At 10 weeks pregnant with her first child, Sydney native Laura and her British-born husband Chris realised they no longer felt happy with life in the big city.
"We were barely seeing each other and we were both spending too much time sitting in traffic," Laura says.
"Chris would leave for work at 7am and on a busy day he might not be back home again until after 8pm.
"Our house was also very small but we knew we couldn't afford to buy anything bigger in the suburbs we liked. We decided it was time to make some big changes."
Laura had spent a couple of years living and working in the Hunter region of New South Wales during her 20s, so was familiar with the area.
"I had some friends who lived in Lake Macquarie and we continued to visit them even after I returned to Sydney in 2009. We were always impressed by the beautiful coastline, outdoorsy life and café scene near the lake.
"Chris grew up in the UK and was adamant that if he was going to stay in Australia, he wanted to live as near to the coast as we could afford.
"When we finally decided to make a seachange and move out of Sydney, it was a no-brainer that we chose Lake Macquarie."
Laura and Chris were not the only ones making a big move.
Data from The Regional Australia Institute shows that between 2011 and 2016, 65,000 people chose to move from the capital city of Sydney to regional Australia. Lake Macquarie was the 10th most popular regional destination for millennials during this period.