Moving to regional Australia is booming in popularity, with many Aussies realising that a tree change is more attractive than ever. Tracie and Peter were ahead of the curve and made their dream a reality three years ago when they moved from Glen Iris in Melbourne’s inner east, to Heathcote in central Victoria. They haven’t looked back.

The couple are now living on their beautiful property, which is also home to their winery, Silver Spoon Estate. It was always their dream to build a magnificent country-style home after purchasing the estate – but they held off until they found a design perfect for their needs (the Agar in the Freedom by Metricon range) and a builder who was prepared to help them with their commitment to living off the grid.

Tracie and Peter's off-grid home in regional Victoria.
Heathcote is one of many areas in regional Australia rising in popularity – and it's easy to see why. East of Bendigo, Heathcote is known for producing fantastic wine, tasty local produce and it’s a popular spot for a weekend away.

It’s appeal for Tracie and Peter was its proximity to Melbourne (still within easy commuting distance), it’s strong focus on food and wine and its sense of community.

With retirement approaching, both were keen to escape the big smoke and plan their next chapter of life.

“I used to work in the retirement industry – I would probably have about 100 conversations a week with people who were contemplating retirement,” says Tracie. “When Peter was 54 years of age, I said to him ‘we’ve been together for 10 years, and we’ll blink and another 10 will pass, so we need to start thinking about what we’re going to do in retirement.’ It’s because of that conversation that he came home with a brochure all about Heathcote and told me we should build a winery.”

Tracie and Peter's winery - Silver Spoon Estate.
Reflecting on the relocation and new build process, Peter and Tracie told us how they made their regional lifestyle aspirations a reality.

They bought their land and the winery first and then went on the hunt for a builder who would build them a home with energy efficient modifications so they could live off the grid.

“We came across a design from Metricon that had exactly what we were looking for,” Peter said, “then, we spoke to people in the area who had used Metricon, and they were very happy.  Tracie recalls “from the salesperson, to Studio M, through to the site manager - everybody was perfect.”

The inside of Tracie and Peter's country-glam home.
Tracie explains that the Metricon team was very accommodating of their energy efficient inclusions. "Metricon was extremely flexible with what we actually wanted including double-glazing, big windows, lots of insulation, the right eves and more.”

Tracie and Peter were delighted with the speed of the build. Keen to get into their new home, they only had to wait about 4 and a half months after the slab was poured. “No-one can believe how quick it was,” Tracie says, “you have no worries about good tradesmen working in regional Victoria.”

One of the key reasons Metricon is so popular in regional locations is that is because it relies on local trades. There’s no bringing in teams of people from the city – we use locals who know the area and location better than anyone. Where some builders are lessening their involvement with local trades, we continue to work closely with them, as that’s how we achieve such great results and beautiful homes.

Summarising their experience, Tracie said “Metricon enabled us to achieve the country glam lifestyle. The home suits our requirements of what we wanted as we get older, and what works in this community.”

“I’d encourage everyone to spend time in regional locations – don’t fly to Bali– go to caravan parks, hire a motel and get a feel for places you could see yourself living. There are some really gorgeous places out there where a strong sense of community is so important,” Tracie concludes.

Watch Tracie and Peter talk about their beautiful Heathcote home.


If you are ready to make the move to the country or have a few questions about the process, get in touch with us today. Regional living is more achievable than ever – start planning your dream lifestyle today.