Gold Coast, Queensland

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Gold Coast
Queensland
Gold Coast skyline 2012.jpg
The city skyline viewed from the Gold Coast Seaway
Gold Coast is located in Queensland
Gold Coast
Gold Coast
Coordinates 28°1′0″S 153°24′0″E / 28.01667°S 153.40000°E / -28.01667; 153.40000Coordinates: 28°1′0″S 153°24′0″E / 28.01667°S 153.40000°E / -28.01667; 153.40000
Population 591,473 (2010)[1] (6th)
 • Density 972/km2 (2,520/sq mi)
Area 414.3 km2 (160.0 sq mi)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
Location 94 km (58 mi) SSE of Brisbane
LGA(s) Gold Coast City
State electorate(s) Albert, Broadwater, Burleigh, Coomera, Currumbin, Gaven, Mermaid Beach, Mudgeeraba, Southport, Surfers Paradise
Federal Division(s) Fadden, Moncrieff, McPherson, Forde
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
25.1 °C
77 °F
17.2 °C
63 °F
1,218.2 mm
48 in

The Gold Coast is a coastal city in southeastern Queensland on the east coast of Australia. The city is 94 kilometres (58 mi) (58 mi) south of the state capital Brisbane. It is the second most populous city in the state, the sixth most populous city in the country, and the most populous non-capital city in Australia.[1] The Gold Coast has the largest cross-state metropolitan area population in Australia, due to the inclusion of Tweed Heads, New South Wales in its metropolitan area. The Gold Coast's metropolitan area converges with that of Greater Brisbane, forming part of an urban conurbation of over 3 million people.[2]

While the origin of the city's name is debatable, the name "Gold Coast" was bestowed upon the city by real estate investors. The first settlement in what is now South East Queensland was as a penal colony at Redcliffe. The Gold Coast region remained largely uninhabited by Europeans until 1823 when explorer John Oxley landed at Mermaid Beach. The hinterland's red cedar supply attracted people to the area in the mid-19th century. Later in 1875, Southport was surveyed and established and grew a reputation as a secluded holiday destination for upper class Brisbane residents.

The Gold Coast region grew significantly after the establishment of the Surfers Paradise hotel in the late 1920s. The area boomed in the 1980s as a leading tourist destination and in 1994, the Gold Coast City local government area was expanded to encompass the majority of the Gold Coast's metropolitan area, becoming the second most populous local government area in Australia after the City of Brisbane. The Gold Coast is today a major tourist destination with its sunny subtropical climate, surfing beaches, canal and waterway systems, its high-rise dominated skyline, theme parks, nightlife, and rainforest hinterland, making tourism one of its most significant industries. Gold Coast will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.[3]

History[edit]

Burleigh Heads c. 1939.
Surfers Paradise high-rise buildings, as seen from the Burleigh look-out, 2009

Lieutenant James Cook became the first European to note the region when he sailed along the coast on 16 May 1770 in the HM Bark Endeavour. Captain Matthew Flinders, an explorer charting the continent north from the colony of New South Wales, sailed past in 1802. Escaped convicts from the Moreton Bay penal settlement hid in the region. The region remained largely uninhabited by Europeans until 1823 when explorer John Oxley landed at Mermaid Beach, which was named after seeing a cutter named Mermaid. The hinterland's red cedar supply attracted people to the area in the mid-19th century. 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 Brisbane residents.


In 2007, the Gold Coast overtook the population of Newcastle, New South Wales to become the sixth largest city in Australia and the largest non-capital city.[4]

Geography[edit]

Motorists can reach Gold Coast from Brisbane by Pacific Motorway M1 (blue) and from Sydney and Newcastle by Pacific Highway (Highway 1)

Gold Coast City lies in the southeast corner of Queensland, to the south of Brisbane, the state capital. The Albert River separates Gold Coast from Logan City, a suburban area of Brisbane.

Gold Coast City stretches from Beenleigh and Russell Island to the border with New South Wales (NSW) approximately 56 km (35 mi) south, and extends from the coast west to the foothills of the Great Dividing Range in World Heritage listed Lamington National Park.

