Australia’s Gold Coast is an awesome place to visit and explore, and I believe that the best way to see it is by bike . My favorite section of the Gold Coast is the ocean front from The Seaway at the north end of the spit all the way down to Tweed Heads at the New South Wales border. This is a distance of about 40 kilometres- I’ve ridden the whole distance many times, but never all in one day. The winter temperature at the Gold Coast usually makes it to 20 degrees Celsius or 68 Fahrenheit during the day. Summer temperatures range from 26 to 32 degrees Celsius or 79 to 90 Fahrenheit, Making for perfect biking weather all year round. Too get to the start of this trail you take Seaworld Drive Main Beach and follow it North for 5 kilometres it ends at Doug Jennings Park at the end of the Spit then follow the Seaway path to the East past the Seaway Coast Guard tower . 100 metres past the Coast Guard Tower the trail starts and is signed Federation Walk Coastal Reserve.
If you were to ride the whole distance from the seaway to Tweed Heads you would travel along the Spit then through these suburbs in this order:-
- Main Beach.
- Surfers Paradise.
- Mermaid Beach.
- Nobby Beach.
- North Burleigh.
- Burleigh Heads.
- Palm beach.
- Tweed Heads.
The Seaway is at the end of a large sand Isthmus called the Spit and allows water to flow from the Nerang River and the Broadwater into the open ocean. The Spit is 5 kilometres long and about half a kilometre wide, although mostly undeveloped it is home to Sea-world marine park, The Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Marina Marage and the Palazzo Versace Hotel. The spit separates the Pacific ocean from the Broad water and is mostly beautiful park lands built on sand dunes. If you start the bike trip here you would ride out on the rock wall to the mouth of the seaway and looking south you would see the sand pumping Jetty, Surfers Paradise, and on a good day you can see all the way down to Coolangatta about 40 kms away which is on the Queensland and New South Wales border next to Tweed Heads. Looking North you see South and North Stradbroke Island.
The trail head starts just 100 metres east of the large Coast Guard Tower on the edge of the Seaway and travels underneath the sand pumping Jetty. From the Sand Pumping Jetty you travel along a compacted gravel trail for 1.5 kms, the trail splits a couple of times and it is best to always stay to your left this keeps you closer to the surf for a better view. The gravel trail ends and becomes a nice wide concrete path that travels between the Sheraton Grand Mirage and the surf.
After a total of about 5 kms the Spit ends and now your in main Beach. keep following the concrete path close to the water you’ll ride past the Southport Surf Life Saving club.
If you were to ride the whole length of the Gold coast along the water front you would pass more than 15 of these Surf Life Saving clubs and they’re a great place to stop for food and beverages to break up the trip. You don’t have to be a member of the club to enter but you do have sign in when entering. These clubs are volunteer organizations and by dining at a club your helping them to raise money to support the club, they may save your life one day. If you want to become a member it usually only costs $10.00 per year and with membership you get discounts on food and beverages.
After leaving the Southport Life Saving Club you have to ride on the footpath or on Main Beach Parade until you get to the end southern end of Main Beach only about 1 km then the concrete path gets wide again all the way to Surfers Paradise. There are always a lot of people on this section of the trail and it’s best to go slow and stick to the left when passing oncoming pedestrians. The trail follows close to the beach and has a great view all the way into Surfers Paradise, a great place to hang out for a while and see the sites.
The wide pathway ends Just past the Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club and from here you have to travel on a narrow footpath or on the road way following Northcliffe Terrace then the street name changes to Garfield Terrace. Follow Garfield Terrace to the end turn right onto Fern st then left at the Round-about onto Old Burleigh Road. Follow Old Burleigh Road then turn left onto First Avenue and this will get you back to the Beach path. The path way follows the Beach past the Broadbeach Surf Life Saving Club then through Kurrawa park and past the Kurrawa Surf Life Saving Club to the end of the park.
From here you Travel down Hedges Ave or Millionaires Row a one way road with a wide bike lane down the left hand side . All of the houses on the the left are Ocean front and most are very beautiful hence the name millionaires Row. You have to follow hedges Avenue for a couple of kilometres then it’s name changes to Albatross Ave, it has a bike lane all the way to the end, then it via’s to the left and flows into Marine Parade . From here there’s a wide concrete path to follow beside the beach and past the Miami Surf Life Saving Club through Don Mcsween Park.
At the Don Mcsween park there is a Headland that you have to go over, you need to carry your bike up a set of stairs then you will need to stop at the top and take in the Fabulous view from the top while you’re getting your breath back from climbing the STAIRS. From here you can ride down the grassy hill past the Miami Hotel .
If you don’t feel up to carrying your bike up the stairs, you can ride back through the park to the Miami Beach Surf Life Saving Club and turn left onto Hythe st. Ride down Hythe st until you reach the Gold Coast Highway turn left and follow the Gold Coast Highway and turn left onto Kelly ave at the Miami Tavern. Follow Kelly ave until you hit the beach trail and turn right.
From here the path goes Past the North Burleigh Surf Life Saving Club through a beautiful park and all the way into Burleigh . The path then goes past the Burleigh Surf Life Saving Club and around to the left following the ocean and Goodwin Terrace up the hill to the Burleigh head National Park. The lower trail around the National park is called the Ocean View Track and has amazing views. There are quite a lot of interesting looking six sided boulders everywhere in the Park called Columnar Basalt you might notice on your trip. You aren’t allowed to ride bikes on the trail because it is narrow and hard to pass pedestrians,also it doesn’t have hand rails, so I get off and push my bike around the path it only takes twenty minutes. The first section of the trail follows the ocean and the second section follows the Tallebudgera creek which is a great place to stop for a swim. You then follow the trail to where it ends at the Tallebudgera Creek bridge.
