1945-60: STIRRING UP TROUBLE
At the end of World War II Sydneysiders hit the road and headed back to the coast.Returned soldiers and eager youngsters joined regimental lifesaving clubs, paddling giant hollow longboards, or ‘toothpicks’, and patrolling crowded beaches. A handful of eager ‘boardmen’, however, were surfing for pleasure.
Lightweight and agile American malibus arrived in 1956, bringing a radical change in boardriding and surf culture. Films of surfers on hair-raising waves abroad and the sugary teen-flick Gidget soon followed, stirring up trouble and sparking a hunger for adventure.
Camping area, Palm Beach Caravan Park
Photographer unknown, c1950
Warringah LibrarySydney is one of only a few capital cities around the
world that can boast sandy beaches and lively surf at
its doorstep. Since the early 1950s, tourists, holidaymakers
and daytrippers have travelled to Sydney’s
coast to enjoy its well-known attractions, including
idyllic Palm Beach, windswept Wanda and the gritty
urban enclave of Bondi.
Sydney’s beaches faced the threat of enemy attack
during World War II. Tank traps, bomb shelters
and barbed wire fences were built along several
city beaches after houses in the Eastern Suburbs
were struck by shelling launched from a Japanese
submarine in June 1942.