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Gold Coast History

Renowned for its sunny climate, popular   surfing   beaches,   high-rise   apartment buildings, and a thriving nightlife , the Gold Coast is a popular Australian destination. Add to the mix the popular bikini 'Meter Maids' in 1965, the Gold Coast Indy Festival and the infamous Gold Coast Magic Millions and you have a modern metropolis that has it all.

Gold Coast travel guide

Yet in the mid 1800s despite the beautiful beaches and idyllic location, early settlers to the coast were not interested in the picturesque locality. The ‘ Queensland South Coast’, as it was referred to, was little more than a collection of lagoons, mangrove swamps and hinterland forest. Meaning abundant supply of timber, "Kurrungul" as the coast was known in Aboriginal, was plentiful in wood. Tweed, Nerang and Coomera River quickly became thriving timber stations for loggers. The beaches and coastal land remained virtually untouched, no one was interested as the land had no agricultural value and only poor timber grew there.

By the end of the 19th Century the city of Brisbane had grown, people wanted to escape the summer heat and spend time at the seaside. In 1889, a train line was built from Brisbane to Southport encouraging more growth to the coast. Guesthouses and hotels were built at scenic spots along the beach, people had begun to realise the beauty of the area.

Gold Coast information

By 1925 the permanent population of the Queensland South Coast had slowly increased prompting a new coastal road to be built between Brisbane and Southport. Automobile technology became more advanced and in the 1930s, the number of holiday makers from Brisbane increased even further. The end of World War Two saw the region become a popular holiday destination for returning servicemen and their families. Property prices began rising sharply, the Post War boom had begun. The rising property values began being referred to as the "Gold Coast" by journalists as the land had become more valuable than gold.

In 1949, the beach towns along the coast were joined to become the ‘Town of the Gold Coast’ under one local town council. During the 1960's and 70's large canal developments and residential sub-divisions bloomed. Great beachfront holiday apartments, hotels and skyscrapers shot up, the Gold Coast was no longer swamp and forest but Australia’s most glamorous playground. The hi-rise boom continued during the 1970s and by the time the 1980s came the region had become popular with Japanese property investment. An influx of foreign investment continued to change the Gold Coast, more hi-rise developments, golf resorts and theme parks followed.   Dreamworld and Sea World cemented the Gold Coast's reputation as an international tourist centre. The opening of Coolangatta Airport Terminal made the Gold Coast more accessible not only to Australia but to the world.

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