Southport, Queensland

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This article is about the Australian suburb of Southport. For other uses, see Southport (disambiguation).
Gold Coast
Population 28,315 (2011 census)[1]
Established 1874[2]
Postcode(s) 4215
Location 73 km (45 mi) from Brisbane
LGA(s) Gold Coast City
State electorate(s) Southport
Federal Division(s) Moncrieff
Suburbs around Southport:
Parkwood Labrador Main Beach
Molendinar Southport Main Beach
Ashmore Bundall Surfers P'dise

Southport is a suburb and the central business district near the midpoint of the Gold Coast, Australia and has one of the city's largest communities. At the 2011 Census, Southport had a population of 28,315.[1]

Originally known as Nerang Creek Heads it was named Southport because it was the southernmost port of the colony of Queensland.[2] Southport is recognised as the central business district of the Gold Coast City. It has the city's largest area of office space at 103,818 m². In the past, Southport was the central entertainment location of the Gold Coast. In current times it is set apart from the normal tourist hub of the Gold Coast. However, it has still experienced tourist-driven development and extraordinary growth. Southport has 18 high-rise towers either completed, under construction or awaiting commencement.


In the 2011 Census the population of Southport is 28,315, 51.5% female and 48.5% male.

The median/average age of the Southport population is 36 years of age, 1 year below the Australian average.

55.2% of people living in Southport were born in Australia. The other top responses for country of birth were New Zealand 7.3%, England 4.3%, Korea, Republic of 2.9%, China 2.7%, Japan 1.7%.

69.8% of people speak English as their first language 3% Korean, 2.7% Mandarin, 2% Japanese, 1.4% Arabic, 1.1% Cantonese.


Kiosk and jetty at Southport, Queensland
Bathing in 1930

A settlement was first surveyed in 1874 and the name Southport decided the following year.[2] Southport was once the site of timber mills. A port was established to ship logs to Brisbane. Cutting timber opened up the area for settlement. Early rural industries included sugar growing and livestock grazing.

In 1883, the first Southport Pier was built to allow steamships to bring cargo and passengers to Southport.[3][4]

By 1901 Federation Southport had become a tourist seaside spot and had a permanent population of 1230. The South Coast railway from Beenleigh to Southport opened in 1889 and closed in 1964.[5] A ferry service – the Myer's Ferry connection – ferried passengers to Main Beach, Queensland and a horse and buggy service linked the area to Surfers Paradise. Tourism continued to expand in the first half of the 20th century. The construction of the Jubilee Bridge in 1925 between Southport and Main Beach replaced the ferry service and facilitated further growth.[6] A cement jetty was built in 1914 at Southport.

ANZAC memorial, 2011

On 25 April 1922 (ANZAC Day) Southport War Memorial located at the foot of Nerang Street was dedicated by the Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Albert, John Appel, in a presence of many Southport people.[7] In 2010, renovation of the parklands required the relocation of the memorial; it was re-dedicated on 11 November 2010.[8]

In 1927, the Pier Theatre which included a cafe and indoor golf course was built on the jetty. A fire destroyed the structure in 1932 but it was rebuilt and open to the public for nearly forty years.[6]

By the 1950s, Southport was the central entertainment location of the Gold Coast. It was also the administrative centre, with a central business district.


Sea World was opened in 1971
Southport Courthouse
Gold Coast Broadwater marina with apartments in Southport

The area of coast facing Southport is known as the Broadwater. The Broadwater houses the Southport Yacht Club and a number of marinas. The area is used for fishing, boating, and watersports. It is fronted by park lands which are a popular area with locals. Located opposite Southport on the Broadwater is the theme park Sea World. Although the Broadwater water is suitable for swimming, it is only 6 minutes from Surfers Paradise which features high quality beaches and infrastructure including a permanent life guard station. Southport is also bordered by the Nerang River.

Australia Fair Shopping Centre, located in the old Southport CBD, is a large indoor shopping centre containing 233 stores and a Senstadium Cinema. It was established in 1983 on the site of the former milk factory and is home to the major northern bus interchange for the Gold Coast. The opening of the Southport strip mall (the old CBD, located adjacent to the shopping centre) to low-speed through traffic has been a controversial local decision.

