Living Gems Toowoomba to partner with local iconic theatre

Living Gems Toowoomba has partnered with local iconic arts precinct, The Empire Theatre to deliver its well known Daytime Series program to the local Toowoomba community.

Formerly known as Morning Melodies, the Daytime Series will bring a mix of Thursday morning and Sunday afternoon shows to the recently renovated theatre including:

April 11 Michael Cormick & Claire Lyon
June 9 Australian Army Band Brisbane
June 20 Locally produced show ‘The Best of Empire Musicals’
August 8 Practically Perfect
October 3 Back to the Tivoli
December 12 A Very Tenori Christmas

Each performance includes a delicious complimentary morning tea and chance to win lucky door prizes all supported by Living Gems Toowoomba. Tickets can be purchased individually or as a season pass.

Resort Sales Manager, Shirley Ortez said that Living Gems was thrilled to be partnering with The Empire Theatre, the largest performing arts precinct in regional Australia.

“It is a great honour to be working with Empire Theatres to showcase these fantastic performances as part of their Daytime Series Season.”

“We are looking forward to working with the Theatre over the coming year to deliver an amazing program to the Toowoomba community,” said Mrs Ortez.

Mrs Ortez said that the sponsorship was a natural fit for Living Gems Toowoomba because the two organisations shared a commitment towards providing quality, innovation and inspiration to their local community.

Living Gems Toowoomba lifestyle resort is premium regional retirement living at its absolute finest. Live, work and play in Toowoomba, the Garden City, renowned as one of Australia’s most liveable cities.

At Living Gems Toowoomba, residents own an architecturally designed home while enjoying the luxurious amenities of an award-winning Country Club and over 20 recreational facilities.

For further information about Living Gems Toowoomba contact Shirley at Living Gems on 1800 348 977 or The Empire Theatre Daytime Series via

Never a dull moment at Living Gems Toowoomba Resort

With a jam packed social calendar and activities program residents at Living Gems Toowoomba Lifestyle Resort are living life to the full.

One of Living Gems Toowoomba’s original residents, Bronwyn Newman says since moving into her home at the Resort two years ago with her dachshund, Milo she has been enjoying all the social activities on offer.

“With so many things to get involved in I am busier than ever in my retirement!”

It’s been a full year on the Resort’s social calendar with many successful events run by the residents including Australia Day and Easter celebrations, a Mother’s Day lunch, fashion parades, fundraising sausage sizzles, weekly happy hour and bingo.

There are also plenty of ongoing activities for this active community to get involved in including weekly craft sessions, tennis, line dancing, lawn bowls and aqua aerobics.

Most recently the Resort held a Melbourne Cup luncheon for over 70 residents in their award-winning Country Club. There was a delicious lunch followed by a male and female ‘fashions on the field’ parade, wooden horse games, race sweeps and plenty of fun.

To cap off a busy year, residents will enjoy the ever popular Dusty and the Divas, Dusty Springfield tribute show hosted by Living Gems in early December, and the Resort Christmas Party later in the month.

Instrumental in co-ordinating the social calendar Mrs Newman says that the events are also a good way to welcome new residents into the Resort.

“It is such a wonderful community here and it’s important everyone feels included and connected.”

For a tour of the Resort or further information contact Living Gems on 1800 348 977.

Retirement village or lifestyle resort. What is the difference?

MANY of us have heard the terms retirement village and lifestyle resort – but, what’s the actual difference?

While there are definitely similarities between the two (in that they both appeal to older people who live independently, have communal facilities, and are generally located on large landscaped grounds), the key difference between the two sectors is the contractual and financial models that apply.

Whatever option you are looking at that best meets your need it’s important to seek professional financial advice.

The Queensland Government website has excellent guides for retirees about understanding the risks of retirement units as investments.

They explain that living in a traditional retirement village is not the same as owning your own home or renting. In most cases, you do not purchase the property title to the unit. Instead, you purchase a right to live in the unit and the right to benefit from the lifestyle facilities the village offers.

Lifestyle resorts or manufactured home parks are often marketed as ‘Over 50s lifestyle resorts’. Once a purely affordable housing option, residential parks now cater to a broader section of the housing market. Residents own their ‘manufactured home’, that is the building itself, but not the land on which it sits. Therefore, residents must pay a regular site rent to the park owner. Manufactured homes are regulated under the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003.

