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Gold Coast history and heritage

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Oxenford history

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Click to enlarge Oxenford Railway Station, 1912. Photographer unknown.

Oxenford Railway Station, 1912.
Photographer unknown.

Ryder's store, Oxenford, circa 1936. Photographer unknown.

Ryder's store, Oxenford, circa 1936.
Photographer unknown.

Oxenford is located just south of the Coomera River, not far from the theme parks of Movie World and Wet 'n' Wild.

W. R. Oxenford

In 1869, W. R. Oxenford took up 90 hectares (225 acres) near the Coomera River and gained a reputation as a pioneer in experimental farming in the Coomera district.

Less than two kilometres from the southern bank of the Coomera River, a station platform was named Oxenford.

Often special trains terminated here bringing Brisbane punters to mid-week meetings held at the adjoining racecourse.

Before a road bridge was constructed over the Coomera River in 1930, a ferry provided access for vehicles on the South Coast Road (today's Pacific Motorway).

The Ferry Hotel operated on the northern bank, and the Oxenford Hotel provided accommodation and refreshment for travellers waiting for the ferry on the southern bank.

The Oxenford Racecourse and Rail Station were conveniently located nearby. Today, the refurbished hotel, renamed the Oxenford Tavern, survives as a link to those earlier days, with the race course and station long gone.

The Oxenford Hotel was once owned by Coomera personality and one time State Cabinet Minister, Russell Hinze.

A nearby park, the Russ Hinze Reserve located near a Hinze family dairy farm, was named in honour of the family in 1975.

The Russ Hinze Park was included in the first stage of the Oxenford Estate residential development, an enterprise of the Mainline Corporation Ltd and the first major housing project in the area.

Back in the 1930s, the Ryder family operated a general store at the intersection of the Tamborine-Oxenford Road and the South Coast Road. By 1935, the township which had formed along the highway included a post office and St Mary's Catholic Church.

The church building was removed to the highway site from Upper Coomera and was blessed and officially opened in September 1935, with much ceremony, by Archbishop Duhig. MacNellies Bakery and Proud's Garage also played an important service role for the local community in the early years.

Apart from the businesses which picked up trade from the passing traffic along the busy highway, dairy farming on the fertile river flats was the mainstay of most local families in the early part of the 20th century.

By the 1970s, changes in consumer demand and dairy production methods forced many small dairies out of operation.

The highway too now bypassed the businesses located on the Old Pacific Highway. The old highway itself was now a two-lane local service road.

Nevertheless, the local population had grown enough to support both a local shopping centre, industrial estate and nearby primary school.

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

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