5 Things of interest on Burleigh Heritage Walk
Burleigh is rich in local history, but very few locals know about it, in fact you will know more after reading this blog post than most. There is much more history attached to Burleigh in my book, I have just taken a few paragraphs out to highlight Burleigh Village and the ridge behind it. Below is the route I took to check out some of the older building in Burleigh Heads, I suggest you look at it to get the feel of the location.
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Some background to get started
It was from this small village that the rest of Burleigh Heads evolved and spread to surrounding areas. Land was first released in 1873, a mere hundred and forty odd years ago that makes this location so young when compared to other parts of the world. And it’s because it is so young we have to hang onto every building possible that reflects the past. Now some of these buildings may not look like much, especially if you are from the Northern Hemisphere but they were here when this wild location was developing. So let’s start our heritage walk…
Interest 1.Corner of Connor Street and Gold Coast Highway
Thousands of cars pass by this spot everyday, equally hundreds and thousands of meals have been prepared and served in this building on the corner of Connor Street and the Gold Coast Highway, but few and I mean few would realise that this complex of shops, along Connor Street is of historical significance. The one on the corner of the Gold Coast Hwy was first opened in 1915 by the Justins Brothers’ (they planted the Norfolk Island Pines on the Esplanade) and the shop operated till 1954. If you are interested in architecture view the building from Memorial Park across the road.
Interest 2. Memorial Park
This park is home to a number of commemorative plaques honouring many who lost their lives in the Second World War. If you have an interest in military history, walk across the park to the War Memorial, ‘Lest We Forget’
A number of these plaques have been installed by the Gold Coast and District Branch of The Ex prisoners of War Association.
The Memorial Park is a lovely setting, with its large Moreton Bay Fig trees and park benches, a place you might want to come back to for a rest after your walk.
Across the park is Burleigh Heads Bowls Club; this building was originally constructed in 1937 and according to the Gold Coast City Council Heritage Study it is of historical, aesthetic, rarity significance.
Take a walk up James Street, on your right is the Juice Bar and Green Grocer, this business location was originally established –‘Est Circa 1946’ sign is on the upper wall, it’s a quaint store with fresh fruit and vegetables and freshly squeezed juices.
The grave site is at the Gold Coast City Council Office corner of Ocean Street and Park Ave, just follow the ramp up and the grave is in the garden bed on your right.
In 1858 Rose Dungan had to bury her young 12 month old daughter Sarah Duncan, with the help of two aboriginal women. What a hard life this would have been, the beauty of the location and the hardship of every day life and burying your young child without family support.
Interest 4. Take note of the older style homes
There are many older style fibro homes and small fibro and timber unit complexes in Burleigh, they are of historical interest but unfortunately many of them have been constructed with asbestos materials and will eventually disappear. This is my personal opinion after seeing so many disappearing along with their history.
Check out the following Streets, this link goes to the Burleigh Heads Heritage & Character Study, with the location of these homes pages 36-42 a little bit of homework before you go.
- Park Ave 1960’s brick flats
- Hill Avenue (Historical, Architectural, Rarity)
- Nathan Street
- Ewart Street Leighton, (Historical, Rarity )
Interest 5. Vista Walk Up West Street
Unless you are super fit I suggest you do this walk up West Street and onto Wairoo Street in the early part of the day, it can be hard going during the warmer months. Don’t forget to turn around occasionally.
At the end of Park Street head left and walk up West Street until you come to a timber boardwalk this will take you to the top of the hill where the water tanks are located.
When you have reached Burleigh Ridge (top of the hill), Burleigh Ridge Park is just below you on the other side. George Street Central will be on your left and Wairoo Street on your right, time to explore… I suggest you go right and left, from this elevated location you will see the Gold Coast from a different perspective, depending on your camera and lens you should capture some interesting shots.
However be mindful this is a residential area and people live in these homes, they don’t take kindly to people gawking at their homes even though you are only interested in the million dollar views.
George Street Central will come to a dead end along here is access to Burleigh Ridge Park Walk. Time to head back and enjoy the unique Burleigh Coffee Culture there is no shortage of places to relax…and recoup.
Remember experience the Gold Coast on foot….