Regional Development VictoriaRegional Development Victoria

State Government of Victoria

Great Regional Lifestyle

RegionalVic 'Ready When You Are' campaign logo

With choices ranging from the mountains to the beach, woodlands to plains, a home in regional cities, country towns or countryside – there are a huge range of locations to which you can make your move.

So, how can you tell which is going to be the best for you?

Here’s a quick checklist to get you started:

  • Environment
    Close your eyes and imagine you’re in your dream country location… is it rolling plains, coast, mountains or forests? The answer will help narrow your options.
  • Work
    What jobs are available where? Work out where your chances of finding employment are the highest. Don’t forget to look at similar roles or even different jobs for which you might be suitable, it’s never too late to change!
  • Housing
    Whether you’re buying or renting, the god news is that accommodation in the country is generally cheaper than the city equivalent. So take your time and see what the options are in your preferred areas. Remember too that many people suggest renting first to get a feeling for the area and market, even if you’re planning to buy later.
  • Travel
    How far are you prepared to travel for work and leisure? While some people prefer a daily commute in minutes you can count on one hand, others take advantage of fast country travel and travel to and from stunning country properties.
    Of course there are also family and friends to take into account and how often you might be travelling to visit them.

5 Steps for your regional move

Do your homework

Think about what you’re looking for and what you would like around your new home. Whether it’s schools, housing, certain kinds of employment, health care, access to public transport, access to Melbourne – there’s bound to be a place that ticks all the boxes for you. Think about your spouse’s employment needs and how they can be met too.

Visit before you decide

There’s no substitute for spending time in an area. Get to know some of the locals. Ask them about the area – what’s good and not so good. Talk to real estate agents, school principals, hospital administrators, business owners and local Council staff. Explore the different kinds of lifestyle – regional city, a small town or hobby farm.

Rent first if you're not sure

If you’re in any way unsure about your move, rent before you buy. You can spend enough time to get to know an area without committing to a major financial decision. And if you decide this part of regional Victoria is not for you, it’s easier to explore another.

Tap into the Community

Regional Victorians are a friendly lot, so becoming part of your new community should happen very quickly. Through school, work, sports clubs and service clubs, there are people ready to reach out and make you welcome. So don’t be backward in coming forward.

Be patient

Your move won’t happen in just a day. Give yourself time to build the networks and connections you need to feel at-home. Once you’ve moved, make sure you immerse yourself in exploring the area, particularly on weekends and holidays, rather than living ‘between’ Melbourne and your new home. You’ll be surprised how much there is to see and do in regional Victoria and you’ll feel more at home more quickly.

Employment insights:

Lately, there has been an increased interest in what it means to work regionally. And as many artists (and even some organisations) make the tree change, investment in regional arts is also looking more positive following the Victorian Government’s unprecedented $20 million regional arts package. Here's some myths busted about working regionally: ArtsHub’s Seven myths about working regionally

If you are ready to explore your options and discover more about the diverse regions of our state and the councils to contact in your chosen locations, click on the map below.
Goulburn River and Ranges Geelong & Surrounds Gippsland North East Victoria Loddon Murray Goulburn Murray Victoria's Goldfields Great South Coast Grampians Pyrenees Wimmera Mallee Mildura Swan Hill Melbourne Metro
Roxy Theatre-Ouyen

Mildura and Swan Hill

The Mildura Swan Hill region forms an oasis in Victoria’s north west. The area has a vibrant history, excellent climate, warm and welcoming communities and a thriving economy .

People are attracted to the region for the wonderful waterways of the Murray River; acclaimed restaurants and wineries; annual arts, wine and food festivals; and the amazing flora and fauna of the region’s national parks. Swan Hill is a lively growing centre with a relaxed lifestyle and community spirit of traditional rural life. Mildura is a vibrant and modern city with a regional flavour, in a unique tri-state location at the borders of New South Wales and South Australia.





Mildura Rural City Council (03) 5018 8100
Swan Hill Rural City Council (03) 5032 3033

Children at Lake Lascelles YarriambiakWimmera Mallee

The Wimmera Mallee region of Western Victoria is internationally renowned for its National Parks , spectacular wilderness, historic wineries and country hospitality. Wimmera Mallee also has 25 per cent of Victoria’s wetlands which is a big drawcard for lifestyle and gives a balance to the diversity of the landscape.