The Trail is currently receiving a one million dollar upgrade to widen the trail and make it easier and safer to pass on, and will be closed from April 5th until late July or early August 2017. There are trail closures from time to time from rock slides and bush fires . If you can’t use the trail you can ride back down Goodwin Terrace and turn left at the gold Coast Highway then follow the Highway over the hill until you get to the Tallebudgera Creek Bridge. I am pleased to announce that the Burleigh National park Trail has now reopened and I’ve added a couple of photos of the fantastic upgrade that has been done to the path.
You now cross the Tallebudgera Creek Bridge using the left hand side footpath and turn left at the end of the bridge then follow the path beside the creek heading towards the Creek mouth. You’ll pass a small Cafe on your right then travel over a narrow wooden walkway then back on concrete again as you near the creek mouth. The pathway splits just past the wooden walkway and you have to take the path to the right. You could ride straight ahead along the rock wall to check out the view if you want.
The path follows the ocean past the Tallebudgera Surf Life saving or Club Talle as they are also known. You ride through Ronnie Long Park and the path changes from concrete to grass as you ride between the surf and the waterfront houses. The grass ends then you ride a short distance on the esplanade then back onto grass again then another ride on the Esplanade then back onto grass until you reach the end of Twenty third ave.
From Twenty Third Ave ride 50 metres to the Gold Coast highway, turn left then follow Highway until you reach Fifteenth ave the turn left onto Fifteenth then right onto Jefferson Lane. Jefferson Lane is a quite one way street and narrow , you have to move over for on coming traffic and there isn’t much in the way of footpaths. Follow Jefferson Lane for about Two kilometres, about half way you’ll pass the Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club. At the end of Jefferson Lane there is a concrete path running off to the left with a sign pointing to Rock View Park. Follow the path and you’ll ride past the Royal Palm Resort and rockview public park then into Palm Beach Parklands, a nice place for a break.
The Palm Beach parklands are on the Edge of the Currumbin creek and you now follow the path closest to the water as it takes you around around the edge of the park then over a wooden walkway. You now ride underneath the Currumbin Creek bridge and once on the other side there is a path going into the trees with a sign that says Beree Badalla Reserve. This takes you on a 600 metre long wooden Board walk through the mangroves along the edge of the Currumbin Creek. The sign says you should push your bike. Once at the end of the board walk ride through a parking lot towards the Currumbin creek and you’ll find a path that takes you underneath the Thrower drive bridge.
Past the bridge you ride in between the skateboard park and the Palm Beach Sporting club then just past the Sporting club cross a small bridge then you’ll see a bridge crossing the Currumbin Creek. This is the old historic Currumbin Creek Rail bridge that has been restored for pedestrian use stop and read the information about it’s history, then travel across the bridge .
At the other side of the bridge turn left and follow the creek past the rear of the Currumbin RSL club, You can also stop here for food and Beverages by signing in just like at the Surf Clubs. Keep following the trail beside the creek when you get to the Board Shack Restaurant there is a path that takes you under neath the thrower Drive bridge again. Keep following the creek under the large Currumbin Creek Bridge for about a kilometre until you reach the creek mouth this is known as Currumbin Alley, a popular surf spot. After watching the surfers for a while keep following the path along the ocean and you’ll pass The Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club built on a rock on the edge of the surf. The rock is called Elephant Rock and you can climb up the stairs to the top and check out the view and stop for lunch.
Once past the Currumbin Surf Club follow the footpath beside the road until the road turns right about 120 metres. Don’t turn here go straight because there is a new trail heading straight along the water front , follow this along and you’ll come to Len Wort Park. Take the bridge across the small dry creek bed through Kropp Park then down Pacific Parade, the road turns but go stright and Keep following the ocean and eventually you’ll get to the Tugun Surf Life Saving Club. Not far past the Tugun Surf Life Saving club you can keep riding along a grassy trail on the edge of the sand dunes, the grassy section is about one and half kilometres long. You will come to a short 30 metre section that is all sand where you have to walk your bike through, but its only takes a minute. If you don’t want to push through the sand or ride on the grass you can ride around it by taking the road or footpath but its more enjoyable when you stay away from the road. The grass ends when you get to the Belinga Surf Life Saving Club and the path is all concrete from here forward, follow the path for 1.7 Kilometres and you’ll pass the North Kirra Surf Life Saving Club then it’s another 1.2 Kilometres to Kirra Surf Life Saving Club.
The path is easy to follow from here to Coolangatta just follow the trail along the shoreline past Kirra beach ,then into Coolangatta past the Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club. Then when you arrive at the Tweed Heads Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club the trail heads to the left and and follows the Ocean around Greenmount Headland.
This is a great place to watch the surfers taking off at Snapper Rocks, and it’s not uncommon to see over 300 Surfers here at the same time. Once around the Green mount Headland ride another 300 metres to the Rainbow Bay Surf Life Saving club and follow the road off to the left along the waters edge. The road ends after about 150 metres but the path keeps going around the corner past Snapper Rocks , keep following the trail and you will end up at the base of a wooden boardwalk switchbacking up the hill.
Ride or walk up the Board walk and when at the top of the Boardwalk turn left and ride to the top of the hill and through the park until you see the large concrete tower.That tower is the Queensland and New South Wales Border you’ve reached the end of the trip, now sit and admire the views of the New South Wales Coastline .