The holidays are now over. Do you remember the holidays of yesteryear? Travelling from the suburbs of Sydney to the Central Coast or the South Coast before the age of motorways was a nightmare for many.
Some readers of this magazine can even remember crossing the Hawkesbury at Brooklyn by way of a “punt” or ferry before the Bridge was built over the river. I remember the slow winding climb up over the hills and mountains heading north crossing the Hawkesbury and the realisation that the worst was behind once you reached Gosford. What now takes an hour to travel to, would in the past take two or three plus hours. Pity the poor drivers who got caught up behind a slow moving truck, a caravan or a bus whilst climbing the mountains. If your brakes failed on a downward stretch there were safety ramps for you to run your vehicle up. There were no “McDonalds” along the roads. If you were hungry you would stop at a Café in a large town such as Goulburn or Yass or maybe perhaps at a “Golden Fleece” restaurant at a Service Station. Remember those?
Travel in those, now distant, days was an adventure in itself. Car engines would often overheat on long climbs and drives. Safety was forgotten as kids often rode on the back trays of trucks and utes whilst travelling to their holiday destinations. The countryside seemed so different along the roads to the coast. At Gosford and Wyong you would be passing citrus orchards, down South it would be dairy farms whilst out west you may be passing sheep stations and fields of wheat etc
Recently however the tragic bushfires have affected many tourist spots throughout the State including some very local spots in our own area. We have read or seen on television some of the devastation that occurred around Bilpin and Kurrajong. The Gospers Mountain fire also affected areas around Wisemans Ferry. Very recently in the past month my wife and I travelled to Wisemans Ferry which seemed to be very quiet for a holiday season. Very little traffic, the park alongside the river was virtually empty of picnickers, still we had a delightful meal at the Wisemans Ferry pub.
But remember what fun would be had on holidays as you may have camped out or stayed in a caravan. You may have trekked along bush walks carefully looking out for snakes, clambering over rocks or running along a beach and jumping waves as they came in to shore, building sand castles, flying kites or perhaps a game of beach cricket or ball passing. Enjoying an ice cream or paddle pop in a park or having a picnic were other things you would do whilst on holidays. For some it may have been a visit to a lookout, waterfall or out on a boat in a river or lake just drifting along enjoying the relaxation of peace and quiet after a harrowing car ride to the holiday destination of your choice.
My holidays as a child have consisted of many of those experiences mentioned above. I can recall staying in a caravan at Yass in 1958, also at Queanbeyan a couple of years later. During my teens and twenties I would go to the beach or the Central Coast. Since those years much has changed. Highways and motorways have made holidays to further destinations much more common and easier than in the 1950s and 60s. Many people now holiday overseas or on cruises than in the past as travel cost have come down relative to income. Why not take your children or grandchildren to places that you once visited and recall what you did as a child. You can also write of some of your holiday experiences and send in to the address below.
VALE: Many readers may remember Vitomir (Bob) Kuzmanovic. Bob was often the friendly face who would take the orders at his brother’s restaurants at various outlets in clubs and pubs throughout the area. Bob and his brother Charlie operated “Charlie’s Family Restaurants” at the Hills Bowling Club, Northmead Bowling Club, Toongabbie Bowling Club and lately at Fox Hills Golf Club as well as other venues over many years. Bob passed away suddenly on Monday morning on 20th January aged 75. RIP