A holiday to the top end of Australia was cancelled this year for Stawell's Ian and Janine Sibson after coronavirus pandemic restrictions forced all unnecessary travel to stop.
The couple were planning a three-month trip - travelling to Darwin, across to Broome and potentially down the west coast of Australia.
The trip was planned to co-inside with the Kimberly Gift - a feature on the Western Australian athletics calendar and winners offered an opportunity to participate in the Stawell Gift.
Mr Sibson is the official starter of the Stawell Gift and had preliminary talks with organisers about starting the Kimberly Gift, while he was on holidays.
"That got cancelled as well but was the main reason we were going to Broome this year," Mr Sibson said.
"This year the event was going to be in July but in the past, they've had it at other times of the year.
"We love Broome. It's a bit warmer than here. It's one of the reasons we go at this time of year because of the warm weather.
"When Broome was cancelled we had planned to stay closer and go to Yamba in New South Wales.
"Obviously when the borders were closed that was cancelled too."
The couple started touring around Australia with their first big trip in 2007 and have done at trip every two years.
"Our first trip was up to Cape York," Mrs Sibson said.
"We've done Darwin and Broome three times, and Queensland once.
"We try and go every couple of years - sometimes we stay home for reasons such as new grandchildren on the way or house renovations."
HOLIDAYS AT HOME SERIES:
- Stawell's Trevor and Sandra Skurrie have cancelled their holiday due to coronavirus restrictions
- Stawell's Dawn and Gary Blackman spend their first winter at home in a long time
- Stawell couple Mavis and John Graham's European adventure on hold until coronavirus vaccine released
- Stawell caravaners Elizabeth and Colin Konig forced to stop home for winter
Mrs Sibson said the couple loved caravaning because of the freedom that comes with it.
"You can stop anywhere you like really," she said.
"You meet a lot of people and made a lot of friends along the way.
"Occasionally we travel with family and friends and just love it."
Filling in their time around the region, Mr Sibson has his hands full as the volunteer greenskeeper at Stawell Golf Club.
"It's never been busier trying to manage the course at this time of year with the number of people who are playing," he said.
"It's going along ok. It obviously depends on the weather how much work needs to go into projects.
"Because of all the restrictions, there is a greater responsibility to manage all the volunteers and making sure everyone is following all the protocols."
Mrs Sibson is newly retired in 2020, after 46 years in the workforce, but has kept herself busy with volunteer work.
"I'm also running around after grandchildren as their parents are essential workers," she said.
"We're navigating our way through remote learning which has kept me really busy.
"I'm lucky I get to see some of my grandchildren. Because of the restrictions we haven't seen our grandson since February because he lives in Melbourne."
When restrictions ease the Sibsons plan to travel along the Murray River and support some businesses within Victoria.
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