What to expect when you live in rural Queensland
Making the rural move is a big decision for you and your family.
But taking that step could open you up to a world of new adventures and possibilities. There are many benefits to country living, and some drawbacks too.
We like to go camping and to the beach. The kids roam free, fishing in the river and visiting mates on their bikes. It’s really quite liberating, having a country childhood and being able to raise the family in that way.Dr Sue Masel, Goondiwindi-based GP and Rural Supervisor Liaison Officer
Country life and family life mix well
Rural locations are often ideal for raising a young family. Country people are usually close-knit, which can bring a sense of well-being and safety for you and your family. Many people say that country and city time operate on different clocks. In rural areas, the pace is usually slower. There are no early morning traffic jams or people too busy to say hello.
In the country, there are opportunities for kids to play in ample green spaces and quiet cul-de-sacs. There are sporting teams and social activities available too.
Discover the diversity of Darling Downs and West Moreton
Our rural training area includes the city of Toowomba through to the tiny town of Blackbutt, which has just over 600 residents. The area expands west to Chinchilla and south to Goondiwindi. Many of our towns are at the agricultural heart of Queensland, supplying a vast amount of produce to satisfy the needs of Australian families. Kingaroy, for example, is the ‘peanut capital of Australia’. Stanthorpe boasts several wineries. You can find out more about Darling Downs and West Moreton here.
Embrace the community spirit
It’s common for country doctors and their families to get involved in the community. You can join the local Rotary or rugby club, take the kids to the local playgroup or get involved with the youth or arts scene. Goondiwindi, for example, hosts a number of art exhibits and historical displays each year, showcasing local artists from studios in town such as Callandoon Studio and Fairway Studios. Goondiwindi also has a photography club, craft club and dance studio.
Enjoy the great outdoors
Our training region is rich in natural beauty. Visit local and national parks to enjoy a picnic or walking trail. Jump on your bike to explore the town and its surrounding attractions such as historic buildings and landmarks.
Living in the country also enables you to pursue your outdoor interests, from sailing to growing a veggie garden. Many parents also say they like enabling their kids to connect to the environment, including understanding where their food originates from.
The limitations of rural life
There are many reasons to live and work in a rural community, but there are also drawbacks. The main issue is limited access to services in country towns compared to cities. There are fewer choices of schools, entertainment, restaurants and career opportunities for partners. However, each rural community is unique, and some offer outstanding schools or easy commutes to nearby cities like Toowoomba for day trips to visit larger shopping precincts or higher educational opportunities.
It’s also common for rural doctors to receive call-outs outside of practice hours.
Social activities for the whole family
Country towns offer a range of activities such as fishing competitions, family days, farmers’ markets, agricultural shows and wine tasting events. Country towns offer a wide variety of sports for adults and kids. Dalby is a great example, with more than 40 clubs available to join.