BURLEIGH Beach Tourist Park, at the Gold Coast, nestles into the lee of the beautiful Burleigh Head National Park. Thanks to the shelter provided by this large and heavily timbered headland, even southerly gales have little impact on visitors enjoying a stay at this camping ground – yet the cooling northerly breezes, so appreciated in summer, find their way in off the ocean with ease.
This is a very well established camping ground. I remember staying there as a young fellow and walking around the corner to the south to target bream and luderick off the rocks around Burleigh Heads – and you can still do that today. There was no M1 motorway in those days and we simply followed the main road down from Southport.
These days, under the mantle of the Gold Coast Tourist Parks, the park has modernised. There are now villa/cabins, free electric barbecue areas and the like, but you still have the basic attractions of a surfing beach right across the road plus great fishing adjacent or just around the hill. Yes, there are some high-rises around the place, but campers and anglers alike will still find things very much to their liking.
The entrance to the Park is off Goodwin Terrace, which runs onto the main Gold Coast Highway on the sweeping bend just past the main shops at Burleigh. On the highway there’s a sign for the Tourist Park, but if you’re looking at that sign you have probably just passed Goodwin Terrace and will need to go around the block to come back to the entrance.
The Tourist Park entry kiosk has a gas and ice supply plus a very convenient visitor’s carpark. Once you’re in the Park you’ll find there is a surprising amount of room to stretch out and enjoy a stay. Traffic noise is negligible, there’s plenty of shade and sites are quite large. Ample concrete pads are available for caravans and the like, along with a number of tent sites. The villas are located right on the top portion of the Park, with a nice view of the beach to the north from the front balconies. The Park’s main amenities are set up centrally within easy reach of all.
Burleigh is an interesting place. It has a village-like atmosphere – partly because the old shops still look the same way they did decades ago – and yet it’s virtually central on the Gold Coast holiday strip. None of the main attractions or nightspots is far away at all.
Early morning on the beach just across the way can see an angler enjoying the sunrise while fishing with light gear to take a feed of whiting or dart for breakfast. Taking a walk around the well-formed track on the National Park headland can offer the fine line angler a chance to tackle some large luderick or bream. If larger fish are on the agenda, you can opt to try for some tailor or even jew on lures or bait. The water is clean, the rocks are a haven for fish and when it all comes together it sure beats working!
Right around on the southern side of the headland is the beautiful Tallebudgera Creek, a fishing venue well worth looking at. Here you can target good sized bream or luderick right at the mouth, providing water conditions are not so clear as to make the fish shy. Further up the creek you can look for large whiting, flathead and the much sought-after mangrove jacks. Walking the flats of Tallebudgera Creek with a fly rod or spin rod designed to work small plastics is one of the great joys of fishing this area, and many a fat flathead has fallen to a fly or lure in these waters.
There is nothing wrong with bait, either. Anglers working smaller blue pillies on 3 gang 3/0 rigs, or paired linked 2/0 hooks set up with frog-mouthed pillies, will score a lizard just as easily.
The jacks can be targeted by boaties working lures or bait around snags in the deeper holes at low tide or by simply putting out a livebait from the bank at night time and playing the waiting game. I took my first mangrove jack from this creek around 30 years ago using a live whiting on linked 3/0 hooks. Would this method still work? Count on it!
Basically, because you’re situated midway on the Gold Coast while you stay at this camping venue, you have a significant advantage to fish many easily accessed areas. The beaches on the Coast are all worth trying in the early morning before swimmers arrive, and there are quite a few good rock fishing locations available as well between Burleigh and the Tweed River.
It’s easy to get to the Burleigh Beach Tourist Park. All you need to do is to travel either north or south on the MI motorway and take the Reedy’s Creek exit to Burleigh.
After a leisurely drive along the coastal strip via the Gold Coast Highway you’ll find yourself entering Burleigh. Turn into Goodwin Terrace, which runs off the old highway to the east, and the Park is right there.
1) The walk through Burleigh Head National Park is a real pleasure with plenty to see, and it also gives access to good fishing spots as well.
2) The entrance to the Burleigh Beach Tourist Park, seen from Goodwin Terrace Burleigh.
3) The adjacent beach at low tide. Those rocks harbour some nice bream when the tide is up.
4) Looking down into the park grounds you can see some diverse camping set-ups.Reads: 3429