Burleigh Heads Beach: Your Ultimate Gold Coast Visitors Guide (Updated 2024)

Beachside Holiday Guide to this Family-Friendly South East Queensland Tourist Destination


Burleigh Heads Visitor Guide


Table of Contents

Welcome to my tourist guide to visiting Burleigh Heads Beach. If you are planning on going to this part of the Gold Coast I hope you’ll find what I’ve written to be useful information.

To make this post easier to follow, I have categorised this article into the following sections:

1. Introduction
2. Where is Burleigh Heads Beach?
3. How to get to Burleigh Heads Beach
4. Best Time To Visit Burleigh Heads Beach
5. What Facilities do they have at Burleigh Heads Beach?
6. Things to do at Burleigh Heads Beach
7. Tours and Excursions
8. Burleigh Heads Accommodation
9. Best Burleigh Heads Restaurants
10. Coffee at Burleigh Heads
11. Final Thought
12. FAQs

I hope my review inspires you to visit this fantastic Queensland beach destination!

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you interact with them).
Read Time: 12 Minutes



Sitting between Coolangatta to its south and Surfers Paradise to its north, Burleigh Heads Beach is one of the Gold Coast’s favourite coastal areas.

Popular with swimmers who enjoy its protected waters, the beach also attracts plenty of surfers, from both sides of the southeast Queensland and Northern New South Wales border, to its world-class point break at the headland.

Away from the sand, the Burleigh Heads National Park covers much of that area, providing visitors with the opportunity to hike through verdant rainforest to enjoy incredible views of the Gold Coast coastline. ‘The Point’, an elevated parkland on Goodwin Terrace, shaded by pandanus palms and pine trees, provides arguably the best spot of all to watch the sunset.

Burleigh Beach is flanked by lush parkland that features playgrounds, BBQs and toilet facilities, while some of the best Gold Coast cafes and restaurants are just a couple of minutes walk away.

Additionally, the wonderful Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre, on the banks of Tallebudgera Creek, provides a fascinating introduction to the stories, connection and history the local First Nations people have to the land. Its well worth a visit, if you can tear yourself away from the surf and sand.


Burleigh Heads Gold Coast is an easy Queensland holiday destination to get to via various forms of transportation.


Where is Burleigh Heads Beach?

Burleigh Heads Beach is one of the Gold Coast’s best beaches. It is located approximately 11 kilometres south of Surfer’s Paradise and about 20 kilometres north of Coolangatta. Queensland’s state capital of Brisbane is about 86 km north of it.

The coastal town of Burleigh is divided into two distinct areas. Its north-eastern part is a sliver of a coastal area that contains Burleigh Head, where its beautful beach faces the Coral Sea. Its south-western part runs inland towards Tallebudgera Creek.

The suburb resides on land traditionally owned by the Kombumerri Aboriginal people, who are believed to have lived in the region at least 20,000 years ago.

Its modern name comes from James Warner, a pioneering surveyor who was commissioned to work on the stretch of coastline that runs up to what is now Moreton Bay in the 1840s.

Due to its colossal appearance, he named the headland ‘Burly Head’. However, over time, the name was corrupted several times until Burleigh Head was settled upon.


Distance from Burleigh Heads to Other Queensland beaches and destinations

  • Brisbane 86 km
  • Ipswich 106 km
  • Mooloolaba 186 km
  • Toowoomba 190 km
  • Noosa 237km
  • Hervey Bay 375km
  • Bundaberg 448 km
  • Gladstone 619 km
  • Rockhampton 721 km
  • Mackay 1057km
  • Townsville 1438km
  • Cairns 1785km
  • How to get to Burleigh Heads Beach

    Burleigh Heads Gold Coast is an easy Queensland holiday destination to get to via various forms of transportation.

    If you plan on driving there from Northern New South Wales or Brisbane, you’ll probably end up having to travel on the Gold Coast Highway or M1, depending on where you are coming from. For those heading over from someone like Toowoomba, you will most likely need to take the Warrego Highway.

