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"Warkworth Oaks is so handy to everything, you don’t need to drive a car anywhere.”

Graham and Carol are one of the most sociable couples at Warkworth Oaks, our newest retirement village located right in the heart of beautiful Warkworth. They moved there immediately after the 2020 lockdown, after living for two years in the Coromandel, where they felt a bit isolated.

“We came to Warkworth Oaks because it’s so handy to everything, you don’t need to drive a car anywhere, you just fall out of the door and you can go to restaurants, shops, medical centres…”

Warkworth offers the perfect combination of city life and nature, with the Mahurangi River just a stroll away.

Before finally settling down in Warkworth Oaks, Graham’s career had taken him to Rarotonga, Singapore, Japan or Malaysia. He worked for 25 years for Air New Zealand, with his most exciting role being the General Manager at the Cook Islands branch. He moved there with all the family in 1976 when Rarotonga airport had just opened and among his many duties was to build a strong relationship with the Cook Island community. “We mixed with the locals a lot, we held lots of parties and we were invited to all of them. We ended up being extremely social there, that was probably the training we had for living at Warkworth Oaks!”

Graham with his wife Carol (left) in one of his many social commitments as Cook Islands Manager at Air New Zealand.

Graham and Carol never thought they would move into a retirement village, but their daughter convinced them to visit Warkworth Oaks and they instantly felt in love with the apartments. The couple loves the relaxed and easy-going atmosphere at the village, where they have made lots of new friends. They like to participate in most social activities, they’re involved with the bar and the community garden, and of course they’re always ready for a party!

Warkworth Oaks apartments are extremely spacious and light-filled, featuring open plan living areas.

After working for Air New Zealand, Graham worked for a multinational logistics company, which involved 8 months of business travel. When health issues forced him to stop travelling so much, the couple decided to buy a Bed and Breakfast in Devonport. After the Bed and Breakfast adventure they both trained to be real estate agents and worked for Barfoot and Thompson. If their career life has not been exciting enough, Graham took over another challenge when he was 70 years old… he drove tour buses around Auckland!

Rarotonga still holds a special place in Graham’s heart. After the long Covid pause, the couple were lucky to travel there last May.

In between all these exciting jobs, Graham and Carol also managed to raise a family of three children, and now they have three grandchildren and two great grandchildren. They all live close to Warkworth so Carol and Graham spend lots of time with them. When I ask them what’s the secret to more than 50 years of marriage, Graham bursts into laughter: “Because I travelled overseas for more than 20 years!”

Graham and Carol believe that being good friends is the main ingredient of their successful marriage.

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