Last year, Home and Away saw its fair share of emotional departures, whether it was Olivia leaving for a new life in Melbourne, VJ fleeing to Cyprus with Luc or Kats devastating death storyline.
Whats more, we saw a whole host of new characters, such as Maggies mother, Willow, Colby, Dean and Axel. So whats coming up in 2019? Heres everything you need to know…
Whos new to Summer Bay?
Detective Robert Robertson
Detective Robert Robertson, played by actor Socratis Otto, isnt exactly a new face – he first arrived in 2009 to investigate the murder of Ruby Bucktons biological father, Grant Bledcoe.
He had a brief fling with Leah, before returning in 2010 for another investigation – which saw him arrest Alf for murder.
Long-time fans thought his promotion and move to the city was the end of this character, but recently hes been seen on set with Jake Ryan, aka Robbo.
This raises the question of why hes returning after 8 years – could it be something to do with Robbos murky past?
Again, Roos mum isnt exactly a new face, but her return to Summer Bay was certainly a shocker for many, especially as they were coming to terms with the fact that Alf – played by actor Ray Meagher – revealed to his daughter that Martha had been alive after all for the past thirty years, and hed been keeping it a secret from her.
Those wanting to fill in the gaps around some burning questions, such as why Martha faked her death, may well have them answered, as it looks like shell be in Summer Bay well into 2019.
Whats more, Ray Meagher has hinted that Alfs love life could be about to improve…
John and Marilyns adopted son Jett, played by actor Will McDonald, is making a return to the Bay not once, but twice, in 2019.
Now that hes graduating military school, hes ready for active duty, and upcoming scenes will show his adoptive parents tearfully waving him off as he departs.
But after only a short time in the military, it looks like hes going to be back in the Bay, as photos have revealed Jett returns in a wheelchair…has he sustained a long term injury? With other photos showing him running along the beach, its currently unclear what Jett will be up to this year – but it certainly looks dramatic!
Whos leaving Home and Away in 2019?
Ryan Robbo Shaw
Its been a whirlwind of a time for Robbo since his arrival in Summer Bay, which started with his amnesia and climaxed with the death of his girlfriend, Kat, along with discovering his true identity and buying the gym. Although things have settled down for him of late, hes still juggling being Toris IVF donor, and an engagement to Jasmine…so it looks like everything might be getting a bit too much for him soon.
Behind the scenes, actor Jake Ryan took a break from filming Home and Away as he landed the lead role in the film Savage, directed by New Zealander Sam Kelly. As he was required to shoot on location in New Zealand, he had to leave Australia for a while – and when he returns, he could be looking different, as he had to gain 10kg for his movie role.
Fans were alarmed to see previews of upcoming scenes that showed Coco Astoni, played by actor Anna Cocquerel, being driven away from the Bay by her mother Maggie after tearfully saying goodbye to friends Raffy and Ryder.
Fortunately, this doesnt mean her time in the Bay is over, as Anna has confirmed shes just taking her role down to part time so she has time to finish Year 12.
Eagle-eyed fans may have noticed that actor Penny McNamee is pregnant with her second child, which suggests that shell be going on maternity leave this year.
Coincidentally, Toris IVF storyline on the show matches up with her real life pregnancy, so its possible her break will be tied in with her Summer Bay child, who Tori shares with Robbo.
Perhaps the biggest blow to long-term fans of Home and Away is the fact that Alf Stewart will be taking a break from Summer Bay this year.
Actor Ray Meagher has taken time out to star in the 10th anniversary theatre production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert in Brisbane.
Although the storyline behind Alfs departure currently remains a mystery, Ray has teased that its a fantastic one.