Falling hook, line and sinker for Seaforth

7-minute read
We explore nbn™ ready towns, suburbs and cities – like Seaforth in Queensland – and discover what connectivity can mean for the region and its people.

When it comes to recreational fishing, it’s the little town that makes a big splash.

Lauded as one of the best spots in the Mackay Region to cast a line, Seaforth in Queensland has seen many an angler (and non-angler) fall hook, line and sinker for its quaint charms and relaxed beachfront vibe.

And now with help from connectivity, including services over the nbn™ network, locals – like Carolyn from Seaforth Store – and visitors alike are embracing a different kind of ‘net.

Seaforth Barramundi release. Image thanks to mackayregion.com

“Most things are now either run by Wi-Fi … the Golden Casket and the EFTPOS machine … they’re all run by Wi-Fi now, instead of relying on the phone line, which used to drop out all the time.” *

Carolyn, Seaforth Store

Welcome to Seaforth, Queensland

Located 40 kilometres north of Mackay, you’ll find Seaforth (Yuwibara Nation) basking on the map where the Sunshine State begins tapering its way towards North Queensland.

The easy-going town, home to around 500 residents, emerges on the other side of lush subtropical rainforest and quintessentially Queensland fields of sugar cane.

“Seaforth is the classic seaside community,” says Jesse Gillard, nbn™ Local’s Community Engagement Manager for Central Queensland and Remote.

“Everyone’s friendly and knows each other. There’s beautiful beaches and the vibe is relaxing, all in an idyllic pocket of Northern Queensland.

“You’re only 45 minutes from Mackay, but it’s a quiet community with amazing tropical island views.”

Seaforth, get connected

Eligible premises in Seaforth can connect to services over the nbn™ network.
Check your address to see whether you can order an nbn™ powered plan:

Making the most of connectivity

When you live in a town like Seaforth, and the just-as-gorgeous surrounds, it’s little wonder that many residents are increasingly choosing to work from home.

“We’re seeing more and more people working remotely and enjoying the benefits of a regional or seaside lifestyle in the Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday Region,” says Robert Cocco, CEO at Regional Development Australia (RDA) Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday.

It’s a common theme across the country with fast broadband – including services over the nbn™ network – helping to enable liveable, thriving communities for those residing regionally and rurally.

“The Seaforth community is an important reminder of how vital the nbn™ network is to tourism, business and that sea change/tree change migration we’re seeing in our region.”

Jesse from nbn™ Local, our team on the ground, agrees.  

“Having access to reliable internet connectivity is critical to enabling this national and global trend in places like Seaforth.^

“I’d encourage all Seaforth residents to get in touch with a phone and internet provider to check their connection options.”

Meet Jesse from nbn™ Local

seaforth-jesse-chris
Jesse Gillard (left) and Chris Cusack from nbn™ Local, pictured in Seaforth.

Jesse Gillard is nbn™ Local’s Community Engagement Manager for Central Queensland and Remote.

nbn™ Local is focused on strengthening our commitment to regional Australia, and boosting efforts to lift the digital capability of regional and remote areas across the country.

Just some of the ways we’re strengthening our commitment to regional Australia include:

  • investing more than $2 billion in improving nbn's infrastructure in regional Australia to help homes and businesses in these areas access higher wholesale broadband speeds and greater network capabilities
  • providing localised solutions for a network better suited to regional Australia through our on-the-ground teams working within regional communities
  • working with industry groups to enhance what's possible in the fields of education, healthcare, agriculture, tourism and more

Connecting Seaforth

nbn's Seaforth Fixed Wireless tower behind the Bowls Club.

While the majority of town is served by Fibre to the Node technology, nbn also recently switched on its Fixed Wireless tower to service approximately 250 local homes and businesses.

“Our Fixed Wireless tower, installed behind the Bowls Club, became operational before Christmas,” says Jesse.

Among our most challenging builds to date, the Seaforth nbn™ Fixed Wireless tower was erected on what was once a swamp – that meant 36,000 litres of water had to be pumped out and treated before works could begin.

And to secure the tower’s foundations, 200 cubic metres of concrete was poured, two and a half metres deep.

“It’s good to see this new nbn™ Fixed Wireless tower becoming operational recently,” says Robert.

“Hopefully we’ll see more and more locals and local businesses signing up to nbn™ powered plans through their internet service providers.”