The Gold Coast Hospital, the only public-only hospital on the Gold Coast, is located in Southport. The surrounding area has been substantially redeveloped, and now includes a number of private medical practices. In 2005, Griffith University commenced teaching dentistry and medicine at a new building on land adjacent to Gold Coast Hospital. The state government has announced that a new Gold Coast Hospital will be constructed opposite the main Griffith University campus at Parklands. Plans for the existing hospital site are not yet clear, but general speculation is that it will become a private hospital.

The Southport Branch Library is located on the Corner of Garden & Lawson Streets. It was previously located on the top floor of the Australia Fair Shopping Centre. The Southport Branch Library was completed in 2002 and is one of 14 branches of the City's library. Upstairs in the same building is the Local Studies library which includes the City's historical collection of materials including documents, photographs, films, advertising and iconic objects and memorabilia.

St Hilda's School, which was founded in 1911, is located opposite the Hospital and is the only all-girls school on the Gold Coast. Southport is home to The Southport School, which was once the largest boarding school in Queensland. The School was founded in 1901 and has a well-known clock tower and chapel. It is also one of the few schools in Australia where cadet service is mandatory.

In April 2009, the three tower Southport Central development was opened.[9]

Chinatown Gold Coast[edit]

Chinatown Gold Coast The $6.8 million Chinatown precinct is an integral part of the revitalisation of Southport as an international CBD for the Gold Coast. Chinatown is being developed in partnership with the community, private sector and government. It will offer an authentic Asian experience and create a unique destination on the light rail corridor in the heart of the CBD.

Chinatown is already encouraging Chinese and Asian tourists and fostering international relationships and investment, reinforcing the City as a destination to do business, be entertained, to live and be educated.

Chinatown will provide a sense of home for the Chinese and Asian community that permanently reside on the Gold Coast. As part of the Mayor's second home strategy, Gold Coast Chinatown will bring a sense of safety and community to the thousands of international students studying at Gold Coast universities, English language schools and colleges.

This modern Chinatown is focused on Young and Davenport Streets in Southport. It will be a place for the Gold Coast to celebrate its diversity through culture, design, people and food. Chinatown will be an exciting mix of restaurants, cultural festivals and boutique; a place of cultural indulgence and celebration.

A four metre high statue of Confucius was recently unveiled and soon, three paifangs – traditional Chinese gateways – will mark the entries to the precinct.

Gold Coast Chinatown will be true to the Gold Coast spirit and will represent our new world relationship with the Asia-Pacific region

Gold Coast Aquatic Centre[edit]

The Gold Coast Aquatic Centre is located on Marine Parade adjacent to Southport Broadwater. It has a 50 metre Olympic pool with diving towers, 33 and 25 metre pools and a 15 metre indoor teaching pool. These pools are heated. There is a children's aquatic playground which includes a wading pool.

Southport Broadwater Parklands[edit]

There is a major park located along the shore of the Southport Broadwater. The state government has allocated A$16M with matched funding from Gold Coast City Council (over $32 million in total), to invest into the parklands. The works will include building a pier along the Southport Mall alignment. The park will be known as Broadwater Park.


The Sundale Shopping Centre, which opened on 26 March 1969, was the first of its kind on the Gold Coast costing a record $7.5M but closed in 1989 after the larger Australia Fair Shopping Centre opened nearby. It was located on 12 acres (49,000 m2) of prime real estate facing the Broadwater which was previously the site of the popular Southport Hotel. As well as providing panoramic views of the Nerang River from the upper floor, it was home to Queensland's first Big W department store as well as a cinema, restaurants, 45 speciality stores and a 7,000 vehicle car park. It was proposed as a location for the building of the Gold Coast Convention Centre. Such a development would have rejuvenated the old administrative centre of the Gold Coast. However, it lost its bid to Broadbeach, in part because of a lack of tourist accommodation in Southport. The site hosted weekly markets throughout the 1990s for several years after its closure, until its eventual demolition in 2003, at which time a time capsule was buried where the popular mall once stood. The area is now home to the Meriton Brighton on Broadwater development, a mix of high and low rise buildings together with trendy eateries and some retail outlets. In more recent years another a time capsule was discovered on the Sundale site which was buried when the mall was originally constructed. It was originally meant to be opened in the 2000s and was filled with notes and items which were meant to predict what the 21st century would be like. It is now located in the Gold Coast City Council Local Studies Library.

