US MARINES lapped up the beachside location of their rest and relaxation base at Marine Pde, Redcliffe, for three years during the Second World War.
They passed the days at the Redcliffe Rollerdrome and enjoyed walks on the Redcliffe Jetty.
Fast forward 70 years and the marines have gone, as has the rollerdrome, and in place of the naval base is Redcliffe's finest luxury apartments: Oaks Mon Komo.
The 12-storey building was finished in 2010 and is another step in the region's diverse history.
As Queensland's first established town in 1824, Redcliffe is enriched with plenty of history, proud locals and the stories that come with it.
Redcliffe comes under the Moreton Bay Council area and encompasses the suburbs of Clontarf, Woody Point, Scarborough, Kippa-Ring, Newport, Rothwell and Margate.
Driving 45 minutes down the Bruce Highway on a Friday night towards Redcliffe, I wasn't sure what to expect from the bayside suburbs north of Brisbane. Living beachside myself on the Sunshine Coast, I didn't know what another esplanade and another beach could possibly offer me and my weekend.
But I was pleasantly surprised.
As a history buff, I relished the opportunity to learn more about Redcliffe and how it came to be Queensland's first town.
Opening the door to my apartment at Mon Komo, I knew I was in for a treat. Below my 12th floor balcony was the Settlement Cove Lagoon - a safe swimming area that is popular in summer, the foreshore and unspoilt views of the bay.
Mon Komo, oozing quality and class with a Caribbean-inspired hotel and restaurant, is a stand-out on the foreshore which stretches along Marine Parade.
A drizzly winter morning did not stop me from taking a stroll along the newly streestcaped foreshore from the hotel to the Redcliffe jetty.
The walk has a smattering of viewing platforms out to Moreton Bay, seating areas and public artworks.
A cluster of restaurants, cafes and bakeries offers plenty of choice to shelter from the weather with a warm chai latte, chocolate muffin and the newspaper.
The locals tell me you can't go past the historic Palace Hotel, Golden Ox restaurant or Morgan Seafood for great eats.
If you are visiting on the weekends, be sure to cross the road and check out the Sunday Jetty Markets.
Over the years, three jetties have been built at this location. The current jetty was opened in 1999.
The jetty concept is iconic at Redcliffe, much like the Hornibrook Highway, which opened in 1935.
The bridge was the much-needed link from the Redcliffe Peninsula across Hayes Inlet to Brisbane.
It brought about a new age for Redcliffe, with improved public transport and access to Brisbane.
Increased traffic prompted the construction of a new bridge - the Houghton Highway which opened in 1979. It is the longest bridge in the southern hemisphere.
Made of timber and bookmarked by concrete portals, the Hornibrook bridge had its time and became solely for pedestrians and cyclists.
All that remains are the portals, which provide popular fishing spots.
Now of course, The Ted Smout Bridge, which opened in 2010 is weather-proofed and
cyclone-proofed and carries thousands of cars each day southbound to Brighton.
The two bridges and the central location of the peninsula makes a day trip to Brisbane a breeze.
I discovered the importance of the Hayes Inlet when my visit coincided with the Hayes Inlet Festival.
The inlet at Clontarf is the mouth of the Pine Rivers catchment and stretches to the D'Aguilar Range.
It provides the largest and most significant wetlands in South-East Queensland.
Take time on your visit to Redcliffe to see Clontarf and check out Pelican Park and the surrounding beaches.
Besides the obvious pluses of a weekend at Redcliffe, the convenient location means the peninsula is the ideal place to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Redcliffe is 40 minutes to the Sunshine Coast and 20 minutes to north Brisbane.
I had never previously considered the area for a weekend escape. Now that I have become acquainted, it's worth turning off the highway for.
The writer was a guest of Oaks Mon Komo. Visit monkomohotel.com.au.
10 THINGS TO DO
Ride a bike along the newly streetscaped foreshore
Swim at Settlement Cove Lagoon
Swim at Sutton's Beach
Learn about history at Redcliffe Museum
Check out the Redcliffe Jetty markets each Sunday 8am-2pm
Take a stroll through Redcliffe Botanic Gardens
Stroll along Recliffe Parade and take in the ocean views, then stop for a coffee at one of the local cafes
Go fishing at one of the popular spots including the Redcliffe Jetty and Woody Point Bridge
Feed the ducks at Humpybong Creek
Go on a cruise in the bay via Newport Marina