Heritage Hidden Gem Tour
Five sites from Burleigh to Southport
Bora Rock Memorial, Jebbribillum Bora Park
Address: 10 Sixth Ave (corner Gold Coast Highway), Burleigh Heads
Parking: On-street parking on Sixth Ave & The Esplanade
Opening hours & access: War Memorial in public park. Please respect the adjacent Bora Ring and do not enter the circular fenced area.
The Bora Memorial Rock, dedicated in 1991, demonstrates a symbolic association with the Indigenous men and women of the region who served in the defence of Australia in conflicts from 1914 – 1991.
It reflects the pride of the Indigenous community and is evidence of the social custom of representing the human sacrifice made during War and remembering those that served. The memorial rock is significant as the first Queensland War Memorial specifically dedicated to Indigenous service men and women. The Bora Memorial Rock is rare as the only Indigenous War Memorial on the Gold Coast and one of the few Indigenous War Memorials in Queensland.
The memorial rock displays artistic merit and innovation in war memorial design through its traditional Indigenous design, use of a natural boulder and traditional use of local ochre in the painting of the story. The Bora Memorial Rock has a special association with the Indigenous people of the Yugambeh linguistic group.
Address: 32 Hanlan St, Surfers Paradise
Parking: Bruce Bishop Carpark ($3 per hour)
Opening hours & access: Exterior access only
Kinkabool, constructed 1959/60 and originally named Poinciana Place, is historically important in demonstrating the pattern of the Gold Coast’s beach tourism development. The building demonstrates late 1950s modernist architecture and technical achievements in high-rise technology. It was the starting point for a style and scale of multiple-dwelling and multi-title building that appeared in the late 1950s/1960s and from which the Gold Coast gained its international reputation as a tourist destination.
Kinkabool also illustrates a significant aspect of the evolving character of the quintessential Australian beach holiday, which was highly influenced by American standards of accommodation and entertainment, particularly during the 1950s and 1960s. Kinkabool is one of the few buildings remaining that delineates the original heart of Surfers Paradise in the 1950s. Surviving components of Kinkabool reflect the standards marketed in the 1950s and 1960s as ‘luxurious’, but which also exemplify the character of this type of building. Kinkabool demonstrates the principal characteristics of a class of cultural place – highrise beach holiday accommodation – that was rare in Queensland in the 1950s but is now common.
Kinkabool is representative of the work of Stanley Korman, a developer and entrepreneur operating in the late 1950s on the Gold Coast. The Kinkabool units maintain their views to the beach and the hinterland, which were also important components of the building’s attraction to early buyers and holidaymakers. Rather than detracting from its significance, the great disparity in scale and appointment between Kinkabool and buildings like the 80-storey Q1 tower, demonstrates dramatically how tourist preferences, architectural design and construction technologies have evolved on the Gold Coast since the 1950s.
St Margaret’s Chapel
Address: HOTA, 135 Bundall Rd, Bundall. Located on the riverbank, north of main carpark
Parking: HOTA carpark or Chevron Island on-street parking via HOTA Green Bridge
Opening hours & access: Exterior access only. Via concrete pathway
St Margaret’s Church, built in 1877, is historically significant in demonstrating the early development of ecclesiastical structures in the late 19th century on the Gold Coast. The modest, timber church was the first dedicated church building to be erected in the Nerang area. The church is representative of the design and form of early 19th century timber churches that were once common on the Gold Coast. As a result of development, which has transformed rural areas into suburban environments, these types of churches are now becoming increasingly uncommon. The church is an example of a place that has fulfilled a function that has been an important part of the cultural and social development of the Gold Coast society.
Despite being relocated in 1992 and extensively renovated, the church retains its evocative qualities and expressive attributes including traditional symbolism in the form of a bell tower and Christian cross. Today, St Margaret’s continues to serve the community as a church and retains a special association and symbolic connection with the Anglican Church of Australia.
Southport Town Hall
Address: 47 Nerang St (corner Davenport St), Southport
Parking: Mal Burke Carpark, 13 Hinze St Southport ($2.10 per hour) & Australia Fair Shopping Centre (free)
Opening hours & access: Exterior access only
The former Southport Town Hall, constructed in 1935, is historically significant as it demonstrates the development of Southport during the 1930s as an important seat of local government and a flourishing seaside town. This construction replaced the earlier timber Town Hall building on the site. The large progressive design reflects the anticipated prosperity and development of the shire.
The building has social significance as a centrally located civic building which has been open for public purposes for over sixty years. The hall is an important example of an Art Deco influenced building, having aesthetic significance as a well composed public building on a prominent site. The ornamentation and decoration on and within the building contributes to its aesthetic value and the survival of internal Art Deco decoration is rare. The building has strong associations with its designers, Hall and Phillips, who designed many fine buildings in south-east Queensland.
Former Ambulance Station
Address: 45 Nerang St, Southport
Parking: Australia Fair Shopping Centre (free). Mal Burke Carpark, 13 Hinze St Southport ($2.10 per hour)
Opening hours & access: Exterior access only.
The Gold Coast’s first ambulance station, built in 1922 near Town Hall and Southport Courthouse, serviced the region for more than 50 years. The first superintendent was Percy Raby, a WWI serviceman. The ambulance station and medical treatment rooms were on the ground floor and the Raby family lived upstairs. Percy’s Corner Café is named in his honour. Alterations made during the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s included the removal of some of the street façade and erection of a screen wall.
The two-storey building was about 80 years old when architects were employed to restore the exterior and repurpose the interior as a co-share office space. It is home to about 30 businesses with meeting rooms, kitchens, outdoor and balcony entertainment space, parking for 11 cars and coffee shop.
Although this building is not heritage listed, it is a rare example of “adaptive re-use” on the Gold Coast; breathing new life into an old building while meticulously retaining and recreating original features that tell the story of the original building and the history of our community and city.
Looking for more incredible local heritage sights to explore in your own time?
Our city has many places of heritage value, including buildings, infrastructure, cemeteries, archaeological sites, gardens and urban precincts.
These places are crucial for future generations to learn about and understand the past. Our day-to-day exposure to heritage places allows us to develop a connection with our past and diverse local communities.
The Gold Coast Local Heritage Register lists significant heritage places. Click here to read about them all.