Gwen Hill

Living off the Beaten Path — Melbourne’s Undiscovered Gems

With everything that 2020 had in store, it’s no surprise that so many of us have considered moving away from the city. To do this, and not sacrifice any of the amenities we’ve gotten accustomed to, we need to look for a specific type of suburb. To help make the search easier for you, we’ll be listing our top three up-and-coming suburbs that allow you to live slightly off the beaten path.

Pakenham East

Located 54 kilometres from Melbourne CBD, Pakenham has long since been one of the fastest-growing suburbs in the area. Moreover, because there has been such an interest in this suburb, the area had to be expanded and started overflowing in Pakenham East.

Now, this suburb is still in its infancy, but once completed, it’s going to offer 7200 new homes, and 1300 jobs. Additionally, plans include three primary schools and community centres, a high school and as much as 44 hectares worth of sporting reserves and parks.

In the near future, Pakenham East is going to become the place to live in, and many would-be homeowners and investors are seeing the potential. Our advice is, if you can, get your foot in the door and purchase real estate here sooner rather than later. In doing so, you’ll get a high ROI and/or a great place to call home.

Wyndham Vale

While Wyndham Vale isn’t the new kid on the block, it has seen incredible growth in recent years. Moreover, the suburb has become the hub of development, and so many new homes and entire neighbourhoods are being built.

Luckily, through all of these changes and growth, Wyndham Vale’s real estate market has remained stable. You can choose between older and newer properties, apartments and homes, renting and purchasing. Additionally, there’s still land for sale Wyndham Vale, which offers the highest ROI possible.

The caveat here is that recent trends indicate that this won’t be the case for much longer. With so many investors scoping out the area, and homeowners moving in, the prices could soon begin to skyrocket. Our advice — pick up a Wyndham Vale property before they’re all gone.


Donnybrook sits to the north of Melbourne, just off the Hume Freeway. The suburb is famous for its apple industry, and this is a great part of its identity.

Just like Pakenham East, Donnybrook is also in its early years, with plans of big growth in the near future. Namely, there are plans to create five town and five convenient centres, as well as ten private and public schools. Not to mention, the suburb will feature as much as 46 hectares of green areas, allowing for the perfect mix of city and village.

While there may not be a lot of hype around Donnybrook right now, many predict that it will soon be incredibly popular. So, you can take your time and make some trips to the area to see if it will offer a good investment or a place to call home.

Final Thoughts

All of these suburbs allow you to live away from the city noise while having everything you need — at an affordable price. Depending on your personal preferences and lifestyle, we hope you’ll be able to find one that’s just right for you.

What Are Melbourne’s Hidden Gems?

Melbourne’s suburbs prove that not everything that’s amazing has to be big, and right in your face. On the contrary, the best things you can experience lay just slightly off the beaten track. Curious to know what these hidden gems are? Keep reading!

Chill Out and Relax in Sippy Downs

Even though Sippy Downs is known as a knowledge hub, offering plenty of work opportunities in the field — it has a different, laidback, side to it. There’s a yoga centre, several resorts, as well as Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden.

The suburb is quite calm in general, and it’s one of the best places to come to when you want to relax. This is what attracts so many visitors here and ultimately keeps them as permanent residents.

However, Sippy Downs also has fun activities for those who want to stay more active. During many days and nights, you’ll find young people hanging out in the skate parks or golf terrain.

South Yarra’s Lively Atmosphere

South Yarra is one of the liveliest Melbourne suburbs for several reasons. First of all, it has an estimated population of 25,000, and it’s very close to Melbourne’s CBD (only 4km away). Additionally, it has so many cool shops and cafes, as well as a nightlife culture.

The suburb has several landmarks, such as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Jam Factory, and Prahran Market. However, South Yarra isn’t exactly all fun and no work. On the contrary, it’s one of the few suburbs with an abundant number of working opportunities. Additionally, it provides great schooling options, making it ideal for young people.

