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8 Idyllic Victorian towns to buy property under $600K

Houses in beautiful beach towns or rolling hillsides with an abundance of vineyards don’t have to cost a lifetime (or two) worth of savings. These 8 idyllic Victorian towns offer the beauty and charm of the perfect destination spot, within a price range that isn’t completely out of reach. Whether you’re looking to relocate, retire or invest, these picturesque Victorian towns have median house prices of less than $600,000.

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Healesville (North-East of Melbourne)


5 things you need to know about Healesville

  1. Population: 7,454 (2016)
  2. Median house price: $580,000
  3. Median rental price: $360/week
  4. Predominant age group: 50-59 years
  5. Distance from Melbourne: 1 hour 9 min (63.5 km)

Why Healesville?

Offering the beautiful scenery of the renowned wine region, whilst still being an accessible one hour drive from the capital city, Healesville makes for an ideal location. Located in Yarra Valley, surrounded by idyllic hillside, mountains, wineries and farmland, Healesville is both a great place to live and visit.

Offering renowned wineries, cafes and bars, Healesville is a great destination place that attracts an abundance of tourists. Innocent Bystander is the perfect spot to experience all three. As a cellar door, cafe and restaurant, you can drink and eat some of the best wine, cheese and pizza in Yarra Valley.

Art enthusiasts can enjoy boutique galleries of local artists, or visit the TarraWarra Museum of Art for an array of exhibitions. Tali and Tim’s Studio offers more than your traditional oil paintings, with jewellery making, sculpture and glass blowing demonstrations.

If nature and wildlife take your interest, then the flora and fauna of Healesville will satisfy. Offering walking trails that give you a first hand experience of the beautiful parklands and rainforests, such as the Cumberland Walk, you are able to saunter your way through the natural wonders that Healesville has to offer.

Australian wildlife is abundant in Healesville. Healesville Sanctuary offers 30 hectares of walk-through habitats, that allow you to personally witness the wildlife.

Homebuyers may consider the ideal location of Healesville reason to enter into the property market.

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Port Fairy (South-West Coast, VIC)


5 things you need to know about Port Fairy

  1. Population: 3,328 (2016)
  2. Median house price: $575,000
  3. Median rental price: $350/week
  4. Predominant age group: 60-69 years
  5. Distance from Melbourne: 3 hours 20 min (288 km)

Why Port Fairy?

Located on the Moyne River, at the end of the Great Ocean Road, is Port Fairy, a historic town boasting art, culture and nineteenth century architecture. Port Fairy is ideal for those who love the richness of old towns and the soothing sea breeze.

There are plentiful fishing spots, opportunities for paddle boarding or sailing. If you have a love for nature and wildlife, cruise out to Griffith Island to watch the mutton birds, or sail out to Lady Julia Percy Island and be bewildered by the seal colony.

This historic township is rich in nineteenth century history. With over 50 buildings classified by National Trust, restored churches and Georgian homes, the town is an 1800s snapshot that locals and tourists love.

With many holidaying to Port Fairy, it is hard to believe that house prices fall into this price range. Because of the tourists that Port Fairy attracts, property within the area is great for investment. Based on the median house and rental prices, property owners could potentially earn an annual rental income of $18,200.

Nelson (South-West, VIC)


5 things you need to know about Nelson

  1. Population: 189 (2016)
  2. Median house price: $210,000
  3. Median rental price: $N/A
  4. Predominant age group: 60-69 years
  5. Distance from Melbourne: 3 hours 20 min (288 km)

Why Nelson?

Located on the Glenelg River, Nelson is a small town with beautiful estuaries to enjoy. With a small population of under 200 people, Nelson is great for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city or overpopulated beach areas.

Nelson gives residents the opportunity to bask in solitude, while still close enough to enjoy the shopping centres, wineries, cafes and restaurants within a minimum 15 minutes journey.

This remote township offers the beauty of the river, as well as a picturesque countryside. The Lower Glenelg National Park highlights the countryside’s beauty. The Park has many things to offer; it sits along the Glenelg River, an ideal spot for canoeing, attracts many to the 15 kilometre limestone river gorge, and the flora and fauna of the area. Many observe Australia’s wildlife when visiting, enjoying the frequent echidnas, platypuses, wallabies and possum sightings.

