Oxenford, a northern suburb of the Gold Coast, is best known as the home of Australia's most famous theme parks.
Location: 12 km north-west of Southport and immediately south of the Coomera River. The suburb is bordered to the north by the Coomera River; the Pacific Motorway forms the eastern boundary. The western edge of the suburb is also bordered by the Coomera River, which can only be crossed via the Coomera River causeway. Theme parks Warner Bros. Movie World and Wet'n'Wild Water World are located within Oxenford's boundaries.
Oxenford has expanded in recent years with the subdivision Studio Village being built in the southern end of the suburb, adjacent to the two major theme parks; the subdivision itself being based around Movie World, with the street names all referring to objects or people within Hollywood and film culture.
The three biggest family attractions of the northern Gold Coast have all been set up at Oxenford, a point most readily accessible to the hordes of Brisbane: on or just off the major motorway - the Pacific Highway - at the north-western end of the Gold Coast, thus ensuring visitors from the state capital can be spared the slog of navigating the heavy traffic and byways of the tourism mecca that is the Gold Coast. These three attractions are Dreamworld, Wet 'n' Wild and Movie World.
Dreamworld is located just west of Sanctuary Cove. It is an Australian version of Disneyland with a myriad of rides and entertainments to occupy children and adults for an entire day. The characters, such as Cooee and Kenny Koala, are mostly Australian, although Nick Central features Nickelodeon figures. Attractions include thrill rides such as the Cyclone and Thunderbolt Roller Coasters, the Tower of Terror, the Wipeout, the Giant Drop and the Eureka Mine Ride, family rides such as the Thunder River Rapids Ride, bumper cars, a chairlift, the log ride, a water playground, a railway, a carousel and a paddlesteamer, along with family features such as the white Bengal tigers, the Game Site, a shooting gallery, remote-controlled boats, Nick Central (featuring Nickelodeon characters), the Australian Wildlife Experience, the Australian Farm Show, the Outback Celebration, Kids Carnival, the Kenny Koala Show, an 1850s trooper station, roving musicians and helicopters for hire. Dreamworld has one of the few IMAX Theatres in Australia.
It is open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. daily with hours extended during the summer school holidays (9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.). For more information contact (07) 5588 1122.
Wet'n'Wild Water Park
Wet'n'Wild is one of the most comprehensive water fun playgrounds in the world, with heated pools and slides permitting year-round access. Spread over nearly 10 hectares the theme park's activities range from a freshwater wave pool, with waves up to one metre high, to an extensive series of spectacular water slides and raft or tube rides (it is claimed that, on the toboggan drop, it is possible to reach speeds of up to 70 km/h while the Super 8 Aqua Racer consists of an 86-metre plunge).
The emphasis is on diversity with something for each age group, from the hair-raising to the languid and lazy. Thus, while the toboggan drop and the white water twisters are meant for adults and older children, there are also attractions for younger children and more sedentary adults, including the Buccaneer Bay theme park play area and a calm drift along the 'river' past a pirate castle and subtropical gardens. .
Wet'n'Wild is located on the Pacific Motorway at Oxenford. For 24-hour recorded information on Wet'n'Wild Water World's operating hours, prices, water slides and pools call (07) 5573 2255.
Warner Bros. Movie World
Also on the Pacific Motorway at Oxenford is Movie World Theme Park. Designed as a working studio with a number of large stages and an extensive range of state-of-the-art equipment, it manages to combine a day out with a wide range of activities. The combination of studio and fun park means that most of the Park's attendants are young actors hoping for work, and their first big break, in the studios next door.
Warner Bros Movie World is basically a combination of Disneyland and Universal Studios. It celebrates the fun and excitement of movies offering entertainments ranging from impromptu street events and a daily stunt show which re-enacts a Police Academy-style hold up. The Police Academy show has as much to do with the Keystone Kops as it does with Police Academy. It is typical of the kind of show offered by the complex. The setting holds over 500 people. The action includes a car being blown up, a man being shot and falling from the roof of a building, and an endless stream of thrills and spills from the crew. While it is entertaining it is also informative about the nature of stunts in a movie. Other attractions include the Road Runner Rollercoaster, Looney Tunes Village, the Wild West Falls ride and a suitably scary Scooby Doo rollercoaster.
Movie World is generally open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. daily. For 24-hour recorded information about operating hours, prices, shows and attractions ring (07) 5573 8485. To contact the office ring (07) 5573 3999. The Surfers Riverwalk is a pleasant 9-km walkway extending from Sundale Bridge at Southport to Pacific Fair at Broadbeach.
Oxenford was named after William Oxenford who took up a farm near the Coomera River in 1869. He had a reputation for experimental agriculture and was a councillor on the first Coomera divisional board (1879). The South Coast railway was extended through Oxenford, from Beenleigh to Southport, in 1889, and the station was about 1.5 km south of the river. There was also a ferry on the river, and the Oxenford Hotel was on the south bank. By the 1930s a village had formed near the hotel, along with a Catholic church.
Oxenford's residential development began in the 1980s, moving south-west from the corner of the Pacific Highway and the Tamborine-Oxenford Road. Provision was included for a State primary school (1987), and for a broad-acre development further south for tourist attractions. In 1991 most of the site was taken when Warner Bros Movie World opened. Before then there was the adjoining Cade's County (1984), which was renamed Wet'n'Wild in 1987.