With all of this in mind, it’s kind of surprising that there hasn’t been a greater influx of people in the suburb. After all, it’s amenities, culture and communities make South Yarra ideal for many types of people, from working professionals, students, to families with children.

That being said, just as was the case with Sippy Downs, the people who come here for a visit tend to fall in love with the suburb pretty quickly.

The Tiny Neighborhoods of Officer

Officer is somewhat farther away from Melbourne than the previous suburbs we’ve mentioned, which makes it a great undiscovered gem. The quaint suburb is located 48km from the CBD and offers visitors an atmosphere of calm, and connectivity to both nature and your fellow man.

The suburb is made up of many different neighbourhoods (such as Hillstowe Officer), all of which come with their unique style. However, some things that all of these areas have in common is that there are plenty of parks, green spaces, and friendly faces all around. Additionally, the housing is typically built as medium density, allowing everyone to space to breathe and grow on their own.

Thanks to all of these qualities, Officer is very popular with both families with children and retirees. There are also a lot of working professionals living in the area, and they don’t seem to mind commuting to their jobs, as long as they can go back to their homes in Officer.

Final Thoughts

All of these suburbs offer something unique to their residents and visitors, and it’s all hidden in plain sight! Whether you want to visit South Yarra’s Prahran Market, or just admire the beautiful architecture on the street of Hillstowe Officer — you’ll surely enjoy visiting these hidden gems.

How Much Does It Cost to Carpet a Garage?

There are a few key factors that will determine the price of installing carpet in your garage. So let’s take a look at what they are and how they impact the price.


The Quality of the Material and Make

The quality of the manufacturing process is typically the greatest indicator of the price of a garage carpet. There are three main categories you’ll come across when trying to decide on a garage carpet.

First, there are the low-quality, mass-produced Chinese carpets. Their appeal is that they tend to cost less than any other option on the market, so they’ll get the job done for at least some time. However, they require much more upkeep and you’ll probably have to change them after a few months. 


Higher Quality Materials

Next, there are the garage carpets made in New Zealand, which are thought of as better quality but tend to come at a steeper price range. Of course, every manufacturer is slightly different, but supporting local business often comes with a premium. Not to mention, the design choices may be slightly limited if you do decide to purchase garage carpeting from a New Zealand vendor.

Arguably, the highest quality carpeting comes from Europe. These garage carpets are often more affordable than New Zealand ones while having equal or greater quality. They also come with a high degree of UV protection, are water-proof and made to withstand New Zealand weather.


Our Offer

Our most popular Garage Pro carpet for garage comes from a Belgian company that is the biggest garage carpeting manufacturer in the world. We believe in the quality of these carpets so much that we offer a 5-year colour-fast warranty, as well as lifetime delamination and zippering guarantee.


The Longevity Factor 

When considering the cost of carpeting your garage, you have to think about whether the chosen provider, installer or manufacturer offers a good long-term solution. Most people tend to become so attached to their carpeting, that they want to keep it for a very long time. So, the longevity of the garage carpet has to be a deciding factor before you make your purchase.

The low-quality models tend to get a lot of wear and tear on them quickly, and can even absorb moisture and cause water damage to walls and floors in your garage. To avoid that, you’ll likely have to change them every few months, and they will end up costing you much more in the long run.

However, with our premium quality Belgium carpeting, you’ll get years and years of use, and won’t have to replace the carpeting for a long time.


The Average Price for Carpeting a Single Garage

As we mentioned, the cost of carpeting a garage depends on several factors. However, for a single garage in NZ, you can expect to pay around $300 for a DIY roll, and anywhere around and upwards of $500 for a professional installation.

However, do keep in mind that if you decide to buy a DIY roll, you’ll also have to purchase a good floor protector, and do a lot of the work on the surface yourself.

6 Roof Materials for Your Home

For most people roofs are the least attractive and often underappreciated aspects of their homes. However, they don’t take into account the amount of beating these shade-bringers go through to protect the rest of the house.

