Burleigh Hill is an iconic landmark on the Gold Coast and not to be missed during your visit. At the very top of Burleigh Hill inside the national park, you can find Cock Rock, an infamous viewpoint perched on the cliffside which is an incredible spot to watch the sunrise!
Burleigh Heads is by far one of the most popular locations on the Gold Coast. It’s a surfers paradise and a nature enthusiast’s dream!
I have put together this complete guide including where it is, how to get there, and what to expect when you arrive.
Also in this guide, I have included some useful information on where to stay in Burleigh Heads, recommended tours on the Gold Coast, and the best time to visit.
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WHERE IS BURLEIGH HILL?
Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast is where you will find Burleigh Hill and the famed Burleigh Cock Rock viewpoint on the hillside.
Burleigh is pretty much the halfway point between the north end of the Gold Coast (Surfers Paradise), and the south end of the Gold Coast (Coolangatta).
Whether you are coming from the north end, or the south end of the Gold Coast, you will find that there are public buses that run every fifteen minutes along the Gold Coast Highway and there is a bus station located a stone’s throw from Burleigh Beach.
Drone shot of Burleigh
The iconic hill
ARRIVING AT BURLEIGH HILL
When you arrive at Burleigh Heads, there are many parking lots along the beachfront with hundreds of car spaces available. Parking is free for up to 3 hours, though in some areas you’ll have to pay around $4 AUD per hour.
The paid parking areas are clearly signposted so you will be able to tell which parking spaces are free and which ones you will have to pay for.
From the parking lots, you’ll find pathways that lead along the Burleigh Heads Esplanade and directly down onto the shoreline or you can follow it up to the hill.
Toilet and shower facilities can also be found next to the parking lot which is free for all beachgoers to use.
Any trash that you accumulate during your visit can be placed in the rubbish bins provided along the Burleigh Heads Esplanade and in the park areas. Please help keep our Gold Coast beaches clean!
WHAT TO EXPECT
Burleigh Hill features a lush grassy area that overlooks the glistening white sands of Burleigh Beach and the Gold Coast City skyline can be seen off in the distance. Burleigh is by far one of the best beaches on the Gold Coast!
Every afternoon, many tourists and locals tend to gather on the hill for a picnic while watching the sunset. Not a bad spot to see out the day if you ask me!
Apart from the hill being a popular attraction, Burleigh is also known for its world-class surf breaks, unbeatable beaches, lively cafe scene, nature walks, and the all-around sunny vibes that this epic location has to offer.
Swimming at Burleigh Beach is a must and it would be rude not to experience the ocean here! The beach is patrolled by lifeguards 7 days a week from 8 am – 5 pm, just be sure to swim in between the red and yellow flags.
Burleigh Heads is classed as a World Surfing Reserve that attracts surfers from all corners of the globe. The right-hand point break at Burleigh is one of the best breaks on the East Coast of Australia.
If you’re feeling hungry or thirsty, you can pop down to the Kiosk at the bottom of the hill and grab something to eat and drink at an affordable price.
Alternatively, if you want to grab a takeaway coffee, Nook Espresso is a great little cafe that is also located at the bottom of the hill.
RELATED ARTICLE → 3 DAY GOLD COAST ITINERARY
Watching the surf
View of Surfers Paradise
BURLEIGH HILL NATIONAL PARK
There are 27 hectares of the national park where you can discover dense rainforest, coastal pandanus groves, rocky foreshores, amazing beaches, tidal sandbars, and panoramic viewpoints.
Walking or exercising around Burleigh is a daily routine for the locals and for a tourist it is a great place to explore and discover what all the hype is all about.
There are two entrances to gain access to Burleigh National Park:
On the northern side of the hill, there is a parking lot located at the top of the hill on Goodwin Terrace and this is the main entry point. There is a footpath here that leads into Burleigh National Park.
On the south side of the hill, there is a parking lot located at Tallebudgera Creek and this is where you’ll find another entrance that leads into Burleigh National Park.
Entrance #1 – Burleigh Heads Hill
Entrance #2 – Tallebudgera Creek side
BURLEIGH HILL WALK
There are two tracks that lead you through and around Burleigh Heads National Park.
A 1.2km track that takes you along the rocky foreshores of Burleigh Beach and wraps around into Tallebudgera Creek.
You can discover the tumbled masses of hexagonal basalt rocks on the sides of the hill and take a refreshing dip around at Echo Beach before returning on the same path, or via the rainforest circuit.
A 2.3km track that leads you in and around the beauty of the national park. On this circuit, you can find the Tumgun Viewpoint which looks south towards Coolangatta, and Cock Rock Burleigh which faces east over the iconic Burleigh Point Surf Break.
Click Here for your own personal Burleigh Heads National Park Map which has the walking tracks and entrances clearly marked.
Beginning of the trail
View from the cliffs
Oceanview track Burleigh Heads
HOW TO GET TO COCK ROCK
When you reach the top of the track inside the national park, you will find a clear opening of trees and large basalt rock formations. If you are coming from the north entrance and reach the Tumgun Lookout, you have gone too far.
Turn around and walk back thirty meters or so to where you can find a clear opening in the trees and you will have to climb over a small fence. Follow the large hexagonal boulders down the hillside until you can go no further. Cock Rock Burleigh sticks out prominently among others so it’s hard to miss.
Know your limits when exploring this rocky cliff side as it is a long way to fall. Burleigh Heads Cock Rock is a popular sunrise spot as it looks directly east over the ocean from where the sun will rise.
If you aim to get there just before 6 am this will be perfect timing to catch the first rays of the sun as it pops up over the horizon.
If you are lucky, you will be able to spot humpback whales on their annual migration along the east coast of Australia. Keep an eye out for the whales between the months of May and September.
