The Big Cow.
The Big Cow. Sunshine Coast Heritage Library

Take a trip down memory lane on the Sunshine Coast

LONG before Australia Zoo became a drawcard for international tourists and Steve Irwin was a household name, the Sunshine Coast had a fairly unique line-up of tourist attractions.

They may not have been as glitzy as what the Gold Coast was offering but they had a certain homely charm that left warm memories for anyone lucky enough to pay them a visit.

Remember Dino's Fun Park and its timber roller coaster? How about Tewantin's House of Bottles?

The Big Cow at Kulangoor or the Black Hole waterslide at Currimundi?

Of course, the Big Pineapple was probably our best known attraction and while Steve Irwin wasn't famous yet, he was busy helping his dad establish Beerwah Reptile Park on the site where the zoo now stands.

Tourism has always been important to the region. In fact, the name change from Near North Coast to Sunshine Coast in August 1967 was an attempt to make the region more appealing to tourists and attract new residents to the area.

Next month we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of that milestone and the Daily will publish a series of commemorative booklets to mark the occasion.

Rather than make them traditional history books, we've asked people to put pen to paper and send us their memories of the past 50 years.

And the results have been amazing.

How about Bob Irwin's personal story of selling his Melbourne plumbing business and moving his young family to the region.

Or the prominent politician who's contributed to our Education book with revelations about the day the principal of Nambour High told him to choose between his long hair and the Year 12 Economics Prize - he chose to keep the hair!

There are 10 books in all, covering everything from sport and business to real estate, primary production, motoring and entertainment.

"Being part of this project has brought back so many memories," Sunshine Coast Daily journalist Shirley Sinclair said.

"I know there will be a lot of people taking a walk down memory lane, like I have."

The books will start appearing in the Daily on Monday, July 31, and continue every day except Saturdays until Friday, August 11.

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