As a lifestyle resort Living Gems is regularly making headlines with our stunning Country Clubs at Toowoomba, Caboolture and Pacific Paradise which all recently received the prestigious 2018 MBA award for best ‘Tourism and Leisure Facilities up to $10 million’ for the region.

The award confirmed that Living Gems is a market leader in the Over 50s lifestyle resort category offering residents unlimited access to a wide choice of awesome indoor and outdoor activities and facilities – all right on their doorstep.

They can take a splash in the large heated pools, catch a game of tennis and lawn bowls or keep their fitness up in the fully-equipped gym. At Caboolture and Toowoomba residents can improve their swing on the golf, and at Caboolture we are the only resort in the area with full size 3 lane ten pin bowling!

But it’s the social side of resort living that will really appeal, as residents will often meet up with friends and family for fun times at the bar or cook up a feast at the barbecue pavilions.


Owners can choose from a selection of architecturally designed floor plans – all boasting quality, style and unequalled value – and can opt for two- or three-bedroom designs; then they can add their signature style with a designer decorator scheme.  Ultimately, this allows owners a flexibility unlike other retirement developers.

Living Gems has standard inclusions that are guaranteed to exceed buyers’ expectations with multi-zone air-conditioning, high-quality European kitchen appliances, top-quality floor coverings, window treatments and much more.

And the great news is, as manufactured homes there is no stamp duty to worry about, so all you need to do is choose your design and your brand new home can be constructed within 16 weeks.

All homes are environmentally friendly and designed to capture natural light and airflow with a high energy-efficient rating.

General Manager of Living Gems Vlad Pullich says, “I am proud to offer local retirees incredible value for money, no stamp duty, no DMF.

“The resort-style facilities that you’d find at Living Gems are like a luxury resort, yet you’re living in an affordable regional community,” he said.

“I tell my sales team, have our buyers compare us with the rest, we know we’re the best!”

If you’d like to inspect the facilities at any Living Gems Resort then drop us an e-mail to

Living Gems celebrates Seniors Week

Throughout the state our community will come together to celebrate Seniors Week. This event is held from 18-26 August to recognise the value of the contribution older people have made in the workforce and community throughout their lives.

Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland coordinates Seniors Week on behalf of the Queensland Government. The event aims to improve community attitudes towards older people and to enhance community connections and relationships.

Living Gems is joining the celebrations this year, offering free morning tea and information sessions at four locations.

General Manager Vlad Pullich said that Seniors Week is a great opportunity for over 50s, seniors and retirees to see the vast lifestyle opportunities that are available.

“Visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in all that this resort has to offer whilst enjoying a delicious morning tea in the country club.”

As well as the morning tea, the public can join in a variety of activities at each resort.

Enjoy a game of indoor carpet bowls, learn how to play croquet and enjoy line dancing at Opal by Living Gems. Living Gems Toowoomba is hosting a great information session, Living Gems Caboolture will have display homes open and you can learn how to play Mahjong at Living Gems Pacific Paradise.

For more information about Living Gems Seniors Week activities please call 1800 785 594 or visit Event information is also available on the COTA website and the Living Gems Facebook page. 

Living Gems wins another Master Builders Award

Living Gems is celebrating again after another successful win at the recent Master Builders Award for the Downs and Western region on Friday, 20 July.

Living Gems Toowoomba is the second resort within the Living Gems portfolio to be awarded for the best Tourism and Leisure Facilities by industry judges. Living Gems Caboolture won the same award at the Brisbane Master Builders award evening only two weeks earlier.

The Living Gems difference is evident from the moment you drive through the designer entry gates. As you head down the main landscaped boulevard, the well-appointed features of the resort’s country club immediately draw your eye.

As you enter the country club, you are welcomed by the spectacular interior design of the ballroom, bar, dance floor and stage. Other facilities within the country club precinct include an indoor heated swimming pool, spa, sauna, golf simulator, hair salon, consultation room, conference room, games room, cinema, gym, arts and craft studio, workshop, commercial kitchen, library, music room, BBQ pavilion, undercover bowling green and tennis court.

General Manager Vlad Pullich said that the company is thrilled to receive the award a second time.

“This multimillion-dollar project was completed in April 2018 and offers a stylish and convivial space for residents to get together regularly for a drink or a bite to eat.”

“Living Gems has brought a high-quality of housing and lifestyle to Toowoomba. The company’s aim is to provide an improved quality of life with greater certainty for active over 50s seniors and retirees. This is why we offer such an extensive range of quality facilities in our new resorts.”

