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Bushwalking and Recreation

The City of Gold Coast with its thousands of square kilometres of rainforest and temperate bushland offers an extensive natural environment to explore. The coastal subtropical climate and diversity of natural areas makes the Gold Coast a great location for residents and visitors alike to enjoy nature based recreational activities.

Bushwalking is just one of the many ways to discover the natural beauty of the Gold Coast, whilst being outdoors and active can be wonderful for the body and soul.

A wide range of recreational trails provide a great way to explore the many different reserves across the Gold Coast. There is certain to be a bushwalking experience to suit you whether you are a birdwatcher, nature lover, recreational walker or serious hiker.

Many reserves also offer opportunities for fishing, canoeing, mountain biking, horse riding, bird watching, orienteering, picnicking and eco-tourism to name a few.

Gold Coast residents are also fortunate to have within easy reach a number of Queensland Government managed areas such as Hinze Dam, National Parks, State Forests, World Heritage Listed areas and Marine Parks. All offering various nature based recreational opportunities.

Remember to always keep to designated tracks, use sun protection, carry water, take your rubbish home with you and please do not feed the wildlife. Enjoy our environment, but tread lightly.



Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens
258 Ashmore Road, Benowa
Explore the amazing 31 hectares of the Gold Coast City's Regional Botanic Gardens, just 10 minutes drive from central Surfers Paradise.

There's an experience for everyone - smell and touch plants and flowers at the Sensory Garden, take a mangroves to mountain walk, visit the native Butterfly Garden or smell the roses in the Rose Garden. Fun for the whole family includes a stroll on the boardwalks around the lake, a children's playground or a picnic in one of the many picnic areas.
The gardens are open year round, from dawn to dusk each day.   There is visitors parking on site, and entry is free. 
See more information about the Botanic Gardens and view their Interactive Map.
Level of fitness Suitable for all fitness levels. Easy to moderate tracks
Facilities Toilets, drinking water, picnic tables, kids playground, BBQ, boardwalks, visitors centre


Burleigh Ridge Park
Tabilban Street, Burleigh Heads

This park is part of the Burleigh Greenspace; a valuable network of reserves within the urban landscape of the Gold Coast. Burleigh Ridge Park provides a green backdrop to the city, with view over the Tallebudgera Creek estuary and a rich habitat for plants and animals

Various birds and lizards are a common sight. An exciting discovery in the park is the presence of koalas.

Level of Fitness

Reasonable level of fitness required. Moderate walking track with some steep inclines and stairs


No toilet facilities or drinking water available



Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area
Southern access - Shelter Road, Coombabah
Western access - Rain Tree Glen, Coombabah

Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area protects more than 1200 hectares of wetland, eucalypt forest, salt marsh and mangrove swamp habitat and is home to over 280 species of animal; including the eastern grey kangaroo, red necked wallaby, koalas and many migratory birds of international significance.

Lake Coombabah and its estuarine system are important coastal wetlands for migratory water birds and is a World Heritage listed wetland. It is also a part of the protected Moreton Bay Marine Park.

Coombabah Lakelands has numerous walking trails and is ideal for short walks, bird watching, animal spotting, bicycle riding and a great place to watch the local kangaroos laze around in the sun.

If you are an avid bird watcher you will enjoy the Mangrove Boardwalk and bird hide where you can spot waders on the mudflats as the tide changes over Coombabah Lake (track entrace off Shelter Road).
Level of fitness Suitable for all fitness levels. Level and flat tracks
Facilities No toilets facilities or drinking water


Hinterland Regional Park
Off Hardy’s Road
A large semi-rural recreational park with lots of open space. A perfect spot for a short walk, bicycle ride, picnic or BBQ.

The park has a designated off-leash dog exercise area.
Level of fitness Suitable for all fitness levels. Easy to moderate tracks
Facilities Toilets, drinking water, picnic tables, BBQ facilities, kids playground, dog exercise area

Palm Beach

Beree Badalla Boardwalk - Tarrabora Circuit
Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Western access - Throwers Drive Carpark, Currumbin. Near the boat ramp
Eastern access - Palm Beach Parklands/Tarrabora Reserve, Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

The Beree Badalla Boardwalk and Tarrabora Reserve trail is very popular amongst local residents and tourists a like.

This 2.2km boardwalk and trail meanders through mangroves and saltmarsh communities down to the sand dunes of Tarrabora Reserve, whilst offers sweeping views of Currumbin Creek and Currumbin Headland.

Along the boardwalk you will find strategically placed shade shelters and picnic tables, the perfect spot to relax and take in the scenic surroundings.

Palm Beach Parklands is a family friendly reserve with kids playground, BBQ facilities, toilet and shower facilities, popular swimming access and closely situated to the very popular dog-walking areas, Rockview Park.

Level of fitness

Suitable for all fitness levels. Easy to moderate tracks


Toilets, drinking water, picnic tables, kids playground, BBQ, swimming access to Currumbin Creek. Drinking water and open shower available at Throwers Drive carpark.



Apple Tree Park
Springbrook Road
Apple Tree Park is on the Springbrook plateau within the Springbrook Conservation Area. This conservation area has spectacular views across the Numinbah Valley dissected by Waterfall Creek and Nerang River further west. This site marks one of the entry points into the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk – a project between Queensland Parks and Wildlife and Gold Coast City Council. It aims to provide the community with a connection between Springbrook National Park and Lamington National Park, with Numinbah and Springbrook Conservation Areas forming a link between these two world heritage-listed parks.
Level of fitness Suitable for all fitness levels. Easy level track.
Facilities Toilets, drinking water, picnic tables, BBQ




Tugun Hill Conservation Area
Via Murray Street, off Taperell Drive, and also from Mirren Drive
Tugun Hill Conservation Area is a series of ridges and hills that are a prominent feature of the landscape of the southern Gold Coast. Despite its small size, the vegetation supports a diversity of fauna, particularly ground-dwelling mammals and birds.
Level of fitness Reasonable level of fitness required. Moderate walking track with some steep inclines and stairs.
Facilities No toilets or drinking water.

These great sites have useful bushwalking information.

For more information on the flora and fauna species of the Gold Coast, visit our Gold Coast Flora and Fauna websites please visit and click here.


For further information on our key programs and works, follow the links below. 

NaturallyGC program Beaches to Bushland - Volunteer Restoration Program

Natural Areas Management Plans Bushwalking

Bushland restoration Environmental weeds

Bushfire Management Community Planting Days

Park finder
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