Saturday, 06 June 2020 Sydney

Visit, Live & Invest in Great Lakes::

What isn’t there to love about the Great Lakes? It has something for everyone. Many people visit the Great Lakes and think ‘Hey, what an amazing place to live’, and it is! Proximity to major cities and markets, ease of access, excellent health and education facilities and of course, the outstanding natural environment are just some of the many reasons for this. Scratch the surface of the Great Lakes and you will find a thriving and sustainable business community and a wide variety of exciting industries and business opportunities.

This website has been developed by Great Lakes Council to help existing and potential business owners gather information about the Great Lakes region. There also many case studies and quotes featured throughout the website from real people who run real businesses and are living their dream in the Great Lakes.

So read on and discover why the Great Lakes Region can offer the advantages you need for your business.

Great Lakes Advantages

Location and Access
For many businesses who rely on proximity to major markets and suppliers, access and location are key factors in deciding whether or not to locate their businesses in the Great Lakes. In terms of location, you couldn’t really ask for more. With the Southern boundary of the Great Lakes less than three hours from the F3 Freeway in Sydney and one and a half hours to Newcastle and the Northern boundary a mere three hours to Coffs Harbour and just over an hour to Port Macquarie.

Highway upgrades in recent years have seen travelling times to major markets slashed and the seamless journey north or south is carried out every day by many Great Lakes residents and businesses who choose to live in the region yet still have to travel regularly to the hustle and bustle of major population centres.

Population and Growth The Great Lakes region has a population of around 35,000 which is forecast to continue growing by around 1 - 2 per cent each year. The age structure and demographic of the area is extremely diverse and is certainly diverse enough to support a range of business types servicing a wide range of needs. 

As well as increases in the population of over 50’s, the region has also experienced growth in the 12-24 age group which can be attributed to families moving into the area due to the excellent secondary education facilities available. Growth in these sectors certainly brings business opportunities and many local businesses are now reaping the rewards of servicing these particular markets. Sustainable Business in the Great Lakes As you would expect in a region as naturally beautiful and pristine as the Great Lakes, our residents and our business community take their role as champions of sustainability very seriously.

The Great Lakes is well known for the number and variety of businesses who are applying the principles of sustainability in their everyday lives and in managing their business. This cluster of sustainable businesses is growing rapidly and is carving a niche for the area, helping to cement the reputation of the Great Lakes area as one of the leaders in sustainable business on the North Coast of New South Wales.


Great Lakes Opportunities

The region offers a wide variety of business opportunities in a range of industry sectors serving a number of different markets.

Click on the links below for information about each industry sector.

Creative Industries
Health and Lifestyle
Primary Production
Construction and Trade


Great Lakes Profile

The Great Lakes area, covering an area of 3,373 square kilometres and housing a population of approximately 34 695, is located about two and half hours north of Sydney on the Mid-North Coast between Port Stephens in the South, Hallidays Point in the north and west to the beginnings of the Great Dividing Range.

The Great Lakes region has experienced significant population growth over the last 10 years. This has been dominated by an influx of retirees and 'sea-changers' and their families. Recent population projections suggest that this trend will continue into the foreseeable future.  Employment Although agriculture remains an important contributor to local economic activity, Great Lakes can no longer be considered a 'Rural Based' region. A combination of retirees and 'sea-changers' has resulted in the transformation of the Great Lakes into a 'Lifestyle Region'. That is, an area that is attractive to for its proximity to the coast and the lifestyle benefits which this can offer.

Economic growth in Great Lakes has been driven by local service functions with the majority of new employment opportunities being generated in the service sectors, serving the resident and tourist population.  The dominant sectors of economic activity in Great Lakes are education, health and community services, the retail trade, accommodation, cafes and restaurants, agriculture, fisheries and construction; with education, health and community services, financial and business services and construction representing the highest growth industries.

Residential Property and Land
There is a great diversity of property available for the renter, buyer or investor in the Great Lakes area.  Costs of rental properties have remained steady over recent periods with the median rental cost for a three-bedroom dwelling remaining at around $230 per week for the past 12 months.

Costs of dwelling sales in the Great Lakes area have generally followed trends set in the metropolitan areas and there has been a slight fall in median prices over the past 12 months. Commercial Property The demand for commercial property in the Great Lakes varies across the region, and prices reflect the level of demand. Generally speaking, demand for industrial, retail and office space in Forster-Tuncurry is high, with surrounding towns and villages experiencing lower demand and therefore lower prices.

Click here for more detailed up-to-date demographic information.