The traditional owners of the whole of the Gold Coast region watered by the Logan, Albert, Nerang, Coomera Rivers and Tallebudgera Creek were the Kombumerri. The Kombumerri were one of a number of clans collectively called the Yugambeh people. The name Yugambeh comes from the name of the language that they all shared. Their traditional lifestyle thrived on the environment, abundant with seafood and wildlife.
Mr Henry Eden, a relative of the one time British Prime Minister – Mr Anthony Eden, opened up this beautiful land at the end of the Currumbin Valley in 1860.
Land was cleared for dairy farming and citrus and olive trees were planted. Periodic vegetable growing took place on the fertile, high plateau areas that can be seen on the Garden of Eden Walk today.
In 1913 Mr Samuel Smith selected this property, formally known as Glen Ellen. He cleared 100 acres, selected a home site, and in 1914, brought his wife and seven children here.
A small dairy was maintained, yards and sheds were built, fences were erected, grass planted and a home was created. The timber used for the three bedroom house, lounge and front veranda, the kitchen and dining room, detached fire place, dairy and cow bails as well as yard timber, all came from one yellow stringy tree which grew on the hill above where the Eden Room stands today.
Other land was settled, and a rough bush track was cut through the tall trees and dense undergrowth for neighbourly communications. The timber was so dense that you couldn’t see the stars at night. Myriads of fireflies shed their flickering light all along the track offering an eerie glow.
Timber was cut from the area in the 1920’s, and then bananas were planted extensively. By the 1950’s, the Garden of Eden was the biggest banana plantation in Australia at 200 acres.
Timber was again cut from here in the 1950’s. A local sawmill, of which the remains can still be seen today in the adjacent National Park, made wooden banana cases from the common Eucalypt and the Flooded Gum - reported as the fasted growing tree in the world.
Devastating fires ripped through the area in the late 1950’s and killed many advanced trees. Afterwards, this fertile area regenerated rapidly.
Whilst banana trees or the giants of the past today no longer dominate the land, we see the old rainforest and bushlands returning to offer a secluded place of peace and serenity amongst pristine bushland.
Camp Eden Health Retreat is an exclusive health Retreat that jealously guards its reputation and goodwill. Camp Eden Health Retreat is flanked by impressive natural landmarks. To the west of the Retreat is Mt Cougal and Boyds Butte and to the north of the site is Tallebudgera Mountain.
Camp Eden Health Retreat has been in continuous operation since January 1984 as a health and fitness experience in a nature based setting. From the outset of development Camp Eden Health Retreat has adopted environmental management best principles.