- Getting there and getting around
- Park features
- Camping and accommodation
- Things to do
- Things to know before you go
- Staying safe
- Looking after the park
- Park management
- Tourism information links
- Further information
The headland is an important refuge for many animals. Photo: courtesy Mark Simmons.
The park is at Burleigh Heads, which is on the Gold Coast, 90 km south of Brisbane. If travelling from Brisbane on the Pacific Motorway, take exit 89 and drive into Burleigh Heads. Turn right onto the Gold Coast Highway.
To reach the northern entrance of the park, turn off the Gold Coast Highway into Goodwin Terrace. The car park is at the end of Goodwin Terrace.
To reach the southern entrance of the park, turn off the Gold Coast Highway at the traffic lights immediately north of Tallebudgera Creek.
Access to Echo Beach is by designated stairways only.
There is a wheelchair ramp to the fishing platform on Tallebudgera Creek, at the southern entrance to the park. The tracks within the park are not wheelchair-accessible.
Richmond birdwing butterfly. Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland.
Burleigh headland is a prominent Gold Coast landmark. Within the headland's 27 ha national park you will discover rainforest, eucalypt forest, pandanus groves, tussock grassland, coastal heath, mangroves, creeks, rocky foreshore and beaches.
Visitors may glimpse humpback whales breaching in coastal waters during winter and spring, see white-bellied sea-eagles riding the ridge updrafts, or watch birdwing butterflies feeding on rainforest nectars in mid-summer.
- Read more about the nature, culture and history of Burleigh Head National Park.
Camping is not permitted in Burleigh Head National Park.
There is a wide range of holiday accommodation on the Gold Coast.
For more information see the tourism information links below.
Geological processes continue as the masses of hexagonal basalt columns, once part of a lava flow from the Tweed Volcano, become exposed to weathering and erosion from the ocean and elements. Photo: Queensland Government.
Watch for humpback whales during winter and spring. Photo: copyright Darren Jew/Tourism and Events Queensland.
Graded walking tracks give easy access to the park’s most interesting features. Each track is classified according to Australian Standards.
Key to track standards
The classification system is based on Australian Standards. Please note that while each track is classified according to its most difficult section, other sections may be of an easier level.
Class 3 track (Australian Standards)
- Gently sloping, well-defined track with slight inclines or few steps.
- Caution needed on loose gravel surfaces and exposed natural lookouts.
- Reasonable level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.
Oceanview walk (Class 3)
Distance: 1.2 km one-way
Time: Allow about 30 min walking time
Details: This track skirts the coastline leading around the rocky headland from Tallebudgera Creek to the southern edge of Burleigh Heads township.
You can look at the tumbled masses of six-sided basalt columns, and relax by the creek at Echo Beach. You can either return by the same path or via the Rainforest circuit and Tumgun lookout.
For the safety of visitors, a section of Oceanview walk may be temporarily closed before, during and after severe weather, due to the increased risk of rock falls. Go to Park alerts to check the latest information on track closures.
Rainforest circuit (Class 3)
Distance: 2.3 km return
Time: Allow about 45 min walking time
Details: Most of this track is an easy grade, but there is a steep section in the middle near Tumgun lookout. The lookout is a good place to watch for humpback whales splashing offshore in winter and spring.
Picnic and day-use areas
A council picnic area and toilets are located near the northern entrance to the park along Goodwin Terrace. Toilets are also located near the southern entrance in the carpark—these are managed by the Gold Coast City Council.
Use sun protection, carry water and stay on the walking tracks at all times. Photo: Queensland Government.
Essentials to bring
Wear a hat, sunscreen and suitable clothing to protect you from the sun.
For your safety, walk in Burleigh Head National Park in daylight hours only.
Permits and fees
Domestic animals are not permitted in Burleigh Head National Park.
Climate and weather
The Gold Coast has a mild, subtropical climate. Daily temperatures range from 20 to 28°C in summer and from 11 to 21°C in winter.
Fuel and supplies
Fuel and supplies are available at Burleigh Heads and at other centres on the Gold Coast. For more information see the tourism information links below.
Mangrove shoot. Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland.
Be prepared, even on short walks, and judge your ability and conditions carefully before setting out.
To enjoy a safe visit to this area, please:
- Wear a hat, sunscreen, comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes with good grip.
- Stay together and keep to designated walking tracks.
- Walk during daylight hours.
- Walk with one or more friends.
- Always supervise children.
- Always take drinking water.
Rockfalls and unstable boulders
Massive hexagonal columns of basalt can be observed on the top of Burleigh headland with boulders scattered down the steep slope and piled at the ocean shoreline. The movement of boulders is an ongoing natural geological process and there is increased risk of rockfall during severe weather.
Rockfalls continue to occur at Burleigh Head National Park with potentially life-threatening boulder falls occurring in 1998, 1999 and 2014.
For the safety of visitors, a section of the Oceanview walking track is closed during periods of increased risk to visitors in accordance with recommendations from the most recent geotechnical assessment.
The section of Oceanview walking track that is most vulnerable to rock and boulder falls will be closed when the following conditions exist or are expected:
- high winds
- high rainfall
- low temperature, and
Do not take stupid risks—obey the closures and stay on walking tracks.
While exploring the headland remain on the walking tracks. The boulder areas are geologically unstable. Climbing on, scrambling over and jumping on boulders increases the risk of dislodging them, endangering your own life and the lives of others.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
Help keep the park clean; take your rubbish home. Photo: Adam Creed, Queensland Government.
You can help protect the park by observing these guidelines:
- leaving all plants and animals undisturbed
- leaving pets at home; even their scent frightens native animals
- leaving bicycles at the park entrance
- leaving all things exactly as you find them
- taking your rubbish out of the park
- lighting fires is prohibited—the rainforest and its animals would be devastated by wildfire
- keeping to constructed tracks; shortcutting causes erosion
- feeding native animals may cause poor health and sometimes death; please do not chase, scare or feed the wildlife.
See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.
A rocky headland protected for future generations to enjoy. Photo: Queensland Government.
Burleigh Head National Park covers 27.6 ha. The Burleigh headland was first set aside as a reserve for public purposes in 1886 and in 1947 was gazetted national park. It is now the only Gold Coast rocky headland that remains substantially in its natural state.
A variety of habitats, including grasslands, lowland rainforest and pandanus grove, are conserved in the park. It also contains interesting geological forms and is of important cultural heritage significance to the Traditional Owners of the area.
The park provides a popular recreational and educational venue for local and international visitors and is one of the most visited parks in the region.
Gold Coast Burleigh Tourism
For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.