Meet Carolyn from Seaforth Store

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Carolyn from Seaforth Post Office Store & Newsagency

When asked what makes the town so special, Carolyn, owner of Seaforth Post Office Store & Newsagency, says it’s the community atmosphere.

“It’s still small enough that everybody knows everybody.”

And they look out for each other, she says.

This local spirit was on fine display during the COVID-19 pandemic when visitors to the nearby campgrounds dried up and, with it, much of the store’s regular business.

Perfectly positioned just a three-minute walk to Seaforth Beach, Seaforth Post Office Store & Newsagency managed to ride the crisis out thanks to much-needed Go Local First support from residents.

Now, the secret seems to be out that the town and store are well and truly open for business.

Seaforth Post Office Store & Newsagency

The campground is bustling, Southerners are “coming up in droves” and, while regulars are returning, there are many new faces too, says Carolyn.

“There are a lot – especially Queenslanders – that we haven’t seen before that, instead of doing their overseas trips, they’re seeing what’s in their own backyard.”

It’s not just the campground getting a workout in Seaforth these days either – nbn™ connectivity is also being put through its paces.

Has being connected to services over the nbn™ network helped Seaforth Store?

“Definitely,” says Carolyn.

“Most things are now either run by Wi-Fi … the Golden Casket and the EFTPOS machine … they’re all run by Wi-Fi now, instead of relying on the phone line, which used to drop out all the time. It’s definitely more reliable.” *

Enjoying a flexible lifestyle in Seaforth

While many a holidaymaker will happily ‘switch off’ during their downtime, others embrace connectivity to share their experiences in real-time, stay connected to loved ones, and unwind with their favourite entertainment.

Others still will take the opportunity to enjoy a working holiday – relishing a change of scenery while keeping up with their job responsibilities via laptop and a fast internet connection.

In Seaforth, thanks to services over the nbn™ network, visitors and residents alike can have the best of both worlds.

And, according to the nbn™ Flexible Lifestyle Survey^, a healthy number of us are looking to enjoy the regions on a more permanent basis.

Thirty-five per cent of Australians surveyed are considering relocating to their ideal community after COVID-19, with 54 per cent keen to move to a regional area, like Seaforth.

Thirty-five per cent of Australians surveyed are considering relocating to their ideal community after COVID-19, with 54 per cent keen to move to a regional area, like Seaforth.

“Enabled by high-speed, reliable broadband^, people are now considering how they can move home without giving up their job, access to important services or connection with family and friends,” says Gavin Williams, Chief Development Officer, Regional and Remote at nbn.

A focus on the regions is a sentiment echoed by the National Farmers’ Federation in its ‘Regionalisation Agenda February 2021’ paper, which describes the times as “a 1 in 100 year moment for regional Australia to make its case to governments and urban Australians alike, and articulate what our regions could become with the right encouragement”.

Test your digital capability

The nbn™ Digital Capability Tool is available now to anyone who’d like to confirm where they’re at on their digital journey – and where there may be opportunities for improvement.

To make sure you’re making the most of connectivity – whatever the reason – take our quick, 5-minute self-assessment today.

The final word on Seaforth

For the final word on Seaforth, we asked Carolyn what she’d say to people who haven’t yet been to the much-loved town: “It’s definitely a place to try out.”

And you’re open for business.

“Definitely open for business. We’ve owned the shop for 15 years now and lived in Seaforth for 47.”

So, you’re not going anywhere anytime soon then?

“Not anytime soon, no.”

^ Your experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network, depends on the nbn™ access network technology and configuration over which services are delivered to your premises, whether you are using the internet during the busy period, and some factors outside nbn’s control (like your equipment quality, software, broadband plan, signal reception and how your service provider designs its network). Speeds may also be impacted by the number of concurrent users on the nbn™ Fixed Wireless network, including during busy periods. Satellite end customers may also experience latency.

* nbn is very happy with Carolyn and Seaforth Post Office Store & Newsagency’s experience with the nbn™ network. Of course, experiences may vary. Your experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network depends on the nbn™ access network technology and configuration over which services are delivered to your premises, whether you are using the internet during the busy period, and some factors outside nbn’s control like equipment quality, software, broadband plan, signal reception and how your service provider designs its network.