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Gold Coast History & Heritage

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

Woongoolba history

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Click to enlarge Rocky Point Sugar Mill workers, circa 1900s. Photographer unknown.

Rocky Point Sugar Mill workers, circa 1900s.
Photographer unknown.

Palm Sunday congregation at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1908. Photographer unknown.

Palm Sunday congregation at Bethlehem
Lutheran Church, 1908. Photographer unknown.

In the later years of the 19th century, the area between the Pimpama River and the Logan River was generally known as Pimpama Island. At first, its boundaries included the districts of Norwell, Jacobs Well, Cabbage Tree Point, Steiglitz and Woongoolba.

Higher land was surrounded by a series of fresh and salt water swamps and lagoons, so that during a wet season, the area became a virtual island.

First known as Pimpama Island

Until well into the 20th century, locals referred to the place as the island but the name fell out of common usage when the local State school was renamed Woongoolba. Today, the sports reserve and community hall still retain the name Pimpama Island.

The localities of Norwell, Jacobs Well, Cabbage Tree Point and Steiglitz have now developed into communities in their own right.

German immigrants

The pioneers of Woongoolba were generally immigrants from Germany who had migrated to Queensland between 1864-1900. Apart from this common ethnic background, one of the enduring features of the area is the sugar industry.

Rocky Point

The Rocky Point Sugar Mill at Woongoolba celebrated its centenary of milling operations in 1979. Rocky Point refers to a landmark and property on the edge of Moreton Bay.

The Rocky Point Sugar Mill is today located south-west of there. Often described as a lone survivor, the Rocky Point Mill has always been a central feature of the Woongoolba community.

Information and images supplied by the City of Gold Coast Local Studies Library.