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The Spit (also known as The Southport Spit) is a spit and neighbourhood within the northern end of Main Beach, City of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. It is a permanent sand spit that separates the Southport Broadwater from the Pacific Ocean.
Facilities and features
On the end of The Spit is the Gold Coast Sand Pumping Jetty, a popular destination for fishermen and part of the Gold Coast Seaway's Sand Bypassing System.
The Federation Walk Coastal Reserve is a reserve comprising the eastern part of The Spit.
The Spit was formed between 1897 and 1898, a product of longshore drift when high seas broke through a small area of land called Jumpinpin on Stradbroke Island. This made a new ocean passage and divided Stradbroke Island in two (North & South). The continuous longshore drift continued to eroded South Stradbroke Island. Navigational difficulties lead to boating accidents, prompting the planning and design of the Gold Coast Seaway.
The design of the Gold Coast Seaway relied on data from the Beach Protection Authority to prevent it becoming a baymouth bar connecting to South Stradbroke Island. Construction of the project had six main phases: Retaining walls using approximately one million tonnes of imported rock, Dredging 4.5 million cubic metres sand, closure of the old entrance, sand bypassing system, revegetation and sewage outfall.
There was a township called Moondarewa located on the southern tip of South Stradbroke Island. This township was lost into the sea in the late 1930s during storms as the Broadwater Entrance migrated northwards. The township of Moondarewa was located in the area near where Seaworld is located today ().
During the 1940s the Southport Yacht Club grew and added marina facilities for the increasing number of private boats wanting to moor on the Spits' eastern side of the Broadwater. Since the 1950s and '60s, the local prawning industry used The Spit for their berth.
The Spit continued to develop, with tourist attractions opening in the 1960s. It is now home to Sea World theme park, an upmarket shopping restaurant and bar precinct and several resorts.
Seaworld Drive is the main street connecting the area of The Spit to the neighbourhood of Main Beach. Parklands and naturally vegetated sand dunes on the eastern Ocean side of the Spit start in Main Beach at Kemp St and Main Beach Parade and run continuously to the tip of the Spit. Some popular parks are within this nature strip. In the southern end toward Main Beach neighbourhood is Hollingdale Park with picnic facilities. Further north past Seaworld Resort, is Phillip Park popular for wedding photographs.
At the northern end is Doug Jennings Park. A large area with parking and Public facilities. It covers the whole north end of The Spit, with views to Wave Break Island to the east and South Stradbroke Island to the north. It is a popular family park and with rod fishing a familiar sight. The park has been a popular outdoor concert and event venue. It is now part of annual music events like Summadayze.
In 2018 the Spit Master Plan was announced to revitalise the area for community use. The project is expected to be completed by 2020.
- "The Spit - spit in Gold Coast City (entry 34128)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- "The Spit - unbounded locality in Gold Coast City (entry 34127)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- The Spit History Archived 5 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine. City of Gold Coast. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
- "The Gold Coast Seaway" (PDF). Griffith.edu.au. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 April 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
- Salter, L 2002, South Stradbroke Island Lindy Salter, The Gap
- "City of Gold Coast | Libraries | Beach Protection Authority". Goldcoast.qld.gov.au. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
- "Moondarewa (entry 44010)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
- "The Spit — Gold Coast Australia". Goldcoastaustralia.com. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
- "Loading..." planning.dsdmip.qld.gov.au. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
- Gold Coast City Council - Federation Walk
- Save Our Spit website
- Queensland Government - Gold Coast Marine Development Project
- GHD - Notional Seaway Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement