huge learning curve but am starting to get there by asking locals. Feed stores, local trades people, actually my milkbar and post office are an absolute mine of information and can always tell me where to go or who to talk to about any subject. People have been so friendly and are always willing to help.

Anna (Guest)
02-04-02, 04:41 AM

We did the same thing 14 months ago and there is no turning back. We are so glad we did it. My children love it as they are now attending the best little country school with such a nice community.

We are always working on the property and we are currently half way building the new arena. We have some more fencing to finish of and a couple of stables. The list is really going to be endless as we have to also eventually renovate the house too.

Don't get stressed about moving, it will all fall into place.

When we moved, we were also relocating my husbands business in the same week and we still managed. You'll be right.

I love the country now and I would never move back to suburbia. We left all the creature comforts and went back to almost ancient times. At least you will always have plenty to do and never get bored.

Good luck and remember, your horse will love it too.

Brockie (Guest)
02-04-02, 04:52 PM
> Now all I need is a ride-on mower...

You have one - his name is Red :-)

Kelley (Guest)
03-04-02, 02:51 AM
Welcome to the country lifestyle Katrina!!!!!

We did the move coming on to 4 years ago and I have to say that I would never move back into the 'burbs again. In fact now I have experienced the fringe lifestyle (70 kms away from Melbourne City) I would love to move further away, but alas being a suburban worker I couldn't do it and maintain the lifestyle I want.

My big thing when I first moved was worry about tank water and what to do if we ran out. There are just the two of us humans with a 20,000 gallon tank. In summer I water the garden every second day, wash 2 horses every day and the other two once a week or so (retiree and broody), fill their drinking baths every day x 2, washing machine twice daily (how do all those clothes get sooooo dirty), showers daily sometimes twice depending how grotty I am after getting home from work and riding the neddies and the dishwasher twice a week. Over summer the most that we have used with the above practices is about 6 inches down the tank of water, which is nothing. Yes water is a precious commodity but you pay on average about $120-180 for 2,500 gallons so if push came to shove you just buy it in.

Definitely a ride-on mower!

As someone earlier said, the best thing is the weekends - you get up out of bed, go out feed up, whatever, and the bliss of just being there is terrific! The silence, the birds, the lifestyle, the friendly (or even not so friendly sometimes) neighbours are just great. Your own piece of paradise.

LindaH (Guest)
03-04-02, 03:22 AM
A ride on mower is nice, but we survive with his and hers push mowers. It's good excercise and a bonding experience at the same time :-). Well I keep telling myself that. One great addition is one of those septic tanks that allows you to use waste water for your trees or paddocks.

JVJ (Guest)
03-04-02, 03:24 AM
Congratulations Katrina.
It is a move that will change the priorities in you life for ever. Ragwort, capeweed and thistles will take up more of your time than cafes and window shopping. Mowing grass, fixing fences and clearing fire breaks, will give you muscles where you didn't know you had any...but most of all, quiet, starry nights, nickering horses, misty mornings and chattering parrots will ensure you enjoy your new home....and ofcourse, getting out of bed, grabbing a coffee, and then going for a ride...while the dew is still wet on the grass and the rest of the world is just about to wake up.....ahhh....what more could you need.?
...A brush cutter is a must, a ride on with a trailor and a chain saw...and a camera...there will be so many moments that you will want to catch on film and keep.

Mo (Guest)
03-04-02, 05:56 AM
Lucky you. We also did the big move 6 years ago. Best thing I have done in my life.

The first thing I did was to go on a "Farm Management Course for Horse Owners" I am in SA and these courses are being run all the time. Hopefully there is something like that where you are. They taught us heaps about keeping the place healthy and weed free, stocking rates, soil sampling for fertilizing etc. Also had guest speakers (spray contractors, weed experts, etc) You also do property planning. They give you lists of local contractors, agencies that help (Water catchment people etc, I had trouble with my dam and they were there the next day - FREE!).

Goodluck and ENJOY.

Cheers, Mo

Good Choice !!!! (Guest)
03-04-02, 06:54 AM
Good on you Katrina. I have been pondering the same move for some time now also. It's just too expensive locally, but could get a great set up further out of Melbourne at an affordable price. Good luck you. Maybe I will find some inspiration from you.

Katrina (Guest)
03-04-02, 07:25 AM
Thanks for the comments, suggestions and advice everyone! I'm starting to get excited...I know there will be a lot of work, but I think it will be (mostly) enjoyable. :-)

I'm moving to Trentham in Central Victoria, which has fairly high rainfall. I'll have one 10,000 gallon house tank, a stock tank, plus there is a bore, but it's never been used, so it has no pump. I'm thinking about installing a pump, and running the bore into a holding tank with a diesal pump in case of fire.

I'm looking forward to having Red in the back garden, and having some space and quiet, those added muscles people keep talking about will be a bonus! Although most of the property has good fencing, it's not set up for horses, so I'm already planning an arena and some day yards.

Thank you all.



Jan Heine
03-04-02, 12:49 PM
Hey there katrina - damned fine move - my piece of advice - watch the water when you brush your teeth - had this discussion with someone on the weeeknd- I was a country girl who moved to the city and then back to country - the one thing I cannot grasp with city folk is leaving the tap running when they brush their teeth - my mother would clip us around the ears if she caught us doing that.*grin*

Also don't be afraid to buy water if you have to - my last place we went through a pretty mean drought time and were buying water throughout the winter - actually you buy the cartage the water is free - honest that is how it works - and I had the option of putting on mains water - worked out the cost of rates etc and it was a huge amount (like nearly thousand) cheaper per year to buy in water when the tanks ran dry - just tastes horris because it is mains water you are buying in.

The other thing is I admire LindaH and the bonding thing is lovely (I think it was LindaH) but I would make the ride-on mower a priority and then get a trailer etc for it - becomes an invaluable tool around the place - but most of all - relax and enjoy - the peace is magic!