In 1869, W. R. Oxenford took up 90 hectares (225 acres) near the Coomera River and gained a reputation as a pioneer in experimental farming throughout the Coomera district. The suburb of Oxenford and the original railway station on the southern bank of the Coomera River were both named after this early settler. The Oxenford railway station adjoined a racecourse and, in addition to its role as a stop for travellers and goods, on race days special trains would travel from Brisbane and terminate at Oxenford to provide easy access for those wishing to spend the day at the races.
Before the permanent road bridge was constructed over the Coomera River in 1930, a ferry provided access for vehicles on the South Coast Road (later the Pacific Motorway). On the northern bank of the river, the Ferry Hotel operated while, on the southern bank, the Oxenford Hotel provided accommodation and refreshment for travellers.
In the 1930s, the Ryder family operated a general store at the intersection of the Tamborine-Oxenford Road and the South Coast Road and the township, which had formed along the highway, included a post office, MacNellies Bakery, Proud’s Garage and St Mary’s Catholic Church. The church building had been relocated from an earlier site in Upper Coomera and was officially opened in September 1935. Apart from the businesses which picked up trade from the passing traffic along the busy highway, dairy farming on the fertile river flats was the mainstay of most local families in the early part of the 20th century.
The highway eventually bypassed the businesses located on the Old Pacific Highway and the former highway became a two-lane local service road. By the 1970s, changes in consumer demand and dairy production methods forced many small dairies out of operation.
In 1975, the Russ Hinze Reserve located near the Hinze family dairy farm, was named in honour of the family. The park was included in the first stage of the Oxenford Estate residential development, an enterprise of the Mainline Corporation Ltd and the first of numerous major housing projects in the area.
Sources of information and further reading
- City of Gold Coast Local Studies Library Manuscript, Albert Shire – Suburb History (binder L-Z) LHM0431.
- Pamela. “Golden years recall history of Oxenford.” Albert and Logan News (Beenleigh, Qld.) 4 Jun 1982, p. 10.