It's time to Getaway again ....
Chances are, that as you read this, the Halcyon Waters Getaway Group is on the road yet again.
Either that or they’ve just returned from another action-packed trip and they’re planning the next one.
Every three months or so, this ever-expanding group of regional road trippers hits the bitumen for a week of fun, frivolity and friendship.
Like most success stories, it didn’t happen overnight; starting eight years ago when a few neighbouring homeowners with caravans decided to take off for a few days.
Gradually, the word about these jaunts got around and more and more people began to tag along.
These days, close to 100 home owners are on board for the trips organised by Getaway Group ‘head honcho’, Ian Pedersen.
Caravans and motorhomes aren’t compulsory, with around half of the Getaway cohort staying in apartments, motels or cabins.
The Getaways mirror the Halcyon lifestyle; with homeowners free to do as much, or as little, as they please, ranging from morning bike rides and walking tours to café stops and, of course, the ever-popular Happy Hour each day at 4pm.
Past destinations have been the Tara Camel Races on the Western Downs, Evans Head in Northern NSW, Bargara, Maroochydore, Quilpie and Stanthorpe.
Notable stops have included the Eromanga dinosaur museum, Goomeri Pumpkin Festival, Australian Camp Oven Festival at Millmerran, Wandoan Show and an exclusive tour of Kogan Creek Power Station.
Most recently, a group of 86 home owners took off to Hervey Bay from where they explored the historic town of Maryborough, played bowls and golf, tasted the local cuisine and threw their own State of Origin party.
Lorraine Lutz said the Getaways provided a laidback and fun environment for home owners to become better acquainted.
“It’s a fabulous way to get know people and to talk to people you never get to talk to,” she said.
“It’s where you get to know everybody and find friends, close friends.
“And the Happy Hours; they are just crazily ridiculous with singing, music and joke telling, lots of laughter.”
Elaine Boyd said the trips were a comfortable way of getting out of your comfort zone with home owners finding themselves mixing outside their normal circles.
“You get to meet people on a totally different level than what you would within the community,” she said.
“I’m not a person to go out there and meet people but Ian has made me his ‘Minister of Finance’ who collects money, so I get to speak to everybody.
“The fact that so many people keep going back really says what a great time it is.
“The ones we have been to have been absolutely wonderful, we had a ball.”
Col Lutz said it was a great way of seeing the countryside with company.
“You’re getting together and meeting people with a common interest, not just of Halcyon but of travelling,” he said.
Ian said the Getaways created and strengthened friendships while allowing people to explore regions they had never seen before.
“It pulls people together and provides another aspect to this great lifestyle we have,” he said. “Some people are happy to sit at home while others like to move and get going.
“There’s a lot of laughter and fun, and some great friendships have come out of it.”