Until 2003, Molendinar included the locality of Ernest, bounded by Smith Street, Water Drive and Ashmore Road. Ernest, mainly non-residential, was immediately west of Southport on the Gold Coast. Originally much larger, the residential portion has been severed and named Parkwood.
Molendinar, to the south of Ernest, is residential, and a substantial part was built in the late 1990s. Under-regarded until then, Molendinar's proximity to Southport and the Broadwater caused a quickening in house prices.
Neither place name is modern. The South Coast railway had stopping places at both locations, and Ernest Junction was the point of the connecting line to Southport. Both were set among dairy holdings, more or less until the closure of the lines in 1964.
The Ernest industrial estate which is built around Export Drive and Production Avenue etc was begun in 1969, and a Housing Commission estate around Bloodwood Drive in Molendinar was built in the 1970s. Those houses were being resold and renovated by 2000.
North of the Commission housing is the Crestwood estate, laid out in the late 1990s, a short distance from Griffith University's campus on the outskirts of Southport. The Catholic Aquinas secondary and Guardian Angel primary schools are in a similar proximity. Trinity Lutheran secondary and primary schools (2002) are on Molendinar's southern border. Well set up for private schools, Molendinar's State facilities are found outside in Southport and Ashmore. About a quarter of the population in 2001 was aged 14 years or less, and 72% of families had children. Over 80% of dwellings are detached and 17% of dwellings are townhouses (2001). Ashmore City drive-in centre is just outside the south-east corner of Molendinar, or residents can drive past there to Southport. Local shopping is found opposite the university at Crestwood Plaza and at Bunnings warehouse.
Ernest-Molendinar's census populations have been: