Merrimac on the Gold Coast - Postcode 4226 - Suburb Profile

September 08, 2015
Vicki Wisely

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In 2011, this area of 8 square kilometres, was home to 6,311 people, of these 57.0% are owner-occupiers (source: Australian Bureau of Statistics).

Located adjacent to the popular area of Robina, it shares the enormous facilities of the famous Robina Town Centre and also the nearby Worongary and Carrara Shopping Centre’s.

In the future, according to the South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program, an infill station will be constructed at Merrimac on the Gold Coast to Brisbane railway line, in-between the Nerang and Robina railway stations. 

A well-serviced bus route connects Merrimac to the two transport interchange terminals of Robina and Pacific Fair.  From these points, you can access north, south, east and west.

Conveniently positioned alongside the Pacific Highway to take you north and south and Gooding Drive, to take you east to west.  

The Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta, servicing domestic and some international flights, is a just a short 20 minutes drive.  

With all of this available, Merrimac is well connected to anywhere you need to be.

 

Merrimac – Home of the Bunyip.

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Digging of canals on the Merrimac Estate, circa 1924.  Photographer unknown.

 

Long ago and according to the historic maps, the overflow from the Mudgeeraba & Bonogin Creeks emptied into a chain of lagoons known as the ‘Great Swamp’. An area that was flat, wet and known to be bottomless. This extended from the original Merrimac Estate to Burleigh Waters.

 

According to the Hinterland pioneer, Carl Lentz, both the Yugambeh people and the first settlers believed the swamp to be the home of the Bunyip, an Australian mythical creature that roamed the bush and wetlands.

 

Thomas Blacket Stephens and his wife Anne Stephens were not deterred by the Bunyip, purchasing around 6,980 swampy acres in 1873. Although the land was made up of peat swamps, Stephens believed the drained land would be good for dairy farming, going on to own some 10,000 acres in total.

 

After inheriting the estate, the eldest son, William Stephens drained the swampland and grazed cattle and sheep, trying various grasses, sugar cane milling and of course, milk processing.

 

He wrote, 'The draining was difficult. The land was very flat, very wet and almost bottomless - a twenty-foot straight box sapling could be worked down by hand out of sight almost anywhere on the swamp. Mudgeeraba Creek with its huge catchment area had no mouth but emptied its waters into the swamp. Many miles of open drains were constructed and kept raked clear of weeds. These drains ran the water off the swamp and surface gradually hardened. Number Two dairy was built on a slight rise nearer to the coast.' – and this dairy was called Merrimac.

 

Merrimac

 

There is no record of where the name of Merrimac came from. Some say that it was Mrs Stephens who chose an American Indian meaning for ‘Merrily running waters’. Given the swamp nature of the land, this could be seen as ironic. Another explanation refers to a battleship from the American Civil War, the USS Merrimac – this name, however, could also refer back to the former meaning.

 

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Laver family farm and grazing cattle, circa 1916.  Photographer unknown.

 

Merrimac Growth

Over the years, new settlers purchased land and subdivided Merrimac into some 25 local dairy farms, supplying the milk factory at Merrimac until it was completely devastated by fire in 1957. By the 1980’s the land had been further divided and sold. Residential estates, golf resorts and retail sectors etc were now created.

Education The Merrimac State Primary School provides public schooling, with the Merrimac State High School located in Mermaid Waters. There are 3 Private schools covering Prep to Year 12 St Michaels College, All Saints Anglican School and King Solomon College.

The Cost and Type of Housing

Data on Realestate.com.au shows Merrimac as a High Demand area. Merrimac has a wide variety of lifestyles. Very little of the acreage remains but townhouses, duplex, single and double storey houses available including gated communities with golf course lifestyles.

The Median Sale price for Houses is $470k returning a  Median Rent of $440pw.

The Median Sale price for Units is $337,250k returning a Median Rent of $385pw.

The Future of Merrimac

Merrimac is set to grow and further develop. Clive Palmer is currently in the process of submitting an application for the Green Heart Gardens development on a 75ha site formerly known as the Avica resort. Council seems set to approve the development of 5000 homes on the former flood plain, making it one of the biggest developments in the region. This would be a mix of homes and high-rise with the construction of new roads included. Council is set to assess and produce their recommendation for the highly controversial, complex development in the coming months.

Brisbane Times Article re Clive Palmer Merrimac Development http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/clive-palmers-plan-to-tackle-gold-coast-population-boom-20150601-ghe88d.html 

So if you are thinking of purchasing in Merrimac (before Clive Palmer buys it all up) or just want to review your loan, speak to us today. Mortgage Choice in Robina, on the Gold Coast. Your Mortgage Broker home loan expert. We can help find the solution to best fit your lifestyle.

Call Renee Polden on 07 5562 0748 or 0439 779 513 to talk to us today or email renee.polden@mortgagechoice.com.au with any questions that you need answered.

Information and images provided by the City of Gold Coast Local Studies Library. References - Items are available at the City of Gold Coast Local Studies Library, South Coast Bulletin, Wednesday 8 April 1959 - Letter to the editor from W.M. Stephens, Burrows, Robyn - Dairies and Daydreams; The Mudgeeraba Story - Boolarong Publications, Brisbane 1989, Longhurst, Robert - Nerang Shire; a history to 1949 - Albert Shire Council, Nerang 1994, Waterson, Duncan - A biographical register of the Queensland Parliament 1860-1929 - ANU Press, Canberra 1972, Wikipedia, realestate.com.au, Brisbane Times.

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