Aerial view of Gold Coast suburbs: Mermaid Waters (left) and Broadbeach Waters (right)

The southernmost town of Gold Coast City, Coolangatta, includes Point Danger and its lighthouse. Coolangatta is a twin city with Tweed Heads located directly across the NSW border. At 28°10′00″S 153°33′00″E / 28.1667°S 153.55°E / -28.1667; 153.55, this is the most easterly point on the Queensland mainland (Point Lookout on the offshore island of North Stradbroke is slightly further east). From Coolangatta, 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 Gold Coast's commercial centre. The 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 kilometres (160 mi) in length[5] or over 9 times the length of the canals 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.

To the west, the city borders a part of the Great Dividing Range commonly referred to as the Gold Coast hinterland. A 206 km² (80 miles²) 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".[6] The area attracts bushwalkers and day-trippers.

View from 'Best of All Lookout', Springbrook National Park

Urban structure[edit]

Gold Coast includes suburbs, localities, towns and rural districts.

The skyline of the Gold Coast and coastline from Burleigh Heads

Waterways[edit]

Surfers Paradise skyline from Q1
Gold Coast Waterway and Chevron Island in Surfers Paradise
View of the canals from Q1

Waterfront 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. Most canals are extensions to the Nerang River, but there are more to the south along Tallebudgera Creek and Currumbin Creek and to the north along the Gold Coast Broadwater, South Stradbroke Island, Coomera River and southern Moreton Bay. 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 890 kilometres (550 mi) of constructed residential waterfront land within the city that is home to over 80,000 residents.

Beaches[edit]

The Entrance to Surfers Paradise beach.

The city consists of 57 kilometres (35 mi) of coastline with some of the most popular surf breaks in Australia and the world including, South Stradbroke Island, The Spit, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach, Nobby Beach, Miami, Burleigh Beach, Burleigh Heads, Tallebudgera Beach, Palm Beach, Currumbin 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. The official name for the beach is Flagstaff Beach. Duranbah is a small town located about 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) southwest of the beach, but the name Duranbah Beach has become its accepted (if not official) identity.

There are also beaches along many of the Gold Coast's 860 km (530 mi) 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[edit]

Gold Coast has Australia’s largest[7] professional surf lifesaving service to protect people on the beaches and to promote surf safety throughout the community. The Queensland Department of Primary Industries carries out the Queensland Shark Control Program (SCP) to protect swimmers from sharks.[8] 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.

Gold 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[9] was published in 1971 and outlined a series of works for Gold Coast Beaches including Gold Coast Seaway,[10] works at Narrowneck that resulted in the Northern Gold Coast Beach Protection Strategy[11] and works at the Tweed River that became the Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project.[12]

By 2005 most of the recommendations of the 1971 Delft Report had been implemented. Gold Coast City commenced implementation of the Palm Beach, Protection Strategy[13] but ran into considerable opposition from the community participating in a NO REEF protest campaign.[14] 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[15] will be delivered by organisations including the EPA, Gold Coast City and the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management. Gold Coast City is also investing into the quality and capacity of the Gold Coast Oceanway that provides sustainable transport along Gold Coast beaches.[citation needed]

Climate[edit]

Gold Coast experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa), with mild winters and warm and humid summers. The city experiences substantial summer precipitation mostly concentrated in thunderstorms and heavy showers with rain events occasionally lasting up to a few weeks at time giving residents "the Summer blues", while winter is pleasant and warm with little rain. In fact, it is this pleasant winter weather that both the city and the Sunshine Coast—the coastal region north of Brisbane—are named after and internationally renowned for. Extremes range from 2.5 °C (36.5 °F) on 19 July 2007 to 40.5 °C (105 °F) on 22 February 2005, although the city rarely experiences temperatures above 35 °C (95.0 °F) in summer or below 5 °C (41.0 °F) in winter.[16]

Climate data for Gold Coast
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 38.5
(101.3)
40.5
(104.9)
36.3
(97.3)
33.3
(91.9)
29.4
(84.9)
27.1
(80.8)
26.8
(80.2)
32.4
(90.3)
33.0
(91.4)
36.8
(98.2)
35.5
(95.9)
39.4
(102.9)
40.5
(104.9)
Average high °C (°F) 28.6
(83.5)
28.5
(83.3)
27.7
(81.9)
25.8
(78.4)
23.4
(74.1)
21.3
(70.3)
21.1
(70)
21.8
(71.2)
23.8
(74.8)
25.2
(77.4)
26.7
(80.1)
27.8
(82)
25.1
(77.2)
Average low °C (°F) 21.8
(71.2)
21.8
(71.2)
20.7
(69.3)
18.3
(64.9)
15.3
(59.5)
13.1
(55.6)
12.0
(53.6)
12.4
(54.3)
14.8
(58.6)
16.8
(62.2)
18.9
(66)
20.5
(68.9)
17.2
(63)
Record low °C (°F) 17.2
(63)
17.2
(63)
13.4
(56.1)
8.9
(48)
6.6
(43.9)
3.8
(38.8)
2.5
(36.5)
4.2
(39.6)
8.3
(46.9)
9.5
(49.1)
8.2
(46.8)
14.7
(58.5)
2.5
(36.5)
Precipitation mm (inches) 127.5
(5.02)
169.3
(6.665)
112.2
(4.417)
129.0
(5.079)
116.0
(4.567)
117.4
(4.622)
50.8
(2)
57.1
(2.248)
43.4
(1.709)
96.0
(3.78)
123.7
(4.87)
136.5
(5.374)
1,276.8
(50.268)
Avg. precipitation days 14.2 14.2 15.3 12.4 12.1 10.8 8.5 7.0 8.2 10.2 12.3 12.4 137.6
Source: [17]

Governance[edit]

The border between Queensland and New South Wales can be seen where the pine trees line the centre of the street.

The city is governed at the local level by the Gold Coast City Council, the second largest local government in the country behind Brisbane City. Its origins lie in two local governments established at the 10 June 1949 elections: Town of the South Coast, which merged the Town of Coolangatta, Town of Southport and part of the Shire of Nerang; and the Shire of Albert, which took in a large surrounding region. On 23 October 1959, South Coast was renamed Gold Coast and on 16 May 1959 it was proclaimed as a City. The modern Gold Coast City was created in 1995 when the existing City and the Shire of Albert merged. In 2008, the Gold Coast shrank slightly as part of Queensland government's reorganisation of local government boundaries, losing the Beenleigh and Eagleby areas north of the Albert River to Logan City Council. The Gold Coast City Council has 14 councillors, each representing a division of the City. Businessman Tom Tate was elected Mayor of the Gold Coast in 2012. Former mayors include Ron Clake, Gary Baildon, Lex Bell, Ray Stevens, Ern Harley and Sir Bruce Small, who was responsible for the development of many of the canal estates that are now home to thousands of Gold Coast residents.

The Gold Coast area is represented at the state level by ten members in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland. The seats they hold are: Albert, Broadwater, Burleigh, Coomera, Currumbin, Gaven, Mudgeeraba, Robina, Southport and Surfers Paradise. Federally, the Gold Coast area is represented by three members in the House of Representatives, whose seats are Fadden (northern), Moncrieff (central) and McPherson (southern). Some western areas are part of the Forde, which is centred in the Scenic Rim Region.

Historically, Gold Coast has tilted conservative. The three Gold Coast federal divisions have returned only Liberal Party representatives since 1986, and Labor has historically only done well around Labrador and Coolangatta. At the state level, Labor has been fairly competitive in the Gold Coast for most of the early part of the 21st century. However, as part of its massive landslide in the 2012 state election, the Liberal National Party now holds every seat there.

Southport Courthouse is the city's major courthouse and has jurisdiction to hear petty criminal offences and civil matters up to A$250,000. Indictable offences, criminal sentencing and civil matters above A$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.

Economy[edit]

The Gold Coast region is one of the fastest growing cities in Australia.

