Burleigh Heads is a small, very laid back, family orientated seaside resort located about half way along the Gold Coast. It is about an hour’s drive from Brisbane making it easily accessible for long weekends as well as longer holidays and you should be aware that it does fill up during school holidays all through the year. There is no visitors information centre here with the closest ones being in Coolangatta and Surfers Paradise but if you want to book any tours you can probably do so from your accommodation reception.
As with all the resorts along the Gold Coast the main reason to visit Burleigh Heads is to go to the beach or to go surfing. The beach is beautiful golden sand and runs all the way from the national park in the south as far as Surfers Paradise in the north with a promenade running behind it through the trees. You will find a patrolled swimming area at the south end of the beach outside the surf club.
The National Park at the southern end of the beach is a great place to go for a short walk. It has a “blue” circuit with a “green” path off of it. The lower level is a lovely flat path which runs along the coast and offers views of the sea all the way across to Surfers Paradise and is a nice easy stroll. If you don’t want to climb at all you can just come back along the same route.
The next level up is the continuation of the previous path and does go uphill for a bit. It is a very pleasant walk through the rainforest and has some very nice views over the sea both to the north and the south. To do this circuit will take you anything from about 20 minutes if you are walking quickly to an hour if you are taking it very easy and stopping along the way. The upper level is the green path and it goes through the rainforest and either joins back up with the blue path or emerges to the south of the park.
Burleigh Heads Accommodation
The Burleigh Beach Tourist Park is just opposite the beach near the Surf Club and is a small caravan park with powered and unpowered sites and a few cabins. There is no camp kitchen as such but it does have some free BBQs and there is wireless internet available. This site is a good option if you are looking for a quiet spot without too many holiday makers and don’t require lots of facilities.
The Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park is a large park situated as its name suggests on the Tallebudgera Creek which is just to the south of Burleigh Heads. They have lots of sites and also a range of cabins and villas and some lodgings which is a backpacker style accommodation. They have a camp kitchen, heated pool and a tennis court. This park is a great option if you are looking for a lively place with plenty to do and is perfect for families.
There are lots of apartment blocks along The Esplanade and the Gold Coast Highway and it is difficult to pick one over another. Many of them have satellite TV and most have at least two bedrooms. If there are only two of you they will often give you a reduced price.
If you are looking for a motel the best options are along the Gold Coast Highway. One you may want to consider is the Outrigger Resort Burleigh Heads which has a pool and spa centre, a bar lounge area and a restaurant. The rooms all have a balcony, their own tea and coffee making facilities and a fridge.
Eating and Drinking in Burleigh Heads
James Street is the main shopping street in Burleigh Heads and is where you will find lots of cafes offering breakfast and lunch. Fishmongers on this street is a big favourite for fish and chips. Another area with plenty of cafes is along the Gold Coast Highway just behind The Esplanade.
For restaurants try Oskars on Goodwin Terrace which is upstairs above Mermaids on the Beach and has great views of the coast. The fresh fish dishes are great and the dining room is very elegantly decorated.
Mermaids on the Beach is a more casual place than Oskars but still has great views. It is a bistro offering all the old favourites and is situated right on the sand. Once the bistro closes it becomes a bar.
Opposite the Surf Club is the Burleigh Beach Pavilion which houses a few restaurants. Montezuma’s Mexican Restaurant is inside the pavilion and offers good Mexican food at reasonable prices. If you are note sure what to have try the Beef or the Chicken Specials which have a taco, an enchilada, a bowl of chilli and some rice. It is a great way to get a taste of more than one thing. The Bluff Pizzeria is also in this pavilion and has both inside outside tables.
The Surf Club has a kiosk downstairs which serves breakfast and lunchtime snacks and upstairs has a restaurant and bar. The restaurant has a great balcony where you can sit and relax and watch the world go by while enjoying views of the sea.
There are not many bar options in Burleigh Heads.
Mermaids on the Beach is right on the beach and has wonderful views to the north all the way to Surfers Paradise and beyond. It is also a bistro but becomes more bar-like outside of the bistro hours.
The Surf Club mentioned above has a bar with a balcony with fabulous views and it also has live music.
The Burleigh Heads Hotel on The Esplanade is quite a nice spot and they have live music on Friday and Saturday evenings. It’s also a good place to watch some sport on the big screens.
Excursions From Burleigh Heads
There are lots of options of excursions to do from Burleigh Heads.
Take a look at our Gold Coast excursions page and also at our Gold Coast attractions and Gold Coast activities for other ideas of things to do when you are on holiday here.