REVIEW: Burleigh Headland National Park Oceanview and Rainforest Walk for Kids
Burleigh Headland National Park is a little slice of heaven nestled just off the Gold Coast Highway. The headland’s 27 ha national park promises you will discover rainforest, eucalypt forest, pandanus groves, tussock grassland, coastal heath, mangroves, creeks, rocky foreshore and incredible beaches with crystal clear, turquoise waters all year round.
The perfect vantage spot for whale watching in the winter months, the walks offer up a chance for nature spotting and of course, a cheeky dip at any number of spots along the way.
You can choose to meander along the easier Oceanview Track (1.2km one way), reopened in September 2017 after closing in April for a $1 million facelift. Or the more vigorous – but still fine for children – Rainforest Track (2.3 km return).
Where are the walks at Burleigh Headland National Park?
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.
- Southern access is near Tallebudgera Bridge, just south of Jellurgul information centre
- Northern access is from the top of Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
There are well signed post along the walks directing you to either the Oceanview or Rainforest Tracks, depending on your preference. Both tracks offer resting points and lookouts.
The Oceanview track offers wheelchair assisted access. The other tracks within the park are not wheelchair-accessible.
Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, hats, insect repellent and plenty of water. You might also want to take bathing suits and a towel, once you see the water it’s difficult to stay on land!
Burleigh Headland National Park Oceanview Track
Class 2 track (Australian Standards)
- Easy level track, suitable for all fitness levels
- All junctions are signposted and may include interpretive signs
- 1.2km one way
- Wheelchair and pram access
From The QLD Department National parks, Sports and Racing site: “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”
Our review: This was the easiest path for the kids, although they were pretty pooped after completing the Rainforest circuit, they were still keen to give this one a try.
Heads up: This is where the beach temptation lies! If you packed your swimming gear, this is the path you will want to take. There are access points for great swimming spots all along this path.
The renovations are incredible and definitely worth your time to come check out with the kids.
Burleigh Headland National Park Rainforest Track
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.
From The QLD Department National parks, Sports and Racing site: “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.”
Our review: This track was easier than we expected, a very gentle incline and easy path. Even the three year old managed to walk the entire way – and the eight year old who insisted on thongs as footwear was fine too.
The path is not railed the entire way and there are some steep drops, so lots of hand holding for insurance was happening but it was definitely worth it.
There were lots of joggers on this track, something to be aware of if you are wrestling a little one along the path.
We saw lots of different types of butterflies, water dragons, bush turkeys, colourful birds and even a white-bellied sea-eagle clutching a fish dinner in his talons!
The Tumgun lookout was incredible. The ocean here really does offer up some incredible turquoise hues.
Amenities at Burleigh Headland National Park
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.
- Leave your pets at home, this is not a dog walking track
- Wear a hat, sunscreen, comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes with good grip
- Throw your bathing suit and a towel in, you will want it
- Stay together and keep to designated walking tracks
- Walk during daylight hours
- Always supervise children, particularly on the Rainforest Track
- Take plenty of drinking water