The Gombemberri and the Bundjalung Aboriginal people were here long before colonial
occupation. Captain Cook traversed the coastline in 1770 having named Point
Dangber and Mount Warning. John Oxley in 1799 and
1802, with the Broadwater noted in 1822 by John Bringle. Then by the 1840s white
settlement had commenced with logging of timber, soon to be followed by
agriculture in the 1860s. The district was surveyed in 1869 and Southport was
established in 1874. In the mid 1870s Cobb & Co coach services were running
regularly to and
from Brisbane. Then the railway arrived in 1889, although it wasn't until 1923
before the coastal road was completed.
Development continued, with the origins
of the town considered to be about 1923 when James Cavill paid
ฃ40 for the block of land where he built his
famous Surfers Paradise Hotel in an area known as Elston, previously known as
Meyers Ferry. The hotel became very
popular with its small zoo and gardens. Access to the hotel was improved when a
bridge was built across the Nerang River a couple of years later, then in 1933
the locals petitioned to have the name of the area changed to Surfers Paradise.
Today, it is a far cry from those early years, with Surfers now a suburb of the
larger city of the Gold Coast, defined by high rise development and being very
popular destination to the younger crowd.
Check out our listing of
Surfers Paradise accommodation and
accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact
the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours,
local maps and other information.