Even if retirement is still a glint in the distance, it’s not hard to imagine how you might fill your newly cleared schedule… lazy days at the pool, activities with the grandkids, hobbies and pot-and-parma lunch specials; not a bad life if you’re keen on taking it easy.

But for those like Stephen Larissey from Tasmania, the wanderlust and itchy feet never quite go away, and there’s always time for another adventure.

“I’ve worked a lot of jobs,” recalled Stephen.

“My parents owned the largest bus service in the state at the time, Tassie Redline, but after my father passed, I moved around.

“Towards the end of my career I was lucky enough to find myself working for a great boss but unfortunately, he died suddenly. That’s when I thought, well, I had better retire before it’s too late, so I packed it in at 61.”

It’s clearly tough to give up the mindset of having lots on the go, and for a soul like Stephen who has energy to spare, it means his pace of life hasn’t slowed down one bit.

“There’s always something going on at the house,” said Stephen.

“I’ve got a pair of beautiful young dogs, so I’ve just put in a big fence which needed a lot of building equipment and concrete.

“I’ve had utes for years but I’m pretty tall and the cab of the ute just wasn’t comfortable anymore, so I upgraded to an Isuzu truck.

“I feel like in the truck I can drive 600 kilometres in a day and not feel tired or uncomfortable at all.”

Jobs around the house are not the only thing Stephen has been roping his light-duty Isuzu truck into. He recently purchased an impressive Palomino slide-on camper with the intention of seeing as much of Australia’s gorgeous and dramatic landscape as possible.

“We were never able to do the kind of travel we wanted to in the ute,” Stephen detailed.

“The truck has a 3.2-metre-long tray and a payload that can carry anything I could possibly need without having to worry about weight limits.”

Stephen’s new camper is a serious piece of kit, well deserving of a great rig to match and he’s polished the truck-and-camper outfit with pride.

However, for the lifelong outdoorsman, the cherry on top of his new truck purchase is the capacity to simultaneously tow a fishing boat by the name of ‘Just Chips’.

“That’s what you say when you didn’t catch anything, you go home with just chips… and that’s the story most of the time you fish!” laughs Stephen.

“The boat gets towed behind the truck, and then the camper goes straight on the back tray.

“When everything is loaded, it's all good, it's safe, secure, within weight limits and we can go anywhere we want to go.”

“When I wanted to ditch the ute, I went to Bevan Coleman at Webster Trucks, and he was just the nicest person in the world to deal with,” continued Stephen.

“I told him about the camper and the trips, and he pointed us to the truck I needed and it’s perfect for the job.”

This is an Isuzu NLR 45-150, which comes with that 3.2-metre tray length and a design that just happens to be perfect for housing a slide-on camper.

Although you might expect to find a truck like the NLR on a worksite most days, it’s admirably suited to camping applications, with a turning circle and cab-over engine compactness that makes it manoeuvrable in awkward spots.

The Isuzu NLR 45-150 has plenty of pulling power too, boasting a huge Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of 4.5 tonnes. This means Stephen has no issue towing anything he wants, from the camper, the boat or equipment and supplies for any of the endless jobs he has going on at the house. Another major advantage is that despite their payload capacity, these models can be driven on a car licence, so Stephen won’t have to be the sole driver on long trips if he feels like a break.

With so much territory to cover on Stephen’s bucket list, it was also important for him to get a truck that was versatile enough to handle different ground conditions and with enough power to pull him out of any potential sticky situations.

The NLR will certainly need to live up to Isuzu’s reputation of reliability on this front. Stephen’s superb set up will be getting somewhat of a baptism by fire on an upcoming interstate journey from Tasmania to Perth across the infamous Nullarbor Plain—where the true scale of the Australian outback is sure to test the mettle of the new Isuzu truck.

Stephen went into further detail about what he will be taking on the road with his partner, Vicki, and their dogs Belle and Bob.

“The camper has a shower, toilet, washing facility, air conditioning, camp stove inside and outside, 170 litres of water on it, and it's even got a solar panel on the roof.

“We already do a lot of camping around Tassie, and we found all those little spots that we never went to before, the truck can just get us in anywhere we need it to, it’s going to be amazing.”

First up for Stephen and Vicki are several family visits with a stop-off to son, Tom, who owns the highly regarded 106 Auto Sales in Launceston. Then it’s a trip across the Tasman Sea on the Spirit of Tasmania to be reunited with his other son, James, who lives in Perth working as a marine engineer, and for a holiday on the west coast.

With plans already taking shape for a trip up the east coast of Australia and blueprints being drawn for an eventual drive to Darwin, this is sure not to be the last of many adventures— Stephen, Vicki, Belle, Bob and their Isuzu truck are just getting started.