In fifty years, Gold Coast City has grown from a small beachside holiday destination to Australia's sixth largest city (and the country's most populous non-capital city). Situated within South East Queensland’s growth corridor, the city is now considered Australia’s fastest growing large city, with a 5-year annual average population growth rate of 3.4%, compared to 1.2% for Australia.[18] Gross Regional Product has risen from A$9.7 billion in 2001, to A$15.6 billion in 2008, a rise of 61 percent.[19] Tourism remains fundamental to Gold Coast City’s economy, with almost 10 million visitors a year to the area.[20] In the past the economy was driven by the population derived industries of construction, tourism and retail. Some diversification has taken place, with the city now having an industrial base formed of marine, education, information communication and technology, food, tourism, creative, environment and sports industries. These nine industries have been identified as the key industries by the Gold Coast City Council to deliver the city’s economic prosperity. Gold Coast City’s unemployment rate (5.6 per cent) is below the national level (5.9 per cent).[21]

Tourism[edit]

View of the Gold Coast at dusk.

Around 10 million tourists visit the Gold Coast area every year: of 849,114 international visitors, 3,468,000 domestic overnight visitors and 5,366,000 daytrip visitors. Tourism is the region’s biggest industry,[22] directly contributing more than $4.4 billion into the city economy every year and directly accounting for one in four jobs in the city[23] There are approximately 65,000 bed spaces, 60 kilometres of beach, 600 kilometres of canal, 100,000 hectares of nature reserve, 500 restaurants, 40 golf courses and 5 major theme parks in the city. There have been various prospects and proposals raised for even more theme parks than the current five.

Gold Coast Airport provides connection across Australia with airlines including Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Tiger Airways. International services from Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia also land at Gold Coast Airport with airlines including Flyscoot, Jetstar, Qantas, Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia and Airasia X. Brisbane Airport is less than one hour from the centre of Gold Coast, and direct trains operate.

Film production[edit]

Gold Coast City is the major film production centre in Queensland and has accounted for 75%[24] 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 studios located just outside of the city, at Oxenford which have been the filming locations for films such as the Scooby Doo films and House of Wax (2005). Many Bollywood films also use the Gold Coast environs as a filming location, such as Singh Is King.

Village Roadshow Studios are 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 sound 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. Recently shot[when?] there is the latest film in the award-winning Narnia series, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the largest production ever to be made on the Gold Coast.[citation needed] 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.[25]

Gold Coast is also the filming site for the TV series, H2O: Just Add Water. Australia crime series The Strip is set on the Gold Coast. Big Brother Australia was filmed at the Dreamworld Studios. In January 2002, the third season of The Mole was filmed and based mostly on the Gold Coast. Venues and destinations used included the Gold Coast shopping malls, Burleigh Heads, the Hinze Dam, Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Warner Bros. Movie World and Binna Burra.

Cultural[edit]

Music[edit]

Music groups in this region include the Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra and Operator Please. Musicians Casey Barnes, Cody Simpson and Ricki-Lee Coulter are from Gold Coast. Music events include Big Day Out, Good Vibrations Festival, Summafieldayze, and V Festival (2007–2009).

Arts[edit]

The Arts Centre Gold Coast is the Gold Coast's premier cultural facility for visual and performing arts with a performance Theatre, two Cinemas and an underground venue "The Basement'. The Theatre has hosted performance by The Imperial Russian Ballet Company, the Australian Ballet Company and the Queensland Ballet. Musicals, Plays and a variety of performances are regularly scheduled. Film Festivals and the Comedy Club host international Artisits. A redeveloped Gold Coast Cultural Precinct is in planned to be functioning when the city hosts the 2018 Commonwealth Games.[26]

Sport and recreation[edit]

Gold Coast is represented in two national competitions by the following teams:

Team name Competition Sport Years
Gold Coast Titans National Rugby League Rugby league football 2007 – present
Gold Coast Suns Australian Football League Australian rules football 2011 – present

Recreational activities on the Gold Coast include surfing, fishing, cycling, boating and golf. The Gold Coast area has numerous golf links, including Hope Island, Sanctuary Cove and The Glades.

