Today marks the first in my series of interviews of people who have moved to the coast. It is in part informed by the emails I get from people who ask me if the seachange has been worth it and by the many interesting people I've met, who like my family, have decided to head coastal. My first interview is with photographer, mum and wife Nicole Wells.
When and why did you move to the Central Coast?
My family and I moved here in 2008, just 6 weeks after my son was born. We were living in Hornsby in an apartment and decided we needed to move to a house, having two kids. However most housing in the better areas of Sydney were out of our affordability range, so we decided to look on the Central Coast. I had gone through on the train over the years and had always loved the Point Clare - Koolewong areas so we decided to move there. We first moved to Tascott and lived up a massively huge hill, without a car, the trips out were quite a challenge. After a year we moved to Point Clare, which we really love. Close to all the things we need and in a lovely quiet community
What do you enjoy the most about living on the Coast?
The Central Coast has bush and beach, both in close proximity, which we all love. It's also a bit of a halfway point to both Newcastle and Sydney, which is really convenient for me, as I have family in Newcastle and I like to be able to go to events in Sydney or do some street photography there. I love being able to look out my window, over the water each morning. I enjoy the relaxed lifestyle and the easy-going people I have met.
And the least?
The least enjoyable bit has to be during the Summer. Our house is high up and has a lot of steps so we follow a path down to the street. Every morning in Summer, we find that spiders have spun their webs over our paths. I make my husband go first - run the spider gauntlet as I call it, as I am terrified of spiders! We found a snake on our way up the steps one day, although it beat a pretty hasty retreat, thank goodness. Other than that, the public transport system here is pretty bad. Often late and not enough services.
As a photographer, do you find that there are enough professional opportunities here on the Coast?
I've not really shot around the coast very much at all. I tend to travel to either Newcastle or Sydney to do most photography. But from what I have seen of the professional businesses here on the coast, they seem to be kept busy, so I would assume so. Although I do know they tend to travel up and down the coast with work.
In terms of artistic opportunities eg subjects to photograph, does the Coast offer anything in particular that is unique? Water of course, anything else?
There are some nice landscape areas around the Coast, from The Norah Head lighthouse, to the lake at Tuggerah, the beaches up Terrigal way and Wondabyne walking tracks through the bush. There's Sommersby falls, which also seems to be a popular spot. The Japanese Gardens at East Gosford are lovely as well. I'm not much of a landscape photographer though, I mainly prefer to photograph people.
If you had your time again, what would you change about your life here?
Would have moved straight to Point Clare and avoided that giant hill we first lived on in Tascott haha! But other than that nothing, it's been lovely living here