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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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Heritage walks & trails

The Gold Coast is a city with a unique and rich range of heritage places. One of the ways you can discover the heritage of the Gold Coast is to experience our heritage walks.

There are currently six self-guided walks with supporting maps and information: Coolangatta Heritage Walk, Kokoda Memorial Walk, Labrador Heritage Walk, Southport Heritage Walk, the new Mudgeeraba Heritage Walk, and Nerang Heritage walk. View our Mudgeeraba Stories video below.

Coolangatta Heritage Walk

Vintage photo of Coolangatta

Coolangatta marks the southern end of the strip of surfing beaches that run from the State border to Main Beach. It has the distinctive form of a town locked between the twin headlands of Kirra and Greenmount Hills, the mountains and the sea. It’s a place of special character within the city because of its early settlement, role as a border town and railway terminus, its topography and the early development of a still thriving beach culture.

The Coolangatta Heritage Walk is a self-guided trail that celebrates the rich history of the town and explores the many heritage places in Coolangatta that are listed on the Gold Coast Local Heritage Register.

Along the walk there are many other discoveries to be made including other historic places of interest, plaques, laneways and monuments that together tell the story of historic Coolangatta.

Download the Coolangatta Heritage Walk booklet to guide you through this trail.

Kokoda Memorial Walk

Ex-serviceman looking at plaque

The walk extends from Rotary Park in the centre of Cascade Gardens south along the pathways towards the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. Sections of the walk pass through tropical rainforest reminiscent of the fetid jungles in which fierce battles were fought on the Kokoda Track.

Along the walk are information plaques, designed by Ross Bastiaan in 1992, 50 years after the battle. These are similar to those existing along the actual Kokoda Track and at similar memorial walks in Victoria and Western Australia.

These plaques explain the significance of different points along the Kokoda Track and the relief map provides some understanding of the very rugged topography over which the almost 100 kilometre track passes.

Labrador Heritage Walk

A photo of three men holding up a giant fish they caught

Discover Labrador's rich and captivating heritage with a self-guided walk. Read stories from local residents, marvel at historical images, learn about significant events, buildings and characters that have helped shape this unique part of the city.

It's a great day out, so get up, get out and get active - every step counts!

"There have been many days spent at the Broadwater with our children. We've watched it grow into a great family place. Harley Park offers families a day out with little or no cost involved and everybody can enjoy themselves. It always has and always will be a special place to me and my family." Sandra Hall

The Labrador Heritage Walk is a joint initiative of the Queensland Government, Community Renewal program, 10000 Steps and City of Gold Coast.

Download the Labrador Heritage Walk booklet to guide you through this trail.

Mudgeeraba Heritage Walk

Mudgeeraba Heritage Walk

The self-guided Mudgeeraba Heritage Walk is a discovery and celebration of the rich history of this unique Gold Coast village nestled at the foothills of the Gold Coast Hinterland. It recognises those places of special heritage significance that have been entered in the Gold Coast Local Heritage Register as well as other places that are important in the history of Mudgeeraba.

Download the Mudgeeraba Heritage Walk booklet to guide you through this trail. Our City Libraries online historypin tour can supplement this walk. We also have some excellent resources for Year Two and Year Three teachers.

Nerang Heritage Walk

Maid of Sker at Nerang Wharf, circa 1900. Photographer unknown.

The Nerang Heritage Walk is a discovery and celebration of the rich history of this Gold Coast hinterland town straddling the beautiful Nerang River. It is also a celebration of our Gold Coast Local Heritage Register and other places that are important in the history of Nerang.

Plaques, monuments, streets, parks and community organisations all combine in Nerang to tell the story of a river town shaped by a wealth of timber, rich river flats for agriculture, civic administration and the South Coast Railway.

Our City Libraries online historypin tour can supplement this walk.

Download Nerang Heritage Walk resources to guide you through this trail, including the full booklet and some excellent resources for Year Three teachers.

Southport Heritage Walk

Image of walking bridge across water

The Southport Heritage Walk is a self-guided trail with text and image markers to help walkers explore historical points of interest from Owen Park to the Broadwater. Along the walk there are places listed on the Gold Coast Local Heritage Register, other historic places of interest, plaques, monuments and stories that together make the history of Southport come alive.

The walk route is woven around the many delightful and fascinating stories that have been received by the City.

Download the Southport Heritage Walk booklet to guide you through this trail.

How the walk is marked

Three interactive totems and over 100 in-ground marker discs show the way. Each marker disc is about the size of a CD.

Story totems with a rotating panel, are placed at the Broadwater end of Nerang Mall, outside the old Town Hall on the corner of Nerang and Davenport Streets and at the entrance of Owen Park.

Directional marker - Southport heritage walk

Directional markers indicate distances and numbers of steps and help to keep walkers on track.

Site marker - Southport heritage walk

Site markers indicate places of heritage interest: buildings past or present, as well as places of historic significance.

Photo discs - Southport heritage walk

Photo-discs show either photographic images or artists' impressions of some of Southport's buildings in their former glory.

Text discs used for Southport heritage walk

Text discs highlight points of interest.

Walkers can choose from three routes:

  • the Central Business District Loop takes 30 minutes and about 2500 steps
  • Snapshot of Southport's Heritage takes about 15 minutes and 1000 steps
  • Owen Park and cemetery extension, an additional hour and 4080 steps.

Site markers are also placed within the Broadwater Parklands to highlight our rich waterfront heritage.

Mudgeeraba Stories

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