Aborigines named Queensland's south coast, Kurrungul,
which was a word meaning endless timber. This area was a meetinig place
for the many tribes where they would come to camp and fish in it's many
estuaries and creeks. Captain Cook sailed here in 1770, and named both
Point Danger and Mount Warning, but it was n ot until the 1840's that
this area became popular to the European settlers. These settlers came,
not for the beaches, but for the timber.
The Cedar supply began
to draw a large population of cutters in the mid 1800's. The town of
Merang was used as a home base for this industry. The settlers soon
began to inhabit the surrounding valleys and polains for farming
cattle, sugar and cotton. The settlement reached as far as the southern
end of Moreton Bay along the mouth or theThe Interesting History of the Gold Coast Nerang River.
Governor of Queensland, Musgrave, built his vacation home on a hill
just north of Southport. At this time the coastal surroundings began to
gain a reputation of being a resort town for the rich and famous. After
the finish of the railway in 1889, numerous hotels and guest houses
were built up and down the area's coastline.
|Lady Musgrave Island|
population of the region slowly increased until 1925 when a new coastal
road was built between Brisbane and Southport. That same year, Jim
Cavill built the Surfers Paradise hotel 2 kms south of Southport in a
place called Elston and then the real tourism boom began with the help
of new automobile technology. Elston residents successfully lobbied to
change their towns name to Surfers Paradise in 1933 but in 1936 The
Surfers Paradise hotel burnt down. It was quickly re built with a much
grander structure complete with a zoo out the back.
By the end of
1940s real estate speculators had started to call the area the Gold
Coast and this was officially adopted by the council on October 23
1958. The high rise developments began in the late 1950s and continued
in earnest into the 1970s and 80s as it firmly established itself as
Australias most well known holiday resort and Japanese investment in
the 1980s made the skyline soar. The city is now home to one of the
worlds tallest residential building (Q1) and boast a population of
500,000 making it Australias sixth largest city.