Bali for me is an opportunity to recharge the batteries, to take the opportunity to relax and do nothing – unlike other travel where we are pretty active with planned activities, discovering new places and learning about new environments. As mentioned in my earlier post 365 Places: Bali, I have been coming to Bali since 1981 so in many ways it is like a second home, or more accurately, a second holiday home.
When we are on holidays in Bali, I love to catch up with reading, especially reading for pleasure as I read a lot in my working life – for research and information. Here are some of the books I am reading these holidays:
The Gentle Subversive: Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, and the Rise of the Environmental Movement (New Narratives in American History) by Mark Hamilton Lytle
A Place in the World by Cinda Crabbe MacKinnon
How to Travel Full Time by Colin Wright
These books I read from other times we were here, but I am reading them again as they are all about Bali and it’s culture:
Love and Death in Bali by Vicki Baum
Bali: Sekala & Niskala by Fred B. Eiseman
Yep – reading by the pool, my idea of spending time on holidays 🙂
Today, we return to my home state of Queensland to talk about a place that has some family history. This story is a about Rainbow Bay and the story has been contributed from my Mum – Kay Benson. In sections of this post I have quoted her directly – the rest is a combination of her words and my little edits.
Is its name suggests, Rainbow Bay is a beautiful little bay situated between Greenmount and Point Danger on the furthest point south on the coast of Queensland. It is within a stone’s throw of the New South Wales and Queensland border. My Mum and her extended family holidayed there for many decades, either camping at the camping grounds that used to exist on the foreshore, staying in a holiday flat, or at St George’s Holiday Home overlooking the Bay.
During the fifties and before the introduction of shark nets it was common to see grey nurse sharks swimming close to the shore. The lifesavers were vigilant in watching for these sharks and once the shark bell was rung we knew it was time to get out of the water quickly. St. George’s Holiday Home was specially set up by the Anglican Help Society in 1915 as a respite and recuperation centre for the soldiers returning from overseas active service. Today it remains a Holiday Home for ex-servicemen and women.
Over the past 70 years, four generations of our family have holidayed at Rainbow Bay – including my great grandparents, grandparents and parents – who all love that area.
In December 1978, our family came down from Darwin and we stayed around the corner from Rainbow Bay at 77 Sunset Strip Coolangatta, which I thought was a great name despite the motel being a bit run down.
Rainbow Bay is a great location, apart from the beautiful walking track that winds around the south coast beaches for kilometres, it is within a short walk to the well-known Twin Towns RSL and the townships of Coolangatta and Tweed Heads.
This lovely hand coloured photograph was taken at Woody Point around 60 years before I was born. Woody Point is one of the hamlets on the Redcliffe Peninsula, situated about 30 kilometres north of Brisbane. Redcliffe, in the early days of European settlement, was a place for day trippers and holiday makers, who would spend their time swimming, fishing and picnicking at the seaside, under the shade of huge Moreton Bay Fig trees.
Not much has changed since those days, Redcliffe is still very popular with day trippers, who bring their families , eskys, fold up chairs and food for barbeques.
Redcliffe was my first home. As a child and a teenager, I also spent a lot of time there with my family and my Godparents, who lived there until they passed away. In many ways, Redcliffe had a big influence on my love of the coast and the ocean, which I mention in this post from January 2013, titled SCANZ2013: Crossing borders – identity, culture and place.
The site of Redcliffe has a very interesting history. It was the original site of the colony of Brisbane, which was later disbanded for the current site of the city. Mr Wikipedia says:
Before European settlement, the Redcliffe Peninsula was occupied by the indigenous Ningy Ningy people. The native name is Kau-in-Kau-in, which means Blood-Blood (red-like blood).
Redcliffe holds the distinction of being the first European settlement in Queensland, first visited by Matthew Flinders on 17 July 1799. Explorer John Oxley recommended “Red Cliff Point” – named after the red-coloured cliffs visible from Moreton Bay – to the Governor Thomas Brisbane for the new colony, reporting that ships could land at any tide and easily get close to the shore. The party settled in Redcliffe on 13 September 1824, under the command of Lieutenant Henry Miller with 14 soldiers, some with wives and children, and 29 convicts. However, this settlement was abandoned after one year and the colony was moved south to a site on the Brisbane River at North Quay, 28 km (17 mi) south, that offered a more reliable water supply. For more information on Redcliffe’s history see http://www.redcliffehistoricalsociety.com
Redcliffe became a pastoral district in the 1860s and in the 1880s boomed as a seaside resort town with the paddlesteamer Koopa making regular trips to its jetty from 1911.
This image is of the steamer Boko not the Koopa, but still gives a great idea of what those times would have been like for the tourists visiting the area.
When I go back to South East Queensland to see family and friends, there is usually a trip back to Redcliffe, to walk along the boardwalk, check out the markets or swim in the lagoon. It is a place that brings back many happy memories of all different stages of my life – as a child, a teenager, an adult and as a parent. One of my happiest memories was when I took my son there when he was around five. To see his delight in climbing the old Moreton Bay Figs took me straight back to my childhood and my own enjoyment of climbing these magnificent trees. I remember his face shining with delight when I joined him up in the branches to sit, chat and look out to the bay.