THEIR trip to Europe was meant to signify the beginning of newfound adventures for Wayne and Theresa Baker, but tragically it became the couple's last.
The Coral Cove couple were on the last leg of their European trip when they boarded the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
On Friday morning the passenger plane was shot down over Ukraine on the way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Friend Jan Chandler said she was still processing the fact that her frequent travelling partners would not be returning home to share their stories.
"I saw their names listed on the internet on Saturday morning and actually rang Theresa's parents to confirm," she said
"They had two lovely boys that they just adored that live in Darwin.
"We are just devastated."
Theresa and Wayne both worked for the government in the Northern Territory.
Wayne retired three years ago and as of March this year, Theresa was semi-retired.
Mrs Chandler said the devoted couple had known each other for more than 30 years and the avid travellers were planning a retirement filled with adventure, including a year-long road trip around Australia.
"They had just had a wonderful trip to Thailand for Wayne's 55th birthday and then went on a six-week trip to Europe," she said.
"I got a text from her at the end of June from Croatia telling me they were having an absolutely wonderful time.
"Then I got an email from her saying she would send photos of the trip and I didn't hear from her again."
Friend Tracy Patterson said she and her husband met the couple in 2008 when they moved into their Coral Cove home and hit it off immediately, heading off for local fishing trips together.
"We met them through the Bundaberg Sports Fishing Club," she said.
"They were very friendly, passionate and loveable people.
Mrs Chandler said during the 2013 floods the couple's helpful nature came to the fore.
"Wayne actually was wonderful during the floods and helped Keith Iseppi from Bundaberg Chainsaw and Lawnmower Service," she said.
"It was one of the first businesses to be flooded and Wayne was one of the first people there.
"That's just the sort of people they were."
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