Rebecca Gibney’s sweet sacrifice for her only son

She was "reluctant" to make this major life change.
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The past few weeks have been a time of big change for Rebecca Gibney, with the popular actress making a huge sacrifice for the sake of her only child.

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Earlier this month, Rebecca took to Instagram to explain why she had been “a bit quiet on here” of late. The Packed to the Rafters favourite shared that she and husband, Richard Bell, had decided to sell their dream family home on New Zealand’s South Island and move north to be closer to their Wellington-based son Zac.

Actress Rebecca Gibney in New York with husband and son.
Rebecca and husband Richard have relocated to be near their son Zac. (Credit: Instagram)

It’s a major life upheaval for the couple, who have been married for 22 years. Rebecca hinted the decision was one she didn’t really want to make.

“We have decided to reluctantly leave our beautiful beachside home and head north – to stalk our son,” the star wrote on Instagram, alongside a video of the stunning Dunedin property.

“On to new adventures. Love you Dunners, thanks for being my haven. I will miss you and your beautiful people.”

Indeed, the “very rural” Otago property holds many happy memories for Rebecca, who moved there with Richard and Zac in 2017.

Rural home in Dunedin, New Zealand
Bec’s Dunedin home is incredible! (Credit: Bayleys.co.nz)

For just over three decades, New Zealand-born Rebecca was based in Australia for her acting gigs, but after finishing work on her TV show Wanted in Queenstown, her family decided to stay and settle further south in Dunedin, on a 12.5-hectare slice of paradise.

Rebecca and Richard contemplated making the move in 2022, when Zac first relocated to Wellington. Following in his mum’s footsteps, he is studying acting at the Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School. Ultimately, they decided to stay put.

Rebecca has previously shared that she couldn’t be prouder or more supportive of Zac as he pursues acting – even if she did initially try and talk him out joining her in the business!

“This is what makes his heart sing,” she told our sister site TV Week.

Actress Rebecca Gibney and teenage son stand in front of building
Rebecca’s son Zac is following in her footsteps! (Credit: Instagram)

But two years into being empty-nesters, it seems Rebecca and Richard have had a change of heart. And while she’ll miss her life in Dunedin terribly, the Gold Logie winner is looking forward to living in the same city as Zac. She’s also returning to her roots as she grew up in Wellington.

On top of the big move, this year will see Rebecca facing another major life event – her 60th birthday. Fans are constantly asking ‘How old is Rebecca Gibney’, and the star can’t wait to hit the milestone. 

At this stage of her life, Rebecca finds comfort in surrounding herself with nature. She once told The Australian Women’s Weekly that, “Every morning, the first thing I do when I wake-up is say a gratitude prayer. Then I tend to meditate and just call in energy and strength, wisdom, guidance and peace – all the good stuff.”

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