Walking is a great way to explore Nelson. Recommended walking tracks include the trails around Lower Glenelg National Park, the Discovery Bay Coastal Walk and the Great South West Walk. All offer varying paths that cater to different fitness levels, or to suit your daily schedule, ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 hour walks. Nelson River Cruises are also a great way to explore the area.

With the majority of town living as couples without children, between the ages of 60 and 69, according to the ABS, Nelson could be the perfect place to retire.

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Apollo Bay (South-West, VIC)


5 things you need to know about Apollo Bay

  1. Population: 1,618 (2016)
  2. Median house price: $550,000
  3. Median rental price: $N/A
  4. Predominant age group: 60-69
  5. Distance from Melbourne: 2 hours 38 min (198.9 km)

Why Apollo Bay?

If you’re looking for an idyllic seaside town to buy property within your price range, Apollo Bay may be the most ideal. As one of the major tourist destinations along the Great Northern Road, Apollo Bay offers an abundance of sea life, cafes, shopping and nature to cater to a broad range of locals and tourists.

Offering crystal clear waters perfect for swimming or sailing, Apollo Bay is the perfect place to relax. Maits Rest Rainforest Trail offers a beautiful walking track through the rainforest, with smells and sights that awe visitors.

If you’re more interested in where the land meets the sea, then the Great Otway National Park is a perfect combination of the two. To the north of the Park is where you’ll find rich rainforest, waterfalls and luscious greenery. As you head south, you’ll enter into pristine beaches and walk along sandy coastline.

If you want to put your shell collection from your childhood to shame, then visit the Bass Strait Shell Museum. The museum offers a broad range of coral, preserved sea life, and Australian and international shells.

Apollo Bay offers fresh seafood and local produce that keeps both tourists and locals fed and satisfied. Tourists and residents support local farmers at the Saturday markets, where a variety of fruits and vegetables can be purchased. Restaurants and cafes offer freshly caught seafood straight from the Bay.

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Echuca (North, VIC)


5 things you need to know about Echuca

  1. Population: 14,028 (2016)
  2. Median house price: $340,000
  3. Median rental price: $340/week
  4. Predominant age group: 50-59 years
  5. Distance from Melbourne: 2 hours 42 min (223.4 km)

Why Echuca?

The sunny town of Echuca, located in northern Victoria was once Australia’s most successful inland port. Echuca is located in the pastoral and agricultural region near the Murray River, and is an important service centre to neighbouring districts.

The rich history of Echuca attracts many tourists. The red gum wharf of 1865 that saw paddle streamers and river traders in their travels, stands as one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre.

The Port of Echuca Discovery Centre showcases the 19th Century history of the town with its many museums. Bask in the local history at the Earnshaw Walkway, the Echuca Wharf or the Cargo Shed Museum, among others. There are many cruise, boat or canoe options to cruise along the river and enjoy the beauty of Echuca.

Return to the present on the High Street, with a variety of things to keep the whole family busy. With many restaurants, supermarkets and cinemas to visit, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

With a satisfactory rental yield of 5.2% based on median house and rental prices, Echuca may be an option for homebuyers looking to invest in the property market.

Ballarat Central (North-West of Melbourne)


5 things you need to know about Ballarat Central

  1. Population: 101,000 (2016)
  2. Median house price: $443,000
  3. Median rental price: $300
  4. Predominant age group: 20-29 years
  5. Distance from Melbourne: 1 hour 28 minutes (115.9 km)

Why Ballarat Central?

Love the hustle and bustle of city life, just not the often high price tag that comes with it? Ballarat, the largest inland city of Victoria, has much to offer, with the bonus of median property prices under $600,000.

Known for the 1854 Eureka Stockade, Ballarat’s gold mining history was the reason for its population explosion during the 1850s. Built on the wealth of the gold rush, Ballarat offers a unique combination of history and contemporary activities.

