Pandemic speeds up family's dream of moving to the bush

Sam and Annabelle Musgrave relocate from Sydney to Warrah Ridge in wake of COVID-19 pandemic

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The allure of country living entices Annabelle and Sam Musgrave to relocate their family.


THE allure of an easygoing lifestyle inspired Sam and Annabelle Musgrave to wave goodbye to their Sydney home last month.

Along with their children Banjo and Louis, the young couple migrated from the hustle and bustle of Randwick to the lush landscapes of Warrah Ridge, near Willow Tree on the Liverpool Plains.

"Sam is from Bellata originally and I am from St George in Queensland, we did all of our schooling in cities, but it was always part of our plans to move back to the country," Annabelle said.

"Where we are living now is just so beautiful, we are overlooking the Liverpool Plains and it just has a gorgeous outlook.

"Last weekend we were in the yards working with the cattle and it's funny to think that at the same time the month before we would have been walking around Centennial Park with a coffee.

"I wouldn't change it, I love it."

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The family is running a small herd of Black Angus on their 315 hectare property Cooinda.

However, both Annabelle and Sam will continue their jobs as an occupational therapist and an accountant.

"We chose Warrah Ridge because of it's proximity to Sam's work in Sydney, his family in Orange and my family in Goondiwindi," Annabelle said.

"At the moment Sam is going back to Sydney every week for a day or two, but next year he is hoping to change that to every fortnight.

"I've been able to pick up some private work through the NDIS around our region, which has been fantastic."

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The family is part of a growing trend of city dwellers relocating to regional areas in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in the June 2020 quarter, there was a net loss of 10,500 people from Australia's greater capital cities through internal migration.

"There's no doubt the pandemic helped speed up our decision to move to the country," Annabelle said.

"Sam has got clients across Australia, so a lot of his clients are used to doing things online but the pandemic has really opened that up to his Sydney clients as well.

"He does want to still see them face-to-face but COVID has really helped speed things along for us."

Annabelle said her "new community" had welcomed the family with open arms.

"We wanted to have more space, get out of the hustle and bustle and be part of a smaller community," she said.

"The thing was, we had lived in the same street in Randwick for four years and we didn't even know some of our neighbours.

"When we moved here, we met everyone within two weeks and everyone has just been so lovely."

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