Houses at Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort, Townsville

544 frameCarlyle Gardens Retirement Resort, Townsville had eight floor plans for three bedroom homes. The retirement resort also had a single two bedroom (17 square or 160 square metres) and a single four bedroom (26 squares or 247 square metres) home design. House designs are sometimes mirror imaged to take advantage of the site orientation. In general, the living areas are to the east, for early morning sun. Sizes of three bedrooms designs are from around 19 to 25 squares, or 178 to 233 square metres.

We preferred the Kirkland house design, which had good separation of several different areas, despite being mostly open plan.

Dining kitchenThe living areas were basically a large open plan living and dining room, with the kitchen to one side and also mostly open. It is probably aimed at people who entertain more than we do, since we basically hide with a computer.

There is a small covered entry area between the garage and front bedroom, opening onto a small lobby. This lobby has the front bedroom and garage doors opening into it. It also shields the living area from being visible from the street.

EnsuiteThe large front corner bedroom has a large built in wardrobe along most of one interior wall. With a large window on the front wall, and a high window on the side wall, there is not a lot of open wall space. There is a fully tiled ensuite to the front bedroom.

PatioThere is a reasonably deep covered patio at rear, mostly opening from the living area. The exterior clothes drying rack is near the laundry. The laundry also opens directly onto the covered patio.

Back bedroomAll three bedrooms have fairly generous built in wardrobes. The two bedrooms along the side and back are screened from the living area by a short hallway, with the bedrooms at each end. Separate bathroom and toilet are between the two bedrooms. There is also a linen closet with access from the hallway.


House framesHouses were a brick veneer exterior, with a plasterboard interior. Tiled floors throughout, with carpet in the bedrooms (optionally tile). Colourbond metal roof, with insulated ceilings (R2.1). Floors are a fairly standard concrete slab, mostly with tiles. This sort of thing is fairly appropriate for the tropics, once you decide not to go for a raised floor.

Design and Fittings

544 streetCrim-safe screen doors, can optionally be extended to windows to replace fly screens.

Fujitsi reverse cycle, inverter air conditioner to living room and main bedroom. Optionally extend to other bedrooms, which we requested. Ceiling fans throughout. Windworker venturi air extractor for roof space, with extraction points through the home. Reasonable paths for air flow from breezes. Solar hot water system. Circular fluorescent ceiling lights and CFL downlights to reduce power use for lighting.

The Cent-A-Meter wireless portable energy display shows power use. It is distributed by Clipsal. A current transformer clipped over the main power supply lead at your switchboard inductively reads the household current drain. A 433 MHz transmitter digitises the reading. It sends a serial data burst every six seconds to your LCD receiver (you can set the time longer to preserve batteries). Results are approximate, as the voltage is assumed to be 240 volts rather than sensed. Power factor of the load is also not taken into account. Accuracy under 10% up to 3 ampere and under 5% above. Display resolution is 10 watts. The voltage, tariff and greenhouse gas emissions can be set manually. A very reasonable piece of Australian design.

KitchenDesigner kitchen with (they say) a Kleenmaid wall oven, a ceramic cook top, a dishwasher, an exhaust fan. We are not really into kitchens, having lived for a decade with small apartment kitchens. The counter space seemed enormous compared to what we were used to. The kitchen cupboard and pantry space also seemed very generous. We had finally managed to find fairly tasteful cupboards to use as a pantry at our existing apartment only a few months ago. I guess those cupboards will be relegated to the laundry.


WallabyPower points seemed generous, and were all double (except for fridge and microwave, where doubles make no sense). While you can always use more power points, there were very few places where we would have thought to ask for them, so I thought the design was well thought out. The power points were raised about 30 cm above the floor, which does make it easier than skirting board level power poiints. There were also waterproof exterior power points on the patio, which I had not thought of.

Around three phone and TV points scattered through the house. Probably not where we will want them, but more than I expected. There is a small Hills Home Hub cupboard in the garage storage space for structured wiring. Naturally enough I want to use the wiring for Ethernet distribution. However it probably isn't Cat 6.

Since photographs of power points are usually not very interesting (unless they are on fire), I stuck in a photo of a kangaroo (well, probably a wallaby) in front of someone else's house. You don't really think this site is accurate, do you?