The public are invited to view the award wining country club and the resort’s facilities, located at 500 South Street, Toowoomba.

For more information
1800 785 594

John and Jenny say yes to Living Gems

Having recently emigrated from New Zealand early this year, Living Gems homeowners John and Jenny Pierson have been enjoying the warmer weather. The Pierson’s tell us more about how they have been enjoying Australia and Living Gems so far.

I am originally from Picton, at the top of the South Island and John is from Invercargill at the bottom. After we married we moved around New Zealand with John’s work at Shell Oil (NZ) Ltd before retiring to Blenheim in 1994. We both became involved with the local car club and John also helped run the snooker section at the Clubs of Marlborough, while I worked as a researcher and cataloguer at the local museum.

We had contemplated the move over to Australia for some time, and when we were the last of our family in New Zealand we thought it was time to go!

We arrived early this year and house sat for my brother who owns a home in Cranley. We fell in love with the Toowoomba area and decided this is where we wanted to stay, so we bought a car and house and the rest is history!

We stumbled upon Living Gems Toowoomba accidentally – we were looking at a different estate across the road. We couldn’t locate the sales office and that is when we saw Living Gems Toowoomba across the road, with our interest piqued we set off. The sales team showed us some pamphlets as we toured around the resort and we were sold! Everything fell into place wonderfully, we were seeking a larger home, but the two-bedroom Camelia design is what we settled on as it was already built.

We are very happy with our new home, I use the alfresco area as my conservatory and John loves the study nook which is now his home office. We both agree that the combined lounge, dining and kitchen offer a spacious design and it is so easy to live in.

We were really struggling to find a home that had everything that we wanted, but we found it here straight away. There are fans and ducted air conditioning all throughout the home and the bedroom which was a bonus for us! We haven’t needed to use the heating yet because the house stays so nice and warm, but we have tried out the gas fireplace to see how it works.

I have been enjoying swimming in the heated indoor pool and John enjoys the games room for snooker and cards. All the facilities here are such a great bonus – one of the selling points for us.

We have attended a few community events within the resort, it has been lovely meeting all the other homeowners here at Living Gems Toowoomba – we are thoroughly enjoying ourselves here.

Our family are now green with envy and are thinking of buying here as well!

For more information about Living Gems Toowoomba call 1800 348 977 or email

Retirement living: where to start?

For those planning their retirement, the question of how to finance this next stage of life can be daunting for some.

While the government offers the Age Pension, $826.20 for singles and $1245.60 for couples paid fortnightly, this is not always necessarily enough to live on.

There are a number of options to get extra cash in your pocket, such as a reverse mortgage, but is this the best solution?

It is an often-stated view that Baby Boomers are typically cash poor and asset rich, making right-sizing an attractive way to free up the equity in your home.

Right-sizing is the process of finding a home that better suits your wants and needs. This process offers the opportunity to free up your time and to focus on the things that are most important to you.

Over 50s resort-style communities are among some of the most popular retirement living accommodation options in Australia. There are an overwhelming number to choose from with close to 200 communities in Australia.

Lifestyle resorts across Australia offer different styles of living from multi-story apartments to duplexes and full-sized homes at prices for every budget.

Living Gems lifestyle resorts offer a popular formula to home ownership; they are beneficial financially and offer homeowners peace of mind.

“We make dreams possible because we make them affordable.”

Living Gems is a Queensland based, family owned and operated lifestyle resort company, with eight resort locations across south-east Queensland.

Living Gems general manager, Vlad Pullich says free standing homes in the Toowoomba and Logan Village resorts start as low as $350,000 and offer an impressive set of standard inclusions.

“Our aim is to provide a resort lifestyle for active over 50s, seniors and retirees which is why we offer such an extensive range of premium facilities in our new resorts.”

“The recent opening of the multi-million-dollar country club in our Toowoomba resort is an exciting milestone. It is the newest addition to the resort”

“The country club is fitted with a lounge, bar, ballroom and a cinema.”

“Other facilities include a heated swimming pool, spa, sauna, BBQ pavilion, gym, bowling green, tennis court, games room, hair salon, library, music room, workshop plus an art and craft studio.”

“With everything you need in one place you don’t have any hefty membership fees or travel fees that other gyms and sporting clubs would normally charge,” says Mr Pullich.

