Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is full of little gems just waiting to be explored, like Burleigh Heads, which sits between Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta. It’s renowned for its picturesque backdrop and its plethora of things to do along its pristine shores.

The Origins of Burleigh Heads and European Settlement

Originally, the Kombumerri clan was known to be the traditional owners of the land, having occupied the area for thousands of years before the Europeans reached the shore. The Kombumerri knew the area as ‘Jerrugal’. This was until 1849 when a surveyor named James Warner came across the area and named it ‘Burly Heads’ due to its rugged appearance. This was later changed to Burleigh to make for a more civilised name, and the town was made official in 1871.

The Beach at Burleigh Heads

Known simply as Burleigh to the locals, Burleigh Heads is the ideal spot for swimming and surfing thanks to its protected waters that lie beside a wild headland. Burleigh Beach is renowned for having one of the most popular swimming and surfing stretches along the Gold Coast, which attracts surfers from far and wide.

Around the beach, Burleigh Heads National Park unfolds in a pretty display of walking trails and wildlife, promising exceptional views out across the ocean.

The foreshore is renowned for its collection of pine trees and parkland. Here, visitors often pack a picnic or fire up a barbecue and spend long afternoons lounging amidst the stunning scenery. This also marks the spot where several art and craft markets are held throughout the week, giving you the chance to delve into the local culture whilst still soaking up the amazing landscape.

Eating and Drink at Burleigh Heads

As well as an array of outdoor activities and a pretty coastline, Burleigh Heads is also home to many delicious restaurants, eateries, bars, and cafes. Oceanfront dining is a must-try, especially when the fish is so fresh. In recent years there has also been an emerging café culture, allowing diners the chance to experience some of Australia’s newest food trends.

Things to Do in Burleigh Heads

There is plenty to keep you busy in Burleigh Heads if you’re keen to discover more of the area than just its beaches.

John Laws Park is home to some of the most stunning views in this part of Australia allowing visitors to see all the way out to Surfers Paradise. At the weekend you’re sure to find a BBQ or two going on as well as locals and tourists enjoying a picnic. Elsewhere, the David Fleay Wildlife Park promises incredible encounters with some of the country’s most beloved animals. Here you’ll find native animals such as koalas, emus, and kangaroos, and even meet the friendly platypus that the keepers have named Wally! David Fleay was a pioneer of the industry, being the first person to breed a platypus in captivity in 1951.

If shopping is more your thing, then there are several shops in the area including boutiques and arts and craft stores as well as shops opened by new designers.  Burleigh also has some great weekend markets. The Village Market and the Burleigh Farmers Market are the two most popular and are a great place to pick up local goods including gifts and delicious homemade food.

Burleigh Heads is well worth a visit if you’re in the area. Its selection of pretty landscapes, stunning beaches, calm waters, and places to eat make it the perfect spot for every kind of traveller.

Other tourist attraction: