Gold Coast Suburbs: What did they used to look like?

A look back on the evolution of the GC

Gold Coast Suburbs: What did they used to look like?

We love our Gold Coast. From it's world class beaches to it's tranquil hinterland, our city is full of culture and so very rich in history. For example, did you know Surfers Paradise used to be named Elston? Or that in WW2 Americans commandeered the beach at Coolangatta to establish a rest area? Did you know we were nicknamed the Gold Coast due to inflated prices for real estate? Well there's a reason for that! Brace yourself, because we're about to take you back to the humble beginings of our once quiet little town and show you just how far we've come in the last 100 years!

ASHMORE

ESTABLISHED: 1972

The area's name derives from a locality or family property in England. Also a local thoroughfare with residents travelling from Benowa Road to Nerang Road, the suburb was officially perpetuated in 1976 when a housing estate was developed in the area called Ashmore Village.

BENOWA

ESTABLISHED: 1870

The name was originally derived from the Bundjalung word "Boonow", meaning bloodwood tree.

BROADBEACH

ESTABLISHED: 1934

IN 1934 the South Coast Bulletin announced a new seaside township had been surveyed fronting the Pacific Highway and adjoining Main Beach, about one mile south of Surfers Paradise.The township had been appropriately named Broadbeach and the first section of the site had been surveyed into 70 allotments.

 

BUNDALL

ESTABLISHED: 1862

The name Bundall is from the Aboriginal word for a species of prickly vine.

BURLEIGH HEADS

ESTABLISHED: 1871

Indigenous Australians inhabited the area of Burleigh Heads for thousands of years prior to European settlement. The Indigenous tribe were known as the Kombumerri people, who had named the area 'Jellurgal'. James Warner was commissioned to survey the coastline near Moreton Bay. Warner named the headlands near Tallebudgera Creek, 'Burly Head' because of its massive appearance. Decades later the name was adapted to the more genteel spelling of 'Burleigh Heads'

CARRARA

ESTABLISHED: 1960s

The name Carrara comes from the Aboriginal word 'Karara' meaning 'long flat'.

CHEVRON ISLAND

ESTABLISHED: 1955

Prior to this land reclamation, the Nerang River was wide and shallow with many sandbanks with shifting riverbanks. Through dredging, deeper channels were created for shipping in the river with the spoil being used to create inhabitable islands and permanent river edge embankments, all of which facilitated residential and commercial development.

COOLANGATTA

ESTABLISHED: 1883

Coolangatta is named after the schooner Coolangatta which was wrecked there in 1846.

COOMERA

ESTABLISHED: 1865

The name Coomera comes from the Yugambeh word kumera, a species of wattle.

CURRUMBIN

The word Currumbin is of native origin and means quicksand. In the old days of travel along the coast, there was a ford across the creek at Currumbin which could be negotiated at low tide, but had to be carefully taken owing to the quicksand which was prevalent in Currumbin Creek.

ISLE OF CAPRI

Farmers transported harvested sugar cane to the Benowa Sugar Mill. Later the land was used for dairy farming until developers Efim Zola and Sir Bruce Small acquired land which they called Isle of Capri, a catalyst for future commercial and residential development.

KIRRA

ESTABLISHED: 1840

There's variations on what the word Kirra actually means, but some believe Queensland Aborigines named it after a boomerang.

LABRADOR

ESTABLISHED: 1878

Robert Muir is believed to have named the area after the Labrador Peninsula, a large coastal fishery located in north eastern Canada.

MAIN BEACH

ESTABLISHED: 1934

During the early years in which Southport was the urban centre of recreational activity at the coast, visitors were ferried across the Broadwater to surf at the Main Beach so named because it was the main surf beach for the town of Southport

MERMAID BEACH

ESTABLISHED: 1925

Mermaid Beach received its name from the cutter HMS Mermaid. Explorer John Oxley sailed aboard the Mermaid in 1823 when he discovered the nearby Tweed and Brisbane rivers.

MERRIMAC

ESTABLISHED: 1873

The community takes its name from two possible sources: the Merrimack River in the New England region of the United States, or the USS Merrimac, a Union navy frigate itself named for the river.

MIAMI & NOBBYS

ESTABLISHED: 1920s

In the early 1920s, prospective investors were looking over plans for a new real estate development called Miami Shore at North Burleigh. They built their wooden or fibro bungalows on estates such as Miami Shore, spent their holidays by the beach, or rented the cottages to other holiday makers.

The less well-heeled pitched their tents at Burleigh Heads and then walked and fished along the beautiful beach flanked by the two Nobbies. The name Nobbies was a relic from the days when Burleigh local, timber getter and bullocky, Frederick Fowler, had grazed his head bullock, which he called Nobby, along the headlands.

MUDGEERABA

ESTABLISHED: 1868

Mudgeeraba is apparently an Aboriginal word meaning place of sticky soil. 

 

NERANG

ESTABLISHED: 1865

Early writers suggest that the Nerang river was named by Europeans after the local dialect word neerang, meaning either little or shovel nosed shark.

OXENFORD

PALM BEACH

ESTABLISHED: 1873

Henry Jordan, a Queensland parliamentarian and sugar planter living in the Logan area, selected much of the coastal land between Tallebudgera and Currumbin Creeks in 1873. Gradually, Jordan added to his block. His property encompassed today's Palm Beach, Elanora, and Currumbin Waters.

 

ROBINA

ESTABLISHED: 1980

Before the construction of Robina Town Centre shopping complex and the Robina Railway Station, the suburb of Robina Town Centre was formerly known as Kerrydale.

RUNAWAY BAY

ESTABLISHED: 1967

The name "Runaway Bay" was coined to promote the area as a tranquil retreat.

SANCTUARY COVE

ESTABLISHED: 1986

SOUTHPORT

ESTABLISHED: 1874

Originally known as Nerang Creek Heads, it was named Southport because it was the southernmost port of the colony of Queensland.

SURFERS PARADISE

ESTABLISHED: 1933

Around 1920, Brisbane hotelier, Jim Cavill, acquired twenty five acres of land in an area known as Elston - the place we know now as Surfers Paradise.

 

TALLEBUDGERA

ESTABLISHED: 1840s

The village of Tallebudgera was originally known as Maybree which was the name of a certain tree that grew in the area.

TUGUN

ESTABLISHED: 1898

Tugun's name is believed to have derived from an Indigenous word of unknown dialect meaning "breaking waves".

 

So now that you know a little bit more about all of the suburbs that make up the city of Gold Coast - which one do you think is the best?

Let us know in the comments!

 

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