The Changing Times…

How times change an area.

Go back to 1998 when we moved to Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast. It was a sleepy, almost unknown suburb and houses were affordable. James Street, the main shopping street, was suffering, many shops vacant because locals were going to the Stockland shopping centre to shop in air-conditioned comfort under one roof with plenty of parking.

Tourists, especially the young back packers, flocked to Surfers Paradise for sun and fun. Families preferred to go to the many theme parks and the rich and famous frequented Main Beach with its, back then, trendy café culture. So Burleigh, with its air of shabby, old-fashioned and slightly scruffy street scape belonged to the locals. Parking was easy and shop owners despaired at the lack of customers.

That is how we left it when we took off for a years exploration around Australia in 2010.

But gradually change has come to this sleepy little suburb. It has been discovered. Empty shops have been taken over by young (or maybe even not so young) entrepreneurs and converted into trendy cafes with butter boxes for seats and op shop  crockery, or boutiques with designer everything. 2 bars are open till late. As they say “if you build it they will come” and come they have in swarms. Parking is almost impossible to find and expensive. All the shops are busy and the multitude of cafes and restaurants are doing a roaring trade.

Today we went for Sunday lunch and walked from end to end of James Street. It was buzzing.

This was just an empty arcade a year ago.

Sunday in Burleigh 030_4000x3000

What a delightful space it is now, but no seats so we wandered on.

Finally deciding on Govindas our favourite Hare Krishna vegetarian restaurant.

Street and HDR 015

No coffee sold at Govindas, so on to The Coffee Club, the only franchised, multi-national, along James Street.

Sunday in Burleigh 033_4000x3000

But what a great view it has. Right on the corner of the street. The Poinciana trees are just coming into flower and if you look carefully there is a small view of the ocean through the far row of trees.

This is, in my opinion, the best area of the Gold Coast to live in and now so many people of all ages are discovering it.

Sunday in Burleigh 037_4000x3000

Footnote: Main Beach is now sliding into oblivion…

Categories: Australia, Burleigh, Goldcoast, photos, travel | Tags: , , , | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “The Changing Times…

  1. this is funny…they have a Coffee Club at the ferry terminal in the Maldives. I thought it was just a local shop! I had a cappuccino there while waiting for the speedboat to take me to my island (45 minutes away at top speed). Wasn’t the Gold Coast popular years ago?


    • The Gold Coast is 40 kilometres spread along the Southeast corner of Queensland and it has always been popular but usually it is Surfers Paradise that gets all the attention and that is only a small portion of the whole but it is were all the marketing media focus on.


  2. Very nice that you’re happy with your home. So interesting how neighbourhoods go in and out of fashion everywhere around the world. Could never understand why charming places become popular and then everyone builds monster homes and chain stores move in and destroy what made them charming in the first place – same almost everywhere.


    • I cannot understand the big house syndrome. Why do people need so much room? And multi-nationals killing off all the small local guys, so sad…


  3. Thanks for an interesting post. We have noticed big changes in coastal towns over the last few years….where do all the people come from?? I love looking at the older houses and gardens, they have personality!


    • I agree about older homes having personality, especially when they have gardens around them. The big houses leave no room for gardens


  4. Joan and Terry Watson

    Wonderful Burleigh, nothing better, been here just in time for the huge floods, so a lot of difference since then.Love your garden, do not like all those huge houses of today.,


  5. Such a delight to walk with your Pauline 🙂 thank you


  6. What a lovely account of change. You persuade me to try Warsaw’s hare krishna “cafe”. By the way, my twins had their first Australian swim at Burleigh last week, and were impossible to extract from the water.


    • Loved to hear your twins are enjoying our beaches. We always look for Govindas, Krishna cafes and have never been disappointed, healthy, inexpensive, vegetarian food. The Burleigh café is very popular and is always busy.


  7. There are a lot of places like this on the coast and Burleigh is a beautiful one! Lucky for you that you got in early, Pauline. What an amazing place to live 😀


  8. I spelt lucky wrong that proves I am not invincible. 😜


  9. We are both lucky together we are super Lucht. Was going to say invincible but that is only how I feel. 💝😎


  10. Sounds like you’re happy with the changes Pauline – and I agree with you about how lovely it is!


  11. Lucky you got in when you did, Pauline 🙂 Sounds like property would be expensive now.


    • We were lucky Jo, couldn’t afford a house in our area now. The value of our place has increased 4 fold. We are now surrounded by million$ properties, but we still have the 1978 built original “old”(in Gold Coast terms) house. Everywhere around us when ever a house sells it is demolished and a huge “MacMansion” goes up, taking up the whole section (no gardens any more) then a big, solid wall put all round. Ours is one of the few gardens left in the area.


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