You won’t care about the roof until you start getting a lot of leaks and suddenly your roof is the most important part of the home. If you’re still looking into houses, then you might be interested in house and land packages Sippy Downs where you probably won’t be needing to worry about rain as much.


Membrane Roofing

Membrane roofs are great for flat/low-pitch roofs. They have a lot of types but they all come in large sheets that limit the number of seams where water can seep through. They cost relatively cheap and last for about 20-35 years if properly maintained. 


Built-up Roofing

One of the classics when it comes to roofs that are law in pitch. Built-up roofing is constructed with several layers of roofing felt impregnated with asphalt by applying it when it’s still hot. This causes overlapping layers that form up to four thick layers, that’s then embedded with crushed stone and hot tar.

This results in a very durable and impenetrable roof that will definitely allow you to sleep peacefully at night instead of worrying. They last for about 20-30 years with proper maintenance.


Rolled Roofing

This roof material is a mainstay in low-slope residential roofs. The roofs are long rolls of mineral and asphalt impregnated material that’s topped with mineral granules.

Each roll averages 100 square feet and it’s about 3 feet wide.they’re one of the most convenient and inexpensive choices in this list, but the only downside is that you’ll have to replace them much sooner at about 10-15 years.


Metal Shingles

Metal shingles are made from stamped metal that’s usually finished with either high-quality baked-on coating or mineral granules. They can also be fabricated to look like traditional asphalt or wood shingles. For those that care about the aesthetics of the roof, this is a great choice. They last a whopping 30 to 50 years if maintained properly.


Clay Tile Roofing

Clay Tiles are the most durable materials in this list. They’re earthen clays molded in interlocking shapes that are often reddish-orange in color. They can be glazed and fired to form ceramic roofing tiles too.

Overall, these materials are worth the fact that they are a tad more expensive than the rest on this list, but considering that they do last more than a century, it’s definitely a good investment.


Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles are the perfect alternative to clay tiles if you don’t like the reddish-orange color but still value the durability that they provide. Concrete tiles are usually molded in standard sand-mix concrete and colored with what the customer prefers.

They provide versatility with the endless number of colors they come in, but they also provide a much valued high level of durability seeing as to how they’re expected to last for at least 50 years.


P.S they also cost so much cheaper than clay tiles!

5 Things to Look for in a Property Investment Agent

Real estate investments are suitable investments. These properties are perfect for income, capital growth, and tax deductions. However, there may be disadvantages in this investment area, but the pros outweigh the cons. 

Aside from this, there are also costs to investing in a property. Nonetheless, working with the right team, knowing when and where to buy, and how to invest are the pillars to ensuring that you’ll succeed in your investment. 

So, if you are looking for an agent to help you find the right property, then we’ve got you covered. Check this list out:


Work with someone with excellent negotiation skills.

Regardless if you are buying or selling a property, the most important thing is for you to work with an agent who has strong communication and negotiation skills. 

These agents have some of the best track records, so don’t hesitate to ask them about their previous sales. Make sure to interview as many against as possible and compare their track records. Remember, numbers don’t lie primarily when it comes to the real estate industry. 


Referrals can also work well.

Again, don’t hesitate to ask your friends and family for referrals. Talk to the people you know who have recently bought or sold a property. Ask for the details of their agent and maybe do an interview and ask for the track record. 

It’s also recommended to find property investment agents through networking. Join open houses and network with those who are selling in your community. There’s a great chance that they know someone who can help you. 


Expert real estate agents are also experts in your location.

We highly recommend that you work with a local real estate agent because they know your area’s market value. They have a good grasp of the prices and other elements to a sale to be successful. 

If you are planning to sell, they really know how to sell your property. Knowing the amenities, attractions, hospitals, schools, and even cultural aspects of the area, they know every detail that can help you sell your property. 


Someone who can help you grow.

Definitely look for an agent who has investment prowess, which means someone who has successfully worked with investors and has managed cash and investment by other people. However, if possible, stay clear from those who are also investors to avoid any type of conflict in the future. 


