Burleigh Head National Park, Qld

By Erin Frick 20 October 2014
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An unexpected reprieve from the high-rise hotels and bustling traffic of Gold Coast City, Burleigh Head National Park is a welcome haven for people and wildlife alike.

Formed 20-23 million years ago after the eruption of a volcano on Mt Warning, Burleigh Head NP’s basalt-fringed headland and its sheltered pockets of eucalypt forest, pandanus groves, and tussock grassland was preserved as a national park in 1886. The park’s mangroves, ironbarks and bloodwoods offer ideal habitat for migratory birds that stop at Burleigh to feed, and humpback whales can be spotted in the winter and spring.


Bushwalking: Take a break from the sand to explore Burleigh’s varied micro-habitats – from the wild windswept ‘head’ to lush littoral rainforest, just steps away. Enjoy sprawling coastal vistas from observation platforms and pay careful attention to trackside wildlife such as carpet pythons and bearded dragons.

Fishing: Burleigh’s fishing platforms and rocky banks make it a favourite for visitors looking to catch dinner. Choose from Burleigh’s four designated fishing platforms or find a spot tucked away on a secluded boulder to drop your bait.

Watersports: Whether you’re keen to spread out on a towel or hit the surf, Burleigh Head offers plenty of opportunities for water sports and swimming. The churning waves at the beach on its northern end make it a popular spot for surfers while calmer Echo Beach, at the southern end, is ideal for kayaking or stand-up paddling.

Birdwatching: As Burleigh Head provides an ‘island’ of coastal refuge in the midst of an otherwise developed region, it is a prime spot for birdwatching. Whether you’re walking, casting a line or bobbing in the surf, keep an eye out for sea eagles, brahminy kites, brush turkeys, whistling kites and ospreys.

The Essentials

Location: Burleigh Head National Park is located 90km (1hr by car) south of Brisbane, or 20 minutes south of Surfers Paradise.

Accommodation: A full range of accommodation options are available in the immediate surroundings. 

Food/drink: The towns dotting the Gold Coast from Burleigh up to Gold Coast City offer a variety of dining options.

Points of interest: Situated near the park’s southern entrance is the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre, which invites visitors to browse its collection of traditional artwork and Aboriginal artefacts, free of charge. Maps: Park maps are posted at information kiosks at the park’s entrances and along the walking tracks.

More info: www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/burleigh-head