Today in Torquay #6

8:00am the sun is back after some brilliant rain yesterday

9:00am Walked along the Esplanade towards Point Vernon this morning. My plan this week is to walk the entire length of the north-facing foreshore from Urangan Pier to the tip of Pt Vernon – about 12kms (but of course it is always ‘there and back’ so 24kms). Tomorrow I will walk the final 3 (6) kms.

There is a real mish-mash of architectural styles along the Esplanade. Lots of it is just plain ugly and there doesn’t seem to be any coherent story being told- except perhaps a story of haphazard development. The only common theme seems to be the Public Dunnies. OK, they are just bog-standard (see what I did there) blockwork; but I have never seen such beautifully presented, sweet-smelling dunnies. Here are a couple of examples.

On the subject of architecture, I just loved this place at Piabla. I don’t know anything about it, but doesn’t it evoke a bygone era of holiday-making ‘at the seaside’? The bricked-in understorey ruins the aesthetics for me, but don’t you love the roof gables and that fantastic stairway up the hill. The view from the balconies must be sublime.

Guess the era...1920's/30's/40's?

This dedication to the indigenous occupants of the Hervey Bay/Fraser Island area was set up in Pialba in 1988 for the bicentennial celebrations. When the first white fellas were settling here, there were probably several thousand black fellas – the Butjilia people. They were decimated over the ensuing decades by disease and disruption. In 1860, they were ‘quarantined’ on Fraser Island where their numbers continued to dwindle. In 1904, the remaining couple of hundred were shipped off to Yarrabah, near Cairns.

Butchulla Monument, Pialba

11:30am: I took this shot from Ghost Hill, the highest point in Hervey Bay, looking back towards Maryborough. It is still called Ghost Hill on Google maps. The legend has it that a ghost was seen here one night by two timbergetters. But Joan Christiansen sets the record straight: “Mr List had gone to Maryborough… and, on not returning by nightfall, Mrs List began to worry. That same night, Boyle Martin and Anders Christiansen, full of good cheer from the Hunter’s Hotel, were making their way back to camp at Bunya Creek when they paused at the top of the hill to rest their horses and light a pipe before making the steep descent. Mrs List wandered out onto the track in her long white night gown. On seeing the men, she dodged between the trees and the men, in their condition, thought they had seen a ghost. They rode for the safety of their camp…. Grandfather Anders declared to the end that he had seen a ghost that night.” (They Came… and Stayed, p.35)

Ghost Hill, Main St, Pialba

8:00pm: My waiter this evening at the Wild Lotus Cafe was Dutch (from Zeeland)! So now I have Aboriginal, Bangladeshi, Corsican and Dutch. A-B-C-D. Tomorrow night’s must surely be English? Eritrean? Egyptian…?


~ by Garry on December 8, 2011.

One Response to “Today in Torquay #6”

  1. Ah ! the memories of Hervey Bay.Pialba,Scarness,Torquay Urangan.The toilet blocks are different but stairs up the bank at Pt Vernon look exactly the same as in the 50’s The beach is brilliant. We must pull out the slides at some time in the future. I remember one in particular taken late afternoon on the day that we arrived on holiday with you and Nana and Pa. taking some of your first steps. I would love to go back and visit some of the old haunts, Old Henry’s house,the Crossleys guest house at Scarness etc. Although I’d probable be dissapointed most would be long gone.


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