Divulge into the history of Ballarat at Sovereign Hill, a recreated gold mining town mimicking that of the 1850s. The Avenue of Honour pays tribute to soldiers who fought in World War I. Or simply walk down many streets and appreciate the late 1880s architecture of the churches and building that have been preserved to keep the history of Ballarat alive.

Enjoy arts and culture at the Ballarat Fine Arts Gallery, the Ballarat Aviation Museum, or take pleasure in the performing arts at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

Ballarat proves to be a continually expanding city, with a projected population growth rate of 1.9% per year. With 7,473 businesses Ballarat has good employment potential. Major brand names such as McCains and Mars have manufacturing plants in Ballarat, contributing to the town’s economic output. Its convienient location, with access to four major highways makes it an accessible place for businesses and commuters. These connect to both the city centre and regional areas.

Ballarat is a busy town perfect for those seeking affordable city life mixed with rich Australian history. With a predominant age group of 20-29 year olds and a high number of couples with children, according to the ABS, Ballarat has the potential to be an ideal place for young families raising children.

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Bendigo (Central, VIC)


5 things you need to know about Bendigo

  1. Population: 95,000 (2016)
  2. Median house price: $395,000
  3. Median rental price: $300/week
  4. Predominant age group: 20-29 years
  5. Distance from Melbourne: 1 hour 51 min (152.9 km)

Why Bendigo?

Known for its annual tulip display, the regional town of Bendigo in the Goldfields region offers arts and culture for many to enjoy. Bendigo is a modern city set amongst a historic backdrop.

Bendigo boasts a broad range of performance, arts and culture, with its Arts precinct being one of Australia’s best. The Bendigo Arts Gallery offers past and present beauties. The 1887 building hosts artworks from the 1800s Australia to contemporary exhibitions.

The Gold Dragon Museum explores the mining history of Bendigo with a particular focus on the Chinese miners. A tour of the Central Deborah Mine allows you to revisit the gold rush times.

If you’re interested in both the historic and modern elements of the town, then the well-known Talking Tram takes both tourists and locals around the city, highlighting must-see sights and activities.

Home to both lakes and parkland, Bendigo sits within a valley, offering both luscious greenery as well as elements of the city lifestyle.

Mining and financial services are Bendigo’s leading industries.

Those wishing to attain higher education have the option of attending La Trobe University, or Bendigo TAFE.

Yea (North-East of Melbourne)


5 things you need to know about Yea

  1. Population: 1,601 (2016)
  2. Median house price: $385,000
  3. Median rental price: $310/week
  4. Predominant age group: 60-69 years
  5. Distance from Melbourne: 1 hour 39 min (133 km)

Why Yea?

Offering wetlands, valleys, rivers and boutique culture just a short distance from the capital city, makes Yea an ideal place to buy or invest in property. Situated along the Yea River, the fertile land is abundant, ideal for the pastoral and dairy industries.

Yea offers a variety of activities that the whole family will enjoy. With numerous parks with bbq facilities, walking trails, cafes and restaurants, there’s plenty to do. The whole family will enjoy reaping the rewards of fresh produce at Berry King Farm, where you’re able to pick your own seasonal fruit. For the over 18 visitors who enjoy a glass of red (or white), the Murrindindi Vineyards are producers of fine chardonnay and cabernet varieties.

Yea is undeniably proud of its history. As you walk down the town’s streets, you are constantly reminded of its past. The Hume and Hovell monument, the early twentieth century architecture of the Grand Central Hotel built in 1901, or the 1894 Shire Hall are all examples of pieces of Yea’s history.

Yea offers the luxuries of cafes and wineries that the contemporary population loves, whilst also paying tribute to its past through its preservation of historically-dense architecture.

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Regional Victoria just became a little more appealing, didn't it?

From antique towns to coastal shores, these beautiful Victorian towns have more than a lower price tag than Melbourne CBD. With many rich in history, or bursting with native flora and fauna, these idyllic Victorian towns are ideal for investment, relocation or retiring. Home buyers seeking property for under $600,000 may look to relocate, invest or retire in one of these 8 idyllic Victorian towns.

All data collated from CoreLogic RP Data

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