The region is well known for its unique community-based cultural events, impressive art galleries, and annual program of touring musicians. The area offers a multitude of lifestyle choices, from urban inner city living to peaceful rural blocks or affordable homes in the region’s smaller communities. Major retailers operate throughout the region providing variety and excellent customer service.





Buloke Shire (03) 5478 0100
West Wimmera Shire (03) 5585 9900
Hindmarsh Shire (03) 5391 4444
Horsham Rural City (03) 5382 9777
Yarriambiack Shire (03) 5398 0100
Gannawarra Shire montage

Loddon Murray

The Loddon Murray region offers a wide range of lifestyles – rural, small town or farming environments. It is a fast-growing region with excellent facilities, services and amenities for business, industry and community.

Attractions include pioneering gold towns and heritage towns, the Murray River and a huge range of water sports and nature-based activities centered around the many lakes, rivers and majestic forests. Fishing and camping are also favourite pastimes.





Gannawarra Shire (03) 5450 9333
Loddon Shire (03) 5494 1200

Cow sculptures at SheppartonGoulburn Murray

The Goulburn Murray region is known as Victoria's 'inland water playground' the the 'Foodbowl of Australia' - with a rich river heritage of paddlesteamers and houseboats, along with an abundance of fresh produce and local wines.

The region features the Murray and Goulburn Rivers, numerous wine regions, sandy river beaches, beautiful bushland and red gum forrests.





Campaspe Shire (03) 5481 2200
Greater Shepparton (03) 5832 9847
Moira Shire (03) 5871 9222
Night time panorama of Wodonga

North East Victoria

The North East is one of the fastest growing regions in Victoria. It has natural beauty, offers affordable living and job opportunities. The region is renowned for worldclass wines, gourmet food, award-winning restaurants, great shopping, scenic rail trails and the spectacular views of the Mt Buffalo and Alpine national parks.

The North East boasts an amazing year-round calendar of festivals and events, including the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz, Carnivale Wodonga, Bright Autumn Festival, Rutherglen Winery Walkabout and the Man from Snowy River Bush Festival.

Blessed with a climate of four distinct seasons, the North East is a great place for a healthy family life with bushwalking, fishing, horse riding, cycling, sailing and snow skiing on offer. The North East has many historic towns and villages which are well worth seeing, as well as several national parks and more active pursuits for those who enjoy the outdoors.





Alpine Shire (03) 5755 0555
Indigo Shire (03) 5728 8000
City of Wodonga (02) 6022 9300
Towong Shire (02) 6071 5100
Wangaratta Rural City (03) 5722 0775
Couple with dog in Gippsland


No other part of Victoria offers the sheer variety of natural attractions…unspoilt beaches, pristine rainforests, virgin snowfields, hiking and riding trails, food and wine and clean, fresh air…all within comfortable driving distance, wherever you live in Gippsland. This region is home to most of the State’s rainforests, awe-inspiring high country, spectacular beaches, rivers and lakes, hills, snowfields and wilderness areas. Clean air, clean water and organic food are important attractions. Year-round festivals and celebrations make Gippsland a stimulating and exciting place for all ages. Plus Gippsland is the energy powerhouse of Victoria, housing vast oil, coal and natural gas reserves.





Bass Coast Shire Council 1300 BCOAST (226 278)
Latrobe City 1300 367 700
Baw Baw Shire (03) 5624 2523
South Gippsland Shire (03) 5662 9200
East Gippsland Shire 1800 755 456
Wellington Shire 1300 366 244

Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre - Grampians National ParkGrampians Pyrenees

In the heart of Western Victoria lies the Grampians Pyrenees, a region of majestic peaks and tranquil villages . Thanks to our gold rush heritage, the Grampians Pyrenees region is a mix of tradition and progress, historic and modern buildings, quiet villages and thriving commercial centres. The combined benefits of lifestyle, affordable housing, proximity to work and excellent job prospects make the Grampians Pyrenees a desirable destination for a “tree change.”

