The rise of Robina

Words Melinda Burton | Photos Various

As a suburb, Robina has come a long way since its humble farmland days thanks to a recipe for success from a forward-thinking, strategic, and visionary entrepreneur with a solid game plan.

Along many of Robina’s meandering walkways, you’ll be met with several stunning and delightful water sections, such as Robina City Parklands, where you can drop a line in for a casual fish, set up a picnic and take in the scenery or simply relax on a bench and watch the incredible habitat and its wildlife at play.  As a suburb, Robina offers generous green spaces dotted throughout and boasts plenty of bikeways, rolling parklands, vibrant gardens, and playgrounds to be enjoy and explored by everyone.

More than 20 years on, Robina is ripe with opportunities, from a strong business and commercial presence to a thriving residential hub that has become synonymous with growth and forward focussed thinking.

During the 1980’s development stages of Gold Coast’s skyline and its population, when plans for The Star Casino were being drawn up and Dreamworld was under construction, a Singaporean multi-industrialist, Dr Robin Loh, was travelling south to Coolangatta, when he decided to stop and survey a large plot of land.

Having heard the 20 square kilometre parcel of land was owned by several families who were at the pre-selling phase, Dr Loh saw beyond the swamplands, waterways, and paddocks; instead, he envisioned the flourishing and vibrant city centre the area could become.

Dr Loh partnered with local property developer, Arthur Earle, and purchased the land, naming it Robina, a combination of Dr Loh’s first name and Arthur’s first initial.

What followed, was an incredible transformation by international master planners that helped bring the world-class city to life. They brought in a major shopping centre, a stadium, a train line and transport network, schools, a hospital and a staggering number of homes and apartments, all creating the solid foundations of the Robina we know and love today.  

Places to eat and drink

Mad Asian

Take a seat at Mad Asian’s 160-seat restaurant in the upper level of Robina Town Centre’s popular, The Kitchens, and enjoy everything from gyoza to noodles, curries, and sizzling plates. This expansive Japanese food eatery and bar dishes up a mixed bag of big flavours. The beef tataki with pineapple, coriander and chilli is a good place to start before moving on to signature dishes such as the lightly fried scallop salad with honey-yuzu dressing and the Mad Grandpa prawn curry with green beans and chilli.

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Bunnath Kitchen

Tucked inside the East Quay Centre, Bunnath Kitchen is a delightful modern Cambodian restaurant where you will experience a combination of authentic Khmer dishes made from local and seasonal produce. With tasty dishes on the menu designed to be shared, range from mild to fiery and can be complemented with a great selection of wines and other beverages.

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The Brooklyn

Looking for dash of international flair with a divine sensory experience? The Brooklyn Wine + Tapas Bar offers mouth-watering food and luscious drinks catering to a sit-down menu or canape style. You will simply forget you’re in Varsity Lakes, a stone throw away from Robina, and feel as though you’ve been teleported to a vintage New York Bar with phenomenal food and drinks.

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Oscar Italia

A casual eatery offering pizza, pasta and family friendly dining, Oscar Italia’s menu is made to please. Relax in one of the hanging cane chairs or cosy up on a velvet lounge and enjoy the mouth-watering beef ragu arancini and arrabbiata sauce, calamari fritti, shaved fennel and rocket salad with lemon dill aioli, while sipping on a complimenting Italian wine.

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Places to shop

Robina Town Centre

The ultimate destination for all things fashion, lifestyle, food and entertainment, Robina Town Centre consists of over 320 speciality stores, three dedicated food destinations like the popular, The Kitchens, as well as entertainment outlets including, Event Cinemas, Timezone and Zone Bowling. Robina Town Centre has something to offer everyone.

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She Street

Located just 5 minutes from Robina, in Varsity Lakes on Scottsdale Drive, She Street is a trendy clothing brand celebrating women. Peruse your way through a carefully curated mix of street-style fashion that’s both flattering and feels good to wear.

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Places to stay

The Village B&B

The Village B&B is only five minutes from Robina and offers a charming Queenslander home experience complete with historical beauty. From sweeping verandas, open fireplaces, a beautiful pool and breathtaking views of the mountains, this Heritage home, circa 1907, is nestled in the historical nook of Mudgeeraba, where you will find plenty of pleasant eateries and speciality shops right on its doorstep.

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Things to do

Wild Flower Gin Masterclass

Attention all gin lovers! Wild Flower Gin offers you the opportunity to create your own gin from over 50 different botanicals. Ideal for beginners, the class explores the fascinating history of gin and at the end, you get to walk away with your own custom bottle of gin goodness. The small boutique distillery is located in Robina’s neighbouring suburb of Varsity and sells gin online, from the distillery cellar door and also offers tours and tastings.

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Palmer Golf Course

Get ready to tee off at Palmer Gold Coast. Stunning manicured greens and rolling fairways lined with lofty gum trees, this natural watercourse is nestled on 65 hectares of native woodland and features lakes, ponds, creeks, creating a stunning and unique golf course environment. The 6,078-meter, 18-hole, Par 71 championship golf course consistently ranks in the top 30 resort courses in the country.

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