Making seachange a sure thing
ROSEMARIE Toynbee was thinking of starting her own business when someone suggested an idea that was right up her alley.
To take the hassle out of moving, Rosemarie and her husband, Arnold, have set up Byron Seachange Consultancy.
The aim of their service is to help sea and treechangers find everything from a decent bread roll to a hairdresser, or choose a local school for their children.
“When I moved up here four years ago I had a list of expectations of Byron,” said Mrs Toynbee, who now lives on a couple of hectares at Coopers Shoot.
“They were all wrong. There were a lot of surprises, but they were all good.”
Although Mr and Mrs Toynbee took regular trips to Byron Bay before their big move, they are aware that not everybody has the luxury of doing so.
“Some people thinking of a sea or treechange don't have time to come up here; We can be their eyes and ears,” Mrs Toynbee said.
“We've done a lot of research, including surveys with local seachangers.”
The survey on their website, www.byronseachange.com.au, has been set up to let potential seachangers see if the Far North Coast is suited to their wants and needs.
Mrs Toynbee knows many people who have moved to the Byron area from major cities, and most of them stay.
“All of our friends are seachangers,” she said.
“They love the people, they love the weather and they love the laidback lifestyle.”
Newcomers to the Byron Bay area may have to trade in their weekly visits to the ballet or opera for walks on the beach.
However, there is one thing many can't do without.
“The biggest thing they miss is the shopping,” Mrs Toynbee said.