Southport is a suburb and the central business district near the midpoint of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia and has one of the city’s largest communities. At the 2011 Census, Southport had a population of 28,315.
Originally known as Nerang Creek Heads, it was named Southport because it was the southernmost port of the colony of Queensland. Southport is recognised as the central business district of the City of Gold Coast. It has the city’s largest area of office space at 103,818 m2. In the past, Southport was the central entertainment location of the Gold Coast. In current times it is set apart from the normal tourist hub of the Gold Coast. However, it has still experienced tourist-driven development and extraordinary growth. Southport has 18 high-rise towers either completed, under construction or awaiting commencement.
In the 2011 Census the population of Southport is 28,315, 51.5% female and 48.5% male.
The median/average age of the Southport population is 36 years of age, 1 year below the Australian average.
55.2% of people living in Southport were born in Australia. The other top responses for country of birth were New Zealand 7.3%, England 4.3%, Korea, Republic of 2.9%, China 2.7%, Japan 1.7%.
69.8% of people speak English as their first language 3% Korean, 2.7% Mandarin, 2% Japanese, 1.4% Arabic, 1.1% Cantonese.
According to the 2016 census, Southport is a populous and ethnically diverse suburb. Its communities of Filipino Australians (624 people; 2.0%), French Australians (277 people; 0.9%); Polish Australians (205 people; 0.6%); Russian Australians (190 people; 0.6%), Croatian Australians (160 people; 0.5%), and Hungarian Australians (152 people; 0.5%) are the largest of any suburb in Queensland.
ANZAC memorial, 2011
On 25 April 1922 (ANZAC Day) Southport War Memorial located at the foot of Nerang Street was dedicated by the Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Albert, John Appel, in a presence of many Southport people. In 2010, renovation of the parklands required the relocation of the memorial; it was re-dedicated on 11 November 2010.
By the 1950s, Southport was the central entertainment location of the Gold Coast. It was also the administrative centre, with a central business district.
In 2013 the business area of Southport was declared a priority development area, officially creating the Gold Coast central business district.
The body of water marking the eastern boundary of present-day Southport is known as the Gold Coast Broadwater. The Broadwater houses the Southport Yacht Club and a number of marinas on the southern bank of the Nerang River in an area now known as Main Beach. The area is used for fishing, boating, and watersports. Located opposite Southport on the far side of the Broadwater on The Spit, is the theme park Sea World. Although the Broadwater water is suitable for swimming, it is only six minutes from Surfers Paradise, which features high quality beaches and infrastructure including a permanent life guard station. The present day southern boundary of Southport is the Nerang River.
On the western side of the Broadwater, is the Southport Broadwater Parklands which opened in 2009 and has undergone subsequent expansions in 2013 and 2016. Within the Parklands precinct are the Southport Pier, Gold Coast, Gold Coast Aquatic Centre and the Southport War Memorial, Gold Coast. Overlooking the Parklands is Australia Fair Shopping Centre.
Australia Fair Shopping Centre is an indoor shopping centre spreading over Scarborough Street with frontages on Nerang Street and the Gold Coast Highway. Containing 233 stores and a cinema, it was established in 1983, initially on the site of the former milk factory and entirely on the site of the former Pacific Hotel Southport which was built in 1878, redesigned in 1927 and demolished in 1988 to make way for the expansion of the shopping complex.
The western end of Nerang Street in the vicinity of the intersection of Scarborough Street is also known as the Southport Mall. The re-opening of the mall (the old CBD, located adjacent to the shopping centre) to low-speed through traffic, after eight years of closure to vehicles, took place in 2000.
At the top of the mall, on the south western intersection of Scarborough and Nerang Streets, is the Art Deco styled Hotel Cecil (Southport) which is considered an ‘important anchor’ in the streetscape. Opposite the hotel is a G:link station and, a few metres to the north, is the major northern bus interchange for the Gold Coast.
The City of Gold Coast Southport Branch Library is located on the Corner of Garden and Lawson Streets. It was previously located on the top floor of the Australia Fair Shopping Centre. The Southport Branch Library was completed in 2002 and is one of 14 branches of the city’s library. Upstairs, in the same building, is the Local Studies Library which includes the city’s historical collection of materials including documents, photographs, films, advertising and memorabilia.
St Hilda’s School, which was founded in 1911, is located opposite the hospital and is the only all-girls school on the Gold Coast. Southport is home to The Southport School, which was once the largest boarding school in Queensland. The school was founded in 1901 and has a well-known clock tower and chapel.
In April 2009, the three-tower Southport Central development was opened.
in 2014, the Gold Coast City Council, in an effort to revitalise and solidify the Southport as the Central Business District for the Gold Coast, opened its own Chinatown.
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