    Irrespective of where you are coming from, directions to Burleigh Heads Beach are well sign-posted. However, it is worth downloading the Waze app or using Google Maps to provide you with the most relevant guidance.

    For those departing from further afield, a good option is to fly into the Gold Coast Airport. Regular services are offered there several times a day by Virgin, Qantas and Jetstar. You can see the schedule here.

    Once you arrive, you can hire a car from the likes of Enterprise, Budget, Europcar and Avis, who all operate desks from the terminal.

    Should you prefer not to fly, you can always catch a Greyhound Bus, the timetable of which you can check out here.


    Burleigh Heads Beach Gold Coast


    Best Time To Visit Burleigh Heads Beach

    If you are planning to go to the Gold Coast you might be wondering what is the best time to visit Burleigh beach. Well, as the region enjoys over 300 days of sunshine every year, it is fair to say the fabulous Burleigh Heads weather makes it a destination you can visit all year round.

    During the summer months, which run from December to February, the temperatures can regularly top 32 degrees Celsius and humidity can exceed 70%. While this is good weather for sunbathing, you should not spend too much time tanning yourself due to the possible risks of skin cancer.

    You’ll also find the Burleigh Heads hotel prices to be at peak season levels, and as it is the wet season there is a very real threat of storms and lightening.

    For this reason, you might want to arrange your visit to Burleigh Heads Beach to take place in the shoulder season months of March and April and October and November. At this time, accommodation prices tend to be cheaper and the weather still very pleasant. You will also find the coastal town to be significantly less busy with tourists and day trippers.

    Should you want to go surfing, your best bet is to visit in June or July. At this time, the swell is clean, consistent and very rideable, while the winds are light or offshore.

    Similarly, if you want to go whale watching, these winter months represent your best opportunity to see Migaloo or the upwards of 40,000 humpback whales making their annual migration to Cairns from Antarctica.


    If you are planning a visit to Burleigh Heads you can rest assured there are plenty of things to do in Burleigh Beach.


    What Facilities do they have at Burleigh Heads Beach?

    Like most Gold Coast Beaches, Burleigh Heads provides tourists and locals with a good range of amenities to make their visit as enjoyable as it can be.

    The beach is patrolled by the Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park Surf Life Saving Club between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm every day of the year, including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Australia Day. The lifeguard tower is situated at Mowbray Park.

    This park accommodates public toilets and showers. It also houses barbecues, shaded structures, several picnic tables and a children’s playground.

    You’ll also find limited parking at Burleigh Heads beach, but more in the surrounding area where there are a couple of car parks.


    Distance from Burleigh Heads to other Australia destinations

  • Sydney 832 km
  • Newcastle 684 km
  • Wollongong 930 km
  • Melbourne 1692 km
  • Canberra 1100 km
  • Geelong 1752 km
  • Darwin 3488 km
  • Perth 4378 km
  • Adelaide 2009 km
  • Hobart 2476 km
  • Ballarat 1746 km
  • Bendigo 1651 km
  • Things To Do At Burleigh Heads Beach Gold Coast

    If you are planning on visiting Burleigh Heads you can rest assured there are plenty of things to do in Burleigh Beach.

    It won’t surprise you to discover that the beach is the main attraction. It stretches for over 2.5 km and is a popular spot for walking and sunbathing. It is also patrolled, so is good for swimming, so long as you stay between the red and yellow flags. Remember, if the surf lifesavers can’t see you, they can’t save you.

    The beach is also a renowned surfing destination, attracting surfer’s from all over Northern New South Wales and South East Queensland. The best surfing spots are typically at The Cove, Sharkies and The Point, though you should take the lead of the locals on the day you go there, to see where the best spots are.

    If you are not into surfing, the likes of kayaking, wakeboarding and canoeing are other aquatic activities you can do.

