GOLD COAST

Gold Coast is a coastal city in the Australian state of Queensland, approximately 66 kilometres (41 mi) south-southeast of the state capital Brisbane and immediately north of the border with New South Wales. With a population of 494,501 in the 2011 Census, the Gold Coast is the sixth-largest city in Australia, making it the largest non-capital city, and the second-largest city in Queensland. The city is counted as part of the Gold Coast–Tweed Heads Significant Urban Area (pop. 624,918,[3] 2015) and the larger South East Queensland Region.[4]

The first settlement in what is now South East Queensland was as a penal colony at Redcliffe. The Gold Coast region remained largely uninhabited by Europeans until 1823 when explorer John Oxley landed at Mermaid Beach. The hinterland's red cedar supply attracted people to the area in the mid-19th century. Later in 1875, Southport was surveyed and established and grew a reputation as a secluded holiday destination for wealthy Brisbane residents.

The Gold Coast region grew significantly after the establishment of the Surfers Paradise hotel in the late 1920s. The area boomed in the 1980s as a leading tourist destination and in 1994, the City of Gold Coast local government area was expanded to encompass the majority of Gold Coast's metropolitan area, becoming the second most populous local government area in Australia after the City of Brisbane. Gold Coast is today a major tourist destination with its sunny subtropical climate, surfing beaches, canal and waterway systems, its high-rise dominated skyline, theme parks, nightlife, and rainforest hinterland, making tourism one of its most significant industries. Gold Coast will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.[5]

Contents [hide]
1 History
2 Geography
2.1 Urban structure
2.2 Waterways
2.3 Beaches
2.3.1 Beach safety and management
3 Climate
4 Governance
5 Crime
6 Economy
6.1 Tourism
6.2 Film production
7 Cultural
7.1 Music
7.2 Arts
7.3 Sport and recreation
7.4 Former teams in national competitions
7.5 Events
8 Media
8.1 Print
8.2 Television
8.3 Radio
8.4 Brand Ambassador
9 Tourism and landmarks
10 Education
11 Transport
11.1 Private transport
11.2 Public transport
11.3 Light rail
11.4 Heavy rail
11.5 Bus
11.6 Airport
12 Infrastructure
12.1 Utilities
12.2 Projects
13 Sister cities
14 See also
15 References
16 External links
History[edit]
Main article: History of Gold Coast, Queensland
See also: Timeline of Gold Coast, Queensland

Burleigh Heads circa 1939.

Part of the Surfers Paradise skyline
This section is incomplete. (January 2014)
Lieutenant James Cook became the first European to note the region when he sailed along the coast on 16 May 1770 in the HM Bark Endeavour. Captain Matthew Flinders, an explorer charting the continent north from the colony of New South Wales, sailed past in 1802. Escaped convicts from the Moreton Bay penal settlement hid in the region. The region remained largely uninhabited by Europeans until 1823 when explorer John Oxley landed at Mermaid Beach, which was named after seeing a cutter named Mermaid. The hinterland's red cedar supply attracted people to the area in the mid-19th century.

A number of small townships developed along coast and in the hinterland. The western suburb of Nerang was surveyed and established as a base for the industry and by 1870 a town reserve had been set aside.[6] By 1873, the town reserve of Burleigh Heads had also been surveyed and successful land sales had taken place.[7] In 1875, the small settlement opposite the boat passage at the head of the Nerang River, known as Nerang Heads or Nerang Creek Heads, was surveyed, renamed Southport with the first land sales scheduled to take place in Beenleigh.[8] Southport quickly grew a reputation as a secluded holiday destination for wealthy Brisbane residents.

