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The Main’s have lived in Tauranga for 25 years. As avid Bethlehem lovers, moving from their family home wasn’t something they wanted to do. That was until, The Vines Lifestyle Retirement Village caught their eye.

Ex Civil Engineer Gary and once upon a time Journalist Gael, were out for a drive one day and noticed developments behind the shelter belts next to Mills Reef Winery.

Gael. We really love this area and didn’t want to shift, but our property upkeep had become too much to manage.

Gary. We’d heard rumours and thought it would be a wonderful place to live. Despite being very early on in the piece, we stopped in to look at the plans and talk to Tony. Before we knew it we’d picked out a villa design, and that was that.

Both boasting the wanderlust bug, Gael and Gary love to travel and The Vines has provided an even easier jumping board to do so.

Gary. We can pack our bags, walk out the door and not worry about a thing; the lawns are mowed, the gardens well-kept and the entire place incredibly secure.

Gael and Gary made their move in May 2017 and haven’t looked back.

Gael. We have wonderful people living around us – it’s a very happy group and everyone is so compatible.

The home is superbly positioned to enjoy the best of the elements, with sunsets visible from the office at the end of the hall. On warmer mornings, the pair enjoy stepping out of the French Doors in the living room, to a quiet little garden.

Gary. It’s the ideal spot for a cup of coffee. Then on hot summer afternoons, we move to a long table that runs down the side of the house and bring out the barbecue.

Living directly opposite the current clubhouse puts these two amidst a constant hive of activity.

Gary. We’ve got a stronger social life than we’ve ever had before.

Gael. We have a little spot outside where we like to sit in the afternoon with a glass of wine. It’s wonderfully social because everyone passes by on their way to the clubhouse. Some wave out, some say hello and some even stop in to share a drink.

The clubhouse has already been well utilised as a communal venue for village residents.

Gary. Every six weeks two of us will run the bar. It’s good fun because you get to talk to everyone.

As chairman of the newly established residents committee, Gary says the main intent of the group is to represent the welfare of its residents.

Gary. Discussions can range from the dynamics at social club events to developments in and around the village such as maintenance, tree plantings or future facilities. This will change over time, depending on what’s going on.

Although their leisure activities may no longer be hunting, skiing or fishing, Gael and Gary still remain incredibly active.

Gael. We are members of the gym down the road and we regularly enjoy walking to the town centre – the shopping and cafes are brilliant.

Gary has a new favourite pastime too.
Years ago I used to play pool. Since I’ve been at the Vines, I’ve started playing again – extremely badly though!

Gary. The Vines truly has and continues to fulfil our needs. And I can tell anyone thinking of downsizing that it’s wonderful – you can actually find stuff!