I am Cairns born and bred but I grew up in mainly Manoora for the first 13 years of my life. My first experience of going out to the southside was to visit my grandparents who lived across from the school at White Rock. I don’t remember too much of the suburb then, as I was quite young, but I do remember driving past the basketball court at Bak Park. Other than that, the only other time we usually visited the southside was to go to the drive-in, which I loved. Those were the days that people would pile in the boot of the car to get it and they never really checked how many people! My parents would take as many kids as they could fit from our previous address to go to watch some of the movies. I remember going for the Dusk ‘til Dawn screenings.
My family moved to White Rock in 1995. It was hard to leave all the friends that I had made at our previous address, where we had been living for 7 years. Funnily enough, our house at White Rock ended up being right across the road from the grandparents of one of our neighbours at our previous address, so we were able to stay in contact for a few years. I had started attending Trinity Bay High by then, and I continued to attend that school rather than move to Woree High. When I left home in my early 20s, it was to move to Ipswich. I had a bit of a career crisis and decided to start a second degree, having previously completed my degree at JCU. Fortunately, I realised that was a mistake after 6 months and I moved back to Cairns (I did get to meet one of my best friends while in Ipswich though, so that was a positive experience!).
I lived with my parents again for a few months before moving out with a friend to Cairns North where I stayed for 2 years, and then we both moved to the house I am still in now at White Rock. My friend moved on to a different place, but I have been lucky enough to be able to remain in the same rental for the past 14 years! I love my little corner of White Rock and it is great that it is still so close to mum and dad!
White Rock in some ways reminds me of Manoora when I was a kid. There are always kids out playing and people out walking and doing things in the parks. There is a lot of nature at White Rock, and I really like looking out over the trees when coming into it from the highway off the overpass. There is also just an eclectic mix of people that live there, and it is nice to be out and about. I also love that it is close to Ivan Evans track and Behana Gorge. These are two of my favourite trails to walk in Cairns, so I am glad they are so close to home. I also got up to do the White Rock Peak walk last year, which is now my favourite lookout point for Cairns.
I know that White Rock doesn’t always get a good rap, but I love living there and I probably will continue to live there for a few more years to come.