Cock Rock Viewpoint
The entrance to Cock Rock
Sunrise at Cock Rock Burleigh
View of Talley Creek
Another perspective of Cock Rock Burleigh
Burleigh Heads Gold Coast
Tallebudgera Creek, also known as Talley Creek, boasts some of the clearest turquoise water on the entire Gold Coast.
At low tide there are several sand bars that appear, creating little islands to go and enjoy while they last.
Another popular spot is Echo Beach, a cute little cove tucked away on the south side of th hill. There is access to this beach from the Rainforest Circuit trail along the Burleigh headland walk.
If you love bridge jumping, there is a deeper section of Tallebudgera Creek where you can launch yourself off of the five-meter high bridge and into the creek below.
There can be strong currents and also boats zipping around so just be mindful of these conditions when swimming in Tallebudgera Creek.
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Drone shot of Tallebudgera Creek
Tallebudgera Creek on the Oceanview Track
Echo Beach Tallebudgera
Bridge jumping at Talley Creek
Picture-perfect Tallebudgera Creek
Azure waters at Talley Creek
Tallebudgera Creek Gold Coast
BURLEIGH POINT SURF BREAK
Burleigh Point is now classed as a World Surfing Reserve, attracting surfers from around the globe. The right-hand point break is one of the best breaks on the east coast of Australia.
As a spectator, you have the best seat in the house watching surfers take wave after wave from the top of the hill. If you want uncrowded waves at Burleigh, you will have to get in the water before sunrise as it gets very busy when the swell arrives.
Surfing at Burleigh Point
Surfing in Burleigh
Always a good time at Burleigh
Burleigh Beach World Surf Reserve
Burleigh Beach Surf
SNORKELING AT BURLEIGH
Another fun-fuelled activity to try when visiting Burleigh is to go snorkeling around the rocks which are located in front of Burleigh Headland.
I only recommend snorkeling at Burleigh when there are no waves breaking and the ocean is calm. It’s a lot safer to go snorkeling as you won’t get hit by any waves and the visibility is much better too.
You can easily enter the water at Burleigh Cove which can be found along the Oceanview Track and there is a set of stairs that leads down to the shoreline.
From here you can snorkel around the headland and all the way into Tallebudgera Creek. You will find an abundance of marine life just under the surface so make sure to have a GoPro with you to capture all the action.
If you’re too exhausted to swim back to Burleigh Beach from Tallebudgera, you can climb up the rocks in front of the headland till you reach the concrete pathway and you can easily walk back along the oceanview track.
See More → 11 Best Gold Coast Beaches
Enter the water here at Burleigh Cove
Snorkeling at Burleigh
BEST CAFES, RESTAURANTS & BARS IN BURLEIGH
There is no doubt that Burleigh has some of the best cafes, restaurants, and bars on the Gold Coast. There are quite literally too many to name in this post so I will share with you my personal favorites.
BEST CAFES IN BURLEIGH:
- Nook Espresso
- The Pantry Cafe
- Burleigh Tropicana Cafe
- The Koffee Shack
BEST RESTAURANTS IN BURLEIGH:
- Burleigh Heads Surf Life Saving Club
- Burleigh Heads Hotel
- Fish Mongers
- Justin Lane
BEST BARS IN BURLEIGH:
- Night Jar
- Rick Shores
- Burleigh Pavillion
- Pink Monkey Bar
- Burleigh Hotel
Justin Lane Burleigh
BEST TIME TO VISIT BURLEIGH
The best time to visit Burleigh Heads is early morning or late afternoon as it won’t be too hot under the midday sun.
If you can time your visit to Burleigh for a weekday, chances are you will get to enjoy the beach with fewer people around.
Burleigh is known to be very popular on weekends so you can expect it to be jam-packed with many families and groups of friends hanging out here on the hill.
My recommendation would be to get down to Burleigh between 6:00 am and 10:00 am to score a good spot along the beachfront and enjoy a swim and a sunbake before the crowds hit.
Also, late afternoon around 5 pm – 6 pm is a nice time to visit as it’s a great spot to watch the sun setting over the Surfers Paradise skyline.
Drone shot of Burleigh National Park
BURLEIGH HEADS ACCOMMODATION
There is no shortage of accommodation options on the Gold Coast and most people want to be by the beach as often as possible – I don’t blame them!
It’s first in, best dressed when looking for a place to stay in Burleigh, especially in the peak holiday season which is during the summer months between December and February.
I have narrowed it down to a few of my favorite places to stay in Burleigh Heads to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Luxury Beachfront Sky Home
Centrally located in Burleigh Heads and a stone’s throw from the beach. This 5-star accommodation features an outdoor swimming pool, garden, fitness center, and free wifi. The apartments are spacious and include a fully equipped kitchen, living and dining room, 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, hot tub, flat-screen tv, and ocean views. Perfect for families and couples.
Mid Range: Outrigger Burleigh
The best and most affordable hotel in Burleigh. The Outrigger is a two-minute walk from Burleigh Beach featuring an outdoor pool, hot tub, and ocean views! The rooms are spacious, air-conditioned, equipped kitchenette, living room, private bathroom, and balcony. Close to supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, bars, and public transport. Perfect for couples and families.
Budget: Komune Resort & Backpackers
Komune Resort is located south of Burleigh in Coolangatta and it’s one of the cheapest and best backpackers on the Gold Coast! Located a stone’s throw from the beach, Komune Resort features a beach club, outdoor pool, table tennis, hammocks, pool bar, and nightclub. There are dorm rooms and private apartments available, perfect for friends and solo travelers.
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN BURLEIGH, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
Another option for accommodation in Burleigh is to stay in an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals!
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