FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23 2009
FREE – YOURS TO KEEP
How Kawana grew from the sand dunes
COAST TRAFFIC JAM, MID 1960S PAGE
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N M Y H O ME
MY HOME REVIEW | STYLING YOUR KITCHEN | DISPLAY HOME & MORE 21/10/2009 10:12:26 AM
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Anyone who has to regularly drive from Caloundra to Mooloolaba via Kawana Waters will tell you how relentless the traffic on Nicklin Way can be. Tradies on the way to pick up supplies in Birtinya, mums and dads heading back home to Buddina, and shoppers off to the shopping centre to pick up some groceries engage in bumper to bumper action on the busy road. But it wasn’t all that long ago that the same stretch was just a dirt track, where a lone driver could bump along without meeting another car. This week Dorothy Drane looks back at the brief history of Kawana, and the vision that developers and pioneers such as Noel Burns and Alfred Grant had for the place that now houses some of the Coast’s most prestigious real estate. And speaking about stunning homes, this week we take a look at the upcoming Housing Industry Association Awards and a few of the builders up for a gong or two for their own prestigious creations. It’s a jam-packed issue. Enjoy!
Jade Harrison Editor
my display home 4
18 My World 44 Auction Action 45 Market Tracker
92 HIA Cover Story The Housing Industry Awards
94 My Cover Story Setting up an outdoor kitchen
The latest property sales at a glance
55 My News
96 My Display Home Pincushion Bay by PJ Burns
Property-related news and views
64 My Profile
98 HIA Awards Craig Cleary
James Reynolds from Webbers
99 HIA Awards Queensland Resort Living
Open home etiquette
80 My New Home & Land
100 HIA Awards Ryan Designer Homes
A new development to call home
Production Co-ordinator Kara Taylor
Sub Editor Jemma Pearson
Editorial Assistant Jarna Baudinette
My Property Review is locally owned and published by Sunshine Coast Alliance Publishing Ltd. ABN 13 124 476 142 Distribution Enquiries: 1300 367 352 General & Sales Enquiries: (07) 5443 8866 PO Box 6362, Maroochydore BC, Qld 4558 Editorial: firstname.lastname@example.org Sales: email@example.com Production: firstname.lastname@example.org
91 MY HOME REVIEW
Results from the latest auctions
Art Director Noel Harris
Contributors: Dorothy Drane, Jessica Ainscough, Allison Grant
A Harley tour business for sale
Fly into this pricey property
Publishers Anarr Higgins Darryl Olson Michael Kramer Noel Olson Editor Jade Harrison
Graphic Designer Stephanie Kesper
90 Business Opportunities
Kawana grew from the sand dunes
100 HIA Awards Aquatic Homes
Commercial properties on offer
101 HIA Awards TSKM Designer Kitchens
Gary Langford’s milestone year
102 My Style
Property listings and rentals
Covetable kitchen pieces
Hundreds of homes to let
MY BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES ES My Property Review’s new classiﬁeds section, My Business Opportunities, has listings of businesses for sale, including a feature on a Harley-Davidson tour company. Turn to page 90.
Property-related products & services
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Sands of time by Dorothy Drane
The original developers of Kawana Waters had vision, but even they could not have foreseen how the area has grown. MPR looks back at Kawana’s humble and sand-swept beginnings. n the beginning, there were wind-blown sand dunes, wallum and tea-tree swamp – and that was less than 50 years ago. Few other places on the Sunshine Coast have grown up so completely in the past 49 years as Kawana Waters. Until the early 1960s, anyone wanting to travel between Caloundra and Mooloolaba had to travel out to the Bruce Highway, and even when the missing link we now know as Nicklin Way opened, it was still a deeply rutted, sandy track. When it was sealed in 1964, and bridges built over Currimundi Creek and the Mooloolah River, it ran like a black ribbon through a wilderness, swept by sand storms that were driven by winds unstopped by vegetation or housing. The only high land was the headland at Point Cartwright, with two sand dunes and a swamp up to a metre deep keeping the ocean from breaking through to the almost 4000 acres that have become known as Kawana. The busy four-lane highway lined with residential and commercial development that we know today is testament to the incredible vision of that late Noel Burns, who rightly became known as Mr Kawana. The story, as told by Anne Wensley and Janice and John Groves in their history Kawana’s Yesterdays, began with the development company Alfred Grant, which purchased 160 acres of freehold land from Arthur and Cyril Parkyn in 1959. Premier Sir Frank Nicklin announced the release of a further 2426 acres of crown land to the developer a year later. Landsborough Shire Council held another 1400 acres of freehold land and was promised 2.5 per cent of the proceeds from its eventual sale to the public. The initial plan was to build a 91-metrewide canal creating a Kawana Island bound by ocean and the Mooloolah River 13 kilometres west, and Currimundi Creek north to Tuckers Creek. Hydraulic problems prevented the scheme going ahead.
