The earliest dated transparencies that I have of Noosa are from February 1965, but I don’t think that I shot those on my first visit. I was taken there by Bob McTavish who trusted me not to expose the place.

In those years, Noosa was THE secret spot. The first pictures I published were in a story titled ‘Rincon is where you find it’ in Surfing World and the location wasn’t even hinted at. There was definite disapproval directed towards anyone taking pictures. I had the back of my camera opened and the film pulled out while I was out in the water at National Park in those first years.

Noosa was way too close to where too many people lived to remain a secret, and in time it took its place as one of the favourite surfing locations on Australia’s east coast. I treasure the memories of surfing there in that early period.


A Golden Age, an exhibition of John Witzig’s photographs of the 1960s and ’70s, will open at the Bondi Pavilion Gallery on 11 September and run for two weeks.