Elanora, a residential suburb on the Gold Coast, is immediately west of the Pacific Highway and Palm Beach. Unlike much of inland Gold Coast with canal estates, Elanora lies on a ridge, where there is Doubleview Drive from which extensive views are obtainable. The only areas built around water are below the ridge near Currumbin Creek and, in the opposite direction, near Tallebudgera Creek.
The South Coast railway (1903) was well inland from much of the Gold Coast, but veered coastward on the approach to Coolangatta. The Elanora stopping place (c1922) was approximately where Palm Beach Avenue meets the Pacific Highway, and Elanora included all the land down to the beach. The Post Office directory for 1935 recorded several farmers (mostly dairy) and the Brisbane City Mission children's holiday home. By 1949 there were two local land agents promoting an emerging Palm Beach, two motor garages and the Palm Beach Hotel. None of that, however, related to rural Elanora west of the railway (Pacific Highway).
During the 1950s a reservoir was built on the ridge, and additional storages were installed as Palm Beach and Currumbin grew. During the 1970s residential development encroached west of the former railway station around Seaview Parade. By the mid-1980s the road network across to Guineas Creek Road was fully defined, along with Pine Lake and the Elanora primary school. During 1986-91 Elanora's population grew by 145% to 6800, and nearly another 3000 people were added in the next five years.
A former sand mining site and pine plantation in south-east Elanora was developed in 1982 as the Pines housing estate, partly financed by the Bond Corporation. Built around a 60 acre tidal lake and considerable lake frontage parkland, it was the first of three Bond-financed estates in Elanora. The Pines shopping centre is Elanora's main retail area, and it is adjoined by a retirement village that overlooks Pine Lake. Unashamedly middle-suburban, at the 2011 census Elanora's housing stock was 81.7% detached houses and 14.8% townhouses. Just 3.5% were units.
Elanora has State primary and secondary schools (1983, 1990), a golf course, the Eddie Kornhauser Recreational reserve and an indoor sports centre next to the Tallebudgera Creek, and a retirement village. The southern part in the direction of Currumbin Valley is semi-rural.
Elanora's census populations have been:
Alexander McRobbie, The fabulous Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Pan News, 1984, pp 275-82.