Tugun is situated at the junction of the Pacific and Gold Coast highways 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) north-west of Coolangatta and 96 kilometres (60 mi) south of Brisbane, the state capital. The junction was notoriously traffic-clogged but has improved markedly upon completion of the Tugun Bypass in June 2008. Tugun is a popular holiday destination, with a number of holiday units and motels lining Tugun Beach. Tugun has a number of shops located on its Golden-Four Drive strip.
Its name is believed to have derived from an Indigenous word of unknown dialect meaning "breaking waves". Locals fondly call Tugun, Tugz (pronounced choo-gs). It's joined to its neighbouring suburbs of Currumbin and Bilinga via the Gold Coast Oceanway.
In the 2011 census, Tugun recorded a population of 5,976 people, 51.1% female and 48.9% male. The median age of the Tugun population was 39 years, 2 years above the national median of 37. 76.1% of people living in Tugun were born in Australia. The other top responses for country of birth were New Zealand 5.3%, England 4%, Scotland 0.6%, Japan 0.6%, Canada 0.5%. 89.5% of people spoke only English at home; the next most common languages were 0.7% Japanese, 0.5% Portuguese, 0.4% Italian, 0.4% Mandarin, 0.3% Spanish.
Offshore from Tugun is the Gold Coast Desalination Plant. Other landmarks in the suburb include the Tugun Tavern, Tugun Surf Life Saving Club and Flat Rock.
The owner of the Jolly Swagman motel suggested the name "Golden Four Drive" for the section of the former Brisbane to Sydney Highway located closest to the beaches. A new Highway was constructed further to the west and the local Council consulted with the community for suggestions about naming the bypassed section of the older highway. "Golden Four" was a local name that referred to the four southern golden beaches of Tugun, Bilinga, North Kirra and Kirra beaches.
Sport and recreation
- University of Queensland: Queensland Places: Tugun
- Heritage Tours - Tugun (Gold Coast City Council)