For more information

1800 785 594

From Russia, via Iceland and Norway, with love

A cruise from the UK to Russia provided veteran travelers John and Janet Croft a cost effective way of visiting Iceland and Norway while delving deep into some little-known history of the Second World War.

The Nordic countries are expensive to visit as land-based tourists, but the spectacular landscapes are essential to see for serious travellers.

“The ship offered us the chance to learn a lot of history and see lots of fascinating geography – particularly in Iceland – at a reasonable cost,” explains Janet.

It took five days to circumnavigate Iceland, during which time the Crofts saw spectacular and varied geographies dotted with towns, hot springs, glaciers, geysers, and an assortment of birdlife including puffins and eider ducks.

The second leg of the cruise took the travellers north along the coast of Norway, and then east into Russia.

On the summer solstice, the cruise sailed the Barents Sea past North Cape under a midnight sunrise.

Next, Russian port of Murmansk, into the White Sea – a southern inlet of the Barents Sea that is home to the Solovetsky monastery – and finally the port city of Archangel.

“This area around the North Cape to the White Sea was where British and other allied shipping convoys took supplies to the Russians during World War II, to aid in their fight against the Germans,” explains John.

The German effort to take the port city of Murmansk left the far northwest of the country cut off, and it was up to the Allies kept the resistance supplied with food and weapons. The Germans were never able to take the port city, which continued to operate throughout the war.

Half of the ships that sailed to help the Russians were lost at sea. It is not an aspect of the Second World War that Australians are familiar with, but nevertheless, it was a turning point in the battle against Germany.

It was only the second cruise ship to visit that part of Russia, and the local people warmly welcomed the visitors. “Many of the British passengers had connections with sailors who were in these convoys, so the trip was quite a serious pilgrimage for them.”

The Solovetsky Monastery is a beautiful, but somber place. The island’s magnificent and ornate buildings were the site of a Soviet gulag where more than one million prisoners died during Stalin’s rule.

It was here that Alexandre Solzhenitsyn, author of his Nobel Prize-winning book, The Gulag Archipelago, was imprisoned; his experiences inspired him to write the book to shed light on Soviet atrocities.

From Russia, the cruise returned to the destination from which it departed weeks earlier, Portsmouth, via the Faroe Islands and Shetland Islands.

The Crofts have visited 100 countries together since they met in 1971. The couple met in London and then completed the so-called “hippy trail” across Europe, the Middle East and through Burma together on their way back home to Australia.

Midnight sun, North Cape, Norway

Solovetsy monastery, Russia

Six years later the Crofts married. They put travelling on hold as they raised four children and pursued careers in agriculture and teaching.

The couple spent 18 years in Guyra, NSW, before moving to Grafton where they lived for 11 years – until retiring to Living Gems Toowoomba, in part to be closer to their children.

About 15 years ago, the Crofts sold the farm and resumed their travels.

“We used to be backpackers, and then we became ‘flashpackers’,” explains Janet. “We now take a taxi every so often!”

For them, travel is more than just seeing new countries; it is an opportunity to learn about new cultures, about history and about people.

They were able to use their skills to secure work in various countries, and have enjoyed multiple stays in places such as Africa and Cambodia, where Janet taught English at a luxury resort while John talked to Bhuddist monks about Australia.

She also taught at the School of St. Jude which is home to 2,000 students who are the poorest of the poor.

“When you are not travelling five stars, it is much cheaper to live in Asian countries for a few months than to live in Australia,” Janet says.

A common question Crofts face with when they return from travelling is ‘was it safe?’ They are keen to dispel the fears that can prevent people from venturing from Australia and seeing the world.

“We have always found local people welcoming, especially away from the tourist hostpots,” says John.

“We have learned such a huge amount about the countries we have visited – their history, the people and their religions.”

In Jordan they discovered that the Great Mosque of Damascus began life as a Roman Temple to Diana, before becoming a Christian church and Islamic Mosque. During the following 200 years, the venue was a shared place of worship and it is today home to both Islamic and Christian relics.

It reminds us of how people of different religions can live peacefully alongside one another.

For their next break, the Crofts will visit the Pacific Islands on a short cruise from Fiji to Tahiti via Tonga and the Cook Islands in late September-October.

Seven Sisters waterfalls fjord, Norway

Living Gems Toowoomba Mini Golf Outing

A few Living Gems Toowoomba deposit holders enjoyed a day of mini golf in the sun. The weather was beautiful and the group had lots of laughs.