Parks and recreation

Nature discovery

bushwalkingA range of bushwalking tracks provide a great way to explore the beauty of the Gold Coast’s natural environment and get active and healthy.  The City of Gold Coast is developing a network of recreational trails and boardwalks including maps for the most popular tracks and has rangers to assist in providing environmental interpretative information.

There are bushwalking experiences to suit all types, whether you are a birdwatcher, nature lover, recreational walker or serious hiker.

Some areas also offer opportunities for fishing, canoeing, mountain biking and horse riding and some have picnic and BBQ facilities.

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.

Bushwalking opportunities abound in a range of natural areas and reserves managed by Council, while there are other great opportunities to explore National Parks, including World Heritage listed rainforest areas managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing).

Camping opportunities are also available in some National Park areas and reserves. Some natural areas have no formal track systems, but you are still welcome to explore them safely and responsibly.

Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area

Shelter Road (southern access) and

Rain Tree Glen (western access)


Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area protects more than 1200 hectares of wetland, eucalypt forest, salt marsh and mangrove swamp habitat. Lake Coombabah 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 significant area.


Download the Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area bushwalking trails map.

Level of fitness Suitable for all fitness levels. Level and flat tracks
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



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.


Burleigh Heads

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.



Hinterland Regional Park

Off Hardy’s Road


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



Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens

258 Ashmore Road

Level of fitness:


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


The gardens are open year round, from dawn to dusk each day.   There is visitors parking on site, and entry is free.  The Gardens are located off Ashmore Road, Benowa, opposite Benowa State High School.


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, picnic tables, kids playground, BBQ, boardwalks

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.

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