Connect with your agent as he or she connects with others.

Always be in the loop in the industry by working with an agent who has vast connections. We’re not talking about who are only connected with agents. Expand your relationships and work with an agent who also knows contractors and other providers in the field. 

The bottom line here is you need to get to know your property agent as much as possible to ensure that you are a good fit. It’s essential that you work with an agent who understands your needs and someone who is also very eager to help you grow.

Why Live in Regional Australia?

According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, over two-thirds of Australians live in major cities. As city living grows more and more in high demand, some are escaping to the peace of the country while still boasting connectivity to amenities and facilities. If you’ve been raring to move to Australia’s culture capital, you’re not the only one. There is some great land for sale near Melbourne that you can look at to consider your move into the open air and birdsong.


Growing Communities

There is a growing number of people living in newly created communities. With increasing investment from the government for infrastructure, land for sale in Plumpton and other suburbs is selling fast. With access to hospitals, parks, cafes, dining and parklands, there is everything you need in the area with an increasing community, as more and more people start to draw to the location. The commute to the city is miniscule compared to what it was in the past, with regular train links and public transport to connect you to the urban centre of Melbourne.


Tight-Knit Neighbours

The regional centres of Australia, and the new locations cropping up around urban outskirts, are becoming more and more popular. There are strong community initiatives often with more active events and movements than you would in the city; many people in Australia only experience the city in depth, but in the country, you see a whole new side of Australia. From beautiful views to spirited locals, there is much to be said for living in these locations.


Natural Beauty

Living in communities out of the city, you’re able to enjoy the beauty that the country has to offer. The city landscape is very different to that of the country, and living in the country, you can spend your days surrounded by greenery and the picturesque surroundings of the Victorian countryside.


Bang for Your Buck

Living in the city’s outskirts is often more affordable than inner-city dwellings. As cities expand, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t move out into more peaceful locations while still having the convenience of the city. You can purchase blocks of land at an affordable price, as well as building a home tailor-fitted to your lifestyle. That would have been unheard of in the past!


There is a stark difference between country and city living, but increasingly so, people are realising that in the fast-paced modern age of technology, a little slice of country peace is a must. We hope this article has helped make you aware of the advantages and disadvantages associated with both, so you’re able to make a decision that is right for you, your lifestyle and your situation. If you are struggling to decide, there are plenty of articles and anecdotal stories of country living out there – or if you’re unsure, why not pay a visit to some country towns as a holiday? Meeting the locals, you can explore the area and see if regional Australia is a fit for you.

Your Guide to the Different Types of Bath Towel Fabrics

When it comes to bath towels, there are lots of different options available to you, depending on your tastes in a number of areas. Looking for something durable? Or what about something soft to the touch, to give you that hotel room feel? Regardless of what you look for in a towel and how much you’re willing to spend, here is a breakdown of the various common bath towel fabrics you have to choose from.


 First of all, you should decide on the limitations of your budget. There are some great options available to those with a few less dollars to work with, as well as luxury bath towels on offer for anyone willing to spend a pretty penny and invest that little bit more. Either way, the decision is yours, so let’s get into the most common bath towel fabrics.


Egyptian Cotton

Towels made from Egyptian cotton are softer and more absorbent. The material is hand picked, leaving the fibres unbroken and straight. This in turn can make it easier to elongate the individual fibres, making for finer yarns with not only more length, but stronger and altogether softer cotton. Regular cotton tends to have more splices. Egyptian cotton was a popular trend, and while equally exciting types of cotton towel have emerged since the height of its popularity, it is still a great choice for anyone looking to invest in quality. 


Turkish Cotton

Turkish cotton is priced at a premium, but if you’re happy to splurge a little in the name of a spruced up bathroom space, this strain of cotton might just be for you. With its extra long fibers and fewer joins, this results in stronger, smoother cotton threads. If you’re after a durable towel, this is it. The long fiber cotton is grown in Turkey’s small yet productive Aegean Region. With successive washes, Turkish cotton will become increasingly more soft, fluffy and absorbent.


