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The Big Things Tour drops by

30 Aug 2011

The Big Things Tour drops by Image

With 17,000 BIG kilometres behind them, the Henderson family dropped into Docklands on August 13 for a little spoiling and a well-earned rest.

Sean and Kylie Henderson and their two boys Sam, 10, and Josh, 9, were in the home-straight of their around-Australia-by-trike-adventure, having left Coffs Harbour NSW on June 4.

“I can’t believe I’m in Melbourne.  I’ve never been to Melbourne before,” gushed Kylie as she took her helmet off on Central Pier.  

“It’s so much more colourful than I imagined,” she said looking across Victoria Harbour to the NAB headquarters.

The family was on a mission to be the first to complete the epic trip on a trike.  But their trip was also special as a pilgrimage to the nation’s “big things”.

Having become engaged 18 years ago at Queensland’s Big Pineapple, they have always had a thing for Australia’s “big” tourist attractions.  Buying a trike tours business and operating out of the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour cemented the passion for the BIG things.

So “The Big Things” tour was conceptualised, planned and ultimately undertaken.

The family had 125 BIG things on its 94-day- whirlwind-itinerary.  But a BIG seven-day breakdown on the Nullarbor meant a sprint to the finish and the promise of a second tour of South Australia and regional Victoria.

The Hendersons came to Docklands at the invitation of our own Trikeman, Alan Maxwell, who operates Tours on Trike in Bourke St.  

Three of Alan’s trikes escorted the Hendersons from Little River into Docklands where they were shouted a slap-up feed at The Woolshed Pub and given tickets to an AFL game the next day at Etihad’s Medallion Club.

For Sam and Josh, three months off school was exchanged for a real-life, first-hand education of Australia.  Josh said Coral Bay in Western Australia was his favourite spot.  

Sitting on the back of the trike, exposed to the elements day after day was an endurance test.  But have suffered bird-strike to their helmets.

“They are little soldiers,” Kylie said praising the attitude of her sons. “They’ve been great.  They haven’t complained.”

Sean said he insisted that Kylie sit between the boys so they wouldn’t fight.  “I was getting sick of copping boots in my back,” he said.

And when the boys fell asleep on the road, Kylie put her arms around their helmets and drew them close, stable and snug.

And when she wasn’t being mum, she was chief navigator.  But with Kylie often confusing left and right and also relying on sign language, the family endured some tension as they made their way around the capital cities.

But Sean said if they wanted to talk to each other during the trip, they would have taken a car.

Kylie plans to make a TV show from their adventure.  Their story can be found at http://www.thebigthings.com.au

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