Varsity Lakes, Queensland
Varsity Lakes is a suburb of the City of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. This suburb was originally known as Stephens, but in 2002, Stephens, Andrews and a section of Robina were amalgamated to form the new suburb of Varsity Lakes. The 2011 census reported a population of 14,366 for the area.
In 1873 Thomas Blacket Stephens purchased 6980 acres of the Gold Coast hinterland and would name the area Merrimac Estate. In 1981 the Minister for Environment, Valuation and Administrative Services renamed the area Stephens after Thomas Blacket. In 1999 the area between Stephens and Robina was purchased by Delfin Lend Lease and development on the area named Varsity Lakes began. Man made lakes named Lake Orr and Lake Azzura were created and residential development followed. The success of the newly created area resulted in the suburbs Stephens, Andrews and some parts of Robina joining together in 2002 to become a new suburb named Varsity Lakes.
Origin of name
The Varsity Lakes name came from a development by Delfin Lend Lease. Residents of the Varsity Lakes development have objected to being amalgamated into the same suburb as those from Stephens due to its history as a low socio-economic area. Fears were held by landowners that property values would drop. Some residents of the Varsity Lakes development threatened legal action against the developers to gain compensation.
Varsity Lakes offers the full range of schooling from Kindergarten right through to Grade 12. Post high school education is also available. These services are available from the following Education Facilities:
With the exception of a small area west of Mattocks Road, the entire Varsity Lakes suburb falls into the Varsity College primary and secondary catchment zone. While actually being based in Robina, Bond University is also located on the Robina-Varsity Lakes border.
In the 2011 census, Varsity Lakes recorded a population of 14,366 people, 52.2% female and 47.8% male. The median age of the Varsity Lakes population was 32 years, 5 years below the national median of 37. 61.1% of people living in Varsity Lakes were born in Australia. The other top responses for country of birth were New Zealand 8.1%, England 4.8%, China 1.8%, South Africa 1.7%, Malaysia 1%. 76.8% of people spoke only English at home; the next most common languages were 2.3% Mandarin, 1.7% Cantonese, 1.1% Japanese, 1% Korean, 0.9% Arabic.
According to the 2011 census the religious groups in Varsity Lakes by size are; Roman Catholic - 23.4%, Anglican - 16%, Uniting Church - 4.3%, Non-denominational Christian - 3.9%, Presbyterian - 3.1% and Buddhism - 2.3%. Remaining religions make up for less than two percent individually while "no religion" comprised 24.8%. Varsity Lakes offers several churches for Christianity. These churches include:
- Hope Church Australia
- Glow Church
Market Square offers a range of retail to the Varsity Lakes community. Major chains such as Subway, Night Owl and IGA are all located in Market Square. Market Square also offers banks, beauty salons, bottle shops, chemists, dental care, gyms, real estates, restaurants and taverns.
Christine Corner is another retail area located in Varsity Lakes which includes a second Subway, a second Night Owl, bakeries, beauty salons, betting agencies, bottle shops, medical centres, newsagents, petrol stations, restaurants, taverns and vets.
Majority of sporting facilities in Varsity Lakes are present in both the primary and secondary school campuses. Frascott Park also offers grass ovals and a basketball ring. Public facilities include:
- Basketball Courts
- Grass Ovals
- Tennis Courts
The Varsity Lakes Sports House is a precinct for water sports opened in 2012 and was created by Delphin Lend Lease, Gold Coast City Council and Varsity Lakes Community Limited. The centre is based on Lake Orr and has a heavy emphasis on Rowing but also caters for Canoeing, Kayaking, Sailing and Dragon Boating.
In 2008, the Varsity Lakes Skate Park (officially known as Janette Green Park) underwent a $1 million revamp. On 17 March 2009 skating legend Tony Hawk visited the skate park and commented "We just go wherever the skate parks are and you've got a great skate park here." 
Central Park offers undercover gym facilities, a grass oval with Australian rules football posts and basketball courts. In December 2017, an undercover outdoor gym was opened at Central Park which includes a basketball court fitted with lights allowing for nighttime use.
The Varsity Lakes Community Centre regularly hosts sporting group activities; including aerobics, fitness, walking and table tennis.
Varsity Lakes is serviced by two forms of public transport. Surfside Buslines operate a number of services though the suburb that connect Varsity Lakes to Robina, Broadbeach and Tweed Heads. Queensland Rail operates a City Train line that runs from Central Railway Station, Brisbane though to the Gold Coast, terminating at Varsity Lakes Railway Station. Trains depart the station every half-hour and operate until late, seven days a week. Both Queensland Rail and Surfside Buslines are under contract by Translink who operate an integrated ticketing system throughout South East Queensland.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Varsity Lakes (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
- "Varsity Lakes - suburb in the City of Gold Coast (entry 46094)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- "School Catchment Maps". Department of Education and Training. Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- Campbell, Jack (18 March 2009). "Tony Hawk wows his fans". Gold Coast Bulletin. Archived from the original on 21 March 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- Robbemond, Amanda (22 December 2017). "20 CCTV cameras installed throughout Gold Coast CBD and suburb". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- "Varsity Lakes Community Resource Centre - Activities & Programs". www.varsitylakes.org.au. Archived from the original on 26 February 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.