Southport General Cemetery[edit]

The 4.2 hectare Southport General Cemetery was gazetted on 16 July 1880. It is controlled by Gold Coast City Council as trustee. The cemetery is located on Queen Street which was the original route to Southport. This route led to the earliest wharf at Broadwater. Lantern Ghost Tours Gold Coast run historical night tours weekly through the Southport General Cemetery

Heritage listings[edit]

Southport has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Health and Knowledge Precinct[edit]

Southport is home to the Gold Coast's Heath and Knowledge Precinct that includes Griffith University (Gold Coast campus), Queensland Academy for Health Sciences and the Gold Coast University Hospital.


Habitats for native mammals include large trees with or without hollows, fallen logs, leaf litter and understorey vegetation. These provide food, shelter and places for breeding. Southport is a lovely place for picnics, riverside walks and birdwatching in the Broadwater Parklands.


Southport experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with humid, wet summers and warm winters.

Climate data for Southport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 28.5
Average low °C (°F) 20.3
Precipitation mm (inches) 175.2
Source: [14]

Sport and recreation[edit]

A number of well-known sporting teams represent the local area, including the Southport Tigers, Southport Surf Life Saving Club and the Southport Sharks.


Queen Street G:link Station in Soutport

Southport has numerous main roads that connect Southport with other suburbs. Gold Coast Highway travels the full length along the coast on the Gold Coast connecting Southport with all the coastal suburbs on the city. Smith Street Motorway is a motorway grade extension of smith street connecting the suburb to the Pacific Motorway that connects the city to Brisbane.

Buses at the old Australia Fair Shopping Centre bus station, 2007

Southport is also well serviced by public transport. A new light rail system called the g:link opened in July 2014 and runs from Broadbeach to the new Gold Coast University Hospital. The g:link operates 7 stations in the suburb connecting Southport with the major hubs of Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach. There are two major bus stations in the suburb called Southport bus station and GCUH bus station. The Southport bus station is located in the heart of the suburb on Scarborough Street which provides regular and high frequency services to mainly the northern suburbs. GCUH bus station is situated on the western part of Southport, servicing the new Gold Coast University Hospital and the norther part of the Griffith University, Gold Coast campus. All services are a part of the Translink integrated fare system.

The nearest train station is located 11 km from the Southport CBD at Helensvale and provides frequent services to Brisbane city and Brisbane Airport.

Famous identities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Southport (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Southport History. Gold Coast City Council. Retrieved on 17 January 2013.
  3. ^ Melissa Townsend (22 January 2009). "Southport jetty to rekindle memories". (News Limited). Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "OPENING OF THE NEW JETTY AT SOUTHPORT.". The Brisbane Courier (National Library of Australia). 30 November 1883. p. 5. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Southport Station in the Later Years Milne, Rod Australian Railway History, April, 2004 pp 142–148
  6. ^ a b Longhurst, Robert (1995). Gold Coast:Our heritage in focus. South Brisbane, Queensland: State Library of Queensland. pp. 29—30. ISBN 0-7242-6563-5. 
  7. ^ "SOUTHPORT WAR MEMORIAL.". The Brisbane Courier (National Library of Australia). 26 April 1922. p. 8. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Southport War Memorial". Monument Australia. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Southport Central's rental rush hour". News Limited. 4 July 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Southport Bathing Pavilion (entry 16277)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  11. ^ "Southport Town Hall (former) (entry 16410)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  12. ^ "Main Beach Pavilion and Southport Surf Lifesaving Club (entry 16028)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  13. ^ "Southport Drill Hall (entry 16242)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  14. ^ "Climate statistics for Southport". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 27°58′S 153°24′E / 27.967°S 153.400°E / -27.967; 153.400