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Bachelor winner Geraldton’s Ellie Rolfe on life post-reality TV, her thriving relationship & health battle

Anna CoxGeraldton Guardian
Luke Bateman and Ellie Rolfe on an essential diving trip during their stay in Geraldton
Camera IconLuke Bateman and Ellie Rolfe on an essential diving trip during their stay in Geraldton Credit: supplied;ellie rolfe

Ellie Rolfe finished filming a life-changing season of The Bachelors in August, and since then it’s been a rollercoaster ride for the Geraldton-born and bred beauty.

Rolfe met her new beau, Luke Bateman, in the most public way possible — reality TV — but the pair is still going strong and embracing all the normalities of the real world and a real relationship.

“We’re actually moving in together in two weeks. Either in Byron or the Gold Coast,” Rolfe said.

The high of filming the series was something Rolfe didn’t anticipate but said there was one particular aspect of life on set which was make-or-break for some contestants.

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Contestants have to surrender their phones and have extremely limited contact with the outside world during filming, directed by crew each day about where they will be, what they wear and what activities they will engage in.

“I went in with no expectations and ended up really enjoying that spontaneity. I really thrive in that environment. I felt like I was on a holiday and it was all planned out for me. But some people found the spontaneity hard,” Rolfe said.

While the speed of Rolfe and Bateman’s relationship was helped along by the presence of lights, cameras and plenty of action, Rolfe said the two had been enjoying their time together at a slower pace away from the spotlight.

“We flew back to Gero and had Christmas and New Year’s together, so Luke met all the extended family but they all loved him. They kind of feel like they knew him already from watching the show, which was nice,” she said.

The massive year for the couple finished with an essential item on a Geraldton itinerary — a day on the boat diving for crays.

“Dad took Luke out just past Point Moore and he loved it. I grew up doing that and he picked it up way quicker than I did,” Rolfe said.

The blissful summer vacation has put Geraldton on the map as a future, more permanent destination for the duo.

“I’d love to move back at some point, when the time is right, but right now work is mainly in the Eastern States so it’s just easier to be based here ... for now,” Rolfe said.

Chit-chat of weddings has bubbled to the surface in the seven months the pair have spent together since finishing the show.

“It’s definitely what we both want; we just want to enjoy each other for a bit,” Rolfe said.

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for Rolfe, with the 29-year-old suffering a health scare at the start of the year which saw her lose 90 per cent of her kidney function and flown to Perth for a 10-day stay at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

“It’s reminded me that life has ups and downs. We were on such a high from the show and then this happens. I had absolutely no symptoms and it came out of nowhere,” she said.

Rolfe is now on the mend, with Bateman by her side during her unexpected health battle. The couple is now looking ahead to an even brighter 2024 and will also be focusing on their respective careers, with Bateman taking a role in radio and Rolfe launching a new jewellery line for her online boutique, Aru Store.

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