From Beach to Creek
Currumbin is a coastal suburb in the Gold Coast region of Queensland, Australia. At the 2011 Census, Currumbin had a population of 2,785. From 1947 onwards, the iconic Heritage Listed Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has been welcoming tourists.
Samuel William Grey was the first European to acquire land in the area. In 1904, Isle, Love and Co advertised the first subdivisions in Currumbin.
The first hotel was built by Wallace McDonald Nicoll in 1910 on Duringan Street overlooking the mouth of the Currumbin Creek. During this period tourism and industry significantly increased in the beach side and valley areas of Currumbin. Many of the houses at Currumbin date from the period of later subdivisions in the 1920s. The area also contains a number of fibro beach houses. Since then later development has occurred including some high rise backing onto the hillside at Pacific Parade.
Generally the area contains more natural vegetation than other areas of the coast due in part to the difficulty of building on the steep hillsides and in part to the presence of the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. The Sanctuary comprises a substantial area of land on both sides of the highway adjacent to Flat Rock Creek.
In 2013, Currumbin was named Australia’s cleanest beach. At an award ceremony at Coogee Beach WA the national organisation Keep Australia Beautiful crowned Currumbin with the prestigious title. Currumbin was commended in particular for its excellence in community involvement and partnerships
In the 2011 census, Currumbin recorded a population of 2,785 people, 50.9% female and 49.1% male. The median age of the Currumbin population was 41 years, 4 years above the national median of 37. 73.7% of people living in Currumbin were born in Australia. The other top responses for country of birth were New Zealand 5%, England 4.5%, South Africa 1.1%, United States of America 1%, Scotland 0.7%. 88.4% of people spoke only English at home; the next most common languages were 0.5% Portuguese, 0.5% Japanese, 0.5% Swedish, 0.5% Italian, 0.5% Spanish
The Currumbin Creek rises in the Gold Coast hinterland below Mount Cougal in the Springbrook National Park, west of the New South Wales settlement of Tomewin and north of the New South Wales-Queensland border. The creek flows generally north by east through the Currumbin Valley towards Currumbin where it is crossed by the Pacific Motorway and the Gold Coast Highway, before reaching its mouth at Currumbin Alley and emptying into the Coral Sea. The creek descends 138 metres over its 24 kilometre course
Near the creek mouth at Currumbin Alley a 100-metre long and 30–40-metre wide swimming canal points northward. The demolition of the Palm Beach Bowls Club cleared way for a grass park and path to the shore of the canal, which is ideal for swimming, unlike many of the bull shark waters and canals further inland. Currumbin Creek has an extensive canal system similar to its cousin Tallebudgera Creek and the larger, further north Nerang River. The shores of these canals boast some of the Gold Coast’s most prestigious housing. The lower estuary is a dynamic environment, strongly influenced by the processes of tidal flushing and infilling by coastal sands. This process leads to the natural constriction of the creek mouth, and requires intermittent dredging to minimise flood impacts. The lower estuary provides a significant aquatic and shore based recreational resource for the city, attracting fishermen, swimmers, surfers and boating enthusiasts.
The first bridge across the creek was opened in 1926.The road was then known as the Main Ocean Road, later to be upgraded as the Pacific Highway and now known as the Gold Coast Highway.
Dredging has taken place at Currumbin Creek informally between 1974–1997 and then on a yearly basis to date. Over the years, over 1,850,000,000 cubic metres of sand has been dredged from Currumbin Creek and used to nourish southern Palm Beach. During 2007, a dredging operation took place at the mouth of the creek, making the bottom of Currumbin Alley very shallow, creating a calm lagoon for families and children to play in. Due to a build-up of sand in the creek mouth, not even permitting a jet ski from the creek to the ocean, the Gold Coast City Council announced an operation beginning late in 2008 to deepen the mouth and move sand to the nearby Palm Beach so that beach sand reduced by erosion is replaced.
A boardwalk winds through the small Boree Bodalla Mangrove Reserve with two fishing platforms. It is a popular cycling, running, and walking track and is a serene setting along the creek shore
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