It’s winter in SE Queensland, keeping in mind that we normally don’t have freezing cold winters, the coldest months only being June and July with daytime temperatures anywhere up to 25 degrees so just about any time is a good time to head to the beach to find your own place in the sun.
I’ve headed off early with the suns early morning rays just creeping over the eastern horizon as I head south from Brisbane on the M1 freeway on our road trip day out. This is such a special time of the day, the air is cool and still, the traffic light as our Surf’n Safari to one of SE Queensland’s favourite locations has started.
The Gold Coast has several well-known beaches like Surfers Paradise and the iconic surf breaks of Snapper Rocks and Kirra Beach but there are countless other beaches along the glitter strip that are well worth a visit. One of those beaches that really packs a punch with its location, ease of access and sheer beauty is Burleigh Heads.
Burleigh Heads or as is known by the locals just Burleigh sits like an oasis between Surfers Paradise to the north and Coolangatta to the south. Burleigh is one of the most picturesque beaches on the Gold Coast, Queensland and is a mecca for all those people that want a great location with some of the most gorgeous beach views on the Coast.
This is one serious locale, stunning beach views, a good spot to surf and swim, go exploring along the ocean foreshores or just kick back and have a relaxing time with a picnic or BBQ lunch. Spend a day, a week or longer there is so much to see and do.
Note: There is also plenty of longer stay Accommodation options available (click here for more info) with Hotels, Motels, Caravan Parks, Airbnb and beachfront units scattered along the ocean front foreshore and surrounding streets.
It’s easy to fall in love with Burleigh, so let’s start by checking out the beach and some of the parks along the way and have a look at why it enjoys so much popularity. Nestled in the corner in the shadows of Burleigh Headland and National Park the beach is protected from the what can sometimes be very blustery Southerly winds. On a day that can be a little choppy everywhere else along the Gold Coast with its open beaches blown out, this protected corner is still a great place to swim and surf. With a beach of pure white sand and crystal-clear water, it stretches North from Burleigh Headland for kilometres and offers many safe places to swim and surf with stunning views.
This also the home of the Burleigh Heads Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) which offer regular patrols and flagged areas marked out on the beach to ensure swimmer safety.
John Laws Park sits right atop of Burleigh Headland with the grassy hill offering the most stunning views all the way to Surfers Paradise. BBQ’s and a place to picnic are a plenty with the starting point of two of the main walking trails beginning here. The kids aren’t forgotten either with swings or slippery slides, all with the best views on the Gold Coast.
The Burleigh foreshore, that hugs the ocean and beach winding its way north from Burleigh Headlands to Miami, is home to towering pine trees and several parks and parklands. There are plenty of places to BBQ and picnic and all come with a guaranteed beach side dining experience. This is also an ideal spot for regular arts and crafts markets where you can haggle for some great bargains from some of the local artisans and stall holders.
The Arts and Crafts Beachside Markets (click here for dates, times, parking availability and market info) the original Gold Coast arts and crafts market which has been operating for over 30 years is also located 100 meters north of Justins Park along the Oceanway Path. Come along and make a day of it, stroll along the Ocean Way take in the views and experience this unique shopping experience. The Ocean Way, a favourite with locals, is a two-kilometre walk winding its way through Justins Park stretching from Burleigh to North Burleigh. With its wide pathways and children’s parks scattered throughout, it’s just perfect for walkers, bikes and joggers alike – make a day of it exploring all the different spots for the kids to play along the way.
Justin’s Park is just another fantastic location with sensational views right on the beach foreshore. Bordered by local cafes and restaurants with plenty of picnic tables and park benches sprinkled around, the park it’s just the perfect place to admire the views, relax and watch the world go by. The kid’s playground with all your favourite swings, slides and climbing equipment will keep the littlies entertained for ages.
Even if you are a dedicated landlubber, you’ll still enjoy a visit to Burleigh. Taking the walking trails that leave from the Burleigh Headland at the southern end of the beach, you’ll be offered unparalleled views of the ocean on the left and several walking tracks that lead deep into the National Park.
Within the headland’s 27ha national park you will discover rainforest, pandanus palms, grasslands, rocky foreshores and beaches all the while skirting Tallebudgera Creek where there’ll be every opportunity to view some of the local wildlife and during winter and spring keep your eyes peeled, you might be able to catch glimpses of migrating humpback wales that inhabit these waters at this time of year. There are two main trails that loop around the headland with the option of a rainforest or ocean view walk. Packing some good walking shoes and comfortable clothes is a must so you can go the distance and enjoy this memorable experience.
Heading away from the beach, we amble through the parks and gardens towards Burleigh Village where we soon unearth a vibrant shopping precinct and delicious dining scene. We grabbed some locally sourced fish and chips for lunch with a gourmet ice-crème to go for afters and headed back to the local park to eat our foodie delights. You are spoilt for choice with various pubs, a Bowls Club, sidewalk cafes and take away food outlets, all are within easy walking distance and with such an infinite choice of places to go you will never have to worry about feeding those sea air induced hunger pangs.
Burleigh Heads is just one of those places to visit and do a lot or do as little as you like. No matter how you want to spend your time at Burleigh, this is a beach that is definitely worth putting on your “list” as place to go for an excellent fun day out. Don’t forget the Sunscreen.