Strewth! These are the biggest, gut-wrenchingly memorable moments in Home And Away history

More than three decades of drama.
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Strewth! Home And Away is more than three decades old!

It is, in fact, the second-longest running drama series in Australia. The show has brought plenty of laughter and tears and has launched the careers of actors and actresses who have gone on to become huge stars in Hollywood.

To celebrate three decades of drama-packed television, we look back at the show’s most memorable moments.


The pilot episode (1988)

Sunday, January 17, 1988: Channel Seven launches a new drama set in the seaside town of Summer Bay. This movie-length debut episode introduces us to the Fletcher family. After Tom Fletcher (Roger Oakley) is retrenched from his city job, he and wife Pippa (Vanessa Downing, both inset right) move to the Bay with their five foster children (inset right, from left): Frank (Alex Papps), Lynn (Helena Bozich), Sally (Kate Ritchie), Steven (Adam Willits) and Carly (Sharyn Hodgson).

Bobby boat

Bobby dies in a boat accident (1993)

Fan favourite Bobby is enjoying a speedboat ride with Luke (John Adam) and Adam (Mat Stevenson) when their boat strikes a log in the water. They’re thrown from the vessel and Bobby is left brain-dead. Her loved ones –including father Donald (Norman Coburn), husband Greg (Ross Newton) and son Sam (Ryan Clark) – say goodbye before her life support is turned off. Bobby later makes a ghostly appearance by morphing out of a fridge when Ailsa (Judy Nunn) hallucinates.


Shane’s shock death (1996)

On their first wedding anniversary, Shane (Dieter Brummer) and Angel (Melissa George) are having a picnic at a local lookout with their son, Dylan (Corey Glaister), when Shane suddenly begins to feel unwell. “I think you’d better get a doctor,” he utters before losing consciousness. A panicked Angel tries to revive him as they wait for an ambulance. Sadly, Shane is declared dead at the hospital. He had contracted septicaemia via a cut on his finger.


The big flood (1996)

Tragedy strikes when a wild storm hits Summer Bay. Sam falls into a flooded river and Michael (Dennis Coard) jumps in to rescue him. While Sam is saved, Michael is swept away and his body isn’t found for days. It isn’t all bad news, though. Angel goes into labour, but can’t get to the hospital because of the heavy rain. A mysterious motorbike rider guides her to Pippa’s (Debra Lawrance) house, where she gives birth to a baby girl. Angel names her daughter Shane after her late husband. Michael is swept away by the raging floodwaters.

Ailsa heart attack

Ailsa’s deadly heart attack (2000)

The owner of the Diner is moving heavy boxes when she has a massive heart attack. After 13 years by Alf’s (Ray Meagher) side, Ailsa dies. Alf and their teenage son, Duncan (Brendan McKensy), are devastated. Not long before her death, Ailsa was finally reunited with Shauna (Kylie Watson), the daughter she gave up for adoption. In an emotional scene, Alf, Duncan, Shauna and foster son Mitch (Cameron Welsh) scatter Ailsa’s ashes in the ocean.


Favourites fight for life in a mudslide (2000)

H&A has a tradition of Olympic Games cliffhanger episodes. And the 2000 Sydney Olympic cliffhanger is a favourite. Heavy rain causes a landslide in Summer Bay, trapping Ailsa, Shauna, Duncan and Jade (Kate Garven) inside the wrecked Stewart house. After the Olympics, journalist Gavin (Kim De Lury) risks everything to save their lives – but ends up losing his own.

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Home and Away’s Robbo dies

Lea and Vinnie

Leah and Vinnie’s big fat Greek wedding (2001)

Larrikin lifeguard and part-time stripper Vinnie (Ryan Kwanten) seemed the least likely lad in Summer Bay to settle down. That is, until lovely Leah (Ada Nicodemou) arrived in town. The couple’s big day is one of H&A’s most colourful and extravagant weddings, combining Leah’s Greek background with Vinnie’s Scottish heritage. Despite plenty of meddling from their opinionated and overbearing mothers in the lead-up to the event, Leah and Vinnie’s wedding goes off without a hitch.


Dani goes to jail (2003)

Life in Summer Bay is pretty unfair for Dani (Tammin Sursok). The schoolgirl is raped by Kane, who later becomes romantically involved with Dani’s younger sister Kirsty. Then, while out driving one night, an emotional Dani hits Kane with her car. It’s an accident, but she has a hard time convincing the court it wasn’t an act of revenge. The troubled teen is found guilty of attempted murder and sent to jail.

Sally Pippa

Birth of Pippa Saunders (2004)

After having ovarian cancer, Sally is infertile, so bestie Leah offers to be her surrogate. The pregnancy causes drama when Sally’s husband, Flynn (Joel McIlroy), develops feelings for Leah and kisses her. But Sally and Flynn manage to get their marriage back on track. They’re over the moon when baby Pippa is born, though Leah finds it difficult not to bond with the newborn.


Deadly Summer Bay siege (2004)

After deranged killer Sarah Lewis (Luisa Hastings Edge) escapes from the psychiatric hospital, she makes a beeline for Summer Bay, where she’d wreaked havoc previously. Determined to get revenge, Sarah holds a terrified group hostage at Leah’s house. Dani races to stop her, with police in tow. But Dani is too late and three shots are fired. Viewers are stunned when they find out Noah is dead.

Noah Hayley

Noah and Hayley’s wedding (2004)

When Hayley (Bec Hewitt) walks down the aisle to marry Noah (Beau Brady), she is not alone. Her dead father Ken (Anthony Phelan) shows up to give his little girl away. Once Hayley and her ghost dad reach Noah, the couple share emotional vows. They then make the day even more special by allowing Kirsty (Christie Hayes) and Kane (Sam Atwell) to share their reception.

Miles Sally

Milco revealed as Sally’s long-lost twin brother (2007)

For 20 years, everyone thought Milco was Sally’s childhood imaginary friend. So fans are shocked when a homeless drifter shows up on the beach and cryptically writes the word “Milco” in the sand. He turns out to be Miles (Josh Quong Tart), Sally’s long-lost twin brother. Miles is a teacher whose life fell apart after his wife and daughter died in the Boxing Day tsunami in Thailand. But after reuniting with Sally, he decides to turn his life around.

Belle Aiden

Aden and belle’s Wedding (2009)

There’s not a dry eye in the house when terminally ill Belle (Jessica Tovey) marries Aden (Todd Lasance). Belle tries to keep her cancer a secret from her fiancé so they can have a happy wedding. But Aden finds out the night before and is so devastated, he almost calls off the nuptials. Aden keeps Belle waiting right until the last minute. Eventually, he decides there’s nothing he’d rather do than help his true love live out her final days in wedded bliss.

Sally stabbed

Sally is stabbed (2006)

Summer Bay favourite Sally lives to regret her decision to let student Rocco (Ian Meadows) into her life when he stabs her. The troubled teen is an ex-gang member who is forced to help out with his brother Johnny’s (Callan Mulvey) drug dealing and robberies. Rocco tells the police about Johnny’s upcoming robbery. In retaliation, Johnny tells Rocco if he doesn’t kill Sally, he’s dead. Rocco tearfully apologises as he brutally knifes Sally outside the high school.

Sally Flynn

Sally and Flynn’s disastrous wedding day (2003)

Anything that can go wrong does go wrong when Sally marries Flynn (Joe McIlroy). The bride is meant to arrive in a horse-drawn carriage, but a runaway horse forces Sally and maid-of-honour Leah to leap to safety. They’re unscathed, but Sally’s dress is left covered in mud. When she finally makes it to the ceremony looking a little worse for wear, there’s a torrential downpour! Sally and Flynn end up saying “I do” later – in the hospital waiting room wearing bathrobes.

Brax Charlie

Charlie is shot and dies in hospital (2012)

It remains one of the most heartbreaking scenes the show has put to air. Police officer Charlie (Esther Anderson) is shot twice by bad guy Jake Pirovic as revenge for her shooting his brother. She survives, but is badly wounded. After having surgery in hospital, the critically ill Charlie is kept alive by a ventilator. Her daughter Ruby (Rebecca Breeds) and partner Brax make the agonising decision to switch off her life support.


Summer bay stalker (2005)

It’s a mystery that grips the nation for months and has fans debating just who the Summer Bay stalker might be. Nurse Eve (Emily Perry), masquerading as bubbly newcomer Zoe McCallister, turns out to be the stalker. She’s seeking revenge for the death of her former patient and friend, Sarah Lewis. The stalker terrorises the locals by burning down a house, arranging a plane crash and kidnapping Sally. Eve dies in an explosion at Martha (Jodi Anasta) and Jack’s (Paul O’Brien) wedding reception.


Archie’s dramatic arrival (2007)

Proving he’s as handy as he is handsome, Kim (Chris Hemsworth) is forced to deliver his own baby when Kit (Amy Mizzi) goes into labour by the side of the road. The lifeguard is determined to be there for his baby. But on the way to the hospital, they’re run off the road by a speeding car and wind up with a flat tyre! In touch-and-go moments, Kim coaches Kit as she struggles through labour. Eventually, she gives birth to a son. They name him Archie.


Martha’s pole dance (2007)

This is one of the most controversial moments in H&A history because of the show’s status as a family-friendly show. Martha is involved with dodgy bar owner Cam (Ashley Lyons), who asks her to work at his bar. He also requests that she fill in for one of his pole dancers. Martha takes to the stage, only to be caught out by her family during a bucks’ party.


Bianca punches Heath at their wedding (2013)

Heath (Dan Ewing) and Bianca’s (Lisa Gormley) big day has finally arrived. At the altar, Heath is a nervous wreck as he waits for his bride. But the groom’s anxiety has nothing to do with cold feet. He’s feeling guilty after cheating on Bianca with a waitress during his wild bucks’ weekend. In a quieter moment at the ceremony, Heath confesses everything to his soon-to-be wife. In turn, a furious Bianca knocks her fiancé out cold with a powerful punch and flees the ceremony.