Organic Cotton

Made for the ethical minded is organic cotton. Grown using methods and materials that have a minimal impact on the environment, if you’re looking to walk the walk and practice the environmental values you preach, you should seek to exercise environmental friendliness in as many areas of your life as possible.



Microfiber is so incredibly fine; it is a synthetic fiber finer than one denier, decitex or thread. It has a diameter of under 10 micrometres. There are a few different types of microfibers which are made up of polyester materials; this includes polyamides such as nylon, Kevlar, Nomex and trogamide, and well as polyester, polyamide and polypropylene.


Hopefully this guide has helped you understand the options from which you can choose, when deciding on a towel. There are many options out there, and through sampling at stores and thinking about which you need, you can find the right material for you.



Skincare Tips You Never Knew You Needed

Contrary to what most of us believe, skincare is a necessity. Even the most good-looking women on this planet commit to taking care of their skin not only because they want to be beautiful but they also want to be healthy. After all, the skin is the largest organ in our body. But with the overwhelming amount of information that’s being fed to us today, it’s harder to choose which skincare tips are the best to apply to our routine.

To make things easier, we rounded up these five tips that you never knew you needed to get good skin:

  1. Understand your skin.

It’s simple; you can never fully take care of your skin unless you understand what you have. There are five major types of skin: dry, oily, normal, sensitive, and combination. Once you know where you fall under, it will be easier to decide which treatments and products will work best for you. For instance, if you have dry skin, it’s best to use oil-based skincare products for extra moisture.

  1. Sunscreen should be top on your list.

It’s a common misconception that sunscreen should only be used during the summer. Remember that even in the gloomiest days, the sun is still out so you have to wear sunscreen every single day. Adriana Lima confesses that she covers herself in sunscreen every morning, no matter what the weather or season. Facialist to the stars Melanie Grant also agrees that prevention is key when it comes to skincare. In fact, it was one of the first things she learned from her Mum who taught her the importance of sunscreen.

  1. Take the patch test.

We all know that skincare products are not the cheapest out there, especially if you’re going for the good stuff. And because you have to go through trial and error to see which products will work for your skin, you need to be extra cautious about what you buy. A good way to try out a product is through a patch test where you apply a small amount on your hand or arm to see if you get an allergic reaction or not. Ask for travel-sized versions or samples of skincare products so you won’t waste anything in case the product doesn’t suit you. You can even ask friends who already have the product so you can try it.

  1. Look for active ingredients.

If you want to make a good investment on your skin, go for products that contain active ingredients like vitamin C, retinol, and glycolic acid because they don’t only address your problem areas, but they also help improve your overall skin health. Vitamin C, for instance, is great at reducing skin discoloration, but it also increases collagen production to prevent ageing and reduce blackheads. Since products with active ingredients are strong, experts recommend that you try one of them at a time.

  1. Be cautious about skin hacks.

Finally, we’ve all tried that skin hack we read online. Some have worked, some didn’t. While a skin hack like using bar soap or moisturizing with coconut oil could do wonders for some people, they may not necessarily work for you. So make sure that you know what you’re putting on your skin by getting tips from beauty websites like Beauticate.

Online Business Courses: The Better Option

Have you thought about taking a few Arch Training business courses Sydney? No? Why not?! Online business courses have become some of the best options for millions today, and it’s all because of how convenient they are. Of course, online courses don’t appeal to everyone, but they have a real potential because they offer something that traditional learning can’t. However, why is online business courses the better option?

No Need to Leave Home

With Arch Training business courses Sydney, you never have to leave the comfort of your home. Yes, you did read that right! The truth is that online business courses are ideal for those who may be restricted to their home. House-bound people, for whatever reason, may be unable to leave their home, but still have the opportunity to better themselves. Also, if you don’t want to go to a traditional class or are unable to, online courses are the next best option. Sometimes, it’s the better option for those who aren’t able to make it to a traditional here to read more about business courses.


