Lower Beechmont, Queensland
|Population||1,046 (2016 census)|
|• Density||63.39/km2 (164.2/sq mi)|
|Elevation||435 m (1,427 ft)|
|Area||16.5 km2 (6.4 sq mi)|
|Time zone||AEST (UTC+10:00)|
|LGA(s)||City of Gold Coast|
Lower Beechmont is a locality in the City of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. It is situated in the Gold Coast hinterland. In the 2016 census, Lower Beechmont had a population of 1,046 people.
Lower Beechmont is situated on the northern extent of the Lamington Plateau formed by the Lismore/Beechmont Basalt flow from the Tweed Volcano, a large shield volcano. Beechmont Range, a prominent spur of the McPherson Range which runs through the locality roughly north to south, was created by the erosion of the volcanic shield by the Nerang and Coomera Rivers, and forms the divide between the north and south catchment areas of the Gold Coast hinterland.
Beechmont Road runs along the ridge of the range with housing on or close to the road to access the views. There is little development on the steep mountain sides. The locality is bordered by the Canungra Military Area to the west, Advancetown Lake catchment reserve to the south-east, and Lower Beechmont Conservation Area to the north.
Originally settled as farmland, the area has transformed in recent years to become a dormitory suburb of the Gold Coast as the city has grown westwards. Local government planning restrictions limit the area to low density housing in order to preserve the bush backdrop of the city.
Lower Beechmont falls within the Yugambeh language region which stretches from the Logan River at Beenleigh, west to Beaudesert and south to the Tweed River. The Yugambeh people are the traditional owners of this area and have had a connection to the land for over 24,000 years. It is believed the area has been inhabited at least 6,500 years prior to European settlement by the Wanggeriburra clan, one of many Yugambeh family groups from the region encompassing the Lamington Plateau, Beechmont, Mundoolun and Tabragalba. Along with the Kombumerri clan, they traveled across the mountains of the Beechmont Range during migrations to and from coastal and inland areas.
Settlement of the area started around 1860 with timber getters coming in search of valuable rainforest timbers such as Red Cedar and White Beech trees. The first permanent settlers arrived in 1889 with the establishment of the dairy farming and banana growing.
Lower Beechmont State School was officially opened on 6 October 1922. The school suffered from low student enrollments and was closed a number of times the late 1920s and 1930s However it continued operating until 1967, when it finally closed due to continuing low student numbers.
During the construction of Beechmont Road in 1931, Laurie Hinde and Frankie Berg, who operated a team of horses for the construction, dug a hole in the rock and packed it with soil for a little bottle tree adjacent to Clagirba Creek on the original alignment of the road.  The tree became a significant landmark for travelers on the mountain for many years until its death in early 2014. A new bottle tree has since been planted at the same location.
A daily mail service was established in September 1947  and a telephone office opened in March 1949. Despite requests by the local council as early as 1948, electricity was not supplied until 1961.
By the late 1960s, rural activities in the area had significantly declined. Residential development of the area started in the early 1980s and is now the predominate land use.
Lower Beechmont Conservation Area
The Lower Beechmont Conservation Area is one of the largest conservation areas managed by the Gold Coast City Council. Covering 775 hectares, it is part of the habitat corridor between Canungra and Coombabah and is a critical link between Mount Tamborine and Springbrook.
The area was purchased using the Open Space Preservation Levy paid by Gold Coast ratepayers and forms an important piece of the green backdrop of the city. Fauna surveys have revealed the presence of 257 species, including twenty species listed as threatened under State or Commonwealth legislation.
The median age of the Lower Beechmont population was 42 years, 4 years above the national median of 38. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 17.4% of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 14.9% of the population.
69% of people living in Lower Beechmont were born in Australia. The other top responses for country of birth were England 8.2%, New Zealand 6.4%, South Africa 1.4%, Scotland 1.1% and Germany 1.1%.
91% of people spoke only English at home; the next most common languages were German 1.5%, Afrikaans 0.3%, Italian 0.3%, Slovak 0.3% and Japanese 0.3%.
Notable people from or who have lived in Lower Beechmont include:
- Toni Watson, known professionally as Tones and I, wrote her chart topping hit "Dance Monkey" whilst living in her manager's granny flat in Lower Beechmont.
- Tim Patch, commonly known by his professional stage name Pricasso
- Marissa Burgess, who played the longest lead character in Paris’ famous Moulin Rouge cabaret
- Ben Nicolodi, internationally acclaimed acrobat
- Jon Durand, champion hang-glider pilot and world record holder
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Lower Beechmont (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
- "Lower Beechmont - locality in City of Gold Coast (entry 46058)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
- "The Creation of the Tweed Volcano in Australia, and subsequent erosion caldera". Archived from the original on 2 August 2019. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
- Department of Environment and Science. "Coomera & Nerang Rivers drainage sub-basin". WetlandInfo. Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 11 April 2019. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
- "Queensland Globe". State of Queensland. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
- "City Plan". Gold Coast City Council. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
- Longhurst, Robert (1992), Taming of a plateau : a history of the Beechmont district, Beechmont Centenary Association, ISBN 978-0-646-12353-0
- Longhurst, Robert; Albert (Qld.). Council (1994), Nerang shire : a history to 1949, Albert Shire Council, ISBN 978-0-646-20287-7
- "Lower Beechmont State School". The Brisbane Courier. Queensland, Australia. 11 October 1922. p. 4. Retrieved 7 February 2020 – via Trove.
- "BEECHMONT". The Brisbane Courier. Queensland, Australia. 5 March 1928. p. 3. Retrieved 7 February 2020 – via Trove.
- "Beechmont". The Beaudesert Times. Queensland, Australia. 16 September 1932. p. 6. Retrieved 7 February 2020 – via Trove.
- "BEECHMONT". South Coast Bulletin. Queensland, Australia. 2 June 1933. p. 6. Retrieved 7 February 2020 – via Trove.
- "BEECHMONT SCHOOL". South Coast Bulletin. Queensland, Australia. 9 October 1936. p. 10. Retrieved 7 February 2020 – via Trove.
- A Mountain of Knowledge: A collection of memories from 100 years of education at Beech Mountain, Lower Beechmont and Beechmont State Schools
- "The history of the bottle tree revealed". The Gold Coast Hinterlander. Marie Robb. December 2013. Archived from the original on 21 March 2016.
- "LOWER BEECHMONT MAIL". South Coast Bulletin. Queensland, Australia. 17 September 1947. p. 19. Retrieved 7 February 2020 – via Trove.
- "LOWER BEECHMONT TELEPHONE OFFICE". South Coast Bulletin. Queensland, Australia. 9 March 1949. p. 23. Retrieved 7 February 2020 – via Trove.
- "NERANG SHIRE COUNCILS". South Coast Bulletin. Queensland, Australia. 26 January 1949. p. 1. Retrieved 7 February 2020 – via Trove.
- "Lower Beechmont Conservation Area". Gold Coast City Council. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
- "Open Space Preservation Levy Land Acquisition Policy". Gold Coast City Council. Archived from the original on 10 October 2019. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
- "Lower Beechmont-Mount Nathan Conservation Reserves" (PDF). Gold Coast City Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 October 2019. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
- "When Jackson met Tones: The story of how Australia's biggest new star went from busking to the top of the charts". The Industry Observer. The Brag Media. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
- Day, Mikaela. "Moulin Rouge performers' Gold Coast Hinterland home hits the market". realestate.com.au. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
- Keen, Ryan. "Gold Coast world number one hang-gliding pilot Jon Durand has been pushing limits for 20 years". Gold Coast Bulletin. News Corp. Retrieved 22 April 2020.