How about a tree change?

How about a tree change?

Have you ever thought about a Tree Change? You know, a move to the country where the pace of life is less hectic, people are friendly and caring, and situated in a beautiful natural enviornment where there is still room to move, time to think, relax, share and enjoy life.

The reality of a move from the city to a country location could be quite a daunting proposition for many.

Bob and Sandy Tebbet took up the Tree Change challenge and moved from Glenwood in Sydney’s busy north-west to Gloucester, which is situated in the majestic foothills of the Barrington Tops, 350kms north of Sydney. More specifically,  Gloucester is located on the mid north coast hinterland between Newcastle and Taree with Tamworth to the west. It is also the 2014 Top Tidy Town in NSW.

Bob and Sandy had resided in Sydney their entire working lives and were former members of Blacktown, Rooty Hill and Castle Hill Uniting Church congregations. Bob worked in federal law enfocement for 35 years located in the Sydney CBD while Sandy worked in retail and then medical administration. Things started to change for Bob and Sandy 10 years ago when they purchased 300 acres of country in the Bakers Creek Valley at Gloucester.

Retirement was looming for them both. Bob has always had a keen interest in agriculture and the country all his life. He  gradually convinced Sandy that a Tree Change would be good for them. They sold their Sydney property and built a house on a hill within their property overlooking Bakers Creek in the beautiful Gloucester shire.

The property now supports a small herd of breeding cattle. Bob said the usual question he is asked is “are we making any money out of them.”  The answer is “well yes a little, but we are having a lot of pleasure out of seeing these creatures grow and develop.”

Bob said they had made many improvements to the property but there is much more that they would like to do.

“However, we are in no hurry. Our philosophy is that we need to enjoy what we do and appreciate what we have,” he said.

“In particular the wonderful location in which we live, our family, friends and the people who have became our friends as a result of our Tree Change.”

Bob and Sandy said there were many considerations, challenges and some difficulities during their move, including the construction of their new home. This was mainly because the property had no infrastructure at all and the development was taking place in a semi-remote area.

Bob said he was grateful for the invaluable advice and help he received from locals and his now good neighbours.

Sandy said friends John and Diana who were former members of the Blacktown Methodist/Uniting Church had moved to Gloucester some 40 years earlier and were particularly kind and helpful when they first started to look at property.

“ Bob and I have always found that church is a very good way to find and make friends,” she said.

“ I am pleased to say that this is very much the case at Gloucester Uniting Church.

“Gloucester Uniting Church people welcomed us warmly and have been inclusive, kind and caring to us. Not only us but the whole community, these are the things that have helped make our Tree Change easy, enjoyable and worthwhile.

“Once we got to know the people in the congregation we were surprised to learn that about half the people are in fact “Tree Changers.”

Bob and Sandy were asked would they recommend a Tree Change to anyone.

“A Tree Change may not necessarily be for everyone, however, in their case it had been perfect,” they said.

“ If you are ready to make a Tree Change or considering the pros and cons of such an exercise, ask lots of questions and research the subject well,” Bob and Sandy recommend.

Gloucester Uniting Church, with the support of Gloucester Community, will be holding a Gloucester Tree Change Showcase Weekend on Friday  28th  Saturday 29th  Sunday 30th  March 2015 in Gloucester.

The Gloucester Tree Change Showcase provides a unique chance to enjoy some Gloucester hospitality and cuisine, visit farms, hobby farms, businesses and lifestyle properties in the Gloucester region. You will also hear from people who have made a tree change and from long term Gloucester citizens who have a wealth of local knowledge and experience.

The Gloucester Tree Change Showcase is non-commercial and not for profit. The aim of the Showcase weekend is to provide honest, unbiased advice and information on Tree Change in a friendly non-confronting atmosphere to people who are considering such a move.

For information contact Bob Tebbet 6515 0510 on email him on


5 thoughts on “How about a tree change?”

  1. Unfortunately energy giant AGL has done much to destroy a lot of the friendliness that existed between the good folk of Gloucester.

    AGL’s is hell bent on making the beautiful Gloucester valley a coal seam gas field of 330 wells and has to date created unnecessary division and angst between friends and neighbours
    This highly controversial industry will bring minimum economic benefit to our town while seriously risking undermining the environmental integrity for of the region for future generations

  2. In days past I worked at a regional economic development board. One thing we used to highlight to people thinking about making the change was that employment opportunities were almost non-existent – we have to be realistic.

    We used to advise that people “bring their own jobs”, that is, organise a work-from-home income, or consultancy, or some kind of own business.

    Another thing was to suggest they speak to farmers in the area if relying on a farm income – because the reality is usually a long way from predictions made in the literature, especially when establishing in a new town.

    If thinking about the change to the beautiful town of Gloucester, it is very important to become familiar with the coal and coal seam gas issue – where the proposed gas wells and coal mines are to be located – if they go ahead. Bear in mind, it’s still not certain that these will proceed.

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