FOLLOW US ON

Call Us (03) 5253 0111
101 Central Road
Drysdale,Vic 3222

Resident stories

There are so many reasons why people love living at Bellarine Springs. Read the real-life stories of residents who made the move and haven’t looked back.

Geoff and Judith say village living is the platform for a ‘successful life’

Although we’d lived in Bendigo running a family business, we no longer had family ties there, with our kids having moved away. We lived on a 1.6 acre property and it was always a lot of work to keep it tidy and bushfire season was a real challenge for us. When things got really bad with the fires in 2009, we were up at 6.30 in the morning, clearing sticks and bark from the ground until it got too hot to carry on. Then you’d look out just a few hours later and it was as if you hadn’t cleared any of the debris at all as the wind had just brought it all back again. I think that’s when …

What made you decide to make the move into a retirement village like Bellarine Springs?

Although we’d lived in Bendigo running a family business, we no longer had family ties there, with our kids having moved away. We lived on a 1.6 acre property and it was always a lot of work to keep it tidy and bushfire season was a real challenge for us. When things got really bad with the fires in 2009, we were up at 6.30 in the morning, clearing sticks and bark from the ground until it got too hot to carry on.  Then you’d look out just a few hours later and it was as if you hadn’t cleared any of the debris at all as the wind had just brought it all back again. I think that’s when we realised it was time to make a change. We liked the idea of downsizing to a retirement village where mowing lawns and clearing gutters wouldn’t be our job anymore.

How does Bellarine Springs compare with other retirement villages you explored?
The legal and financial commitment you’re making when you buy into a retirement village changes depending on which state you’re looking at. So we did some research on South Australia, NSW and Victoria and decided the legislation they follow in Victoria was best for us. We’d started looking at options in the Mornington Peninsula originally and we hired a holiday house there over Christmas to get a feel for what it would be like during the peak of the busy holiday season and we decided we wanted somewhere quieter. During a trip down there we travelled back on the ferry instead of battling the traffic towards Melbourne. And that’s how we ended up rediscovering the Bellarine Peninsula and looking at retirement villages here.
We saw a few places but weren’t quite certain about any of them, particularly the ones that charged for something we weren’t going to use – like a golf course. Some other villages were really nothing more than a glorified caravan park and just weren’t good value or the sort of community you’d be happy to join. Of course when we saw Bellarine Springs there was nothing on the ground but the sales office so it was hard to get a feel for what it would be like at first. When we went to an information session to find out more, we discovered their display home, one of the Thompsons, was available. We both liked the look of the spacious, informal floor plan with plenty of parking and it was just what we were looking for. A lot of other homes we’d seen were like boxes in comparison, all these units arranged in a grid and no space to spread out and relax.

What was it that convinced you to make the move to Bellarine Springs?
The staff at Bellarine Springs were surprised when we said yes so quickly. But we’d been doing plenty of research and had a checklist so it definitely wasn’t a split second decision. Getting to know the owner of Pinnacle Living, Geoff Reeve, made us even more confident that we were making the right choice. At the initial meeting he came across as a very genuine, honest person and all our dealings with him since have backed up that first impression. It’s good to have a real connection with the person in charge. You don’t often get that at other villages, especially when they’re part of a big chain and the management tell you things are out of their hands when you want to change something.

What do you like about the village location?
The Bellarine Peninsula is how I think Mornington must have been 50 years ago. It’s much less busy but so pleasant and scenic. Wining and dining here is like living right in the middle of a smorgasbord platter. We’re simply spoilt for choice when it comes to wineries, restaurants and cafes and you don’t even have to hop in the car to get to some of them. There are plenty of walks you can enjoy from the village and grab a decent coffee along the way. When we have visitors we’ll often take them to a winery for lunch and while away a whole afternoon just eating, chatting and enjoying the scenery. And it’s not just the wine we enjoy I can assure you! There’s a cottage industry here for everything from cheese to olive oil.

The village itself isn’t on a main road and the nearest shopping centres are within walking distance. A quick trip to the shops is much more enjoyable and convenient when you don’t have to rely on the car. You don’t need to drive and park in Geelong when you’re heading to Melbourne either. The ferry from Portarlington is a much more relaxing way to travel and you can enjoy looking at the docklands as you sail into the city and arrive right near Southern Cross Station for easy connections for the rest of your trip.

