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Gold Coast history and heritage

Discover how the City of Gold Coast is working to conserve and celebrate the rich and unique heritage of the Gold Coast.

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Bundall history

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Click to enlarge The Gold Coast Council administration centre, early 1980s. A. L. Lambert, photographer.

The Gold Coast Council administration centre,
early 1980s. A. L. Lambert, photographer.

Bundall Sugar mill, circa 1872. Photographer unknown.

Bundall Sugar mill, circa 1872.
Photographer unknown.

What's in a name?

Bundall - an Aboriginal word for a species of prickly vine cockspur.

Hanlon, W.E., The Early Settlement of the Logan and Albert Districts.

Bundall was across the Nerang River from Surfers Paradise and was an Aboriginal word meaning a prickly vine.

Steele, J.G., Aboriginal Pathways in Southeast Queensland and the Richmond River, p.63.

A sugar plantation

In the Mitchell Library in Sydney, there is a painting capturing an idyllic scene of the Nerang River in 1871.

This is the earliest surviving image we have of Bundall. Isolated on the northern riverbank amongst the thick covering of gums, palms and vine scrub is a row of lonely buildings which was the hub of Bundall Sugar Plantation.

The property was originally taken up by a well-connected Englishman called Edmund Henry Price who, on his arrival in Brisbane around 1862, took up a large parcel of land at Bundall.

The northern boundary of the property ran from the Nerang River bank close to today's City of Gold Coast Administration and Arts Centre, then westward along the approximate line of Heeb Street and then south to join the present day Village High Road in Benowa.

Sugar cane proved to be a better crop than cotton for local conditions. The sugar plantation passed through a number of owners until the land was cut up into smaller portions.

Farmers transported the harvested sugar cane to nearby Benowa Sugar Mill. Later the land was used for dairy farming until developers such as Efim Zola and Sir Bruce Small acquired land which they called Isle of Capri, a catalyst for future commercial and residential development.

Information and images provided by the City of Gold Coast Local Studies Collection.

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