Coolangatta is a suburb of the Gold Coast with a population
of approximately 4000 people, located in the southernmost
part of the Gold Coast, in Queensland, Australia.
It is named after the schooner Coolangatta which was
wrecked there in 1846.
and its immediate neighbouring "Twin Town"
Tweed Heads in New South Wales have a shared economy.
The Tweed River supports a thriving fishing fleet,
and the seafood is a local specialty offered in the
restaurants and clubs of the holiday and retirement
region on both sides of the state border.
Gold Coast Airport, formerly known as Coolangatta
Airport, is located near Coolangatta.
was one of the earliest settlements at the Gold Coast.
Once again focused on a steep headland at Point Danger
the area was occupied by Europeans from at least 1828
by a convict station and redcedar getters soon followed.
Selectors followed in the 1860s and a small settlement
at Coolangatta was established. In 1883 a township
a border town Coolangatta included a customs office,
boatshed and government wharf. Extension of the railway
from Nerang to Tweed Heads in 1903 guaranteed the
success of Coolangatta as a holiday township and it
flourished from that time forward. Guesthouses and
hotels were erected and a commercial centre soon followed.
remains of the earliest buildings at Coolangatta but
some evidence remains of subsequent development in
the early years of the present century. The border
fence and gates that until recently were a characteristic
of the area have now been removed but the sense of
the border remains at Boundary Street running along
the ridge of the headland between Queensland and New
South Wales. The headland itself is an important landmark
and tourist destination. Coolangatta symbolises the
terminus of the Gold Coast and the long strip of beach
that begins at Main Beach forty kilometres to the
commemorate the centenary of the town, in 1984 a stone
from the Coolangatta Estate homestead was donated
by the citizens of Coolangatta Historic Village near
Berry, New South Wales and was mounted on a plinth
of granite from Aberdeen, Scotland, the birthplace
of Alexander Berry.
topsail schooner of 83 feet in length and 88 tons,
Coolangatta was built by James Blinkcell in 1843 for
Alexander Berry whose property, Coolangatta Estate,
adjoined Coolangatta mountain located on the northern
bank of the Shoalhaven River, New South Wales.
was wrecked on Kirra / Bilinga Beach adjacent to a
creek during a storm on Wednesday 18 August 1846.
6 July 1846, the ship sailed under Captain Steele
from Brisbane, carrying two convict prisoners (George
Craig in irons, and William George Lewis), to load
red cedar logs at the Tweed River for Sydney. Steele
found the river entrance closed by silt forming a
bar, so he anchored in the lee of Point Danger off
Kirra Beach. Red cedar logs were then hauled overland
from Terranora Inlet and rafted from the beach, but
in six weeks less than half of the contracted 70,000
feet of red cedar had been loaded. Meanwhile, five
ships loaded with red cedar were bar-bound inside
18 August 1846, while Steel was ashore, a south-east
gale blew up. Steele's boat was damaged while getting
through the surf and he watched from the beach as
the gale intensified. Eventually, the prisoners were
freed and all hands abandoned ship and swam for shore
as the anchors dragged. The ship parted its anchors
and washed ashore near what was later called Coolangatta
survivors walked 70 miles north to Amity Point in
six days, fed each night by different groups of friendly
indigenous Australians, and were taken into Brisbane
onboard the Tamar.
surveyor Henry Schneider named the area Coolangatta
while surveying in 1883 for the land auction in March
June Coolangatta hosts the Wintersun Festival, a two-week
1950s and 1960s nostalgia festival with free entertainment
and attractions, including hot rods, restored cars
and revival bands playing music of the era. (Credit:
Coast City Council — Coolangatta
Gold Coast - Coolangatta