The rich history of the city of the Gold Coast continues to attract interest all over Australia. After all, it has plenty of the most delightful features in the country. The rainforest that borders it on one side is listed as a world heritage site. The Gold Coast City has also become one of the premier tourist destinations in not just Queensland, but also all of Australia.
Learn the fascinating history of how the Gold Coast evolved into a vibrant city with a historical overview.
Indigenous Ownership and Yugambeh-Inspired Names
The Gold Coast’s cultural heritage is heavily influenced by Indigenous ownership before the European settlement. An examination of the city’s history in culture and diversity can be summarised with a discussion of the following:
Before European settlers arrived in the Gold Coast, the region was brimming with river valleys, mountains, hills, floodplains, and freshwater wetlands. The Yugambeh people resided in the region as their distinct traditional habitat, sustained by the local flora and fauna while conducting their affairs as family clans.
Most of the names in and around the Gold Coast came from the Yugambeh people. Once the early European surveyors arrived in the region, they documented and made the names official. Examples of the Yugambeh names that have stuck until today include Coombabah and Nerang. A lot has changed in the region since then. However, what hasn’t changed is the fact that the Gold Coast remains home to several descendants of the Aborigines.
The European Settlement
The first Europeans to arrive in the Gold Coast were mostly timber getters. They were responsible for cutting and shipping local cedar to other emerging cities in Australia, such as Sydney and Brisbane. At the time, Brisbane was mostly known as a convict settlement.
In its earlier years, the Gold Coast was quite popular as a place for timber, farms and cattle. Sugar farms, cotton farms, and dairy farms were some of the most common features of the region.
As time went on, the permanent population of the region gradually increased. By 1925, there was a boom in real estate and tourism because of a new coastal road built between Brisbane and Southport, as well as the development of the Surfers Paradise Hotel. The hotel was built in an area between the Nerang River and Elston beach. By 1933, the town of Elston was changed to Surfers Paradise.
Officially Naming “Gold Coast”
It’s normal to find people asking why the area became known as the Gold Coast. Interestingly, the first people to use this name were Brisbane journalists in the 1940s.
At the time, the coast south of Brisbane was famous for buying and selling land primarily because of the boom in real estate after WWII. The South Coast was also a popular holiday destination. Because of its promotional premise, the name became official on October 23, 1958, when the South Coast Town Council changed its name to the Gold Coast Town Council.
The Gold Coast in the 21st Century
The Gold Coast City remains as one of Australia’s premier vacation spots. It is also an important cultural and historical destination that many Australians are proud of. In 2005, it was given icon status by the National Trust because of its rich history and heritage.
As you learn about the history of the Gold Coast, you might be tempted to go and explore its diverse community. There’s nothing like the experience! Keep your attention on the beautiful beaches, historical sites, and stories of each nook and corner by keeping chores out of your mind.
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