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.
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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
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.