Mal & Lara Oranges Tas02

At an age most people in their seventies think about retiring to somewhere warmer, the Leylands have upped and moved house – heading in the opposite direction.

The couple sold and moved out of their home of the past two years, located in a retirement complex on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland.  They’ve upsized to a rambling old farmhouse on a small acreage just outside Devonport in northern Tasmania.

“We love the life of growing our own food.  There are people who say you’re mad to do that, but if you haven’t done it, you don’t know what you’re missing and the rewards you get from it.  It really improves the quality of our eating and reduces the cost of living.  It also keeps you active,” Mal says.

M & L With Beans

Why Tasmania?

Mal and Laraine say they’ve always liked Tasmania and had often talked about one day making it their home.

“They say it’s running about 20 years behind the mainland, but we like that,” Mal says.

“People often say, ‘wouldn’t it be great if life was like it used to be?’ -well down here it still is.


“We’re not retiring”

“We hope to be on the road mostly during the coldest winter months,” Mal says.

“The only disadvantage for us being in Tasmania is getting our motorhome across Bass Straight on the ferry, but as long as you know when you’re going and book in advance it’s not really an issue.”


So is this the final home for Australia’s most widely travelled couple?

“Maybe not,” Laraine says, we both like to move.  We’re in our seventies, we don’t want to be moving around too much, but we said the last place was our last move and we also said it the time before that.”



For the full feature story, see Issue 24 of ROAM