Our natural resources are amongst our greatest assets with the iconic Grampians National Park situated within our region. Then there are the wineries, restaurants, cafes, clean air, state-of-the-art services and relaxed lifestyle. These elements combine to make the Grampians Pyrenees region a great place to live, work, invest and raise a family.





Grampians Pyrenees Regional Development Board (03) 5355 0271
Ararat Rural City (03) 5355 0200
Northern Grampians Shire (03) 5358 8700
Pyrenees Shire (03) 5349 1100
Buildings in Bendigo

Victoria's Goldfields

Interested in making our region your home? Then read on for an overview of what life is like. Victoria’s Goldfields region first prospered during the gold rush, and you don’t have to look hard to see the legacy of those heady times. Grand homes and buildings create charming streetscapes throughout the region, which continues to prosper today.

The two main cities – Ballarat and Bendigo – have a cosmopolitan atmosphere with top quality restaurants and cafes. Throughout the region you will find glorious parks and gardens, a thriving arts scene and a full calendar of sports, festivals and events that celebrate local wine, food, history, art and music. You will discover the peace and tranquility of rural life with all the conveniences of city amenities.





City of Ballarat (03) 5320 5672
Hepburn Shire (03) 5348 2306
City of Greater Bendigo (03) 5434 6000
Moorabool Shire Council (03) 5366 7100
Central Goldfields (03) 5461 0610
Mount Alexander Shire (03) 5471 1700
Macedon Ranges Shire Council  (03) 5421 9617 

Marysville retailGoulburn River Ranges

The Goulburn River and Ranges region is well known for its scenic beauty, characterised by rolling hills, forests, rivers, lakes, rural plains and the mountainous backdrop of the high country - making it a very popular lifestyle destination for many.

The majestic Goulburn River and its major river tributaries are important to the region and its inhabitants for both lifestyle and business. The region is serviced with essential utilities including broadband and excellent transport corridors making the distance to Melbourne an achievable commute from some major centres in the southern region. Escape the pace of city living and experience a stronger sense of community and spend more time with the family.

To the south you’ll find Lake Mountain and further north-east, Mansfield, the gateway to Victoria’s famous High Country and Alpine resorts. The vibrant hubs of Benalla, Mansfield and Seymour capture the north, east and west boundaries of the region.


Council Phone Website
Benalla Rural City (03) 5760 2600
Mitchell Shire (03) 5734 6200
Mansfield Shire (03) 5775 8555
Murrindindi Shire (03) 5772 0318
Strathbogie Shire (03) 5795 0000
Portland aerial view - Glenelg Shire

Great South Coast

An impressive combination of wide open spaces, thriving cities and towns, clean living and a relaxed lifestyle ensures the Great South Coast is one of Australia's most vibrant and exciting regions in which to live and work. People living in the region enjoy excellent education and health services, sporting and recreational facilities, retail shopping, as well as an established arts scene and busy calendar of festivals and events.

From the beauty of the Great Ocean Road to rainforests, lush farming districts and the craggy rocks and mountains of the Grampians National Park, residents can chooose a wide range of lifestyles.


Council Phone Website
Colac Otway Shire (03) 5232 9400
Moyne Shire (03) 5568 0555
Corangamite Shire (03) 5593 7100
Southern Grampians Shire (03) 5573 0492
Glenelg Shire (03) 1300 453 635
Warrnambool City Council (03) 5559 4800
Queenscliff Pier and ferry

Geelong & Surrounds

The Geelong, Otway and Golden Plains Hinterland region is Victoria’s premier coastal and hinterland destination. The region encompasses the world-famous Great Ocean Road, Victoria’s largest regional city, Geelong, the ever-popular Bellarine Peninsula and the beautiful Otway Ranges. The Geelong, Otway and Golden Plains Hinterland region encompasses a unique, diverse and beautiful setting providing a vibrant environment to live, work and invest.





City of Greater Geelong (03) 5272 5272
Surf Coast Shire (03) 5261 0600
Borough of Queenscliffe (03) 5258 1377
Golden Plains Shire (03) 5220 7111


Regional Matters Spotlight

Last Updated: 30 June 2017