Even though I only spent the first five years of my life on the Gold Coast, I still call it home and go back every few years. I have found while speaking to other travellers to the Gold Coast that some of the places I mention to them, they didn’t even know that place was there let alone been there. So, I thought for this post I would show you some of the areas I feel are underrated on The Gold Coast.
- Burleigh National Park
Even though this place is popular with the locals, I still reckon it needs more love from the travellers that come to the Gold Coast. It has various walking paths throughout its 27-ha park including the walk from Burleigh Beach to Tallebudgera Creek and the walk up to Tugun Lookout and the rainforest. What I love most about the park is the knowledge boards placed around the park to help people learn about the Yugambeh people who are the traditional owners of the land that Gold Coast is situated on. In their language, Burleigh National Park is Jellurgal Mountain which in my opinion is a more beautiful name, and I hope the name gets a change to it. I suggest if you go here to check out the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre for more insightful information and stories about Jellurgal Mountain and the Yugambeh people.
- Fleays Wildlife Park
As a young child, I spent many days at Fleays Wildlife Park exploring the park and seeing the fauna. The park has been opened for 60 years and is the brainchild of David Fleay, a naturalist. He pioneered a few things including but not limited to the first ever breading programs of Platypus, Wedge-tailed Eagles, Taipans and Powerful Owls. He also did work to protect the land around the park and the animals that call gold coats home. Today when you go to the Gold Coast you will see a lot of animals that have stood the test of time and development around them which was the hard work and determination of David Fleay. He learnt the significate of helping endangered animals early in his career. One notable event that made him want to focus on endangered animals was when he was the last person to take a photo of a Tasmania tiger in 1933 at the Hobart Zoo. Today the park continues the legacy and work of David Fleay as you will see as you walk around the park the importance of the animal’s wellbeing and their natural habit. David Fleay is remembered as the ‘father of conservation’ to many people, he is greatly missed.
- Snorkelling at Wave Break Island
Not many locals and visitors know that you can snorkel and see coral fish right here on the gold coast at wave break island near the spit. The Wave Break Island, it is not a natural island as it was created in 1985 as part of the Gold Coast Seaway Project. It has 450 species of fish including a huge population of Stick Pipe Fish. You feel like you have been taken to another world when snorkelling here. There is no coral here, but it still attracts fish you could see on the Great Barrier Reef. Read more here.
- Tallebudgera Creek.
When I was a child, I used to go here to learn to swim in the ocean because it was still salt water, but it is protected from the waves. It is one of the waterways that connect the rivers to the sea. The water is a lovely blue turquoise colour. The Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Burleigh National Park are both connected to Tallebudgera and can be all done in one day.
- Main Beach
Gold Coast beaches are usually packed full of people, but I found a beach that was quite quiet for a beach on the Gold Coast. It was the main beach mirage which is named after the resort nearby. It is a lifeguard beach, so you are in safe hands between 8 am to 5 pm. If you go across the road, there is Marina Mirage a place where you catch one of the many boat tours including whale watching, snorkelling and if you are a thrill seeker, a jet boat is also here. There are a lot of dining options, and they are also an upmarket shopping centre here as well. If you want to see Gold Coast from above, then why not check at the helicopter tours that are here as well. My pick for dinner would be the Thai restaurant that is near the water. It is a nice place to go for a relaxing stroll and watch the sunset after a day at the beach or SeaWorld which is just up the road.
I hope you have enjoyed the list I have made of some places that I believe are underrated on the Gold Coast.