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The Blog

A Brief History Of Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Heads is a popular coastal suburb on the Gold Coast due to its splendid views, rich culture and history.

Locals and tourists alike enjoy visiting the area to watch the waves, swim in the warm inviting ocean and enjoy the beauty that Burleigh Heads has to offer.

These days the suburb is visited by people for their enjoyment and relaxation, however in its past history it was home to local Aboriginal tribes. These nomadic tribes would go hunting and fishing, setting up their camps and sharing their food with their families as they lived off the land. Descendants of the original inhabitants now impart history to the present day visiting locals, by sharing their stories during walking tours and at the educational centre.

West Burleigh was originally known as Caningeraba as it was a local place well known for being rich in fresh seafood, primarily due to its location in good proximity to the fishing waters. It was in these waters where locals would catch their fish and oysters.

Around the 1850s, the rich cedar forests attracted settlers to the land, to work in the timber industry, with some men also bringing their families with them to settle. The Duncan Family one of the families who set camp there contributed to the development of Burleigh Heads. In 1869 the southern part of Tallebudgera Creek was opened for free settlement.

After two years Burleigh Heads’ settlement was officially announced as a town reserve. The first recognised photo of Burleigh Heads was taken by William Boag, a traveling photographer in 1871.

In 1873 more than 60 surveyed areas were made ready for an auction at the Land Office at Beenleigh, followed by several more auction sales at the “Town of Burleigh” in 1877 and 1878. While at the time many of these allotments were sold, Burleigh Heads remained untouched for several more years to come. Burleigh township was the site of early development including restaurants and guest houses to support the increasing interest in bathing that took place in the last years of the 19th century and the first of the 20th century.

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