The Nicklin Way in the mid-1960s was a thin bitumen track Noel ‘Mr Kawana’ Burns, managing director of Kawana Estates, 1963-1980
An aerial view of Kawana, February 20, 1930. ‘X’ marks small areas of development
4 My Property Review | October 23, 2009
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An aerial of early canal development in Kawana, December 1969
Premier Frank Nicklin (centre) opening the Nicklin Way on June 5,1965. On the left is JCF O’Kearney, chairman of the Board of Directors of Kawana Estates, and right is Alfred Grant
Very early stages of Kawana Waters development
Shifting sand dunes were used as fill during the early stages of Kawana’s development in 1960
Part of the December 2, 1960 Alfred Grant advertisement
Living at Kawana Waters before 1970 was a little better than camping in your own home. Even electricity connection to the ﬁrst homes was limited
In February 1960, Alfred Grant advertised the sale of allotments at ‘Buddina Beach’ from £495 and offered a 10 per cent discount for cash. There was a credit squeeze in the early 1960s, and the development, like the Alfred Grant development company, was floundering. Enter Noel Burns. A young accountant with Network Finance, which as Hooker Finance had put up the funds for Alfred Grant, Noel set about resurrecting the development and formed a subsidiary group known as Kawana Estates. The first 50 homes were sold at a loss, as an incentive to buyers, but through the novel idea of the developer offering finance for house and land package deals, it could continue to offer cheaper house and land packages than its neighbours. The rest, as they say, is history. Buddina in the north and Cooinda in the south were first cabs off the rank, followed by Warana in 1978, Wurtulla in 1980 and Bokarina in 1985. The canals and lakes of Kawana were not so much a lifestyle choice as an effective way to drain the swamp. Sand was dredged to create the canals and to fill the land sites and the original Kawana Island scheme was finally completely abandoned. Grass was planted to hold the sand in place and stop the fine sand storms that would regularly sweep through. Sand was also removed from the frontal dune in 1960, to help with filling building sites at the northern end of Kawana. The Nicklin Way was completed and officially opened in 1965 and promoted as “6 ½ miles of double lane bitumen between Caloundra and Mooloolaba with underground pipe drainage throughout”. The first Kawana Estates sales office stood out as a beacon, the only building sitting in what appeared to be a windswept desert. Houses that made up the Kawana Estates Display Village, which opened in 1967, have since disappeared. The authors of Kawana’s Yesterdays report that before 1970, there was no town water, post box, mail delivery, bus service, school, banks, public phones, street names, street lights or kerb and channelling. “Living at Kawana Waters before 1970, was a little better than camping in your own home,” they say. “Even electricity connection to the first homes was limited.” Nevertheless, 741 allotments had been sold by the end of 1969, 10 new homes were
An ad from a Kawana Estates brochure – the fisherman is Ken Guy, who used to work for Noel Burns
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built in 1969 and in 1970. Blocks on the Nicklin Way near Currimundi Creek at Wurtulla were selling for $1000. The first land at Point Cartwright sold for $9900. By 1973, 126 homes were under construction and an average house and land package cost $13,500. Buddina State School opened with 252 pupils in January 1979 after three years of lobbying by Kawana parents. The Kawana High School opened seven years later. Building a busy and thriving community from a swamp extends the imagination of even the most fervent believer, but when Noel Burns, who ended up as director and general manager of Kawana Estates from 1963 until 1980, died in 2006 at the age of 78, his vision had been well and truly realised. In a 1980s inteview, he said, “I never doubted that Kawana would take off, but there were times that I despaired. I’ve never been under any illusions about the place, but you have to believe in what you are selling.” Kawana’s Yesterdays by Anne Wensley and Janice and John Groves is available from Angus and Robertson in Caloundra.
Kawana, December 28, 1966
All images courtesy of the book Kawana’s Yesterday
Alfred Grant advertising feature, December 2, 1960
An ad for a home in a local paper, circa 1992 An aerial view of the northern end of Kawana from the 1960s
6 My Property Review | October 23, 2009
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