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If you squint into the sunshine and cast your mind back a little over a century, you can almost picture the Southport of old, one of the Gold Coast's earliest and most fashionable seaside destinations. Originally called Nerang Creek Heads, it wasn't long before Southport's name was changed to mirror that of the English resort of the same name. This area has a rich romantic history which in the 1890s attracted Queensland Governor Anthony Musgrave and his entourage for its sideshow theatre, the Southport pier and its picture theatre. Brisbane's well-heeled arrived by cutter or steamer and were rowed to shore. While access to this pretty place has since improved vastly, its appeal remains. Just north of Surfers Paradise, it is one of the major business hubs of the Gold Coast and overlooks the dazzling Broadwater and the Southport Spit which divides the Broadwater from the Pacific Ocean. Shop at Australia Fair Shopping Centre, or escape to the languid stretch of parklands here, along which you can wander and daydream that you are back in the days of petticoats and parasols.