Coast is a city and local government area in the southeast
corner of Queensland,
Australia. It is the second most populous city in
the state and the sixth most populous city in the
country. Gold Coast City is renowned for its sunny
subtropical climate, popular surfing beaches, expansive
waterway and canal systems, a skyline dominated by
high-rise apartment buildings, active nightlife and
wide variety of tourist attractions.
James Cook became the first European to note the
region when he sailed along the coast on May 16, 1770
in the HM Bark Endeavour. This exploration was however
focused on areas south of Gold Coast region in the
northern rivers of New South Wales.
Matthew Flinders, an explorer charting the continent
north from the colony of New South Wales, sailed past
in 1802. The region remained uninhabited by Europeans
until 1823 when explorer John Oxley landed at Mermaid
Beach, which was named after his boat, a cutter named
hinterland's red cedar supply attracted large numbers
of people to the area in the mid 1800s. The western
suburb of Nerang was surveyed and established as a
base for the industry. Later in 1875, Southport was
surveyed and established and quickly grew a reputation
as a secluded holiday destination for the upper class
1925, tourism to the area grew rapidly when Jim Cavill
established the Surfers Paradise Hotel, which transformed
to Circle on Cavill neighbouring with Towers of Chevron
Renaissance shopping mall and resort apartment complex.
The population grew steadily to support the tourism
industry and by the 1940s, real estate speculators
and journalists were referring to the area as the
"Gold Coast." The true origin of the name
is still debatable. The name "Gold Coast"
was officially proclaimed in 1958 when the South Coast
Town Council was renamed "Gold Coast Town Council."
the 1970s, real-estate developers gained a dominant
role in local politics, and high-rises began to dominate
the area now known as Surfers
Paradise and later in 1981 the airport was established.
In 1994 the Gold Coast City Council and the Shire
of Albert amalgamated to create new city boundaries
under the administration of the City of Gold Coast
The Gold Coast can be reached from Brisbane
by Pacific Motorway M1 (blue) and Pacific Highway
(Highway 1) from Sydney
Coast City stretches from Beenleigh on the southern
fringe of Logan City, for approximately 60km (38 miles)
south to Coolangatta
situated on the New South Wales border, and extends
west to the foothills of the Great Dividing Range
in World Heritage listed Lamington National Park.
Tweed Heads and sections of Beaudesert are also commonly
referred to as being a part of 'The Gold Coast' region.
However, they do not fall into the statistical boundaries
of Gold Coast City.
Gold Coast is situated in the southeast corner of
Queensland, to the south of Brisbane, the state capital.
Due to continuous development in south-east Queensland
over the past 30 years, the Gold Coast/Beenleigh/Logan
City/Brisbane region is now a conurbation. The Gold
Coast officially stretches from the south end of Logan
City and Russell Island to the border with New South
Wales. The southernmost town is Coolangatta which
includes Point Danger and its lighthouse. Coolangatta
is a twin city with Tweed Heads located directly across
the 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).
approximately forty kilometres of holiday resorts
and surfing beaches stretch north to the suburb of
Main Beach, and then further on Stradbroke Island.
The suburbs of Southport and Surfers Paradise form
the Gold Coast's commercial centre (latitude about
27.7 degrees south). The administrative area of the
Gold Coast City Council continues north up to and
major river in the area is the Nerang River. Much
of the land between the coastal strip and the hinterland
was once wetlands drained by this river, but the swamps
have been converted into man-made waterways (over
260 km , or over 9 times that 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.
the west, the city is bordered by a part of the Great
Dividing Range commonly referred to as the 'Gold Coast
hinterland'. A 206 km² 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."
The area is popular among bushwalkers and day-trippers.