Gold Coast was originally known as the South Coast (because it was south of Brisbane). However, inflated prices for real estate and other goods and services led to the nickname of "Gold Coast" from 1950.[9][10][11][12][13] South Coast locals initially considered the name "Gold Coast" derogatory.[14] However, soon the "Gold Coast" simply became a convenient way to refer to the holiday strip from Southport to Coolangatta.[15][16][17][18][19] As the tourism industry grew into the 1950s, local businesses began to adopt the term in their names, and on 23 October 1958 the Town of South Coast was renamed Town of Gold Coast.[20] The area was proclaimed a city less than one year later.[21]

In 2007, Gold Coast overtook the population of Newcastle, New South Wales to become the sixth largest city in Australia and the largest non-capital city.[22]

Geography[edit]

Motorists can reach Gold Coast from Brisbane by Pacific Motorway M1 (blue) and from Sydney and Newcastle by Pacific Highway (Highway 1)
The Gold Coast is approximately half covered by forests of various types. This includes small patches of near-pristine ancient rainforest, mangrove-covered islands, and patches of coastal heathlands and farmland with areas of uncleared eucalypt forest. Of the plantation pine forests that were planted in the 1950s and 1960s, when commercial forest planting for tax minimisation was encouraged by the Commonwealth government, tiny remnants remain.[23]

Gold Coast City lies in the southeast corner of Queensland, to the south of Brisbane, the state capital. The Albert River separates Gold Coast from Logan City, a suburban area of Brisbane.


Aerial view of Gold Coast suburbs: Mermaid Waters (left) and Broadbeach Waters (right)
Gold Coast City stretches from Beenleigh and Russell Island to the border with New South Wales (NSW) approximately 56 km (35 mi) south, and extends from the coast west to the foothills of the Great Dividing Range in World Heritage listed Lamington National Park.

The southernmost town of Gold Coast City, Coolangatta, includes Point Danger and its lighthouse. Coolangatta is a twin city with Tweed Heads located directly across the NSW border. At 28.1667°S 153.55°E, this is the most easterly point on the Queensland mainland (Point Lookout on the offshore island of North Stradbroke is slightly further east). From Coolangatta, approximately forty kilometres of holiday resorts and surfing beaches stretch north to the suburb of Main Beach, and then further on Stradbroke Island.


View from 'Best of All Lookout', Springbrook National Park
The suburbs of Southport and Surfers Paradise form Gold Coast's commercial centre. The major river in the area is the Nerang River. Much of the land between the coastal strip and the hinterland were once wetlands drained by this river, but the swamps have been converted into man-made waterways (over 260 kilometres (160 mi) in length[24] or over 9 times the length of the canals of Venice, Italy) and artificial islands covered in upmarket homes. The heavily developed coastal strip sits on a narrow barrier sandbar between these waterways and the sea.

To the west, the city borders a part of the Great Dividing Range commonly referred to as the Gold Coast hinterland. A 206 km2 (80 sq mi) section of the mountain range is protected by Lamington National Park and has been listed as a World Heritage area in recognition of its "outstanding geological features displayed around shield volcanic craters and the high number of rare and threatened rainforest species".[25] The area attracts bushwalkers and day-trippers.

Urban structure[edit]
Main article: List of Gold Coast suburbs
Gold Coast includes suburbs, localities, towns and rural districts.


The skyline of Gold Coast and coastline from Burleigh Heads
The declaration of Southport as a Priority Development Area (PDA) and new investment into the CBD is driving transformative change and creating new business and investment opportunities. At the heart of the Gold Coast is the emergence of a CBD that is revitalised, dynamic and vibrant; a CBD that will position the Gold Coast as a globally competitive business, investment and lifestyle destination.

Waterways[edit]

Surfers Paradise skyline from Q1

Gold Coast Waterway and Chevron Island in Surfers Paradise

View of the canals from Q1
Waterfront canal living is a feature of Gold Coast. Most canal frontage homes have pontoons. The Gold Coast Seaway, between The Spit and South Stradbroke Island, allows vessels direct access to the Pacific Ocean from The Broadwater and many of the city's canal estates. Breakwaters on either side of the Seaway prevent longshore drift and the bar from silting up. A sand pumping operation on the Spit pipes sand under the Seaway to continue this natural process.

