Newcastle Herald

Nestled in one of the most beautiful regions in Australia, is this your perfect retirement lifestyle?

Teresa Lilley and David Alwood (left) with fellow residents at Tallowood Medowie. Picture supplied
Teresa Lilley and David Alwood (left) with fellow residents at Tallowood Medowie. Picture supplied

This is branded content for Vivacity Property.

It's a marketing director's dream to have customers so thrilled with a product that they can't help but spruik it to other people.

For Janine Spencer, the marketing director for retirement community Tallowood Medowie, that's the happy situation. She says her job is made a whole lot easier because of the enthusiasm of the people who call it home.

Built on a 23-hectare site set in a beautiful natural landscape within the Port Stephens region, the luxury resort-style development has a way of turning its residents into devotees who want to spread the word about the lifestyle there.

"I think the residents do most of the marketing for us," Ms Spencer said. "They have really become advocates for us - more than 50 per cent of the sales now at Tallowood are from referrals."

Tallowood Medowie was the first retirement living development created by Vivacity Property, the innovative company that acquired the project four years ago and set about building a community that delivered the kind of independent retirement lifestyle its conversations with local people told them was needed.

The award-winning Tallowood Medowie Country Club. Picture supplied
The award-winning Tallowood Medowie Country Club. Picture supplied

The result is a stunning, over-55s lifestyle community with an abundance of green space surrounded by bushland but within walking distance to shops, cafes and local restaurants, and other amenities, with a golf course just a short drive away. There are an array of different-sized high quality brick and part-brick premium-finished homes, built by a trusted local builder.

At its heart is the award-winning lakeside Country Club featuring high ceilings and open fire, with a bar, commercial kitchen and dining areas, as well as indoor and outdoor pools and a sauna, plus a gym with the latest technology in weight-training equipment for senior exercise and rehabilitation from Hur Australia. There are also light-filled rooms that residents use for everything from yoga to painting classes.

"We wanted to create a luxury resort style of living that was in nature, that offered all the health and wellness benefits of being amongst green open spaces but that also had that accessibility to all the amenities people needed," said Ms Spencer.

Fun and friendship are at the heart of the lifestyle at Tallowood Medowie.
Fun and friendship are at the heart of the lifestyle at Tallowood Medowie.

Retaining the existing tall trees and bushland on the site was paramount to Vivacity in its plan for the development. And rather than building as many homes as possible, it's restricted them to just 11 hectares of the 23 hectare site.

"We wanted to preserve the beautiful tall trees, plant even more trees and sustain the fauna to contribute ecologically to the Port Stephens and Newcastle region," Ms Spencer said.

"Our approach is to build around rather than bulldoze. For us it's always about green spaces. Rather than having the maximum amount of homes on a site it's about the quality of life we can provide.

"It's very important to us to create a community lifestyle that provides comfort and peace of mind for our residents and contributes to their mental health and their physical health."

For the residents, a major drawcard of the lifestyle of Tallowood Medowie is the strong and supportive community that they quickly become a part of. Making sure new residents feel welcomed and instantly at home is also a priority for the Vivacity team.

Throughout the period when a new home is being built, the team have several meetings on site with the new owners for updates on the progress and to meet some of the residents. When they move in, the sales and customer service team are there with a wonderful welcome hamper and then the executive team joins in at a party in their honour at the Country Club.

"By the time they move in they know their neighbours and they know other residents so straight away they feel welcome and comfortable in their new home," said Ms Spencer.

Tallowood resident Jeannette Popewell said the decision to buy her home in the supportive and friendly community helped her get back to living a full and healthy life after her husband died.

"I wasn't prepared for what happens after that happens to you and I was becoming more and more lonely and depressed," she said.

"It was by accident I found Tallowood but I'm very glad that I did - it's changed my life and I've been very happy every since. Even my health has improved. It's just a lovely lifestyle. All the stress has gone out of my life."

Jeannette Popewell at her home at Tallowood Medowie. Picture supplied
Jeannette Popewell at her home at Tallowood Medowie. Picture supplied

Saying goodbye to a three acre property that needed lots of maintenance was the reason Teresa Lilley and David Alwood began hunting for the right retirement community to downsize to. They scoured lots of over-50s villages before discovering Tallowood.

"Nothing compared to the quality of homes and facilities at Tallowood" said Ms Lilley. "The first visit left us awestruck with its impeccable surroundings and welcoming atmosphere. The sense of community here is unparalleled.

"We'd been yearning for a change of pace and a downsized lifestyle so the decision to move into Tallowood was an easy one for us," said Mr Alwood. "It has everything you need to embrace and enjoy life - there's an abundance of opportunities to stay busy or unwind, whatever your preference. And you'll always have someone looking out for you."

Come along and explore your perfect blend of community, connectivity and comfort in Port Stephens at Tallowood Medowie's Spring Open Day on Saturday 25 November from 10am to 2pm. It's the perfect chance to find out more and to step inside its newest display home - The Marigold. Enjoy music on the Green with 'the Dudes', a BBQ lunch and tours. Plus be one of the first four to secure your home for just $1,500 before 31 Dec 2023 and receive a $750 Harvey Norman gift voucher*. See