Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort Open Day

Carlyle Gardens Area of Townsville

Carlyle Gardens Retirement Village had an open day commencing Saturday 6 September 2008, so we drove to Townsville the previous day.

We drove around the Condon area of Thuringowa until 10 a.m., trying to get an idea where various things were located relative to Beck Drive and Carlyle Gardens, and relative to Ross River, and Bohle Creek. We also wanted to check potential flood patterns and flood channels. There certainly are a lot of road dips to get flooded, on side roads. Facilities are rather limited in the immediate surrounding area, which seems newly developed.

We did note that directly outside the Carlyle Gardens Retirement Village entry is a building site allocated to a retail shop. There is also a post box for mail. The local bus service to Willows shopping centre or the hospital and University also stops directly outside the Carlyle Village entrance.

The major Willows shopping centre is 2.7 km from Carlyle Gardens. The Reading Cinemas are 2.1 km away, on the way to Willows. There are also a large number of other retail stores in that area.

Carlyle Gardens Open Day

Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort Open Day commenced at 10 a.m. There were sufficient well sign posted parking places alongside the main building. Signs led us into the large Carlton Theatre, where round tables were set up. We had pre-registered and were given a showbag containing the same brochure we had collected a month previously, along with plans of the various homes. There was also a copy of the Prime Trust magazine. We failed to get a copy of the Carlyle Chronicle newsletter, due to my misunderstanding. Jean put some of our photos of Carlyle Gardens retirement Resort up on her Avalook travel site. Jean also wrote up the Carlyle Gardens Open Day in her blog.

There was a brand new Carlyle Gardens community bus to take us the long way around to the new homes being constructed, with Helen, one of the residents, telling us what we were looking at. We were amused that half the bus load seemed to be Carlyle Gardens residents getting a good look at the new construction site. The road through from the existing homes in Carlyle Gardens seemed fairly complete, with the bridge in place. I am not sure when that more convenient road opens. It appeared that the road we took had opened only shortly before. Also the grand Carlyle Gardens entrance statement for this new section was also brand new, about a day old I gathered.

Carlyle Gardens Houses

Hills Home HubThere were to be three homes displayed at Carlyle Gardens, but one was already sold. Luckily the two designs we most wanted to see, Kirkland and Stirling, were the examples on view. We went back to each a couple of times, checking various parts. It was interesting to note inside the storage space in each garage was a Hills Home Hub for structured wiring. Structured wiring was one item I wanted to see, but did not really expect it in a regional area. The ceiling space manhole was also in the garage.

As expected, neither home design we saw exactly fitted our wishes, but either were potentially viable. We were later in the afternoon able to get A3 size copies of the electrical and dimensional drawings for each house design.

During the evening we checked the Carlyle Gardens site plan for which direction would work best for sunlight. We decided the large living area to face east for the morning sun. The problem was some designs were right handed, and some were left handed. We needed another visit to sort out which of the homes being built were the model we wanted, plus had a double garage, and had the living room getting the morning sun. We found one that seemed somewhat more isolated, on one side, and not on a main street (not that there is through traffic in what will probably be a gated community). We decided to check it out further.

Carlyle Gardens Facilities

Back at the Carlton Theatre, we met a bunch of enthusiastic Carlyle Gardens residents while getting stuck into the sausage sizzle. One major positive for the place was the large number of friendly residents who turned up to help Prime Trust sales staff during the open day.

photo of swimming pool at village squareEllen took us around the village square that housed the Carlyle Gardens administration and other Carlyle Gardens facilities. She pointing out the various social clubs. Crafts room, the neat Buttenshaw library, a well equipped gymnasium, a hairdresser, as well as the bar and restaurant. The swimming pool was directly outside the bar. There was also a decent size bowling green, although I have no idea of what works for bowlers. We met the leader of the computer club, and the project manager for the new areas being built.

Next day one of the fire volunteers told us of the wide range of woodworking and metal fabrication equipment at the workshop. One building near the entrance is scheduled to have a doctor attending frequently at his own rooms. There is a public bus stop at the entrance. Also a mail box for posting letters. A shop is scheduled for the corner opposite the Carlyle Gardens entrance.

The only shop I use frequently that I didn't see nearby was a newsagent.

We were also lucky enough to catch Peter, the project manager for the new Carlyle Gardens development. He intended to have optical fibre laid back to the office, and was co-operating with a specialist installer for making a smart community. I am not sure whether residents or Prime Trust appreciate what he is trying to do, and how important this will one day be to future residents. One thing that nearly stopped us buying was the likely poor internet connectivity to Telstra's Kirwan phone exchange.

Carlyle Gardens - Which House

We used the chart of homes already sold, and marked those of the right sort remaining. We saw Christine in Prime Trust sales and got help figuring which ones were right handed and which were left handed. We also got a copy of the legal documents, so we could have our lawyer check it out. As it happened, almost all the remaining six of the Kirkland Plus home with the double garage were in one back to back block. They all had the living room to the east for the morning sun, with one street having right handed designs, and the ones backing them having left handed designs. The place we had our eye on had its rear to the north, so the patio should get sun. Good for drying clothes. Perhaps not enough surface area to the north for a large solar power system, which disappoints me.

We took the bus out to the sample home. We also snuck into the construction area to check the frame of the home we were interested in. There was a nice breeze down the open area of the watercourse, and we figured that location had a good chance of catching the breeze. We should get a fair bit of planting by the watercourse, plus the pathway goes along the edge. The mailbox for the block of homes is also very close. The only negative is the usual one of being by a watercourse in flat country. Has sufficient been done that flooding of Carlyle Gardens is unlikely?

Carlyle Gardens Timing

We checked the sample home some more, plus took more photos. The lady there said she had told some other visitors to check out 544, the home we were interested in. She also thought it was in a good location. Opps!

When we got back to the village square, we saw Christine, and put down a $1000 hold option. That gives us three days to decide whether to act, if someone else wants to buy in. Christine also swapped the plans we had been given for a set of the right handed version, to make it easier for us to do our planning. We asked for a variation to have tiling on all the floors (rather than carpet in the bedrooms), and air conditioning extended to the two smaller bedrooms. This means the whole house has air conditioning. Unless something turns up in the legal checks, we are now going to go ahead.

An hour of so later, as we were having the sausage sizzle for lunch, we heard someone else had asked about buying the same home. Seems we decided just in time.

We would have preferred not to buy for another two or three years. However the location of the next several phases of development did not seem to have any homes as well positioned. In addition, Jean is finding the 12 flights of stairs here a struggle, overcome only by being stubborn.

Wallaby at Carlyle GardensSkippy the bush kangaroo crossed our path as we were about to leave. So yes, kangaroos (well, wallabies actually) do hop down the main street. Carlyle Gardens Retirement Village is discouraging residents from feeding the wallabies. They are being assisted in removing wallabies by a wildlife carer organisation. While I like seeing the wallabies, they are pretty dumb, and not a good mix in an area with an increased number of aged residents. However I bet the wallabies like nice new fresh lawns. Wallabies terrorise Townsville Carlyle Gardens retirement home said the Townsville Bulletin story about Townsville seniors in fear over rogue wallabies. Right! Must have been a slow news day.