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canal living is a feature of the Gold Coast, and 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 on the Gold Coast in 1950s and construction
continues to the present day. 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 is over 890km of constructed residential
waterfront land within the city that is home to over
The city consists of 57 kilometres of coastline with
some of the most popular surf breaks in Australia
including, South Stradbroke Island, The Spit, Main
Beach, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach,
Nobby Beach, Miami, Burleigh Beach, Burleigh Heads,
Tallebudgera Beach, Palm Beach, Curruminbin 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.
are also beaches along many of the Gold Coast's 860km
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
the beaches are beautiful and enticing, there are
also inherent dangers, and the Gold Coast has Australia’s
largest professional surf
lifesaving service to protect people on the beaches
and to promote surf safety throughout the community.
Queensland Department of Primary Industries carries
out the Queensland Shark Control Program (SCP) to
protect swimmers from sharks. No fatal shark attacks
have occurred on protected ocean beaches, tidal waterways
or canals on the Gold Coast since 1958 (however two
fatal attacks have been recorded in inland lake areas
that are separate from the tidal waterways network
since 2000). 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.
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 was published in 1971
and outlined a series of works for Gold Coast Beaches
including Gold Coast Seaway, works at Narrowneck that
resulted in the Northern Gold Coast Beach Protection
Strategy and works at the Tweed River that became
the Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project. By
2005 most of the recommendations of the 1971 Delft
Report had been implemented. The Gold Coast City Council
commenced implementation of the Palm Beach, Protection
Strategy but ran into considerable opposition from
the community participating in a NO REEF protest campaign.
The Gold Coast City Council then committed to completing
a review of beach management practices to update the
Delft Report. The Gold Coast Shoreline Management
Plan will be delivered by a range of organisations
including the EPA, Gold Coast City Council and the
Griffith Centre for Coastal Management.
Coast City Council is also investing into the quality
and capacity of the Gold Coast Oceanway that provides
sustainable transport along Gold Coast beaches.
The border between Queensland and New South Wales
can be seen where the pine trees line the centre of
The border between Queensland and New South Wales
can be seen where the pine trees line the centre of
Gold Coast City Council and Government of Queensland
city is governed at the local level by the Gold Coast
City Council. On 23 October 1958, local administrators
established the Gold Coast Town Council. Only six
months later, on 16 May 1959, the Queensland Government
proclaimed the Gold Coast a city. In 1995, Albert
Shire Council merged with the existing Gold Coast
City Council to form a supra-local authority that
maintained the existing name Gold Coast City Council.
Crime and Misconduct Commission has held an inquiry
into allegations of official misconduct against candidates
who ran in the 2004 Council elections. The CMC found
“secrecy, deceit and misinformation” had
corrupted the electoral process during the 2004 Gold
Coast City Council election.
divisions represent Gold Coast, numbered from division
01 (based at Beenleigh) to division 14 (based at Coolangatta).
Former Olympian Ron Clarke was elected mayor of the
city in 2004. Former mayors of the city include Gary
Baildon, Lex Bell, Ray Stevens, Ern Harley and Sir
July 2007 the Queensland state government announced
local government reforms for Queensland that included
removing division 01 (Beenleigh) from Gold Coast City
and adding it to Logan City. The new city boundaries
will come into effect in association with the local
government elections of March 2008
city is represented at the state level by nine members
in the Queensland Legislative Assembly. The seats
they hold are: Broadwater, Burleigh, Currumbin, Gaven,
Mudgeeraba, Robina, Southport and Surfers Paradise.
Gold Coast is represented by four members in the House
of Representatives, whose seats are Fadden (northern),
Moncrieff (central), McPherson (southern) and Forde
(western). Historically, the Gold Coast has remained
a very safe conservative electorate. Three of the
Gold Coast electorates (Fadden, Moncrieff and McPherson)
have returned only Liberal Party representative since
Courthouse is the city's major courthouse and has
jurisdiction to hear petty criminal offences and civil
matters up to AU$250,000. Indictable offences, criminal
sentencing and civil matters above AU$250,000 are
heard in the higher Supreme Court of Queensland which
is located in Brisbane. There are subsidiary Magistrates
Courts, also located at the northern and southern
suburbs of Beenleigh and Coolangatta.
