Hans and Liz Van Kalken of Hervey Bay stopped at Gayndah on the last night of their five month trip.
Hans and Liz Van Kalken of Hervey Bay stopped at Gayndah on the last night of their five month trip. Felicity Ripper

Back road bandits head home

FOR Hervey Bay locals Hans and Liz Van Kalken, home was just on the horizon on Sunday and they couldn't dream of anything better than sprawling out in their big bed.

"You miss the comforts of home as you get older,” Mr Van Kalken said.

"Nothing stood in our way 10 years ago and it was only when we were heading up from Victoria earlier this year that we realised we have just about had enough.”

Mrs Van Kalken said she especially misses the luxury of her recliner and big screen television.

But the couple have fit a lot into the 10 years they have been travelling in their motorhome, clocking 160,000 kilometres and always opting for the back roads.

"If you take the major highways you don't get the same opportunity to see the interesting things you do going from town to town,” Mrs Van Kalken said.

"Stopping in small towns is just lovely and nothing compares to the hospitality you find.”

The Van Kalkens spend a few months on the road every year with their most recent trip beginning on December 8, 2017.

"We visit towns, would you believe it, smaller than Gayndah or Monto; towns with only 20 or 30 people where you get to speak to the real country folk,” Mr Van Kalken said.

"The furthest north we travelled on this trip was Mount Molloy and it was just beautiful.”

The couple use North Burnett towns as overnight stops before the final leg home of their long adventures.

"The North Burnett is really pretty,” Mrs Van Kalken said.

"We've really enjoyed travelling the country, I mean just look at it.”


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