At the north-eastern end of the Gold Coast, on the southern bank of the Coomera River (just behind The Broadwater) is Sanctuary Cove - a dubious brainchild of the hype and 'entrepreneurial' activity of the turgid 1980s. It was created by a Queenslander named Mike Gore who became synonymous with the term 'the white shoe brigade', which was used to describe hucksterish businessmen whose ethics came a definite second to the business of making money.
It was opened with a rare concert by Frank Sinatra and has since grown to consist of two excellent golf courses, a shopping centre called Marine Village, which has more than 75 shops ranging from gift shops to restaurants, cafes and bars and lots of very expensive housing designed for retired millionaires. Much of the development has been carved out of the shores of the river. It is an integrated design which smacks of both wealth and artificiality.
Sanctuary Cove also hosts such annual events as the International Boat Show in May and the Classic Yacht and Car Concourse in October.
Sancturay Cove is located at the mouth of the Coomera River. Just inside the estuary is Paradise Point Boat Harbour which has a boat ramp just off Paradise Parade. Just behind Paradise Point is the mouth of Coombabah Creek which leads to Coombabah Lake. There are two boat ramps at the creek mouth. One is located on the western side of the estuary, on Boykambil Esplanade and another is on Jabiru Island, located directly in the middle of Coomera Island.
Sovereign Islands, the mouth of the Coomera River and Coomera Island Conservation Park signal the end of settlement along the Broadwater. Prior to the arrival of Europeans the area was well used by Aboriginal tribes who fished and lived here, using a place such as Coomera as a site for intiation ceremonies. 1800 acres of land at the river mouth were granted in the 1860s to Louis Hope, a pioneer of the Queensland sugar industry. Nearby Hope Island was named in his honour.
The nearby locality of Coomera has long been earmarked as a new satellite growth suburb, similar in many ways to Robina. With Australia's biggest and most popular theme park, Dreamworld and location of the Big Brother Australia house, and plans for a TAFE, a university campus and Queensland's biggest shopping centre around the existing station, Coomera has been predicted to grow considerably beyond its present size. Coomera has seen significant residential development including Coomera Waters which is a masterplanned community encompassing a 2,500 lot harbour, canal and dry land estate over 375 hectares of land located on the northern side of the north arm of the Coomera River, directly opposite Sanctuary Cove on Hope Island.
The island, and subsequently the suburb of the Gold Coast which shares its name, was named after colonial aristocrat Captain Louis Hope, who was granted approximately 1,800 acres of land at the mouth of the Coomera River in recognition of his contribution in developing the sugar industry in Queensland.
After arriving in Moreton Bay in 1848, Hope spent the next 20 years building sugar plantations on the edge of Moreton Bay. The development of a sugar plantation called Rockholm on the Island was largely undertaken by the Grimes Family. By the twentieth century, the sugar and arrowroot plantation had passed into the hands of the Sheehan and Davidson families. Hope himself never actually lived in the suburb of Hope Island, preferring to live in Ormiston on the edge of Moreton Bay.
A large portion of Hope Island is home to the Hope Island Resort, a gated community with facilities such as marina, half-Olympic pool, golf course, tennis and 24 hour security. Golf buggies are the most popular form of transport within Hope Island Resort, with extensive pathways to resort facilities and shops.
A luxury residential development located in the suburb of Paradise Point. The island has an area of 9.6 hectares and was once covered by mangroves. The development is distinctive for inhabiting an artificial island in the Broadwater, connecting to the mainland by a 400 metre bridge. The island, its landmass sculpted into a conspicuous albeit backwards "e" from an aerial view, is divided into two sections.
The southern division, the 'tail' of the "e", is covered mostly by undeveloped salt mud-lands. The design provides water frontage to every apartment. The northern 'eye' of the island has been developed to include a marina, 12 larger buildings (the largest topping 11 stories), a restaurant and up to 30 separate beach houses open to the Broadwater. The marina has a capacity of 115 berths. The island was cleared for development long before any construction began. According to locals, the area was devoid of vegetation from as far back as 1992 due to legal confrontations with concerned members of the community.