    Away from the beach, the Burleigh Head National Park is worth exploring. It features a lush, 2 km rainforest Circuit walk that showcases tremendous views of the coastline.

    You could also choose to stroll along the Gold Coast Oceanway for more outstanding vistas of the Coral Sea. Both will provide you with excellent picnic and photography opportunities.


    Women checking out the waves at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia


    Tours and Excursions

    While Burleigh Heads beach is a huge drawcard that you’ll no doubt spend plenty of time at, you should take the opportunity to explore the wider Gold Coast area.

    A great way to do this is to book one or more of the tours offered by Viator or Get Your Guide. Doing this could take you to different parts of the region and enable you to enjoy some bucket list experiences.

    Here are some of the tours offered by Viator:

    Spirit of Gold Coast Whale Watching Tour

    Gold Coast Tandem Skydive

    Dinner Buffet Gold Coast Sightseeing Cruise

    Mount Tamborine Winery Tour with Gourmet lunch


    Here are some of the tours offered by Get Your Guide:

    Glow Worm and Evening Rainforest Experience

    3-Day pass to major Gold Coast theme parks

    55-Minute Extreme Jet Boat Ride

    Springbrook Waterfalls & Natural Bridge Tour


    Whichever tour(s) you choose to go on, I would recommend booking early, especially during the peak tourist season, as they tend to sell out quickly.


    If food is an important part of your overall Gold Coast holiday experience, you will be pleased to discover that the standard of Burleigh Heads Restaurants overall are very good.


    Burleigh Heads Accommodation

    In comparison to other Gold Coast hotels and resorts the standard of Burleigh Heads accommodation is just as favourable.

    Throughout the suburb there is a fantastic selection of places you can stay at to suit all budgets and preferences. You can search through a full list of them here.

    A great option for families is the Ambience On Burleigh Beach which is located directly opposite the patrolled stretch of sand. You can choose between one and two bedroom apartments that have full kitchens and laundry facilities. They all come with big flat screen TVs and many have balconies that look out to the Coral Sea.

    Another popular choice is the Burleigh Beach Tower, which are also located across the street from the seafront. They offer one, two and three bedroom apartments that cater to families and groups of different sizes, and count a swimming pool, tennis court, gym and free onsite parking among its amenities.

    Elsewhere, the Park Towers Holiday Units on Goodwin Terrace offers comfortable units with private bathrooms, a flat-screen TV, refrigerator and balconies that showcase lovely sea views.

    Alternatively, the Solnamara Beachfront Apartments on the Esplanade is a terrific place to stay for those who want to be directly by the beach. All their units are wheelchair accessible and come with private balconies, flat screen TVs with satellite and cable channels and full kitchen facilities.

    During the peak season Burleigh Heads hotels tend to book out quickly. So, I would recommend making a reservation as far in advance of your visit as possible.


    Other Beaches on the Gold Coast you can visit

  • Surfer’s Paradise
  • Main Beach
  • Greenmount
  • Kirra
  • Currumbin
  • Nobbys Beach
  • Mermaid Beach
  • Rainbow Bay
  • Palm Beach
  • Miami
  • Tallebudgera Creek
  • Coolangatta
  • Broadbeach
  • Best Burleigh Heads Restaurants

    If food is an important part of your overall Gold Coast holiday experience, you will be pleased to discover that the standard of Burleigh Heads Restaurants overall are very good. There are plenty of venues in the suburb that cater to a wide range of culinary tastes, so you should not be wanting for choice.

    During your time at Burleigh Heads beach Australia, you should make a point of visiting Rick Shores. This fabulous venue in the Burleigh Pavillion on Goodwin Terrace showcases superb views of the Coral Sea and offers up a menu of pan-Asian flavours that are designed for sharing.