There are a number of libraries located on the Gold Coast. For a full list see Gold Coast libraries.

Sporting facilities include 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.

Former World Wrestling Entertainment performer Nathan Jones comes from Gold Coast, as do Olympic gold medal winning swimmer Grant Hackett, 2011 US Open tennis champion Samantha Stosur and Sally Pearson (who recently received the keys to the city).

Former teams in national competitions[edit]

Team name Competition Sport Homeground Years
Gold Coast-Tweed Giants New South Wales Rugby League Rugby league Seagulls Stadium 1988–1990
Gold Coast Seagulls NSWRL/ARL Rugby league Seagulls Stadium 1991–1995
Gold Coast Rollers National Basketball League Basketball Carrara Indoor Stadium 1990–1996
Gold Coast Chargers ARL/NRL Rugby league football Carrara Stadium 1996–1998
East Coast Aces Australian Rugby Championship Rugby union Carrara Stadium 2007
Gold Coast Blaze National Basketball League Basketball Gold Coast Convention Centre 2007–2012
Gold Coast United FC A-League Football (soccer) A-League 2009–2012
Gold Coast Blue Tongues Australian Ice Hockey League Ice hockey Gold Coast Iceland 2007 – 2012

Events[edit]

The Gold Coast 600 (formerly known as Lexmark Indy 300) is a car racing event held annually, usually in October. The course runs through the streets of Surfers Paradise and Main Beach. The GC 600 comprises many other events such as the Indy Undie Ball and the Miss Indy Competition. Formerly an Indy car event, V8 Supercars are now the headline attraction, using a similar track route, as the circuit was cut in half by a hairpin. The Magic Millions carnival is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Gerry Harvey (of Harvey Normans) and John Singleton. There are plans to relocate and build a state-of-the-art new racetrack at Palm Meadows which will incorporate the Magic Million sale with facilities for up to 4000 horses.[citation needed]

Each June, Coolangatta hosts the Wintersun Festival renamed as Cooly Rocks On for 2011, 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. Every July, more than 25,000 congregate on the Gold Coast from around the world to participate in the Gold Coast Marathon. It is also the largest annual community sporting event held on the Gold Coast. In 2012, it will be held on 30 June – 1 July and the 34th Gold Coast Airport Marathon is set to motivate and challenge more than 25,000 people of all ages and abilities. The Gold Coast Airport Marathon will feature an event for all ages and abilities, including the full Gold Coast Airport Marathon, ASICS Half Marathon, Southern Cross University 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) Run, Queensland Health 5.7 kilometres (3.5 mi) Challenge, and Junior Dash over 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) and the 2 km.

Late November to early December sees thousands of school leavers across the country descend on the Gold Coast for Schoolies, a two-week period of celebration and parties throughout Surfers Paradise, hosted by the Gold Coast City . The event is often criticised nationally and locally for its portrayal of drinking and acts of violence, however every effort by the Queensland Police and State Government to ensure all school leavers have a good time are put into place, including locals volunteering by walking the streets and keeping an eye out for those in need of assistance. Early each year the Gold Coast hosts one leg of the ASP World Tour of surfing, where some of the worlds best surfers compete in the Quiksilver Pro at Coolangatta.

The Arts Centre Gold Coast located in Evandale, features a fine art gallery featuring local and international works from painting to sculpture and new media. In addition, there is a theatre for live productions including musicals as well two arts cinemas showing foreign and independent films from Australia and abroad.

Media[edit]

The daily, local newspaper is The Gold Coast Bulletin which is published by News Corporation. Newspapers from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Northern NSW towns such as Tweed Heads and Lismore are also available. National surfing magazine Australia's Surfing Life is published in the Gold Coast suburb of Burleigh Heads, by Morrison Media.

