Varsity Lakes, Queensland
Gold Coast, Queensland
|Population||15,026 (2016 census)|
|• Density||2,243/km2 (5,810/sq mi)|
|Area||6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi)|
|LGA(s)||City of Gold Coast|
Varsity Lakes is a suburb of the City of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. This suburb was originally known as Stephens, but in 2002, Stephens, Andrews and a section of Robina were amalgamated to form the new suburb of Varsity Lakes. The 2011 census reported a population of 14,366 for the area.
In 1873, former Mayor of Brisbane Thomas Blacket Stephens purchased 6980 acres of swampy Gold Coast hinterland and began to drain the swamp to develop dairying naming his first dairy Hill View. His son William Stephens continued the drainage work and established the dairy Merrimac.
In 1981 a southern section of the estate was officially named Stephens in 1981 in honour of Thomas Blacket Stephens.
In 1999 the area between Stephens and Robina was purchased by Delfin Lend Lease and a real estate development known as Varsity Lakes began. Man-made lakes named Lake Orr and Lake Azzura were created and residential development followed.
In 2002 the suburbs of Stephens, Andrews and a portion of Robina to create a new suburb named Varsity Lakes after the development.
Between 2016 and 2017, Varsity Lakes saw an 11 per cent increase in median property sale price.
Varsity Lakes offers the full range of schooling from Kindergarten right through to Grade 12. Post high school education is also available. These services are available from the following Education Facilities:
- ABC Learning Centre - Varsity Lakes
- Australian College Information Technology
- Goodstart Early Learning
- Hope College Australia
- Varsity College
With the exception of a small area west of Mattocks Road, the entire Varsity Lakes suburb falls into the Varsity College primary and secondary catchment zone. While actually being based in Robina, Bond University is also located on the Robina-Varsity Lakes border.
In the 2011 census, Varsity Lakes recorded a population of 14,366 people, 52.2% female and 47.8% male. The median age of the Varsity Lakes population was 32 years, 5 years below the national median of 37. 61.1% of people living in Varsity Lakes were born in Australia. The other top responses for country of birth were New Zealand 8.1%, England 4.8%, China 1.8%, South Africa 1.7%, Malaysia 1%. 76.8% of people spoke only English at home; the next most common languages were 2.3% Mandarin, 1.7% Cantonese, 1.1% Japanese, 1% Korean, 0.9% Arabic.
According to the 2011 census the religious groups in Varsity Lakes by size are; Roman Catholic - 23.4%, Anglican - 16%, Uniting Church - 4.3%, Non-denominational Christian - 3.9%, Presbyterian - 3.1% and Buddhism - 2.3%. Remaining religions make up for less than two percent individually while "no religion" comprised 24.8%. Varsity Lakes offers several churches for Christianity. These churches include:
- Elevation Church
- Glow Church
- Hope Church Australia
- Metro Church
Market Square offers a range of retail to the Varsity Lakes community. Major chains such as Subway, Night Owl and IGA are all located in Market Square. Market Square also offers banks, beauty salons, bottle shops, chemists, dental care, gyms, real estates, restaurants and taverns.
Christine Corner is another retail area located in Varsity Lakes which includes a second Subway, a second Night Owl, bakeries, beauty salons, betting agencies, bottle shops, medical centres, newsagents, petrol stations, restaurants, taverns and vets.
Majority of sporting facilities in Varsity Lakes are present in both the primary and secondary school campuses. Frascott Park also offers grass ovals and a basketball ring. Public facilities include:
- Basketball Courts
- Grass Ovals
- Tennis Courts
The Varsity Lakes Sports House is a precinct for water sports opened in 2012 and was created by Delphin Lend Lease, Gold Coast City Council and Varsity Lakes Community Limited. The centre is based on Lake Orr and has a heavy emphasis on Rowing but also caters for Canoeing, Kayaking, Sailing and Dragon Boating.
In 2008, the Varsity Lakes Skate Park (officially known as Janette Green Park) underwent a $1 million revamp. On 17 March 2009 skating legend Tony Hawk visited the skate park and commented "We just go wherever the skate parks are and you've got a great skate park here." 
Central Park offers undercover gym facilities, a grass oval with Australian rules football posts and basketball courts. In December 2017, an undercover outdoor gym was opened at Central Park which includes a basketball court fitted with lights allowing for nighttime use.
The Varsity Lakes Community Centre regularly hosts sporting group activities; including aerobics, fitness, walking and table tennis.
Varsity Lakes is serviced by two forms of public transport. Surfside Buslines operate a number of services though the suburb that connect Varsity Lakes to Robina, Broadbeach and Tweed Heads. Queensland Rail operates a City Train line that runs from Central Railway Station, Brisbane though to the Gold Coast, terminating at Varsity Lakes Railway Station. Trains depart the station every half-hour and operate until late, seven days a week. Both Queensland Rail and Surfside Buslines are under contract by Translink who operate an integrated ticketing system throughout South East Queensland.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Varsity Lakes (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
- "Varsity Lakes – suburb in the City of Gold Coast (entry 46094)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- Australian History Publishing Co (1936), Queensland and Queenslanders : incorporating 'Prominent Queenslanders', Australian History Publishing Co, p. 270, archived from the original on 2 October 2015, retrieved 1 October 2015 — available online Archived 16 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine
- "Merrimac history". Gold Coast City Council. Archived from the original on 4 April 2020. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
- "History". Merrimac State High School. 8 January 2019. Archived from the original on 27 September 2020. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
- City of Gold Coast (21 January 2013), Andrews History, archived from the original on 21 March 2020, retrieved 12 September 2020
- "Varsity Lakes". Gold Coast Property Sales & Rentals. 1 May 2019. Archived from the original on 27 September 2020. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
- Domain (2017), The fastest growing suburbs on the Gold Coast aren’t what you’d expect, Domain.com.au, archived from the original on 17 September 2018, retrieved 1 October 2018
- "School Catchment Maps". Department of Education and Training. Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- Campbell, Jack (18 March 2009). "Tony Hawk wows his fans". Gold Coast Bulletin. Archived from the original on 21 March 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- Robbemond, Amanda (22 December 2017). "20 CCTV cameras installed throughout Gold Coast CBD and suburb". Gold Coast Bulletin. Archived from the original on 5 January 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- "Varsity Lakes Community Resource Centre - Activities & Programs". www.varsitylakes.org.au. Archived from the original on 26 February 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
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