    In the same building you should also try The Tropic which is run by the highly talented head chef Guillaume Zika. It has a huge open kitchen, which enables you to see how your food is prepared and presents a fabulous produce-driven menu of dishes that champion ingredients sourced locally on the Gold Coast and the Northern region of New South Wales. Standout dishes include wood fired pig calzone and kingfish tartar.

    Over in the Outrigger Resort on the Gold Coast Highway, Miami Rice is not just a cool name but a lovely dining option. It comprises a Chinese and Malaysian fusion menu that showcases delicious dishes like Ipoh Keow Teow and Hokkien Mee, which burst with flavour and aroma.

    Elsewhere, if you are craving a burger, head to Ze Pickle in the Burleigh Space.

    While those fancying pizza or pasta should make their way to the Justin Lane Establishment on the Gold Coast Highway.


    Surfers at Burleigh Heads Gold Coast


    Coffee at Burleigh Heads

    Burleigh Heads has a thriving coffee scene and there are plenty of places where you can get your caffeine fix in this part of the Gold Coast.

    One of the more popular venues is Quest Coffee Roasters, which is a couple of streets back from the beach on James Street. This rustic, small coffeehouse opens at 5 am every morning and offers a delicious range of artisanal espressos along with other delightful homemade blends.

    Another good option is Street Corner Espresso, which is located a little further up the beach from Burleigh Hill on the Gold Coast Highway. This family-run cafe excels with its friendly service and also offers damn good coffee too.

    On the same stretch of road, Commune Cafe is a buzzy cafe that is a terrific place for people watching. Their lattes are exceptional too.

    Elsewhere, Connors Cafe, with the Burleigh Space building on Connors Street has a great vibe and plays some banging tunes, which you can enjoy with coffee that is always skilfully made by some of the best baristas in and around Burleigh Heads Beach.


    Final Thought

    It is not difficult to see why Burleigh Heads Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the Gold Coast.

    With its fabulous stretch of golden sand, world-class point break, gorgeous weather, fabulous cafe and restaurant scene, and terrific holiday accommodation Burleigh Heads really does offer something for everyone.

    If you are looking for a place where you can spend some quality time relaxing and mentally refreshing from the pressures of daily life, this part of the Gold Coast is as good a place as any.

    It’s also not far from Burleigh Heads to Surfers Paradise or indeed Byron Bay in New South Wales, should you fancy a change of scene.



    Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about visiting Burleigh Heads Beach on the Gold Coast.

    Where is Burleigh Heads Beach?

    Burleigh Heads Beach is located on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. It resides about 16 km south of Surfer's Paradise and is around 86 km south of Brisbane.

    The beach is known for its stunning coastline, picturesque views, and the iconic Burleigh Point that offers great surfing opportunities. It's easily accessible by car, public transportation, and is a well-known landmark within the Gold Coast region.


    Can you swim at Burleigh Heads Beach on the Gold Coast?

    Burleigh Heads Beach on the Gold Coast is a terrific beach for swimming and surfing, attracting visitors from all over Queensland and other states in Australia.

    The beach is patrolled by the Burleigh Heads Surf Life Saving Club and is considered safe for children and those who are not strong at swimming. For those who enjoy surfing, famous Burleigh Point has some of the best swell in the country.


    What are some of the best hotels in Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast?

    If you are looking for a Burleigh Heads hotel near the beach, some of the best options include Ambience on Burleigh Beach, the Outrigger Resort and the Boardwalk Burleigh Beach.


    How Far is Burleigh Heads Beach from the Gold Coast Theme Parks

    Burleigh Heads Beach is about a half an hour's drive from most of the Gold Coast's theme parks including Dreamworld, Seaworld, Movieworld and Wet n Wild.


    Do you have to pay for parking at Burleigh Heads Beach Gold Coast?

    Free parking is readily available near Burleigh Heads Beach Gold Coast. Most spots have a 3 hour limit between the hours of 9 am to 5 pm. Outside of this time parking is unrestricted.

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