The changing face and pace of Hope Island
At one time, Hope Island was a sleepy farming district producing sugar, arrowroot and cattle near the mouth of the Coomera River.
Today, the paddocks and crops have made way for a prestigious residential suburb that capitalises on its spectacular river frontage and easy boating access to the Broadwater and Southern Moreton Bay.
It is also home to two of Halcyon’s communities: Halcyon Waters and Vision by Halcyon.
Hope Island rose to national prominence in the late 1980s with Mike Gore’s development of Sanctuary Cove, a masterplanned marina and golf resort community blending luxurious residential living with five-star tourism.
The $400 million project’s lavish five-day opening event in January 1988 drew A-listers like Frank Sinatra, Whitney Houston, Peter Allen, Paul Hogan and Chris Evert to what was once a rural backwater.
National developers followed Gore and created the beautiful residential communities of Hope Island Resort and Cova respectively, cementing Hope Island as a sought-after luxury address, particularly for boaties and golfers.
These projects together with Halcyon’s communities, the Coles-anchored Hope Island Shopping Centre, Hope Island Tavern, My HealthCity, Arcare aged care, numerous upmarket residential projects and the spectacular Hope Island Canal have created a vibrant and well-serviced suburb.
The growth continues, with the last key piece of the Hope Island puzzle to be put in place with the opening of the highly anticipated $65 million Hope Island Marketplace shopping centre in December 2018.
The 14,000sqm retail and commercial centre promises to have the same upmarket feel as Southport’s popular Ferry Rd Markets and Brisbane’s James St.
It will deliver Woolworths and Aldi supermarkets, specialty stores, cafes, restaurants, takeaway food outlets, medical facilities, a pharmacy and close to 500 car parking spaces, about half of which will be undercover.
Nearby, the long-dormant Village Square marketplace site looks likely to be redeveloped in the medium term with its impending sale creating an enticing 3.3 hectare north-facing waterfront development opportunity.
A short drive away, the Homeworld Helensvale complex is undergoing a $20 million expansion that will deliver its sixth stage: a health and lifestyle precinct featuring medical practitioners and allied health specialists.
The bustling homemaker centre, just east of the M1, already features a range of major retailers like The Good Guys, Fantastic Furniture, Barbeques Galore, JB Hi-Fi, Carpet Call and Chemist Warehouse, and it is earmarked for even more expansion in the coming years.
Other major shopping in the area is located at Westfield Helensvale, Runaway Bay Centre and the $470 million Westfield Coomera, which will open later this year.
On the transport front, Hope Island is poised to become even better connected to the Gold Coast and Brisbane with the news that a train station will be built at nearby Helensvale North.
The new station is one of three additional stops planned for the Gold Coast rail line - along with Pimpama and Worongary-Merrimac - and they are expected to be operational by 2023.
For leisure seekers, Hope Island has a plethora of options including boating, golf, shopping and dining.
The area boasts three of Queensland’s finest golf courses - Links Hope Island, The Pines, and The Palms – along with several spectacular marinas and their associated waterfront boutiques and eateries, ranging from casual to fine dining.
Boaties are treated each May to one of the southern hemisphere’s premier boating festivals: the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, which attracts industry heavyweights and tens of thousands of visitors.
Sanctuary Cove is also home to other events throughout the year including the Winter Wine Festival, Sanctuary Cove Festival and the Sanctuary Cove International Film Festival.
And for the young and young at heart, Hope Island is a short drive from the city’s theme park and entertainment precinct, which includes Movie World, Wet’n’Wild, Topgolf, Paradise Country, Australian Outback Spectacular, WhiteWater World and Dreamworld.
Just to the south, there’s easy bridge access to Paradise Point, home to a vibrant waterfront esplanade lined with cafes, restaurants, shops, parkland and playgrounds – a hive of activity on weekends.
It’s clear that Hope Island has come of age more than 30 years after its first major development.
Beautifully surrounded by water, easily accessible, leisure-rich and abounding in everyday convenience, it’s easy to understand why more than 11,000 people now call Hope Island home.
Hope Island fast facts
• 11,000-plus residents
• Established retail, medical and childcare facilities
• $65 million major shopping centre opened in 2018
• Home to three of Queensland’s top 10 golf courses
• New train station coming in 2023
• Easy boating access to Coomera River and Broadwater