Not just for the birds

Reading recently that billionaire Elon Musk had taken Amber Heard on a date to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on Queensland’s Gold Coast reminded me of my childhood.

My family always holidayed at Currumbin Beach, from well before I was born. My grandparents camped on the beach near the long-gone mineral sands works in the 1940s and 50s, and when my sisters and brother came on the scene, my parents booked a flat overlooking the beach for three weeks every year during the Christmas school holidays.

Several members of my family still holiday at Currumbin Beach at Easter time.

What was known as the Currumbin Bird Sanctuary in the 1950s, 60s and 70s was a favourite destination and one that I, along with my siblings and cousins, grew up with. (The image above is from an old home movie taken by my father in the late 1950s — before I was born).

Other Coast attractions, such as Santaland, Marineland and the Jack Evans Porpoise Pool, came and went, but the Sanctuary was a constant in our lives, and I’m glad that the youngest members of my extended family still have the opportunity to visit it.

For me the Sanctuary always brings back the fondest of memories.¬†Feeding the lorikeets (green, red and blue parrots) was always fun, but the venue also had, and has, kangaroos, koalas and other native Australian species, and attractions such as the small train that winds it way through the park. It’s not especially high-tech, but it’s fun and, I suppose, educational too.

The author on the Currumbin Bird Sanctuary train

I also remember the jam-and-cream waffles we enjoyed at the end of every visit.

Entry used to be by donation and the owner, Alex Griffiths, put everything back into the upkeep of the reserve. When he bequeathed it to the National Trust, there was a lot of disquiet, but whatever went on behind the scenes, the fact is that it’s still operating today.

Are there other enduring destinations that bring back memories for you? Or is there a special place from your past that you wish was still there? Comment below or contact me on social media.

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