Correctional Centre, located in the city's hinterland
suburb of Numinbah Valley, is an open-custody prison
farm. The centre is a minimum security prison accommodating
for up to 104 male prisoners and in a separate annex,
twenty-five female prisoners.
The Dreamworld Tower, tourism is vital in the Gold
Coast economy, the area boasting no less than 5 major
to a study completed by the Centre for Economic Policy
Modelling (CEPM) at the University of Queensland,
Gold Coast regional gross domestic product for financial
year ending June 30, 2002 was nearly AU$8.9 billion.
industry sectors contributing to the regional gross
domestic product included property services, construction,
retail trade, business services, transport, tourism
(accommodation, cafes and restaurants), finance &
insurance, health services, education, wholesale trade
Gold Coast hosts over 830,000 international tourists
a year and approximately 3.6 million domestic overnight
visitors. Almost half of the international tourists
to the Gold Coast are from Japan and New Zealand but
the region is also getting increased visitation from
places such as India, the Middle East and China.
Coast City is the major film production centre in
Queensland and has accounted for 75% of all film production
in Queensland since the 1990s, with an expenditure
of around $150 million per year. Gold Coast is the
third largest film production centre in Australia
behind Sydney and Melbourne. Warner Brothers have
large studios located just outside of the city, at
Oxenford which have been the filming locations for
films such as the Scooby Doo films and The House of
Roadshow Studios are situated adjacent to the Warner
Bros Movie World Theme Park at Oxenford. The Studios
consists of eight sound stages, production offices,
editing rooms, wardrobe, construction workshops, water
tanks and commissary. These sounds stages vary in
size and have an overall floor area of 10,844 sq metres,
making Warner Roadshow Studio one of the largest studio
lots in the Southern Hemisphere. Recent productions
include Scooby Doo and The House of Wax. The Queensland
Government actively supports the film and television
production industry in Queensland and provides both
non-financial and financial assistance through the
Pacific Film and Television Commission.
Sport and Recreation
Sports on the Gold Coast, Queensland
Gold Coast is represented in 3 national competitions
by the following teams:
Team name Competition Sport
Gold Coast Titans National Rugby League Rugby League
Gold Coast Blaze National Basketball League Basketball
East Coast Aces Australian Rugby Championship Rugby
Queensland Roar A-League Football (soccer)
three teams all have their first season in 2007 and
are the first national teams in many years to be situated
on the Gold Coast.
league is the biggest spectator sport on the Gold
Coast and the Gold Coast Titans are the most popular
sporting team based on the Gold Coast.
Gold Coast does not host a team in the AFL but from
2007 three AFL premiership matches involving the North
Melbourne Kangaroos will be played at Carrara Stadium.
Gold Coast has also been mentioned as a prime candidate
for hosting an A-League team when the competition
is expanded. Former WWE Superstar Nathan
Jones comes from the Gold Coast, as does swimmer
are many recreational activities situated on the Gold
Coast ranging from (famously) surfing to fishing and
boating to golf. The Gold Coast boasts numerous golf
links, including Hope Island, Sanctuary Cove and The
is a range of sporting facilities on the Gold Coast
from the Carrara Stadium, Carrara Indoor Sport Centre,
Nerang Velodrome and the Sports Super Centre. Some
of these Facilities are being superseded by newer
and larger capacity facilities. Two examples of these
are the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre
to play host to a Gold Coast Basketball team and Skilled
Park to host NRL games.
Lexmark Indy 300 is a car racing event held annually,
usually in October. The course ventures through the
streets of Surfers Paradise and Main Beach. The Indy
300 comprises many other events such as the Indy Undie
Ball and the Miss Indy
Competition. The V8 Supercars event also coincides
with the Indy 300, using the same track route.
