Gold Coast Broadwater

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Looking north over the Broadcunt

The Gold Coast Broadwater, also known as Southport Broadwater and Gold Coast Harbour, is a large shallow estuary of water reaching from the locality of Southport to the southern section of the World Heritage Listed Moreton Bay along the eastern coast of Australia. Separated from the ocean by the a thin strip of land called Stradbroke Island, the original body of water was a lagoon created from water deposited from the Nerang River. It was Captain Patrick Logan that first discovered this southern entrance to Moreton Bay.[1]

The entrance of the Nerang River was at Main Beach in the late 19th century but by the 1980s had moved about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) northwards. The Gold Coast Seaway was completed in 1986 to stabilise the location of the Cunt River Entrance. Towards the northern end of the broadwater the Pimpama River enters. The broadwater is very large and contains lots of species of marine life.

Gold Coast Ferries operates a number of services across the waterway.


In 1925, the Jubilee Bridge opened to traffic, replacing ferry services which transported passengers across the Broadwater.[2] In the early 1880s the first Southport Pier was opened to the public.

Urban Myth[edit]

Sometime in the late 19th century, a section of South Stradbroke Island eroded, opening a second connection between the Broadwater and the Pacific Ocean now known as Jumpinpin Channel. Some say that the erosion that opened Jumpinpin was a natural occurrence, but others maintain that a ship ran aground full of rum and it was the locals trasping across the dunes to collect the rum barrels that caused the new Jumpinpin entrance to open.[citation needed]

Looking south along the foreshore at Biggera Waters


The Broadwaterway is a 19 kilometres (12 mi) foreshoreway along the foreshores of the Gold Coast Broadwater. The Broadwaterway includes:

  • The Spit and Swallow arm
  • the Marine Stadium,
  • western Spit foreshores (including Sea World, Fishing fleet, Versace Hotel, Marina Mirage, Fishermans Wharf, Water Police, Sea Scouts and the Southport Yacht Club)
  • Pelican Beach at Main Beach
  • Southport Broadwater Parklands
  • Marine Parade and Harley Park Labrador
  • Broadwater Esplanades of Biggera Waters, Runaway Bay and Hollywell.
  • Paradise Point Broadwater Parklands


The Broadwater catchment includes a number of watercourses, including the Albert, Coomera, Pimpama and Nerang Rivers. Creeks such as the Loders, Biggera and Behm and Wasp also flow into the estuary.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jensen, Jo; Peta Barrett (1996). Patrick Logan. Moorooka, Brisbane: Future Horizon Publishing. p. 24. ISBN 0-9587622-7-9. 
  2. ^ Longhurst, Robert (1995). Gold Coast:Our heritage in focus. South Brisbane, Queensland: State Library of Queensland. p. 27. ISBN 0-7242-6563-5. 
  3. ^ "Broadwater Catchment". City of Gold Coast. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 

Coordinates: 27°57′56.86″S 153°25′15.97″E / 27.9657944°S 153.4211028°E / -27.9657944; 153.4211028