Landing on their feet on the Sunny Coast
Having pulled up stumps from their former lives in Brisbane and Maryborough, the first two couples to arrive at Halcyon Landing have certainly landed on their feet on the Sunshine Coast. Six years along, Ken and Irene Elliott join John and Janet Quaill in reflecting on how big their lives have become in the heart of this sub-tropical paradise.
Back in 2012, with just a handful of homes completed and others partly built, it was hard to see what this new community would eventually become.
But it didn’t take long for our first home owners to make connections.
“Halcyon was very proactive in building the community; there were a number of get-togethers and we got to meet the neighbours,” Irene said.
“Within a week, six homes had been moved into, and it wasn’t long before we started having our Friday Happy Hour in someone’s garage. There was only a few of us, but that brought us together even more. We all helped each other out with moving in and settling in, and there was very much a sense of community for us within a couple of weeks.”
Ken, a regular bowler and keen cyclist, has enjoyed seeing that fledgling neighbourhood transform into a vibrant community with hundreds of home owners, extensive recreational facilities, and 38 interest groups.
“It’s been great to watch everything develop around us and see things take shape and come together,” he said.
Happy Hour has also progressed from just a handful of home owners in a garage to around 100 people gathering in the Rec Club each Friday night.
Irene, who with Ken helped establish Halcyon Landing’s Faith and Friendship Group, said they had arrived seeking a community lifestyle and those expectations had been exceeded during the past six years.
“We have been really blessed, it’s developed as a community that works together and helps one another,” she said.
“This is like an old-fashioned neighbourhood, where you’re borrowing a cup of sugar, you know your neighbours and their needs, and you help each other out.”
Fitness has also been important to Irene, who walks regularly and loves the circuit classes at the gym.
“It’s great having the facilities on your doorstep, and with all the other people using them it’s very motivating and not as easy to give it away,” she said.
“I’ve always been a keen walker and there’s plenty of active people to do that with here.”
Ken and Irene’s very first neighbours, Janet and John Quaill, also have embraced the many and varied opportunities that come with living at Halcyon Landing.
Both are part of the community’s large lawn bowls cohort. John also belongs to the singing and ukulele groups, and is the secretary of the Home Owners Committee.
“It’s really fun, time flies when you’re having fun and that’s what it’s like here,” he said.
Janet is in the craft group and she and John are also on the bar roster for the weekly Happy Hour, which they find is a great way to meet new faces in the community.
They both like to hit the road with the community’s Travelling Bowlers – up to 50 home owners who take off for bowls-inspired week-long road trips to lovely spots like Evans Head and Bargara.
But their favourite part of living at Halcyon Landing is right on their back doorstep, overlooking an environmental reserve that is teeming with birds and other wildlife.
“Our greatest joy is just sitting here looking at the birdlife,” John said.
“At any one time we can have 30 birds flying in and flying out.”
The abundant birdlife inspired Janet to compile and self-publish a book of photographs entitled, Halcyon Landing Myrtle Ponds Feathered Friends, a copy of which sits in the community’s library.
John said moving to Halcyon Landing had been life changing.
“I think we’ve become more active, and we’re more social now than we were in the 20 years prior to coming here,” he said.
“We love it here and we do have some really nice friends, it’s been good for us.”