The Gold Coast is in the television broadcast licence areas of both Brisbane (metro) and Northern New South Wales (regional). The Brisbane primary channels are Seven, Nine and Ten. The regional affiliates are Prime7 (aligned with Seven), NBN Television (aligned with Nine) and Southern Cross Ten. Both sets of commercial stations are available throughout the Gold Coast, as well as the ABC (ABC1) and SBS (SBS ONE) television services. Digital-only channels available in addition to the ones listed above include One HD, Eleven, ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24, SBS Two, 7Two, 7mate, GEM and GO!. SBS ONE simulcasts its programming in high definition on SBS HD. Subscription television services Foxtel (via cable) and Austar (via satellite) are also available.

Major FM radio stations include 92.5 Gold FM (part of the Macquarie Regional RadioWorks network – a mix of 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and current hits), 90.9 Sea FM (callsign 4SEA – Top 40, pop), FM 102.9 Hot Tomato (a mix of 80s 90s and Top 40), 99.4 Rebel FM (Rock), 100.6 Breeze FM (Classic Hits/Easy), 89.3 4CRB-FM (Christian), 91.7 ABC Coast FM (contemporary, ABC local news and information), 93.5 SBS (Brisbane), Jazz Radio 94.1FM (jazz, blues and swing music), 97.7 JJJ Triple J (alternative and chart music), 104 4MBS Classic, 105.7 Radio Metro (dance, pop, R&B, and left field), 106 ABC Classic FM, and Juice107.3. Several Brisbane AM and FM radio stations can also be received. Aiysha Saagar[27][28] first Indian to became brand Ambassador of Gold Coast

Tourism and landmarks[edit]

The Q1 building, one of the tallest apartment buildings in the world.

Tourism is Gold Coast City's main industry, generating a total of $2.5 billion in revenue per annum.[citation needed] Gold Coast is the most popular tourist destination in Queensland.[29] It is Australia's 5th most visited destination in Australia by international tourists.[30] It has 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 apartments.[citation needed] Tourist attractions include surf beaches, and theme parks including, Dreamworld, Sea World, Wet'n'Wild Water World, Warner Bros. Movie World, WhiteWater World, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, David Fleay Wildlife Park, Australian Outback Spectacular and Paradise Country. For all the available experiences on the Gold Coast visit http://www.visitgoldcoast.com

Since the opening of what was then the world's highest residential tower in 2005 (it is now the fifth highest), the Q1 building has been a destination for tourists and locals alike. It is the second highest public vantage point in the southern hemisphere after the Eureka Tower in Melbourne. The observation deck at level 77 is the highest of its kind in Queensland and offers views in all directions, from Brisbane to Byron Bay. It towers over the Surfers Paradise skyline, with the observation deck 230 metres (755 feet) high, and the spire extending nearly another hundred metres up. In total, the Q1 is 322.5 metres (1058 feet) high.

Another famous tourist attraction are the Surfers Paradise Meter Maids, instituted in 1965 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 part of the Surfers Paradise culture but the scheme is now run by private enterprise.

Education[edit]

The Gold Coast's education infrastructure includes:

Infrastructure[edit]

Health[edit]

Gold Coast Hospital, Southport

The Gold Coast Hospital at Southport was the city’s major teaching and referral hospital and the third largest in Queensland, attending to over 58,000 cases a year,[31] and overseeing other services of the Gold Coast Health Service District as its head office. There is a second public hospital situated in Robina currently undergoing expansion to become a 364-bed hospital.[32] Its current services include rehabilitation, psychiatric and palliative wards and Emergency and Intensive Care Departments.

Private hospitals in the city include Allamanda Private Hospital located at Southport, Pindara Hospital at Benowa and John Flynn Gold Coast Private Hospital at Tugun in the city's south.

Gold Coast University Hospital Project

Work began on the new Gold Coast University Hospital in late 2008. The $1.76 billion, 750-bed facility is more than three times the size of the Southport Hospital. It was constructed on a green field site at Parklands Drive Southport to replace the Southport Hospital at Nerang Street. Practical completion was due for 12 December 2012.

Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH) opened to patients at 8 am on Saturday 28 September 2013, receiving the last patient from Gold Coast Hospital just prior to 4.30 pm. A total of 219 patients were transferred from the old Gold Coast Hospital to GCUH over a two day period and the old hospital is now closed.[33]

Transport[edit]

Transport modes in the Gold Coast include cars, taxis, buses, ferries, rail, monorail and light rail for commuting to work, visiting attractions, and travelling to other destinations, both domestically and internationally.

