Why North Shore has always drawn a crowd
THEY started when they were babies and their father Barry and his grandmother Jane Kelly (nee Jane Ross), was one of the pioneering family of this area, have always been keen fishermen and will always have love and respect for the pristine coastline.
Going to North Shore every January for two weeks was our annual holiday. In the New Year we would pack up and go way up to nearly Double Island Point where we would stay in Billy Ross' old shack where the six of us would fish and the boys, Dean, Clint, Lorne and Clay would swim and play all day.
It was a great holiday for all of us. But fresh water was a problem where the shack was, so we moved further down the beach and stayed in Mrs Appleby's hut which had the most beautiful fresh, clear running stream right beside the hut.
The days were long and full of fun for the four brothers. They would explore every inch of the Great Coloured Sand hills just south of the hut, Red Canyon, Red Rock, Military Road, the Sand Blow, to name a few.
They were good fishermen too, always a feed of fish to feed the whole family, not to mention the Eugarie rissoles and soup we made. In those days there were millions of eugarie on the beach, not as plentiful today.
At the end of the beach near Double Island Point, we would often see cattle, dingoes and kangaroo on the beach. One day, a not-so-people-friendly huge bull had Dean and Clint bailed up on the beach. They had to run into the surf to get away from him.
We kept our distance from the cattle after that episode.
A less dangerous activity was climbing the hills of the coloured sands. In those days the hills had very little vegetation on them and were easily seen, so it was easy to get the different colours of the sands.
And we would fill small bottles with water and gently pour one colour of the sand in the bottle, let it settle and do it again with another colour until the bottle was full. Thank goodness that is not allowed these days as it got to the point too many people were climbing all over the hills, hence the sands would slowly trickle down.
In those early days, the 60s and 70s, not too many cars would be on the beach so when the boys saw a car coming in the distance we would all run down and wave to them as they sped by. Most would be local from the Noosa area.
In 1973, when the Cherry Venture ran aground at Double Island Point, the beach became busier with people wanting to up to see the ship. She was rusting away and became too dangerous for people to climb over it and so was cut up for scrap metal.
Every now and then, after big seas, you can see parts of the hull exposed, otherwise you wouldn't know there had been a ship there.
Many people will remember "the bubbler", or the bubbling springs. It was an underground spring that forced itself up onto the beach. It was like a spa about two metres in diameter. The boys would drop stones in and the force of the spring would lift them back to the surface.
I have a mother's suspicion that sometimes when I was out of sight, they jumped in to feel the bubbles and feel the exhilaration on the way up. The bubbler has long gone, where to?
One day I was kneeling in the freshwater stream doing our washing, as there was always plenty of that to do with four boys, and a car came right up to me and a lady got out of the car and asked me if she could take a photo of me. I said "Yes, but why?"
She said, "My mother would never believe this". She thought that was where we lived permanently and that's how I did the washing. So I let her believe it.
Things that stay in your mind are there forever, like after our big days and back at the hut to prepare for the evening, Barry would show the boys how to chop wood and then light the old wood stove so I could cook dinner.
No bathroom up there, the running stream was our bathtub and the old toilet up the hill where you could sit and listen to the dingoes howling, and then run like a rabbit back to the hut, heart pounding with fear and excitement. Then, to wind down, a family game of cards until sleep got the better of us.
We did that family holiday for many years and, as time goes by, life changes. The boys have families of their own and they, too, love the beach. Unfortunately, all the old shacks (except one) have been demolished.
Those days we all cherish. The beach is still a beautiful place to be and we are so fortunate to have that on our doorstep.
As we get older, those days are the memories that will stay with each and every one of us.