On the Road Again

After a year of abject Covid carnage but the blessing of being able to work with delightful newly arrived Yazidi refugee students busting to learn English and dedicated teaching colleagues at the local high school, cancelled overseas and homegrown travel bookings, family issues and slipping in to less than healthy eating and exercising habits, enough was enough! So taking full advantage of Queensland’s relative freedom and needing to feel the sand and surf again, my OM (Obliging Mate) and I have set off on a nostalgia trip to the Sunshine State’s Sunshine Coast.

Day 1 saw a slightly drizzly start from home in Toowoomba. Not unhappy that the garden might get a drink while we are away though. An uneventful drive through the Lockyer Valley, past Ipswich and on to the motorway leading us north through Brisbane, and we were off on a long-awaited adventure. The Brisbane River divides not only the physical capital in to two competing camps of north and south, but we did the inevitable memory jogger of “When was the last time we were northside?” Being Southsiders there was a hint of superiority in that question I fear.

All rather ho hum suburban scenery. Then we crossed the Hornibrook bridge, and were glad to see the familiar fishing from the remnants of the old toll bridge – a penny a pop in old money- and suddenly we were on The Peninsular.

Our mini-vacation had begun! How appropriate to start with catching up with old friend and colleague, Gina. Her rendezvous on the Margate foreshore opposite the Red Dolphin fish and chip shop was a great spot – the crow, seagull and inevitable ‘bin chicken’ ibis also thought so. With a brisk South Easterly wind whipping up whitecaps, and a slightly hazy view across to Moreton Island, we tucked in to a highly rated lunch and in to natter. Bags of reading matter and jigsaws were exchanged as well for a couple of charities back home and we then continued north along the seafront to Mon Komo, our digs for the night. Great location.

A quick luggage drop off and we were on our way to the meetup with school chum Pam. She and partner Den are global adventurers and we had a lovely time telling traveller tales together, while admiring their beachfront apartment – a little piece of Santorini transported – and that same Moreton Island vista. No ho hum suburbia here!

Dinner was a light curry evening at Royale Indian along the streetscape showing a few signs of Covid collapse with empty shopfronts and the aftermath of lockdown and a nervous and uncertain economy. Though for a Monday night, the numbers of dine-in patrons was encouraging.

Then for the early morning walk to uncover the history of the area that sadly Brisbane southsiders lack.

What a discovery! The boardwalk only a few metres down below from Marine Parade, and obviously a favourite with early morning locals, holds hidden gems. Though the weather was overcast and drizzly, the adrenalin of walking and finding the quirky, cute or curious always spurs me on. As the sun tried to peak through it lightened the shoreline and allowed me a glimpse of how community facilities can be contoured in to the landscape well…..Sutton’s Beach a fun example.

Further along came the pavilion, the jetty, the Anzac Park and the memorials to Europen settlement – noting the first spot in Queensland.

The streetscape shares the old and the new, the past and the present…….quite a variety. I particularly liked the lines of long ago architectural fashions. Then there were the hidden gems in arcades and the Bee Gees Way tribute to Redcliffe’s famous singing brothers. Lots of coffee shops were opening for their regulars and my exploration of this interesting section of the coast ended back at the hotel before OM even stirred. Thanks Redcliffe.

6 thoughts on “On the Road Again

  1. Nostalgia time thanks to your photos — the jetty brought back memories of family holidays to Bribie using the Koopa for transport. It called into the Redcliffe jetty on its way to Bribie before we got into the ‘open sea’ and the invitation to get sea sick! And, yes, I did succumb. But the jetty has other memories for me – many a Sunday afternoon was spent at Redcliffe very near the jetty as my sister and I were both enthusiastic roller skaters and our parents were enthusiastic spectators of our efforts to control the wheels! We’d go to the afternoon session at the rink which was beside the jetty, then have a family get together meal of fish and chips before staying on for the evening skating session followed by the trip home. Thanks Mum and Dad for being so giving of your time for us – and thanks, Lyndall, for bringing those memories to the fore ….. oh, the lovely simplicity and happiness of those childhood/teenage days. I wish for the same for the young people of today.


  2. Thanks, Lyndall – what a treat to open an email that is all things good and wonderful – entertaining, undemanding, beautifully written and also informative – all this praise from one who grew up on the northside of the river!
    Keep enjoying yourselves and being the wonderful giving people that you are – silly thing to say, what else would you do!!


  3. Great to see you back to travel blogging. I’m looking forward to reading all about your latest adventures. If COVID-19 has done anything positive at all, it’s to help us appreciate the attractions in our own back yard. Whilst international travel is exciting, it’s also a hell of a lot of trouble negotiating airport procedures and enduring long distance flights. So nice to be able to jump in the car and follow the road.

    Your photos of Redcliffe bring back happy memories for me. The plaque commemorating the rollerdome should have another historical note: “Here in 1959, Shirley Folker learned to skate.” As a child I went on holidays to Redcliffe with my family. Mum, Dad and four kids bundled into the Holden on the farm at Rocky Creek and headed off early, Mum frazzled after spending the previous week getting everything ready. She had the “ports” open on the floor for days, carefully packing and repacking everything we’d need. We’d arrive at our rented house (never beachfront – too expensive), and immediately start pestering to go to the beach. Then came days of beach (morning and afternoon), a treat of a Hav-a-Heart (25 cents I think), and fish-n-chips (every night – Dad’s favourite). Special outings were taken to Dunethin Rock (it’s quite a nice place to visit if you feel like it), the games arcade on Redcliffe Pier, and “the shops” – sometimes we just had to keep out of the sun. I remember some very painful sunburn. But I loved the rollerdome the best (after swimming), and later I got a pair of those strap-on roller skates to use at home. Unfortunately the only concrete was the rough and crumbling path from the back door to the wash-house and toilet, so needless to say, that past-time had a very short life.
    Where will you lead my memory next?


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