Cruising in style, expert craftsmanship and luxurious comfort, Robert Schlencker along with his wife Helen have spent almost 30 years travelling in their retired, full restored fire truck “Formerly”. Returning every year to Fern Hideaway Resort to visit family. Check out Droneiac‘s beautifully produced Ferns video below and the Queensland Weekender segment at the end of our blog.

Purchased as an empty box with only a Holden motor, the 3.5 ton vehicle needed no special license to drive. 

“We saw her in the back of the Kippering dealer in 1988 and I offered $2200,” Robert said.

“She needed rego, so for $3000 I drove her out the gate. Since then we’ve done 61 thousand kilometres to date, including a trip to Tassie.”

After purchase, Robert carefully restored Formerly over the next 2 years. Sharing his photo album transcript of all the hard work, firemen once using the truck would not recognise her from her former state.

The luxuriously upholstered dining area seats which double as wardrobes & storage, beautifully crafted wood carved tabletop and sectioned off bedroom area, the truck is fully self-contained, toilet inclusive.

Their home base is Petrie Joyner, Strathpine, and during their first trip after restoration in 1990 to Cairns, they stopped into the beautiful Fern Hideaway Resort in Byfield.

Robert said they’ve returned each year since then to meet up with family.

Tucked away in the magnificent rainforest Byfield National Park and State Forest, Ferns Hideaway Resort offers all the perks of a large resort. Tennis, basketball, bushwalking, pool and spa, canoeing, & with the added bonus scrub turkey chasing, to occupy the kids for long periods of time.

Set up camp or lodge in one of the beautiful self-contained log cabins. And feast Friday, Saturday, Sunday lunch or Saturday night dinner whilst being entertained by resident muso, Marto.

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