What you have to remember is that while a traditional class allows you to interact with others, they aren’t suited to everyone. Sometimes, online business courses can be the better option for those who need more flexibility and give with their studies. For example, new mothers and fathers who want to better themselves for the sake of their families can’t always get to a regular or traditional classroom and have to look to the internet for help. Also, people who currently work, but want to study business, aren’t always able to quit their jobs and go back to school full-time. However, with Arch Training business courses Sydney, they have the ability to opt for a part-time course to fit around their other commitments.

Online Business Courses: The Better Option

Study in an Environment That Best Suits Your Abilities

Not sure Arch Training business courses Sydney are for you? Well, you can’t blame some people for being sceptical about online courses because we’ve all heard the bad press that has followed. However, what you have to remember is that there are plenty of official online business schools and courses to look into and you can find a course that suits your abilities. What is more, online courses enable you to work in the environment which suits you best – whether that’s in a cafe, at home or in the office. You have more options available and that’s ideal to say the least. What is more, when you study in an environment that suits your abilities, you’re able to relax and focus more.

Find Your New Potential

Business courses are fantastic as you can learn so much about getting into business and becoming a great business leader. However, online courses can also be useful, especially for those that need more flexibility. It’s not always easy to make it to a classroom every evening, or possibly get babysitters for every class, and that’s why online offers something new. Online courses aren’t new, but they are certainly innovative. You can get the help and support you need without having to commit to a standard class. Arch Training business courses Sydney can be fantastic for anyone interested in business.

Why Part Time Business Courses Shine Through

Arch Training business courses Sydney isn’t always given much thought as potential students don’t think a part time course is suitable enough. Of course, there is always the risk of investing in a course and then ending up falling out half way through. However, if you have a great business idea, why not see the courses through? Part time business courses have become some of the best courses available and it’s something you could look into. So, why are part time business courses so popular?

You Can Still Work As You Study

Do you work? Do you want to own a business one day but aren’t sure how to start? A part time business course can be an ideal way for those who are interested in business and want to dip their feet into the water, visit for getting more knowledge on online business. However, the great thing about part time courses is that you can work as you learn. So, let’s say you work during the day; you could go to an evening or part time course and work around your working hours. That’s an ideal option for most and it’s something which you must consider too. Arch Training business courses Sydney can be a great solution for those who are interested in studying while more about business online business courses at

Why Part Time Business Courses Shine Through

You Learn What You Need To

Why choose a business course? Business courses are fantastic for those who are serious about business and want to get into this industry. Part time courses aren’t only ideal for newcomers, but also industry experts or those who have been working in the business sector for several years. Why does it matter if they’ve had a business or currently own a business? Well, it’s about offering people the way to learn far more. Arch Training business courses Sydney allows everyday people to learn more about business practices so they can make progress and further their business here to read more about online opportunists

Will Part Time Work For Your Business?

Not sure about part time business courses? You aren’t the only one who remains sceptical of them. In a way, you often think part time courses take twice as long to complete and in the end you’ll give up. However, if you find a great business course that you can commit to, you can find they work in the short and long-term. However, if you’re working or have a small business currently and want to study part time, you have to think about whether or not going part time will work. For example, can you commit to eight hours a week to the course at the very least? Arch Training business courses Sydney is ideal for a lot of people and they can work, as long as you’re able to commit.

Make Part Time Business Courses Work For You!

Part time business courses have become a useful concept for millions who are interested in creating a business or working in the business sector. Of course, most people think that just because a select few have become successful businessmen without any courses behind them, they don’t need to take any either. However, there are only a select few who reach the heights of success with having very minimal business knowledge or know-how. It’s worth getting onto a part time business course and they aren’t as costly as you might think. Arch Training business courses Sydney is useful for any serious businessman or woman!