The car is the dominant mode of transport in the Gold Coast, with over 70% of people using the car as their sole mode of travelling to work.[34] A number of major roads connect the Gold Coast with Brisbane, New South Wales, and the surrounding areas. The Pacific Motorway (M1) is the main motorway in the area. Beginning at the Logan Motorway (M6) in Brisbane, it travels through the inland Gold Coast region and links with the Pacific Highway at the New South Wales/Queensland border near Tweed Heads. Before the Tugun Bypass was completed in 2008, the motorway ended at Tugun. The Gold Coast Highway services the coastal suburbs of the Gold Coast, including Surfers Paradise, Southport, and Burleigh Heads. Starting at the Pacific Motorway at Tweed Heads, it runs parallel to the coast until it reaches Labrador, where it turns inland to meet the Pacific Motorway again at Helensvale. Other arterial roads include the Smith St Motorway, Reedy Creek Road, Nerang-Broadbeach Road and Bermuda St.

The Gold Coast's main provider of public bus services is Surfside Buslines.[35] It is a part of the TransLink initiative by the Queensland Government, designed to coordinate the public transport providers in Brisbane and the surrounding areas. The majority of the bus routes that Surfside operates run along the Gold Coast Highway. Services are frequent during the day, with intervals being as little as 5 minutes between Southport and Burleigh Heads. Queensland Rail operates rail services from Brisbane to the Gold Coast along the Gold Coast railway line. The line follows the same route as the Beenleigh railway line, continuing on after reaching Beenleigh. It then follows a route similar to that of the Pacific Motorway, passing stations at Coomera, Helensvale, Nerang and Robina before terminating at Varsity Lakes. An extension to Coolangatta and the Gold Coast Airport is proposed.

Gold Coast Airport is located at Coolangatta, approximately 22 kilometres (14 mi) south of Surfers Paradise. Services are provided to interstate capitals and major cities as well as to major New Zealand cities, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, Japan and Singapore.

The increasing population has resulted in an increase in traffic congestion.[36] This has led to the Queensland State Government and Gold Coast City placing more effort into investing into sustainable transport. Examples include public transport including a new ferry service, community bike hire[37] and a rapid transit system and infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists such as the Gold Coast Oceanway.[38]

Utilities[edit]

Electricity

Electricity 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. 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 South-East Queensland.

Water supply The Hinze Dam 15 km (9.3 mi) 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 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.[39]

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.[40] The Gold Coast desalination plant, which opened in February 2009,[41] has the capacity to supply up to 133 megalitres of desalinated water per day.[42]

Projects[edit]

Skyline of Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast
  • The Gold Coast has been debating a controversial cruise ship terminal.[43]
  • Gold Coast Rapid Transit System a light rail rapid transit system running from the currently under construction Gold Coast University Hospital to Southport via Smith, Wardoo, Queen and Nerang Streets and then to Broadbeach along the Gold Coast Highway where the first stage of the project terminates.[44] It is likely that a second stage from the Gold Coast University Hospital to Helensvale station[45] will now be constructed due to the city's successful bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
  • The existing heavy rail Gold Coast line will be extended to Coolangatta.[46]

Sister cities[edit]