Ailsa’s ghost visits (2003)

Alf thinks his late wife Ailsa has come back from the dead when he has visions of her. It turns out that Alf actually has a brain tumour. But he’s reluctant to have it removed, because he won’t be able to see Ailsa anymore. Eventually, he has the operation. During surgery, Ailsa shows Alf what Summer Bay would be like if he weren’t around. Alf pulls through and is determined to stop Ailsa’s vision from becoming reality.

Angel wedding

Angel walks down the aisle (1995)

High school sweethearts Shane and Angel are madly in love and looking forward to getting married, when disaster strikes. While crossing the road, Angel is hit by Alf’s car and left paralysed. Shane suggests they postpone the wedding, but Angel is determined to press ahead with their plans. On their wedding day, Angel surprises everyone in the church when she rises from her wheelchair and, very shakily, walks down the aisle to marry Shane. Aww!

Roo & Harvey

Roo loses Harvey at sea (2013)

When Harvey (Marcus Graham) goes on a sailing trip with his mate Winston (John Batchelor), the last thing Roo (Georgie Parker) expects is to lose her husband. But that’s what happens when Harvey falls overboard and goes missing. Roo fears the worst and believes Harvey is dead. She even holds a memorial service for him. Harvey later shows up alive, but is so changed by the traumatic experience that he eventually leaves town.

Casey Sharpe

Casey Sharpe Braxton is born (2015)

Births are always a big deal in the Bay. And the arrival of baby Casey feels momentous, perhaps because he’s the spawn of super-couple Brax and Ricky (Bonnie Sveen). Neighbour John (Shane Withington) drives Ricky to hospital for the birth. A week later, Ricky takes the bub to meet his dad, Brax, in jail. In emotional scenes, they agree to name him after Brax’s brother, Casey, who died the night Ricky found out she was pregnant. Tissues, please.

Caravan park explosion

Double death in caravan park explosion (2016)

A hospital fundraiser turns to disaster when a gas explosion rips through the caravan park. Amid the rain and mud, new doctor Tori (Penny McNamee) makes the horrifying discovery that Oscar (Jake Speer) is dead at the scene. A devastated Evie (Philippa Northeast) mourns the loss of her twin. But she’s dealt a double blow when her injured aunt, Hannah (Cassie Howarth), later dies in hospital from a head injury.

River boys

The Braxtons arrive (2011)

Fans are whipped into a frenzy when three hot bad boys arrive in Summer Bay. Brothers Darryl (aka Brax), Heath and Casey Braxton are part of the River Boys surfie gang from Mangrove River. When they come to town, they bring with them lots of trouble (they get into a fight on day one) and heartbreak. All three will go on to have big relationships with ladies of the Bay.

Charlotte death

Who shot Charlotte? (2015-2016)

Charlotte King (Erika Heynatz) makes a bunch of enemies from the moment she hits the Bay. When she is shot at the pier in the 2015 finale cliffhanger, there are plenty of locals with motives. When the show returns in 2016, the story shifts into a classic whodunnit mystery. The suspect list even includes Irene (Lynne McGranger), who had a drunken altercation with Charlotte that night. Several months later, after plenty of twists and turns, the killer is finally revealed as troubled teenager Josh.

Meg dies

Meg dies on the beach (1992)

When Meg (Cathy Godbold) arrives in the Bay, she starts dating local heart-throb Blake (Les Hill). She soon reveals she is dying from leukaemia and has only months to live. But this doesn’t deter Blake, who can’t help but fall in love with Meg. The teenager’s final moments are spent on the beach in Blake’s arms as the sun rises.

Casey dies

Casey tragically shot dead (2014)

The youngest Braxton brother is shot by villain Jake Pirovic (Fletcher Humphrys) while attempting to save his kidnapped half-sibling Josh (Jackson Gallagher). Much-loved Casey’s (Lincoln Younes) final moments are so gut-wrenching, you can almost hear hearts breaking around the country as he dies in Brax’s (Stephen Peacocke) arms. Sob!

(Channel Seven)

Mason dies

Mason dies a hero (2019)

Ever the hero, Mason’s farewell was tragic and selfless.

In the 2019 season finale a dangerous gang had taken over the hospital in a terrifying siege.

When he – along with Alex, Jasmine, Mackenzie and Marilyn – stood up to the gang, one gunman lost his nerve and snapped. Mason was shot dead.

(Channel Seven)

Witness X

Witness X is revealed (2020)

Detective Angelo Rosetta (Luke Jacobz) returned to Summer Bay, he did so with a mission: to find the person who killed Ross.

Immediately, Colby’s (Tim Franklin) dark secret which had long been kept secret was under threat of being exposed.

When Wtiness X came forward with the testimony Angelo needed, it was all over for the cop.

He, and we, never imagined however, that it would be Willow (Sarah Roberts) who betrayed him.

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