Living the Golf Lifestyle: Owners’ experiences

Hope Island; like being on holiday all year round

For many people, the allure of golf course living is about more than just the opportunity to play golf. In fact, only 30 per cent of people living in golf communities actually play golf.

The Stoddarts are a family of four who moved to Hope Island Resort for the lifestyle benefits in 2017. Both Mum, Brooke and Dad Darren have demanding work schedules and their kids Abigail and Nate lead active lifestyles, with Abigail excelling in dance and Nate an accomplished budding tennis player.

Hope Island Resort offered the Stoddarts everything they needed for their active lifestyle, as Brooke explains: "We were attracted to the gated community lifestyle. Hope Island Resort offers 6km of pathways, bicycle tracks and roads which are safe for our children to ride their bikes.

"We weren't comfortable letting them ride their bikes in the city (Sydney) as the roads were so busy. However, there are a number of different neighbourhoods within Hope Island Resort, all connected privately if you live here. You can access the entire resort by walking, golf buggy or bicycle - you can only access by car if you have a gate pass or call security for access. We are also connected by buggy to Sanctuary Cove."

"We wanted a gated community, good facilities and we liked the sense of space living on a golf course provides. We also love that golf buggies are the most common form of transport to get around the resort. We can duck up to the local shops, or head out as a family for dinner to a local restaurant - all via the buggy."

Not only was the safety and convenience of a gated community high on the family's priority list but the array of amenities to keep them amused in their downtime was also really important.

"There are pools, tennis courts, communal BBQ facilities, fitness centre, two golf courses and a country club. I'm also a member of the Sanctuary Cove Country Club, which gives me access to the resort facilities at the InterContinental Hotel at Sanctuary Cove. There is also a shopping centre with a supermarket, as well as many restaurants, shops and bars, which we can access with our golf buggy," says Brooke.

"We have a pool in our backyard but, as members of the Sanctuary Cove Country Club, we also use the pools, fitness centre and tennis courts there."

Brooke and Darren decided to move to Hope Island from Sydney's Northern Beaches, and took a "try before you buy" approach to Hope Island, renting in another part of Hope Island Resort for six months," says Brooke.

"We loved it, so we decided to purchase our home, on the 16th tee in Riverleigh Gardens, part of Hope Island Resort."

"Originally we thought we would live on the water (Hope Island and Sanctuary Cove are built on canals). However, most waterfront blocks are sloping and don't have as big a backyard as a dry block. We love the outlook and the fact we get to see kangaroos hopping past our backyard. I even like the sound of the golf ball (and the occasional swear word if it's a bad shot) as the golfers tee off."

Brooke is also quick to add that there are numerous community benefits to living in a golf resort: "We have brilliant neighbours. There are many younger families (like us) moving into the area as well as self-funded retirees who are very active golfers.

"There was a street party when we moved to Riverleigh last year and there are a number of buggy parades through the year - the best one being at Christmas when residents decorate their golf buggies. Halloween is huge here too. Residents have embraced the tradition, and there are literally hundreds of people dressed up and walking around the neighbourhood on October 31."

While Darren plays golf, Brooke hasn't yet had the opportunity: "It's a dream of mine to learn but with two incredibly busy and active children - weekends are normally spent driving them to their chosen passions of dance and tennis. Golf lessons are on my bucket list for when I have more time for myself."

When asked the best part of golf community living, Brooke couldn't narrow it down to one: "For us, it's the facilities, safety, the outlook from our home and the beautiful natural surroundings we have here. With the amazing climate and year-round warm weather - it literally feels like you're always on holiday."