Taking a look at our region’s rich seaside history

Posted: 4pm 10 Nov 2018

For longer than most people can remember, it was safe beaches, great fishing, family events, a relaxed atmosphere and fish chips that attracted visitors to Bribie Island and the Redcliffe Peninsula.

From the beginning of the 20th Century, if keen holiday-makers desired a trip to the popular seaside destinations, it meant a trip on a steamer called the SS Koopa, which made its maiden voyage with paying passengers on Boxing Day 1911.

This ran for 31 years from Brisbane's Customs House to Woody Point Jetty, then to Redcliffe Jetty and then on to Bribie Island.

The Bribie Island Historical Society conducted research in the trip from Brisbane to Bribie on the SS Koopa and later the SS Doomba had a luxurious feel with a dining saloon, gambling and even a licensed bar. Not to forget the orchestra that provided the music for dances, community singing and concerts.

Before leaving the seaside the passengers would load up on large bunches of wildflowers, bottles of Bestmann’s honey and Bestmann’s wine and seafood. The Bribie Island based jetty was famous as Australia’s top spot for wrangling Australia’s largest fish, the groper.

According to History Redciffe’s Pat Gee, the 1930’s saw the creation of entertainment committees throughout the Redcliffe Peninsula in a bid to generate more activities on along the foreshore. These included sand garden competitions at Woody Point, Margate and Suttons Beach, as well as many other family orientates fun.

By the time WWII ended these activities lost their appeal and new one were introduced, such as, the Sunday Mail Sun Girl competition, which was widely popular in the 1950’s.

Each seaside location form as south as Byron Bay to as far north as Cairns would conduct heats, with a combination of local girls and tourists. The finals being held at Suttons Beach, which had thousands of spectators and supporters flocking to the peninsula.

Come the 1960’s and 70’s the tourist proved harder to attract with more and more people affording their own cars and fuel, they would instead drive to the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. Which left the Redcliffe community needing to come up with other ways to get the crowds to visit and spend their money on the Peninsula.

When Saturday shopping was introduced, that seemed to boost the number of visitors to the region. “It was big. No one else had it,” History Redcliffe’s Margaret Harding says.

There was also the bonus draw card of a picture theatres, the skating rink (1938 – 1985) and cafés. The tourist dollar also encouraged local entrepreneurs to sell soft-serve ice cream, fish and chips, and even hot water from laundry coppers on the beach for cups of tea and coffee.



Creative flair on show

The talents of Bribie Island Community Arts Centre arts and crafts groups will be on show in an exhibition later this month.…

Triple treat for Redcliffe Tigers AFL teams

The Redcliffe Tigers AFL club is aiming for a trifecta of grand final glory at the weekend, with three youth sides vying for trophies.…

More you might like:


Local Stories   •   8-1-2018  •   Kylie Knight

Why Buying a Chook is More than a Transaction

Ingrid Dimock comes close to being a mother hen to “her girls” and firmly believes buying a chook should be an experience, not a transaction.…

Local Stories   •   9-2-2018  •   Kylie Knight

Building Concrete House Took Grit, Determination

Brunella Novello says she adopted the "just watch me" mantra to overcome obstacles during building her dream home in Ocean View, northwest of Brisbane…

Local News   •   9-2-2018  •   Kylie Knight

Samford Farmers’ Hall Remains Heart of Village Almost 100 Years On

It took a concerted effort from the community to create the place that has hosted celebrations and events in Samford for nearly 100 years. The Samford Farmers' Hall's history is testament to the strength of the community it continues to serve…

Local Stories   •   9-2-2018  •   Kylie Knight

Easter Camping: Plenty of Options in the Moreton Bay Region

Camping can be as rough, comfortable or luxurious as you wish and there are plenty of options in the Moreton Bay region, regardless of your preference. …

Local News   •   14-2-2018  •   Kylie Knight

Craft Beer Industry Booms in Moreton Bay Region

Hannah Honnef may have German heritage and grew up on a vineyard, but she says her decision to join the beverage industry was not inevitable.…

Local Stories   •   14-2-2018  •   Kylie Knight

Moreton Bay's fishing tips

David Bateman enjoys fishing in Moreton Bay and it seems he's not alone with half of all Queensland's recreational anglers going to the same place every year.…

Your free local community newspaper, home delivered fortnightly.

Read Latest Edition