The area was first settled in the 1800s and has its origins in farming and timber. These rural links remain strong across the Scenic Rim. Tamborine Mountain in the Yugambeh language means wild lime and refers to the finger lime trees that grow on the mountain. The town served the large area along the Canungra Creek and the upper Coomera River. Grapevines were planted at Purga as early as the 1870’s, with wine being exported to the UK and Europe where they won numerous gold medals. The industry then went into decline until its resurgence in 1984.

Canungra owes its existence to the timber industry and once boasted one of the largest stands of timber in the colony. David Lahey, the father of Romeo Lahey, owned one of Queensland’s largest sawmills at Canungra (Lahey’s Canungra Sawmill). By the 1940s most of the timber had been cut and sawmills were closing. The historic Lahey’s Tramway Tunnel is the only remnant of the past sawmilling activities in the area. Following this logging era came beef cattle and dairying.