Update: 20 March 2017. According to Wardandi Elder George Webb’s book ‘Noonyabooghera’, Yallingup means ‘place of land falling away‘ referring to the limestone cliffs. The ‘place of love‘ myth was created by the people that opened up the caves and Caves House as a honeymoon destination. Source Melia Brent-White.
Yallingup Beach car park has been a meeting place for surfers since the mid-50s.
The Wardandi aboriginal meaning of Yallingup is ‘Place of Love’. In 2011 a large bronze sculpture of a surfer was erected at Yallingup to recognise its role in ‘the origins of surfing in WA’.
Photos: 2011 unveiling of surf pioneer sculpture at Yallingup. Jim King pics.
Surfers used to camp under the melaleuca trees at the beach car park in the ’50s. Then in the 60-70s surfers used the old public toilets as overnight accommodation in inclement weather.
Things have certainly changed since those days, camping is now banned on the beach front, the public toilets have been relocated and the car park curbed & landscaped. Today’s surfers meet in the car park to check the waves & ‘chew the fat’ on surfing, footy, women……and more recently ailments issues.
This is a collection of car park images with a sprinkling of comments from surfers who frequented the Yallingup car park & Surfside Store back then, when times seemed so much simpler.
Photo: 1970 State Open Champion Tony Hardy in the car park at Yallingup. Ric Chan pic.
Peter ‘Mac’ McDonald – In the 70s when we were working in the SW carting hay, about 10 of us (George Simpson, Ronny Ratshit, Grant Robinson, Gary Kontoolas, John Molloy & others) slept in our cars under the melaleucas at Yallingup and ate breakfast (tomato mince) & dinner with Bernie & Eve at Surfside.
Photo: 1970 Steve ‘Sheepdog’ Cockburn behind & in front of the camera in Ric Chan’s Kombi at Yallingup. Ric Chan pic.
Peter Dunn (NZ expatriate) –Yallingup regular John ‘Tex’ Branch arranged my first trip down south in 1972. Tex met my mates & I at the Cottesloe pub and we then headed to Yallingup in a convoy.
Photos: 1972 First trip Down South. Peter Dunn pics.
Left: Yallingup car park team photo. L-R Peachy, Paul, Renya, Murray, Tex, Keith, Wayne, Dick, Steve & Bow.
Right: Busselton pit stop. Bearded ‘Tex’ sitting on the roof of Prive’s former Holden panel van.
Len Dibben – This Photo was taken by my wife Wendy in the Yallingup car park at the Australian Surf riding Championships, about July 1973. I was part of the Contest committee to run the 1973 Australia Surfboard Championships. At that time, I was Vice President to Ron Naylor president. I organized the Kombi to help run Contestants & Reporters to & from venues, if needed. The two children are my daughter Kim at 7 year of age & son Troy at 5 years of age. They are now aged 48 & 46. The gear I am wearing is a Baron wear striped t-shirt…very popular at that time, Levi Jeans & John Arnold Hararchi Leather Sandals from then Adelaide.
Photo: 1973 Aust Surf riding Championships contest official Len Dibben in the car park at Yallingup. Wendy Dibben pic.
Laurie ‘Loz’ Smith (Quindalup surfer & photographer) – In 73-74 my brother Tony & I would sleep in his split screen Kombi in the Yallingup car park. At that time there were no rangers and camping was free. After an early surf, we used to have a brekkie of sausages & eggs on toast and a cuppa at Surfside for 60c. We would play table soccer for 10c a game while we were waiting for brekkie. We used to fill up the Kombi at Surfside using the hand pump Petrol Bowser. Surfside was the only place to eat brekkie besides the Bakery at Dunsborough. Sally Jones (nee Gunter) used to work at the Bakery and made the biggest milkshakes.
Photo: 1973 Yalls Lobster Pot Restaurant at Surfside. L-R Grant Robinson, George Simpson and Bernie Young at Sally Gunter’s 21st birthday party. Sally Gunter pic.
Photo: 1975 Yallingup car park during State Surfing Titles. Surfside Store is on the left and the old brick Toilets are under the melaleucas on the right. Ric Chan pic.
Andy Jones – We used to kick the footy in Yallingup car park. It was an open area with few cars and was a good meeting place for surfers. Before technology (surf reports/web sites etc) we used to check waves conditions from the car park before heading off to the best surf destination for the day.
Photo: 1975 Mark Favell ex Bundaberg Qsld & Andy Jones in Yalls car park. Gina Pannone pic.
