Friends of mine have made a tree-change and have moved from Melbourne to Clunes – a country town about one and a half hour’s drive north west of Melbourne. Clunes is an historic mining town. The main street is peppered with dusty antiques, collectables and book stores hidden behind rustic facades.
Although it is a small town, Clunes is no stranger to crowds. It hosts the annual Booktown event. Booktown brings together thousands of booksellers, writers and speakers from all over. It is staged right across the town – inside heritage bluestone buildings, on the quartz streets, under charming old awnings and under trees. Everyone seems to be involved – on organising committees, collating marketing material and looking after guest speakers.
One of the Victorian state government initiatives is encouraging people to consider living in regional areas. What about Clunes? It is fast becoming a great place for weekends away with lots of opportunity to familiarise yourself with the local produce, try gourmet delights and explore art studios.
The table below has some of the town’s vital statistics. One thing that is a challenge is employment. My tree-changer friends (and many others) commute to Melbourne during the week. Others work in Ballarat, or go into business in the town.
|Water Restrictions||Stage 1|
|Median House Price||$166,000|
One of the appeals of country life, is local produce and being closer to the growers and producers. Many welcome the growing popularity of farmers’ markets.
The Clunes farmers’ market was re-opened last Sunday. On a beautiful autumn day, it seemed like all the locals were out (with their dogs) to check the wares and support this initiative.
What’s it like living in such a small place after lively Melbourne – or any other city for that matter? What are the things to love? What are the things to miss? I’ll talk to these tree-changers and share their story with you in the coming weeks.
Read more about Clunes at www.clunes.org