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Burleigh Heads

Boardwalks - QLD, Burleigh Heads, Tallebudgera Creek Conservation Park

Google Earth: 28°06’21.21 S; 153°26’43.59 E

Tallebudgera Creek Conservation Park is a Gold Coast City Council reserve on the south west side of Burleigh Heads, a prominent rocky headland forming a significant break in this mostly otherwise beach-dominated coastline. Tallebudgera Creek is a place of cultural significance to the Kombumerri people, and its estuary contains one of the last large tracts of mangroves on the Gold Coast - the rest having been removed for urban expansion. The small estuary at the mouth of the creek is currently a popular fishing spot, and a place to have a quiet swim - especially for younger kids and the less energetic - away from the reknowned surf beaches. Part of Tallebudgera Creek estuary is also a Fish Habitat Area, originally declared in 1971 by the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries Department. The FHA facilitates educational use for field studies including sampling by local schools and tertiary institutions; protection of remaining estuarine habitat; as well as, nursery areas for both fish and crustaceans.

The Tallebudgera Creek park, with its walking track, also borders the David Fleay Wildlife Park, a popular spot to see some of Australia’s unique wildlife at this campus for research and education into threatened species. The boardwalk forms part of the walking track (1.5 km long) that ends at Burleigh Heads. The boardwalk is fairly old (est. around the 1980s), but although safe, it does require maintenance. The landward bank is also overgrown with asparagus fern, an exotic weed. From the car park to the Fleay park entrance, the boardwalk is 2 m wide and it has lighting. After the entrance, the platform narrows to an unlit 1.5 m wide platform.

Along the boardwalk, there are excellent examples of mature grey mangroves, some growing amongst natural exposed rock formations at the far end. These, and the stilt mangroves, are inundated by clear ocean waters. Sediments upstream can be muddy, but they are notably sandier as you continue along the boardwalk towards the sea. Sandier areas are commonly dominated by stilt mangroves. There are wonderful views of Tallebudgera Creek through the mangroves, and of the creek mouth at the end of the boardwalk. Along the walk, there are useful interpretive signs (provided by the Environmental Protection Agency Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, and the Marine Education Society of Australasia Inc.) with information on mangrove ecology and physiology, fisheries value and indigenous use. There is also seating that offers rest spots if needed, or places to pause and take in the sights.

Location Details

  • Distance/length: 400 m one way.
  • Location: David Fleay Wildlife Park, Tallebudgera Creek, Gold Coast.
  • Walking Time: 30 min. stroll.
  • Address: West Burleigh Road, West Burleigh. Directions: Take exit 89 off Pacific Motorway, go north on Tallebudgera Creek Road, turn right into main carpark entrance of Fleays Wildlife park. The boardwalk is at the entrance to the wildlife park.
  • Contact: For more information contact the: (1) Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, PO Box 203, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220, Ph. (07) 5576 0271; (2) David Fleay Wildlife Park, West Burleigh Rd., West Burleigh 4219, Ph (07) 5576 2411, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
  • Gates to the Wildlife Park car park open from 0800 – 2200. Wildlife park opens from 0900 – 1700.
  • No facilities at the boardwalk itself – you would need to go into the wildlife park – which would include the entry fee.
  • Facilities

  • parking
  • Wheelchair access
  • Toilet amenities
  • Pets
  • Picnic tables
  • BBQ facilities
  • Shelter
  • Bikes
  • Playground
  • Water
  • Fishing
  • No boatramp
  • Information sign
  • No information centre
  • Guided walk
  • dining
  • Lighting


  • Mangroves

    Grey Mangrove (Avicennia marina)
    Stilt Mangrove (Rhizophora stylosa)
    River Mangrove (Aegiceras corniculatum) – a few
  • Saltmarsh

    Saltcouch at both the near and far ends of the boardwalk.
    Saltcouch (Sporobolus virginicus)
    Beadweed (Sarcocornia quinqueflora)
  • General Vegetation

    Asparagus fern
  • Birds

    Ibis, Kingfishers, Herons, Egrets, Brahminy Kite
  • Invertebrates in the mud

    Mud Whelks
    Crabs (grapsids) & crab holes
    Mud crabs
  • Invertebrates in the vegetation

    Molluscs, Periwinkle
  • Rare/ Endangered Biota

  • Waterlife

    Lots of toadfish


Kurt Derbyshire and Rebecca Batton (Fowler), Queensland Department Primary Industry & Fisheries, Marine Fish Habitat Unit (11/12/2006)

Community Volunteers

A key feature of MangroveWatch is its close partnership between community volunteers and scientists from the James Cook University’s Mangrove Hub. Together they are systematically recording basic data as video and still imagery for assessments of estuarine habitat health.

Armed with expert support, training and advice, MangroveWatch volunteers in key regions are actively contributing to the monitoring of local estuaries and shorelines. An important goal in this phase of the program is to develop a network of like minded groups with the aim of producing public documents that describe important issues affecting local estuaries and mangroves, and their overall health.

Getting Involved

If you would like to find out more about us or if you like to initiate your own MangroveWatch group within your area, please contact someone at the Mangrove Hub. We will be happy to help.

  • Mangrove Hub Facilitator
  • Dr Norm Duke
  • MangroveWatch Ltd
    ABN: 44 153 297 771
  • PO Box 1250,
  • Elanora Q 4221
  • Mangrove Hub Email

Mangrove Watch Brochure

You can download our fact and information sheet (see link below) to get more information about the MangroveWatch programs.

Mangrove Watch Brochure