Julie Favell – Andy Jones, Mark Favell, Neil Juster and myself all lived in Dunsborough. We all work in the Dunsborough Bakery. It was a hell of a time. We travelled to Bears along the old road following coast. One vehicle we had was an old VW with balloon tyres. We always made it through the dirt track. Neil had a blue heeler dog (sorry forgotten his name), Neil was always tying him up and that darn dog always got himself out, could climb ladders at a great pace. At this time there was a surfboard maker at Willyabrup Peter ‘Stumpy’ Wallace who made Pegasus Surfboards. And the beginnings of Creatures of Leisure leg ropes at Injidup by Helen & Dave Hattrick and John Malloy.
Photo: 1975 Yallingup Mark Favell & Southey the dog in front of old brick toilet block. Julie Favell pic
Bruce King – In inclement weather we used to sleep in the old toilet block behind Surfside tea rooms/store. I never had a sleeping bag and used to sleep in thongs in keep warm as my feet used to stick out the end of the blanket.
Photo: 1976 unidentified surfers in Yallingup car park. Ric Chan pic.
Al Bean (Surfboard shaper) – I became Manager of Surfside & the Yalls Beach Caravan Park in 1977 at age 20 years. I learnt to cook and employed local girls to help at Surfside. Back then city surfers would sleep in cars in the car park and we would get up to 60 surfers waiting for breakfast each morning over the weekend. It was a different story during the week and we would be lucky to sell a choc milk & newspaper to Harbo at Hideaway Homes. So I would close the shop mid-week and go surfing.
Photo: 1978 an empty Yallingup car park with Surfside Store, Bali Hai surf shop & Surfside rental accommodation in the background. Vance Burrow pic.
Ross Utting – It was always difficult to fill in long hot surf-less afternoons, particularly on holiday or contest weekends when there were a lot of high spirited people about. Fortunately there were a few blokes who fancied themselves as stunt drivers. These blokes would relieve our boredom by putting on a display of burning rubber and wheelies in the Yallingup car park.
On one occasion, two of these charismatic drivers in Bill “Big Eyes” McVeigh and Kevin “Odey” O’Dwyer fed off each other, with each stunt becoming more outrageous than the one before. They ended up, each in turn, racing down the hill from the pub at high speed, over the bridge and throwing the wheel on full lock entering the unsealed car park, sliding and spinning wildly through the car park and coming to a halt in a cloud of dust in front of the cheering masses, leaping out of their cars and taking a bow.
Both brilliant drivers, but how none of the vehicles parked in the car park were not damaged or pedestrians killed still amazes me. The owner of Surfside Tea Rooms with it’s petrol bowser out front wouldn’t have been amused either.
Photo: 1980 Parking spot with a view. Gary Gibbon’s Ford Cortina with protruding surfboard in Yallingup car park. Gary Gibbon pic.
Louie ‘Longboard’ Corkill – I left school at age 13 and started hitchhiking down south. I used to camp in the old toilet block at Yallingup beach. I slept in a board bag made of quilt by my mother. The best camping spot used to be in the melaleucas just before the bridge on the right, as you come down the hill into Yalls. Brian Bell and I would set up our tent or sleep in the car next to the fresh water creek which flowed from the pub.
Photo: 1980 Ray Nott & Dave Seward preparing to go for a surf at Yallingup. Gary Gibbon pic.
Mal Leckie – Steve “Horny” Campbell used to do an interesting performance for tourist buses in the Yall’s car park when he pulled his boardies up as high as they would go, puff his stomach out like he was pregnant and do an emu walk.
More than one dead snake arrived at speed into the Yall’s car park behind a car, tied to the back by fishing line and “whipped” into the entry area to Surfside.
Photo: 1981 Steve ‘Horny’ Campbell and hound installing electricity at Caves Caravan Park. Gary Gibbon pic.
Floyd Irvine – In the early 80s my mates and I used to pitch our tent on the lawn in front of the ugly old brick toilets at Yallingup. We had a friendly council ranger who would provide firewood for our camp fire and chat with us. Back then nobody gave a shit what you did!
Photo: 1980 Tony Harbison reading West Coast Surfer magazine at Yallingup car park. Tony and his wife Carol built and ran Hideaway Holiday Homes at Yallingup in the 70s. Ric Chan pic.
Photo: 1980 surfboard shaper Greg Laurenson and Dave Kennedy from Star Surfboards in Yallingup car park. Sadly the surf industry legends are now deceased. Ric Chan pic.
Photo: 1980 Greg Laurenson, Dave Kennedy, Tony Harbinson and Mitch Thorson in Yallingup car park with Harbo’s dog Prince. Ric Chan pic.
Yallingup Beach car park is still a meeting place for surfers in the South West.