Drinking an earl grey tea and looking out down the Fingal Valley, Louise Elms reflected on a conversation she and her husband Darren have had a number of times in the past 18 months.
“Would you ever go back?” one would ask, to which the reply would come: “nah!”
The pair moved from Melbourne in August 2017 and have not looked back. “It was a dream thing,” Elms told the Sunday Examiner.
The pair met later in their lives – marrying two years ago – and came to Tasmania together first on a holiday.
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Darren, an avid motorcyclist, had visited the state previously on a trip in his early-20s, and made the obligatory stop for pancakes on the Elephant Pass. Louise had visited with a previous partner too. “He loved it … I love it. And we went, ‘righto!’.”
But there was a reason behind the move, Elms says. “The idea was, ‘hey why don’t we sell up everything and move down to Tassie, and build a bed and breakfast for touring motorbikes’.”
“So we booked another holiday, we got engaged down here, then we sold the property in Melbourne. We had seven days down here to find a property.”
Staying at an Airbnb in North Hobart, a chance meeting with the owner – who lived in Geeveston – took them down to that region for a further three days.
Dubious of the South at the time, they then turned their attention to the East Coast after learning the real estate was not as “cost prohibitive” as they first thought.
“I grew up on the Mornington Peninsula, so I’m used to the Melbourne people coming down and having their summer houses … so I guess I kind of likened it to that.”
Running out of time, looking at places they could even convert a shed, they stripped the criteria out of their search and began trawling.
“I woke up, and saw a picture of the front of this place … and we were up the next day and bought it. It’s just been more perfect than we could have ever thought.”
Now living in Fingal, Louise works across the Commonwealth Bank branches in St Helens and St Marys for a little extra income, while Darren runs “Bed in a Shed” – now operational for about seven weeks.
The accommodation features reconfigurable beds to suit different sizes of travelling groups, along with lock-up facilities for their bikes off-road. Though the space is suited for all travelers, no matter their mode of transport.
“Our favourite line is: not bad for a couple of trumped up mainlanders who have never built a commercial property before,” Elms said.
“We started a Facebook page for Bed in a Shed before we moved and Darren put on the picture of the skillion-roof black shed. And we have actually stood there and looked back at it and gone, ‘it looks exactly how we thought it would’.”
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