Residential canals were first built in Gold Coast in the 1950s and construction continues. Most canals are extensions to the Nerang River, but there are more to the south along Tallebudgera Creek and Currumbin Creek and to the north along the Gold Coast Broadwater, South Stradbroke Island, Coomera River and southern Moreton Bay. Early canals included Florida Gardens, Isle of Capri which were under construction at the time of the 1954 flood. Recently constructed canals include Harbour Quays and Riverlinks completed in 2007. There are over 890 kilometres (550 mi) of constructed residential waterfront land within the city that is home to over 80,000 residents.

Beaches[edit]

The entrance to Surfers Paradise beach.
The city consists of 70 kilometres (43 mi) of coastline with some of the most popular surf breaks in Australia and the world including, South Stradbroke Island, The Spit, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach, Nobby Beach, Miami, Burleigh Beach, Burleigh Heads, Tallebudgera Beach, Palm Beach, Currumbin Beach, Tugun, Bilinga, Kirra, Coolangatta, Greenmount, Rainbow Bay, Snapper Rocks and Froggies Beach. Duranbah Beach is one of the world's best known surfing beaches and is often thought of as being part of Gold Coast City, but is actually just across the New South Wales state border in Tweed Shire.

There are also beaches along many of Gold Coast's 860 km (530 mi) of navigable tidal waterways. Popular inland beaches include Southport, Budds Beach, Marine Stadium, Currumbin Alley, Tallebudgera Estuary, Jacobs Well, Jabiru Island, Paradise Point, Harley Park Labrador, Santa Barbara, Boykambil and Evandale Lake.

Beach safety and management[edit]
Gold Coast has Australia's largest[26] professional surf lifesaving service to protect people on the beaches and to promote surf safety throughout the community. The Queensland Department of Primary Industries carries out the Queensland Shark Control Program (SCP) to protect swimmers from sharks.[27] Sharks are caught by using nets and baited drumlines off the major swimming beaches. Even with the SCP, sharks do range within sight of the patrolled beaches. Lifeguards will clear swimmers from the water if it is considered that there is a safety risk.

Gold Coast beaches have experienced periods of severe beach erosion. In 1967, a series of 11 cyclones removed most of the sand from Gold Coast beaches. The Government of Queensland engaged engineers from Delft University in the Netherlands to advise what to do about the beach erosion. The Delft Report[28] was published in 1971 and outlined a series of works for Gold Coast Beaches including Gold Coast Seaway,[29] works at Narrow Neck that resulted in the Northern Gold Coast Beach Protection Strategy[30] and works at the Tweed River that became the Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project.[31]

By 2005 most of the recommendations of the 1971 Delft Report had been implemented. City of Gold Coast commenced implementation of the Palm Beach Protection Strategy[32] but ran into considerable opposition from the community participating in a NO REEF protest campaign.[33] The City of Gold Coast Council then committed to completing a review of beach management practices to update the Delft Report. The Gold Coast Shoreline Management Plan[34] will be delivered by organisations including the Environmental Protection Agency, City of Gold Coast and the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management. Gold Coast City is also investing into the quality and capacity of the Gold Coast Oceanway that provides sustainable transport along Gold Coast beaches.[citation needed]

Climate[edit]
Gold Coast experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa), with warm winters and hot, humid summers. The city experiences substantial summer precipitation mostly concentrated in thunderstorms and heavy showers with rain events occasionally lasting up to a few weeks at time giving residents "the Summer blues", while winter is pleasantly mild to warm with little rain. In fact, it is for this pleasant winter weather that both the city and the Sunshine Coast—the coastal region north of Brisbane— are internationally renowned. Extreme temperatures recorded have ranged from 2.5 °C (36 °F) on 19 July 2007 to 40.5 °C (105 °F) on 22 February 2005, although the city rarely experiences temperatures above 35 °C (95 °F) in summer or below 5 °C (41 °F) in winter.[35]

Related Products