Parks and recreation

Bushwalking and Recreation

Get out and enjoy the Gold Coast's natural areas

The natural areas of the Gold Coast provide numerous recreational opportunities such as bushwalking, fishing, kayaking, mountain-biking and horse riding. Whether you are a birdwatcher, nature lover, recreational walker or serious hiker, there is an experience to suit everyone that will enrich your mind, body and soul. Be active and explore the beauty of these areas by bushwalking or picnicking in one of our reserves.

You can view the City's Nature Based Recreational map here.

Bushwalking tracks provide a great way to explore the beauty of the Gold Coast's natural environment while being active and healthy. Some of the great bushwalking trails on the coast include:

Shorter walks:

  • Boambille Park (Coomera)
  • Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area (Coombabah)
  • Crystal Creek Reserve/Ruffles Road Reserve West (Willowvale)
  • Eddie Kornhauser Recreational Reserve (Elanora/Tallebudgera)
  • Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens (Benowa)
  • Hinterland Regional Park (Mudgeeraba/Bonogin)
  • Miami Bushland Reserve (Miami)
  • Palm Beach Parklands/Tarrabora Reserve/Beree Badalla/Salk Oval Parklands (Palm Beach)
  • Schusters Park (Elanora/Tallebudgera)
  • Tugun Hill Conservation Area (Tugun)

Longer walks/linkages

  • Gold Coast Oceanway including Federation Walk (from The Spit to Coolangatta)
  • Burleigh Ridge Park and Ocean Parade Parklands (links with State Government managed Burleigh Heads National Park and Tallebudgera Creek Conservation Park)
  • Hinterland Great Walk (Numinbah/Springbrook - passes through City land as well as National Park)

Mountain Biking

  • Eagle Heights Downhill Mountain Bike Trail - Wongawallan

Key bushwalking tips

  • Give your bushwalking plan to a friend, relative or other reliable person in case you are injured or get lost. Ask them to contact the police if you don't return as planned.
  • Make sure the park you want to visit has walks suitable for your bushwalking experience and level of fitness.
  • Check the Bureau of Meterology website for weather conditions, forecasts and warnings.
  • Always carry plenty of drinking water. Bushwalking is thirsty work.
  • Walk with a partner or in a group, never bushwalk alone.
  • Dress for the track conditions and weather.

Walking Trails

Apple Tree Park
Springbrook Road, Springbrook

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 the City of Gold Coast. 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.

Burleigh Ridge Park
Tabilban Street

This park is part of the Burleigh Greenspace, a valuable network of reserves within the urban landscape of the Gold Coast. Burleigh Ridge Park is one of the largest of the Greenspace parks, providing a green backdrop to the city, views over the Tallebudgera Creek estuary, as well as habitat for plants and animals. Various birds and lizards are common sights. 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.

Facilities: No toilets or drinking water.

Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area

Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Areas protects more than 1200 hectares of wetland, eucalypt forest, salt marsh and mangrove swamp habitat. Lake Combabah and its estuarine system are important coastal wetlands and migratory water bird habitats. The area is ideal for short walks, bird watching, animal spotting, plant identification and an opportunity to appreciate an ecologically sinificant area.

Level of fitness: Suitable for all fitbess levels. Level and flat tractks.

Facilities: No toilets or drinking water.

Features: Mangrove Boardwalk and birdhide at Shelter Road end of reserve. Includes interpretive signage and shelters, Melaleuca Boardwalk at Rain Tree Glen end of reserve with interpretive shelter.

Download the Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area bushwalking trails map.


Hinterland Regional Park
Hardy's Road, Mudgeeraba

A large recreational park of open space with patches of Eucalypt forest and several small watercourses that drain into Mudgeeraba Creek and Bonogin Creek. The connectivity from Hinterland Regional Park through Upper Mudgeeraba conservation Area provides opportunities for low-impact, nature-based recreation from urban areas into the hinterland.

Level of fitness: Suitable for all fitness levels. Easy to moderate tracks.

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 fo fauna, particularly ground-dwelling mammals and birds.

Level of fitness: Reasonable level of fitness required. Moderate waling track with some steep inclines and stairs.

Facilities: No toilets of drinking water.


Mountain biking

Eagle Heights Downhill Mountain Bike Trail (unaided)

This Trail is rated Black Diamond (Most Difficult) to the standards of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA Australia). This Black Diamond Trail combines many features including fast flowing corners, rollers, dips and gaps. A nice chill out section through open woodland brings riders to the tight and technical corners, drop offs and steep grades before exiting. The descent is approsimately 3kms and will take experienced riders 10 mins (the trail exit is at Welches Road, Wongawallan). Shuttling back to the trail head is via the main road to Tamborine Mountain.

Whitle there are many bushwalking and recreational opportunities throughout areas managed by the City of Gold Coast, there are also other great opportunities to explore National Parks, including World Heritage listed rainforest areas managed by the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service (Environmental Protection Agency).

These great sites have useful bushwalking information.


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