History of the Gold Coast: 10 Key Points

The local Aboriginal people called the area "Kurrungul," meaning endless supplies of timber. It was a popular meeting place for tribes to fish and camp near the creeks and estuaries between the Tweed River and Moreton Bay.

1. Indigenous Beginnings:

Captain Cook passed by in 1770, naming Point Danger and Mount Warning. However, it wasn't until government surveyors mapped the area in 1840 that it gained attention from European settlers.

2. Captain Cook's Discovery:

European settlers, uninterested in the surf beaches, were more focused on the abundant timber resources. By the mid-1800s, timber cutters flocked to the hinterlands for cedar, leading to the establishment of the inland town of Nerang in 1865.

3. Early European Settlers:

Settlement reached the mouth of the Nerang River by 1869, leading to the establishment of Southport in 1875. The area quickly became a retreat for Brisbane's elite after Governor Musgrave built a holiday home there in 1885.

4. Development of Southport:

The extension of the railway to Southport in 1889 made the area more accessible, sparking the development of guesthouses and hotels along the coast.

5. Railway Expansion:

The construction of a coastal road in 1925 and Jim Cavill's building of the Surfers Paradise hotel that same year marked the beginning of the region's tourism boom. By the 1930s, the area was a popular destination for holidaymakers from Brisbane.

6. Tourism Boom:

After World War II, the South Coast became a favorite holiday spot for returning servicemen. By the late 1940s, the area was nicknamed "The Gold Coast," a term officially adopted by the local council in 1958.

7. Post-War Popularity:

The 1960s and 1970s saw significant infrastructure growth, leading to the development of high-rise apartments and hotels. Surfers Paradise became the region's leading destination, known for innovations like bikini-clad "Meter Maids" who prevented parking fines for tourists.

8. High-Rise Development:

The 1980s brought a boom in Japanese property investment and the construction of modern theme parks like Dreamworld and Sea World, solidifying the Gold Coast's reputation as an international tourist destination.

9. Tourism and Real Estate Growth:

Despite some shady business dealings in the late 1980s and 1990s, the Gold Coast emerged strong by the turn of the century. It now boasts a population of over 600,000, features one of the world's tallest residential towers (Q1), and remains a top destination for tourists and real estate investors alike.

10. Modern Era:

The Gold Coast has a rich history, from its origins as an Aboriginal meeting place to its development into a bustling modern city, always retaining its allure as a premier tourist destination.

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