Has the community and the lifestyle at Bellarine Springs lived up to your expectations?
With all the space we had around our original home, it was always going to be a big change for us to live in a smaller dwelling. But the transition has been really easy because our neighbours are all very considerate and easy to talk to. If we’d moved to a normal subdivision somewhere, we wouldn’t have known what our neighbours would be like and might have ended up living amongst a lot of noise and disturbance.

Getting involved in the Residents’ Association has been something we’ve really enjoyed. As well as offering new social activities and outings to everybody, there’s fundraising for causes such as the Cancer Council’s Biggest Morning Tea and organising equipment and consumables for the new men’s shed/workshop that will be located just behind the community centre. Talking to Geoff about what we need for the village has also shown us his concern for the wellbeing of residents at Bellarine Springs. He’s really active and interested when it comes to working with us on our ideas and finding ways to make things happen.

What do you enjoy most about living at Bellarine Springs?
The village offers a great platform for a successful life with all the facilities and resources we have access to. There are many things we appreciate about the location with all these great choices for dining out and going for walks. And the community centre is an ideal place for us to sit and enjoy looking at the views over the bay. But it’s really our neighbours and community we value most. Everyone is so amiable and reasonable about things, you get a wonderful sense of belonging and it’s easy to feel comfortable living here.

Cheryl finds everything she dreamed of… and more

I worked as as a pathology courier for almost 40 years, and had the opportunity to see lots of retirement villages, and I was always impressed by both the community spirit and independence they offered to residents. However, after separating from my husband of 36 years and I felt the need to live close to my family. So at first I put aside the idea of living in a village, and instead decided to build a house in Werribee. I thought it was a good idea at the time, but after a while I found that living alone in the area didn’t give me the sense of safety and security I really wanted.  So, after 10 months …

What made you decide to make the move into a retirement village like Bellarine Springs?
I worked as as a pathology courier for almost 40 years, and had the opportunity to see lots of retirement villages, and I was always impressed by both the community spirit and independence they offered to residents. However, after separating from my husband of 36 years and I felt the need to live close to my family. So at first I put aside the idea of living in a village, and instead decided to build a house in Werribee. I thought it was a good idea at the time, but after a while I found that living alone in the area didn’t give me the sense of safety and security I really wanted.  So, after 10 months, I sold and started looking for somewhere to live that would give me the safety and security I was after and that’s when my thoughts returned to the idea of living in a retirement village.

Why was Bellarine Springs the best choice for your new home?
Friends had talked to me about the Bellarine Peninsula as a good place to retire and when I drove through Drysdale I fell in love with it. Building work had barely started at Bellarine Springs and the display home wasn’t even ready yet but it felt right to me so I signed up just from seeing the plans. Speaking to the staff gave me a very positive sense of what it would be like. They encouraged me to think about it and take my time but it was an easy decision and I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I can honestly say it’s the best move I’ve ever made.

What do you like about the village location?
You get that countryside feeling in Drysdale but you’re right by the ocean so it’s the best of both worlds. It’s much less touristy than Portarlington and Barwon Heads and I’m hoping it will stay that way as I like the fact that it’s quieter and tucked away. It adds to that feeling you have of being on holiday and getting away from it all. Having said that, you everything you need is here and there’s no need to go to Geelong for anything really. There are bowling and golf clubs, plenty of lovely restaurants, cafes and wineries to enjoy and it’s just a two minute drive to the beach.

Has the community and the lifestyle at Bellarine Springs lived up to your expectations?
When I talked about retirement villages, you’d hear people say “they’ll be knocking on your door all the time,” as if you’d never have a moment of peace. But it’s just not true. You have your own privacy here but if you want company you can go seek it out and it’s there for you. Making the financial commitment worried me a little, thinking how much I would be losing if I didn’t liked it. But I’ve loved being here from the beginning, sharing in the excitement we all had about being somewhere new and meeting new people. I’ve met another lady on her own and we’ve become very good friends. And being on my own, it’s important for me to feel safe where I live as I do here.

I still like to travel so it’s lovely to have friends here who I know are looking forward to seeing me when I get back. My home is just the right size for me and when my travelling days are over, it’ll be lovely to have my own pet for extra company. There are plenty of outings to join in with when I feel like it, the communication is great and I feel included in everything. I really can’t speak highly enough about the life I have here at Bellarine Springs.

What do you enjoy most about living at Bellarine Springs?
I love having the freedom to choose whatever I feel like doing every day, as that’s something I haven’t always had. I know that no one here will pressure me to join in when I feel like being own and that’s very important. It means I can feel completely comfortable with my friends and community here and take part in everything they have to offer on my own terms.

Alan and Anne go from losing everything, to having it all

When we retired, we took a big step in migrating to Australia from the UK to be with our daughters and grandchildren. After losing pretty much everything in the Black Saturday fires, we moved to the coast and have really enjoyed living in Clifton Springs. Then we started started thinking about a retirement village because we want to feel confident that each one of us will have the support we need if we end up on our own one day. So we started looking at …

How did you come to the decision to move to a retirement village?
When we retired, we took a big step in migrating to Australia from the UK to be with our daughters and grandchildren. After losing pretty much everything in the Black Saturday fires, we moved to the coast and have really enjoyed living in Clifton Springs. Then we started started thinking about a retirement village because we want to feel confident that each one of us will have the support we need if we end up on our own one day. So we started looking at options that would give each of us that community support to rely on.

Why was Bellarine Springs the best choice for your new home?
We heard about the Pinnacle Living group when we were visiting friends in the Yarra Valley. Their mother lives in their Tudor Village property up there and had moved there with her husband eight years ago. When he died very suddenly, she felt supported and able to carry on with her life thanks to the community she had around her. We knew that’s what we wanted for each other – to live in a close-knit community so we’ll feel completely secure and looked after no matter what happens. We saw that in action at Tudor Village and had every confidence that Bellarine Springs would foster the same sort of community spirit and support.

What do you like about the village location?
We like the fact that we can still keep up with all our friends outside of the village – particularly at our local golf and bowling clubs. Clifton Springs is our golf club, but there are so many different courses to choose from. Moving here with our two Border Collies was essential – if Bellarine Springs hadn’t allowed pets we simply wouldn’t have moved here. There are plenty of beautiful walks nearby and it’s become quite a social activity with lots of other new residents bringing their dogs with them too.

Has the community and the lifestyle at Bellarine Springs lived up to your expectations?
We were wanting to live in a community where we’d feel welcome and secure and that’s exactly what we’ve got. Since moving here in February 2016, the village has grown to include around 50 or 60 people. While we might not be close friends with everyone, there are plenty of people here who have gone out of their way to help – and it goes both ways.

When Anne broke her pelvis and ended up in hospital for 10 days, we had many offers of help and home cooked meals. And when she came home and we needed extra equipment to make things easier around the house, we could borrow most of what we needed from neighbours. That sort of sharing makes things easier for everyone – we share a lawnmower too as there’s really no need for everyone to go out and buy their own.

We’re a community that makes the most of enjoying the good times together too. Friday Night Happy Hour – which usually goes for about three hours, is a highlight of the week and we belong to lots of different clubs and social groups too. We’re heading off on trip on the Ghan with four other people from the village next year which was a special deal we were offered as residents. And we needn’t worry about leaving the house each time we go away as we all take turns to water gardens for each other and keep an eye on things. So all in all we have lots of reasons to be grateful for the friends we’ve made here.

What do you enjoy most about living at Bellarine Springs?
The community is definitely the biggest drawcard for us, but the village itself is becoming something we can be very proud of. The new community centre is in operation now and we’re all enjoying the new facilities and making good use of the gym, swimming pool and the pool table there. The standard of furnishings and finishes is absolutely first-class with no expense spared which has been making an impression and turning heads among our visitors. Friends from our bowling club joined us there recently and it definitely delivered that ‘wow’ factor!

Pinnacle Living Communities

Bellarine Springs, 101 Central Rd, Drysdale | 03 5253 0111 | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer