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 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
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
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.
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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.