Magic Millions carnival
is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Gerry
Harvey (of Harvey Normans) and John
Singleton. In 2005 John Singleton won the 3 year
Old Trophy with Tippitaka and proceeded in true Singo-Style
to shout the entire bar at the Gold Coast Turf Club.
He then backed up in 2006 to win the 2yr Old Classic
with Mirror Mirror. There is plans to relocate and
build a state of the art new racetrack at Palm Meadows
which will incoporate the Magic Million sale with
facilities for up to 4000 horses. The current race
track is too small and can not handle the amount of
horses for sale at the carnival.
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.
July, more than 16,000 congregate on the Gold Coast
from around the world to participate in the Gold Coast
Marathon. There are six events, including the 42.2km
Marathon, 21.1km Half Marathon, 10km Run, 7.5km Walk
and Junior Dash races for the kids over 2.25km and
4km. Regarded as the premier marathon in Australia,
the Gold Coast Airport Marathon is also recognised
worldwide for its fast, flat and scenic course and
technical excellence. It is also the largest annual
community sporting event held on the Gold Coast.
daily, local newspaper is The Gold Coast Bulletin
which is published by News
Corporation. The Gold Coast Sun and Gold Coast
Mail are other local newspapers.
Coast is unique in that it is officially in the television
broadcast licence areas of both Brisbane (metro) and
Northern New South Wales (regional). The Brisbane
networks are Seven, Nine and Ten. The regional affiliates
are Prime Television, NBN Television and Southern
Cross Ten. Also broadcasting to the area are the
ABC and SBS television services. Subscription television
services Foxtel (via cable)
and Austar (via satellite) are also available.
FM radio stations include, 88 BeachFM (tourist info.,
Top 40), 89.3 4CRB-FM (Christian), 90.9 SEAFM (Top
40, pop), 91.7 Coast FM (contemporary, ABC local news
and information), 92.5 Gold 92.5 (mix of 70s, 80s,
90s, and Top 40), 93.5 SBS (Brisbane), 94.1 Jazz Radio
(jazz, blues and swing music), 97.7 JJJ Triple J (alternative
and chart music), 102.9 Hot Tomato (Top 40, pop),
104 4MBS Classic, 105.7 Radio Metro (dance, pop, R&B,
and left field), 106 ABC Classic FM, and 107.3 LifeFM
(Christian). Several Brisbane AM and FM radio stations
can also be received in various areas.
Tourism and Landmarks
is Gold Coast City's main industry, generating total
revenue of $2.5 billion per annum. Gold Coast is the
most popular Queensland tourism location with over
13,000 available guest rooms contributing over $335
million to the local economy each year. Accommodation
options available range from backpacker hostels to
five star resorts and hotels. The most common style
of accommodation is three and four star self-contained
tourist attractions include internationally renowned
surf beaches, World Heritage listed hinterland national
parks, and theme parks including, Dreamworld, Sea
World, Wet'n'Wild Water World, Warner Bros. Movie
World, WhiteWater World, Currumbin Sanctuary, Fleays
Wildlife Park, Australian Outback Spectacular and
Paradise Country. The Gold Coast also serves as a
gateway to further tourist destinations within Queensland
and Northern New South Wales, including direct flight
access to the Great Barrier Reef, with flights departing
daily to Lady Elliot Island.
its opening in 2005 the Q1 building has been a popular
destination for tourists and locals alike. The observation
deck at level 77 is the highest of its kind in Queensland
and offers expansive views in all directions. The
three Towers of Chevron Renaissance have also become
a local landmark.
Meter Maids were introduced
in Surfers Paradise in 1965 in an attempt to put a
positive spin on new parking regulations. To avoid
tickets being issued for expired parking, the Meter
Maids dispense coins into the meter and leave a calling
card under the windscreen wiper of the vehicle. The
Maids are still a popular part of the Surfers Paradise
culture but the scheme is now run by private enterprise.
