Australia has many interesting population centers, and one of these is Pimpama. It is a suburb in the northern city of Gold Coast in the state of Queensland. It has a population of around 10,000 people, and it has made a name for itself.
It is situated on a stretch of the Pacific Motorway, and it is considered the only rural town remaining on the stretch of Pacific Motorway between the Gold Coast and Brisbane. It has a massive section of land that is still not developed. However, the swift rise of urban projects in the area has translated into quick population growth.
The Pimpama River marks the upper border of the suburb and it is one of the most dominant features in the area. This river originates from the Darlington Range and flows to the Moreton Bay. Coomera, Kingsholm, Willow Vale, Jacobs Well, and Norwell are some of the other suburbs located within the proximity of Pimpama.
History of Pimpama
Just like many of the settlements in Australia, the history of Pimpama stretches back to the times of the indigenous Aborigines. The name itself is derived from the local Bundjalung language words of pim pim ba, and it means the area of soldier birds.
A good portion of what is now Pimpama fell under the control of a politician and squatter named William Duckett White in the 1850s. It was White who did leasing 20,000 acres of the area between the Coomera and Logan Rivers. A section of the Hotham Creek (which contributes to the Pimpama River) was added.
A compact settlement was created in the Pimpama River area around 1860. However, the area was abandoned shortly and the focus was set on Hotham Creek. A significant portion of Pimpama was offered to the public from the first quarter of 1869. White had to give up his remaining leasehold on the area starting from the 1st of January, 1870.
The sale by private holders of the farm lots and areas of the farm at the location between Hotham Creek and Pimpama River amalgamated the section and established Pimpama properly as a town. A group of migrants from Ireland also opened up farms in the place. Farmers on the edges of Pimpama River decided to try out cotton growing in the 1860s. They added sugar to the mix later on and they had to source for laborers and farmhands from the South Pacific Islands when they started. The very first sawmill in the area was established at Pimpama by Jesse Daniells in 1863.
Impact of the Irish Settlers and Arrowroot
William Doherty and his spouse Eliza Fannon were settlers from Ireland who got to Queensland in September 1867. Records indicate that they lived in Brisbane until November 1869 at the minimum, but they were in Pimpama by the middle of 1870. William Doherty set into action quickly as he made the demand to create a school in Pimpama. It is not known precisely where this couple lived in Pimpama today, but it is known clearly that he coordinated activities on the farms and sugar plantations in the area.
Pimpama grew over time, and from around 1868, it functioned as the terminus of the Cobb and Co Coach lines running from Brisbane. This led to the building of a pair of hotels on both sides of Hotham Creek. Commercial cultivation of arrowroot in Pimpama commenced for the first towards the end of the 1860s. The cultivation expanded and soon became a big venture.
The introduction of mechanical processors boosted arrowroot cultivation and several brands emerged for the sale in no time. More farmers trooped to the area when they realized that the soil, climate, and lots of water sources in Pimpama made the area perfect for arrowroot cultivation. The history of Pimpama cannot be complete without mentioning the arrowroot. It was so important that by 1884, this activity was the major economic activity for the area.
Further Developments from 1884
The returns from arrowroot cultivation as of 1884 proved to be a major source of attraction for prospectors and farmers. Farmers rushed in and expanded the activity that was already on the ground, which reflected in the district’s overall development.
The Pimpama State School was established in April 1872, and it marked the beginning of a spurt in the educational sector. The development continued steadily, and by the end of 1876, the sugar cane plantations had given way to arrowroot or cattle. A few other farmers clung to the cultivation of sugar cane anyway. Another school was established in August 1878, and it was a testament to the continued progress in the area. This mix of development would continue well into the 20th century.
Pimpama in the Modern Era
Pimpama has evolved from a tiny hamlet to become a vital suburb. It now has several schools, farms, supermarkets and supports a population of almost 10,000 people. The government is focusing more on urban projects in the area and it is now a major hub of tourism.