Swapping island life for highland life in Glen Innes

Where do you go when Queensland island life gets too suburban? For writer and artist Michael Burge and silversmith Richard Moon, it was to Glen Innes Highlands in the New England region of New South Wales.

The two were living on Coochiemudlo Island, 35 km from central Brisbane, when they decided they wanted their own, off-grid paradise.

They found it in the small town of Deepwater, 40 kilometres north of Glen Innes.

“We were thrilled to find how far our dollars went in the country,” said Michael, who grew up in Inverell, about 100 km south west of his new home.

“Not only were we able to buy our ideal home, an 1880s cottage surrounded by bush and farms in a secluded valley, but we were also able to purchase a high-street shop in Glen Innes, which we’ve  turned into a creative hub, The Makers Shed.

“It was the best move at the right time for our careers,” said Michael.

“We get to run our business with very easy commutes, plus I have been able to broaden my media career significantly, directing the High Country’s Writers Festival and working part-time for the region’s arts development organisation.”

Oh, and then there’s also Michael’s debut novel, Tank Water, which will hit the book stands in October.

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