Not even 14-days home quarantine could stop Ben Hughes and Julie Maule from fulfilling a long-time dream by relocating from Sydney to Launceston.
The couple touched down in Newstead on Thursday after leaving inner-Sydney life behind.
They had lived in the suburb of Clovelly where the median sale price for a house is in excess of $3.2 million dollars and one would have to shell out $1500 on average to rent a three-bedroom apartment.
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Their choice is becoming more and more common.
A new report from the Regional Australia Institute has showed Launceston was one of the most popular destinations across Australia for people looking to flee the hustle and bustle of big city metropolitan life.
The report showed Launceston was the fourth most popular location for regional migration with a 34 per cent increase in inward migration from capital cities in the previous three months.
According to the report migration to Launceston rocketed up from the previous three months, seeing an 88 per cent rise - the highest in the country.
Mr Hughes said the choice of Launceston for their new home stemmed from eight different trips he had made to the Apple Isle through which a love affair for Tasmania had grown.
Mr Hughes and Ms Maule said the changes COVID-19 had brought to Sydney had accelerated a long-held desire to escape from the inner-city rat race.
"When COVID came along things quietened down in Sydney and then went back to normal, but normal wasn't really what I wanted anymore ... the traffic was bad again, house prices were going crazy and it was a chance for us to change our life," Mr Hughes said.
Mr Hughes, who co-founded men's mental health charity The Men's Table which he hopes to grow in Launceston, said the North of Tasmania was an ideal location as he juggled expanding the charity locally and in Victoria.
Ms Maule had a strong business career cut off by the ravages of COVID-19 and redundancy and she said the timing was perfect for relocation.
While the moved happened quickly, it was galvanised through hour long drives over 12 kilometres to and from work and a rising cost of living.
Though job opportunity and career growth in Launceston may pale in comparison to what could be on offer for her in Sydney, Ms Maule said she relished in the idea that a cheaper life could afford her the chance to adjust herself professionally and focus on roles that she enjoyed - rather than just paid the bills.
Regional Australia Institute chief executive Liz Ritchie said the rates of migration to regional hubs across Australia illustrated an appetite for what the regions had to offer.
"The rise of remote working, sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, is allowing more people to live outside our capitals, and it's no surprise that net regional migration rose 66 percent in the March quarter from a year earlier," she said.
Ms Ritchie said not only were people moving from capital cities, they were also choosing to stay regionally rather than looking to flee to what had once been seen as greener pastures.
"It's not just people in our major cities who are realising the opportunities and value provided by regional life. People already living in our regions are increasingly choosing to stay, rather than head for the bright city lights," she said.
While the report relished in the idea of people choosing to live regionally, it also raised questions about how smaller towns and cities would be able to respond to a relative influx of residents.
Ms Ritchie said the insight the information afforded meant places like Launceston would need to consider their response to a growing population.
"This new index enables the early identification of growth trends and flags emerging hotspots which may need fresh thinking on housing and infrastructure," she said.
City of Launceston mayor Albert van Zetten said the report reiterated his long-held belied that Launceston was a great place to live.
"It's no surprise that people from across Australia who are looking for a better lifestyle balance are choosing Launceston as a new home," he said.
"It has been as buoyant a time as I can remember around Launceston with a great deal of development activity occurring and strong investor confidence. It is little wonder that we are experiencing increasing population growth.
"Northern Tasmania offers people an enviable lifestyle, with a range of recreation, sporting and cultural experiences on the doorstep of the CBD. We've got a fantastic airport and we're only a short flight to Melbourne or Sydney."
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