Unlike the movie – full of conflict and car chases, the real Mrs Smith says Mr Smith has the patience of a saint and has never heard him even raise his voice. Just what you want in a driving instructor! However, just like Brad and Angelina, their life is far from mundane – skiing, trekking and diving around the world and a sea change to Rainbow Beach.
Meet Maree and Terry Smith who have been partners in life as well as business. They were high school sweethearts in 1974 and renewed their wedding vows in Las Vegas in 2004. With two children, now grown up, their grandson is fast becoming a local, attending Rainbow Beach State School and Nippers.
“We raised our family in Brisbane but always dreamed of living near the water. We have visited here for more than 30 years, so it was kind of perfect to choose Rainbow Beach when we wanted to escape the hustle and bustle of city life,” Maree explained.
They love to snow ski and scuba dive – with more than 100 dives each – including our Wolf Rock.
These adventurers have trekked some of the Great Walks of the world including Milford Sound, Able Tasman and Fox Glacier in New Zealand, the Inca trail to Machu Pichu in Peru (same height as Everest base camp), Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain and Hinchinbrook in North Queensland.
“We carry all our own gear and food and love the whole challenge of it all – we are rewarded with views you don’t see unless you hike up mountains,” Maree smiles.
They can’t wait to tackle the many hikes available on our doorstep.
Terry currently holds a bike, car, bus and MR license and of course the very important Blue Card which also comes in handy to help out at Nippers every Sunday.
He said, “Having my ticket or Cert IV in Driver Training meant nothing when I had my first very nervous 16 year old student next to me in the driver’s seat. This young man was someone else’s child and his parents trusted me with his safety.”
“I felt a bit nervous myself that day, however, years later and many happy parents and students later…. I am proud to say that I still have plenty of patience and have never raised my voice and never will.”
Terry says, “Teaching people to drive has its frustrations as I am sure parents with learner drivers will agree, but remember, I have the pedals on my side with full control and have also created a unique system to keep a record of each student and what they have accomplished with each lesson. It means we can review and continue where we left off – which saves time and money.”
Terry also has a rule of never answering his phone with a student in the car. “Not even for me,” says Maree.
Terry says, “Although the Cooloola Coast is the perfect place to start learning how to drive, I also take students to where traffic is, like Gympie, and am flexible to work around their busy schedule.”
He will even pick them up at school and drop in them home – it soon makes the hours add up. He reminds, “Every hour they do with me, counts for three hours in their log book!”
The Smiths say it is really rewarding to be part of the process to take someone from nervous beginner to excitement overload as they receive that little piece of paper that holds so much freedom, not only for the students, but the parents too!
Maree has been a very successful Senior Sales Director in Mary Kay Cosmetics since 1986 and business kept them close to the city with her personal service to customers and training consultants all over Australia and New Zealand.
Maree loves to help people whether it’s with skin care, make up application or even sharing her eco-friendly recipes for sand flies and sunburn.
“We have found everyone to be so friendly – it’s the perfect place to watch our grandson thrive.”
They plan on visiting every single shop and restaurant and want to try every single adventurous thing to do – “and,” says Maree, “sharing it with our many family and friends who will be visiting us here in Paradise!”
If you are learning to drive, or a parent blessed with a teen behind the wheel – call Terry and Maree on 07 5486 3530, to book an appointment today!