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Currumbin Creek on the Gold Coast with Kids

Currumbin Creek – near Salk Oval

The fabulousness of Currumbin Creek is the world’s worst secret; it’s a popular destination for Gold Coasters because it’s sheltered, shaded and has calm water for kids.

However, it can get pretty crowded which is why there is a secret (well not anymore) spot on the other side of the creek that is just perfect for families. It’s on the northern side of the creek next to Salk Oval near the Palm Beach Currumbin Sports Club.

What is there to do in Currumbin Creek?

The kids can have a paddle in a kayak or a stand up paddle board (SUP) and it’s also fun to bring their body boards and get mum or dad to drag them along the fresh water river.

There’s plenty of sand for them to muck about with and certainly plenty of action on the water such as boats cruising past and the occasion dolphin who has come for a nosey from the nearby ocean mouth.

You can also set up a barbecue and make a day of it because there’s plenty of shade from about noon onwards thanks to established trees on the foreshore, which are also fun to climb! Just make sure you park up a little further up the embankment if the tide is coming in.

Some people like to throw a line out under the Thrower Drive bridge and are often rewarded with some fresh river fish.

Hidden Gem Of The Gold Coast For Kids – Currumbin Creek, Salk Oval

Is the water safe for kids?

The creek is tidal, so small kids who aren’t proficient swimmers should stay reasonably close to the shore where the main flow of the current isn’t strong.

For those who use kayaks, it will probably be quite easy one way but hard work going against the out or ingoing tide, so just be mindful. This is not a patrolled area.

Parents will love to paddle in and around the creek, with those adventurous sorts able to head out for some waves where the ocean meets the creek.

What are the amenities like?

On this side of the creek they aren’t great, in fact they are non-existent, but a quick walk across the bridge or a paddle to the south side of the creek and voila there are toilets, water and even a playground.

Bring plenty of water with you as there are no taps on this side either, again; that is located on the more populated side of the river. Coffee, takeaway and SUP hire are also available there.


Can I bring my pet?

Actually yes you can bring your four-legged friend because this spot is an off-leash dog area, which your kids will either love or loathe.

What is parking like?

This area is where the local canoe clubs put in their vessels, but they are usually in and out quite early so if you get in early you’ll be able to find a park nearby.

There are also more options for parking in and around the Salk Oval area. Just keep an eye out for no-parking zones.

Where is it located?

It’s not the easiest spot to find, but you’ll locate a small road off Thrower Drive and it’s your first left heading north after the bridge. If you’re coming from the north, it’s on your right before you cross the bridge, on the opposite side of the road to the Palm Beach Olympic Pool. Or here is a handy dandy map!

Hidden Gem Of The Gold Coast For Kids – Currumbin Creek, Salk Oval

The essentials

  • Safe swimming for kids
  • Fun place to SUP or kayak
  • Off-leash dog area
  • Nearby skate park at Salk Oval
  • Close to coffee and food outlets
  • SUP hire available
  • Pack plenty of sunscreen
  • Toilet facilities across the river

Check out this family-friendly cafe nearby.

Check out this kid-friendly brewery nearby.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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