Laguna Boarding House, Noosa, circa 1950s
Laguna Boarding House, Noosa, circa 1950s

Why a Noosa artist will always remember this beach

I FIRST came to Noosa as a baby 72 years ago and every year after until I was about 17.

My father came here for fishing holidays in the 1920s and used to travel to Double Island Point on the old lighthouse supply truck to go fishing along the beach.

I have seen many changes at Noosa over the years and for the last 22 years have lived at Noosa North Shore.

Noosa North Shore is very much like 'old Noosa' that I remember - few people and sandy tracks leading to the beach.

Spider Bridge, Noosa North Shore, 1996.
Spider Bridge, Noosa North Shore, 1996.

See the photo of the spider bridge which was still here 20 years ago and we used to have to drive across it to access the beach.

Joh and Flo Bjelke-Petersen inside House of Bottles,Tewantin,1972
Joh and Flo Bjelke-Petersen inside House of Bottles, Tewantin, 1972. Griffiths Studios

From 1946 to early 1950s my family stayed each May at Laguna Boarding House and in 1954 we lived there for nine months.

My father - Bert Gardam - held the record for the largest fish ever caught from the main beach in front of Laguna Boarding House. A blue fin tuna.

In 1950s my father built one of the first homes above Little Cove with amazing views across Laguna Bay.

Noosa Queen, barge used for Laurie's coloured sands tours, 1971
Noosa Queen, barge used for Laurie's coloured sands tours, 1971. Griffiths Studios

It was one of three houses on the headland above the National Park carpark. This was our family holiday home until the 1970s when it was sold and knocked down and it is now apartments.

When my family stayed at Laguna Boarding House the guests used to walk to Little Cove to the English Cottages for afternoon tea - scones and pots of tea.

There were only two shops in Hastings St with steps leading down to the beach.

The view from First Point to Noosa Main Beach.
The view from First Point to Noosa Main Beach. Michele Sternberg

When I was a child my father had an old Land Rover and a permit to drive through the National Park on the fire roads to Alexandria Bay where he would fish off the rocks and we would spend the day on the deserted beach.

There was a plan to build a resort in the centre of Alexandria Bay but a deal was done with a development company that saw a land swap at Sunshine Beach (so I believe).

In 1970 my husband and I had our honeymoon at Noosa Court Motel in Hastings St - in those days a modern addition to available accommodation at Noosa.

Family on deck of Noosa Beach Guest House, Noosa Heads,1970
Family on deck of Noosa Beach Guest House, Noosa Heads, 1970. Griffiths Studio

We later bought a unit in Little Cove and two units at Sandpiper in Hastings St and had many happy Noosa holidays with our children. Our grandchildren now enjoy their school holidays with us at Noosa North Shore.

In 1973 there was a huge storm that pushed the Cherry Venture up on Double Island Point Beach and washed away the road at Little Cove leading to the National Park.

My parents were unable to leave their home at Little Cove until the council dumped huge rocks and rebuilt the road.

You can still see the different non-indigenous rocks and trees planted by the council.

I have lived at Noosa North Shore since 1967 where I work from my art studio on the edge of the Noosa River next to Cooloola National Park.

- Glenise Clelland