RETIREES HEAVEN: Joy and John Telfer made the move to Warwick in 2005 after seeing friends enjoy the area and the number of social clubs available.
RETIREES HEAVEN: Joy and John Telfer made the move to Warwick in 2005 after seeing friends enjoy the area and the number of social clubs available. Sophie Lester

Retirement bliss on the Southern Downs

WHEN John and Joy Telfer were looking for a place to spend their retirement, the Brisbane couple initially chose the Gold Coast.

But, after realising unit living and a busy city lifestyle wasn't for them, they turned their attention west to Warwick.

The couple made the move to the Rose City in 2005 while they were both still in their 60s, joining the growing number of retirees who have settled on the Southern Downs.

"We had been coming here for about 30 years visiting friends we knew from the air force and we'd always found it a nice place," Mr Telfer said.

"Joy had already fully retired and I had been supply teaching on the Gold Coast but apartment living wasn't great.

"We knew we'd have good company here and there was a lot Warwick had to offer."

The couple said they quickly became involved in various social clubs to keep them busy.

"A lot of people don't realise that when you retire is the busiest time in your life," Mr Telfer said.

"I kept supply teaching up until a couple of years ago around the Downs, at Scots PGC, Tannymorel, St Mary's and Assumption.

"I became a member of the Veterans' Support and Advocacy Service, the RSL, and Warwick Woodcutters, as well as charity work and a few other things."

"I joined the CWA and learnt how to do embroidery and the ladies' group at VSASA," Mrs Telfer said.

"I think keeping active is very important because otherwise you could get depressed but you'd be hard pressed to say there's nothing to do in Warwick."

Probus club members Graham and Patricia Zendler, both 74, similarly said the active community and quiet country lifestyle drew them to the Rose City four years ago.

"It was getting too busy where we were living at Eight Mile Plains in Brisbane," Mr Zendler said.

"We had gone up and down highways to the coast and inland and found the Cunningham Hwy to be the most accessible and not too far from our family in Brisbane.

"We found house prices to be reasonable and bought a block of land and built a brand new house out in Rosenthal Heights.

"We both joined the local Probus club and we both volunteer at Glengallan and have loved learning all the history so I think that was important."

Mayor Tracy Dobie said proximity to larger cities and medical services were a plus for retirees looking to move to the region.

"I think people like the rural setting we offer here away from what can be quite cramped living in Brisbane and Toowoomba," Cr Dobie said.

"We have good access to medical facilities with our own hospital and medical centre here in Warwick as well as having visiting GPs.

"Though a lot of people think an ageing population may not contribute as much to the economy, what we find is retirees do bring employment.

"They spend more time and money on leisure activities and eating out at local restaurants and may employ services such as home maintenance and gardening younger people wouldn't necessarily do."

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