Gold Coast's education infrastructure includes:
* Universities - Two major university campuses (Bond
University at Robina and Griffith University, incorporating
the Griffith Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and
Oral Health at the Gold Coast Hospital and the main
campus at Southport) and the smaller campus of Central
Queensland University at Southport
* TAFE - four campuses at Southport, Ridgeway (Ashmore),
Benowa and Coolangatta
* Schools - Many primary and secondary schools, both
public and private and of a variety of denominations.
Gold Coast Hospital at Southport is the city’s
major teaching and referral hospital and the third
largest in Queensland, attending to over 58,000 cases
a year , and overseeing other services of the
Gold Coast Health Service District as its head office.
There is a second public hospital situated in Robina
but this second campus is smaller and mainly comprises
rehabilitation, psychiatric and palliative wards along
with a recently opened Emergency Department.
number of private hospitals also exist throughout
the city, notably Allamanda Private Hospital located
at Southport, Pindara Hospital at Benowa and John
Flynn Gold Coast Private Hospital at Tugun in the
Transport on the Gold Coast, Queensland
Gold Coast has a wide range of public transport modes
including buses, rail and monorail. The car is the
dominant mode of transport for Gold Coast but with
the increasing population that leads to more traffic
congestion. This has led to the Queensland
State Government and Gold Coast City council placing
more effort into providing public transport including
a new Ferry service and the proposed Rapid Transit
System. The Gold Coast's main provider of public bus
services is Surfside Buslines.
Coast Airport is located at Coolangatta, approximately
22 kilometres south of Surfers Paradise. Services
are provided to interstate capitals and major cities
as well as to major New Zealand cities. Services are
also available to some Asian countries and when the
new extended runway is completed at the end of 2007
more Asian countries will be available. A new terminal
is also under way and should be completed by 2009.
for the Gold Coast is sourced from Powerlink Queensland
at bulk supply substations which is provided via the
National Electricity Market from an interconnected
multi-State power system. In the early 1990s Australian
governments commenced a program of deregulation of
the electricity sector, which is progressively being
introduced in multiple phases known as tranches. The
Government-owned electricity corporation Energex distributes
and retails electricity, natural gas, liquefied petroleum
gas (LPG) and value-added products and services to
residential, industrial and commercial customers in
Hinze Dam 15 km southwest of Nerang is the population's
main water supply. The Little Nerang Dam which feeds
into Hinze Dam can supplement part of the city area's
water needs, and both are managed by the city council
directorate Gold Coast Water. Reforms of the way in
which the water industry is structured have been announced
by the State Government, with transfer of ownership
and management of water services from local government
to the state occurring in 2008-09. Gold Coast City
Council also sources water from Wivenhoe Dam, west
of Brisbane for northern suburbs when the Hinze Dam,
at one-tenth of Wivenhoe's capacity, becomes low.
Water shortage and water restrictions have been current
local issues, and a few new Gold Coast residential
areas have recently included dual reticulation in
their planning and development to supply water from
a new water recycling plant being built concurrently.
This will make available highly treated recycled water
for use around the home in addition to potable water.
The Gold Coast has received world recognition for
this scheme in its Pimpama-Coomera suburbs. Gold Coast
Water has also been recognised for its world leading
HACCP water quality management system by the World
Health Organisation which published Gold Coast Water's
system as a good model for managing water quality
and safety from catchment to tap. A desalination
plant is currently under construction at Tugun
to supplement Southeast Queensland via a water grid.
This article or section contains information about
planned or expected future infrastructure.
It may contain speculative information and may change
upon or during construction.
* A desalination plant is currently being built in
* Raising Hinze Dam
* SEQ Water pipeline
* Gold Coast Rapid Transit System a light rail or
bus rapid transport system running mainly along Smith
Street and Gold Coast highway from Southport down
to Coolangatta is expected to start construction in
* The existing heavy rail Gold Coast line will be
progressively extended to Coolangatta.
Pacific Motorway will be upgraded between Nerang and
Tugun to a four-lane corridor in both directions,
with the Tugun Bypass to be completed in 2008. (Credit: