When you visit your Alma Mater and rekindle some old memories and some new magical moments, it’s a joy! So it has been revisiting Wynnum for 2 weeks with time to take in the smaller gems and the stunning sunrises that have brought a renewed appreciation for this once sleepy seaside destination for those wanting to escape the capital Brisbane. It is sleepy no more!
This is Quandamooka traditional land and the islands lying across the Bay are still proudly managed by the Aboriginal custodians.
Wynnum was the ‘bigger smoke” for my father when he came across from nearby Birkdale to attend his primary school at Wynnum Central. His pioneer farming folk had emigrated from England and their many headstones in the local Hemmant Cemetery attest to the hardships of the late 1800s onwards for those European settlers who chose a new life such a long way from their roots.
I attended the imposing hallways of Wynnum High as a teenager and 50 years on my classmates still meet up for special milestones at Greene Park and share yarns of younger days at the FleaPit canvas-seated picture theatre, and the school dances. But Wynnum is a bustling unit-driven lifestyle destination now and while we sit and chat at one of the many coffee spots, the Wynnum of old has moved on.
What hasn’t changed though is the Esplanade and its mangrove magic. If you can avoid being mown down by runners, cyclists and dog walkers, an early morning stroll north to Tom Burns Place and the impressive boardwalk is stunning as the sun rises over the mangrove mudflats that are the lifeblood of the marine creatures. The plentiful sports fields, the attention to signage and environmental care are indicators of the planning for the future community and tourist potential.
If you head in the other direction, the peace and quiet of Wynnum Creek is broken by the resident bat colony. My current catsit nearby has brought many ambling opportunities to discover the pull that is bringing more and more people to this part of Moreton Bay. Lilly the beautiful rag doll cat and I often contemplate this question.
Wynnum provided me with my first part-time job in White’s Newsagency, which supported my love of books, food and travel and culture…..and now I am returning to pay homage to that start in life. The Street Libraries are a real community boon, as are the Men’s Shed and recycled use of bowling club in to Horizons. The Bengal Curry House ticks every box for this coeliac!
Walking back to the Esplanade and you come across the acclaimed sea water Wading Pool and the many family playgrounds and picnic areas and the Pelican’s Nest – the first of many seafood and modern cuisine based cafes and restaurants which are filled to the bream (ha ha) that stretch all the way past Manly with its YACHT club and impressive marina right along to Lota. Day trippers and locals alike are spoilt for choice!
Wynnum wins on many fronts! Come and check it out for yourself!