According to the BusinessGC Council Website, Gold Coast is twinned with:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2010-11". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  2. ^ [1] Preliminary population estimates for local government areas, 2009. Local government areas included in the calculation of the South East Queensland population are: Shire of Beaudesert, Shire of Boonah, City of Brisbane, Shire of Caboolture, City of Caloundra, Shire of Esk, Shire of Gatton, Gold Coast City, City of Ipswich, Shire of Kilcoy, Shire of Laidley, Logan City, Shire of Maroochy, Shire of Noosa, Shire of Pine Rivers, Redcliffe City, and Redland City.
  3. ^ Gold Coast defeats Hambantota to host 2018 Commonwealth Games
  4. ^ Gold Coast sixth largest city John McCarthy and Greg Stolz From: The Courier-Mail 11 November 2007
  5. ^ "Gold Coast City Council – Boating". Goldcoastcity.com.au. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  6. ^ UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves
  7. ^ "Gold Coast Lifeguard Services". Goldcoast.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  8. ^ Queensland Shark Control Program
  9. ^ "Delft Report". Archives.qld.gov.au. 20 May 2004. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  10. ^ Gold Coast Seaway[dead link]
  11. ^ "Northern Gold Coast Beach Protection Strategy". Coastalmanagement.com.au. Retrieved 2 July 2010. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project". Tweedsandbypass.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  13. ^ Palm Beach Protection Strategy[dead link]
  14. ^ "No Reef Campaign". Sargesdailysurf.com. Retrieved 2 July 2010. [dead link]
  15. ^ Gold Coast Shoreline Management Plan[dead link]
  16. ^ "Climate statistics for Australian locations: Gold Coast Seaway". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "Climate statistics for Gold Coast Seaway". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. April 2014. 
  18. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics, June 2008 Cat No. 3218.0 – Population estimates by Statistical Local Area 2001–2008
  19. ^ National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) November 2007
  20. ^ Tourism Research Australia Domestic and International Visitor Surveys
  21. ^ ABS Regional Labour Force Survey February 2009
  22. ^ Gold Coast, Famous for Fun - Official Gold Coast Holidays Guide in Queensland, Australia. Visitgoldcoast.com (2012-11-18). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  23. ^ http://www.saltwaterestate.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4&Itemid=9
  24. ^ GC Film Info[dead link]
  25. ^ "Pacific Film and Television Commission". Pftc.com.au. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  26. ^ http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/gold-coast-cultural-precinct-13122.html
  27. ^ Aiysha Saagar brand Ambassador of Gold Coast Times Of India
  28. ^ ambassador to promote tourism and lure investors Goldcoast.com.au
  29. ^ "Key Gold Coast Industries Report". Sdi.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  30. ^ "International Market Tourism Facts" (PDF). Tourism Australia. [dead link]
  31. ^ "Gold Coast Hospital Profile". Health.qld.gov.au. 9 April 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  32. ^ "Robina Hospital". Health.qld.gov.au. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2010. 
  33. ^ http://www.health.qld.gov.au/goldcoasthealth/html/news/default.asp#moveday2
  34. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2007). "Method of Travel to Work by Sex — Gold Coast (Local Government Area)" (Excel Spreadsheet). Retrieved 12 April 2008. "Consists of people who solely either drove or travelled as a passenger in a car to work." 
  35. ^ Surfside Bus Services[dead link]
  36. ^ Gold Coast City Council (2 September 2009). "2.3". Gold Coast City Transport Plan. p. 26. Retrieved 26 September 2009. [dead link]
  37. ^ "Gold Coast Community Bike Hire". Goldcoast.qld.gov.au. 16 February 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2010. [dead link]
  38. ^ "Gold Coast Rapid Transit". TransLink.com.au. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  39. ^ "Gold Coast City Council – Pimpama Coomera Master Plan Frequently Asked Questions". Goldcoast.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 2 July 2010. [dead link]
  40. ^ "WHO | Water safety plans: Managing drinking-water quality from catchment to consumer". Who.int. 21 February 2009. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  41. ^ Kaine, Charmaine (27 February 2009). "Smooth start for Tugun Desalination Plant". ABC News. Retrieved 25 July 2009. 
  42. ^ WaterSecure. "WaterSecure – a new source of pure water". Retrieved 26 July 2009. [dead link]
  43. ^ Willoughby, Shannon (4 April 2012). "Plans for Coast cruise-ship terminal". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  44. ^ "New light rail route will be a winner". 13 August 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  45. ^ Ardern, Lucy (24 February 2010). "State okays Olsen Avenue light rail route". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  46. ^ Chamberlin, Thomas (14 December 2009). "Long wait for Gold Coast airport train". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 

External links[edit]