Backward Glance - Looking forward, looking back
  • Wednesday 10 January 2018

Memories of holiday times spent here on the Sunshine Coast bring families back year after year. 

With the summer holiday season in full swing, this region has experienced a bumper Christmas and New Year tourism season.

The warm weather makes beaches very popular and volunteer Surf Life Savers patrol the beaches, always ready and watchful to ensure locals and holiday makers are safe when swimming.

Holiday makers have flocked to the Sunshine Coast for many years to enjoy the beaches, the waterways, and the scenic beauty of our hinterland region. 

Some holiday makers enjoy our natural environment – they arrive by car with tents and camp in designated camping areas within national parks or across the Coast.

Waterfalls such as Kondalilla or Buderim Forest Park, as well as the mountain streams, are perfect places to cool off after a bush walk.  

In earlier times, holiday makers and bush walkers experienced those activities too. Many didn’t have the luxury of the camping equipment we have today, but enjoyed what they had.

Perhaps boiling the billy for a cup of tea or freshly cooked damper with golden syrup was a treat, while roughing it under the shade of a stretched tarpaulin. It was all good fun, just a different time and generation. 

The advice provided in a Nambour Chronicle article written January 1949 about surf safety remains the same for those who enjoy swimming at our beaches in 2018.

Then President of the North Coast Life Saving Association Frank Nicklin MLA advised swimmers when enjoying surfing activities to “adhere to the directions of life savers.”  

It was during January 1949 when Frank Nicklin officially opened the new Alexandra Headland Club House that he stated, “surfers define the policy of the safety in the water by giving heed to the provision made for their welfare by those who undertake supervision of our beaches. It is for those concerned to be wisely guided by persons who possess the necessary knowledge and training.”

Surf Life Savers and earlier Royal Life Savers were there to help in days gone by. They didn’t have modern equipment like we do today, and perhaps could never have imagined a fast paced jet ski extracting a near drowning swimmer from the surf or helicopters patrolling from the skies.

The thrill of splashing in waterways, in waves at local beaches, or children making sand castles with buckets and spades hasn’t changed. Nor has the joy of a picnic on the beach or at the park with family and friends under a shady tree. Simple pleasures both old and new.

Children have always enjoyed playing in parks, but in days gone by, equipment was very different. If you’re looking for somewhere to take the kids these holidays, there are 10 newly refurbished parks on the Sunshine Coast.

Here is a list of refurbished playgrounds you can enjoy:

  • Sam Bowda Park, Bli Bli
  • Casey Street Park, Bli Bli
  • Silverwood Park, Burnside,
  • Glass House Mountains District Park, Glass House Mountains
  • Keith Hill Park, Golden Beach
  • Nelson Park, Alexandra Headlands
  • Annie Drive Park, Peregian Springs
  • Shelly Beach Park, Warana
  • Saleng Park, Warana
  • Roy Thompson Oval, Yandina.

Aside from the region’s natural beauty, our tourist attractions are pretty special too. The squeals of children can still be heard as they ride a merry-go-round or pilot a bumper car. Kart tracks allow teenagers to go at a speedier pace, providing lots of fun and future memories.

Perhaps kids would like to climb inside the Big Pineapple, not far from Woombye, just like their parents or grandparents did. Standing in front of the pineapple to have their photo taken so they have a keepsake might be something else to tick off the holiday wish list.

In years gone by it was quite an expensive exercise to develop photographs and it was a luxury to own a home movie camera.

Times have changed. Most phones now have cameras and video options, so a photograph or film of your holiday exploits can be shared instantly with family or friends on the other side of the world.

Long ago, holiday makers came by boat and later train transport opened up the area. The roads were rough and with the arrival of the automobile the North Coast started to shine. It is a land changed, but with human effort comes progress and the early pioneers certainly provided and experienced that.

Throughout this holiday period the modern Sunshine Coast Airport has welcomed thousands of tourists arriving via plane to enjoy their holidays.

Many of these visitors marvel at the beauty of our region which perhaps is not seen by locals through the same fresh eyes.

The existing main runway at Sunshine Coast Airport has been instrumental in the development of the Sunshine Coast and the local tourism economy for 57 years and is set to expand over the next few years.

Council’s Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project moves into the construction phase in 2018 to deliver a new wider and longer runway by Christmas 2020.

The new runway will enable direct flights to more destinations across Australia, Asia and the Pacific.                    

There are plenty of activities to experience during your stay here on the Coast.

Head to a Visitor Information Centre or check out the activities offered by Sunshine Coast Council at www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.

‚ÄčImage Captions 

Hero image – Bathers at the 'swimming pool' in the Maroochy River, Cotton Tree, January 1948

The inlet in the river at Cotton Tree became a popular recreation and swimming area. A diving board and slippery side were built in the swimming pool and during the 1950s swimming techniques were taught as a holiday activity.

Image 1 – Children returning to the Alexandra Park Presbyterian Conference Property after an early swim at Alexandra Headland Beach, January 1954 

Image 2 – Children enjoying a swim at Bulcock Beach during the summer holidays, 1960-1961 

Taken near one of the two wooden diving boards at Bulcock Beach. Children and adults lined up on the boards to take their turn at diving. The first diving board was built at the beach in the 1940s. 

Image 3 - Group with their motorbikes and sidecars during an outing to Maroochydore Beach, 1933

Image 4 – Aeroplane providing joy flights from Maroochydore Beach, ca 1925

Image 5 – Bon Accord falls and swimming pool, Montville, 1949

Image 6 – Inter-cricket match on the sports oval in the Recreation Area at Peregian Beach, October 1965

Image 7 – Holiday crowds on the foreshore of Mooloolaba Beach, Mooloolaba, 1950s

Image 8 – Passenger bus service between Maroochydore and Palmwoods, 1920s

Image 9 – Holiday makers at the Kings Beach swings, 1936

Image 10 – Children on a swing at the Pinkerton family home, Yandina, ca 1931

Image 11 – Entrance to Kondalilla National Park, Blackall Range, 1964