Tallebudgera Creek, flanked by the Burleigh Heads National Park on one side and Palm Beach on the other side, is a favourite among locals and one of the best swimming spots in Australia. With so many things to do, facilities, and great accommodation options, it’s no wonder why it’s such a great destination for families looking to unwind. Read on to learn all about why Tallebudgera Creek is the perfect spot for kids and parents alike!
Activities at Tallebudgera Creek
Watch the sunrise: There are multiple lookout spots at the mouth of Tallebudgera Creek. From any of these spots, you will be able to look up to Burleigh Heads, out to sea, along the river and the sandy shores. Head to the best spot you can find to catch the sun come up over the horizon. An experience you don’t want to miss or forget so don’t forget to take pictures!
Go fishing: Cast a line and see for yourself why Tallebudgera Creek is a favourite among local fisherman. If you’re lucky you might catch a couple yourself. You’ll find plenty of bait at any of the Gold Coast BCF or Anaconda stores to catch fish like flatheads, bream and big whiting.
Stand-up paddle board: You can’t visit the Gold Coast and not try stand-up paddleboarding! It’s said to be the unofficial pastime of choice for the locals there, after all. Rent a stand-up paddle board from All Coast Paddle Board Hire or Gold Coast Outdoor Hire and make your way down the river. If you would prefer other, perhaps more adventurous water sports, you can opt for boating, water-skiing, wakeboarding and tubing instead, for which there are designated zones along the river.
Bird Watching: Bird enthusiasts would be pleased to know that the area surrounding Tallebudgera Creek is full of scenic sections inhabited by birds of many kinds. Those craving some bird-watching should get their binoculars and head to the areas of the creek near David Fleay Wildlife Park in Burleigh Heads. You are likely to spot and hear Crested Bazas, Eastern Ospreys, Rainbow Bee Eaters, Sacred Kingfishers and Spangled Drongos.
Swimming: Tallebudgera Creek is a great place to go swimming during the warmer months due to its gentle currents and clear water. The creek has some wonderful, patrolled beaches on the south side and Echo Beach towards the north, which is unpatrolled if you’re looking for some peace and quiet during your swim. Tallebudgera Creek is the perfect place to take the kids for a summer swim without having to worry about the current being too strong for the littlies.
Picnics and BBQs: There are over 300 public barbecues located along the Gold Coast that are regularly cleaned and serviced by the City’s maintenance team for the use and enjoyment of visitors. Many of them can be found along Tallebudgera Creek on the inland side of the bridge, along with picnic facilities like park benches and shelters. Along with your picnic basket and blanket, don’t forget to bring along some sunscreen!
Eat: There is no need to worry if you aren’t feeling up to packing and planning a picnic because there are a number of eat-out options near Tallebudgera Creek to explore. Whether you want a whole meal or just want some nibbles and sweets with a drink in hand, you’re sure to find it within walking distance from all the fun at the creek. For the classic coastal lunch, check out Tallebudgera Surf Club Bistro (popular during school holidays so book in advance to avoid disappointment). If you’re in the mood for some yummy baked goods and açaí bowls, visit Custard Canteen, located just 5 minutes away from the creek. The Portuguese tarts are supposed to be splendid.
Take a hike: Stroll through Burleigh Head National Park from the north side of Tallebudgera Creek to reach Tumgun lookout and be met by a spectacular view of the mouth of the river. Another hike you could take is to Burleigh Hill after crossing the Tallebudgera Creek bridge to reach Cock Rock viewpoint on the hillside. There are many other trails to explore in the area so do your research before arriving or just take a walk along anyone of the Gold Coast’s magnificent beaches!
Relax: Head to Echo Beach on the north side of Tallebudgera Creek for a relaxing, private day, lounging about in the sand and taking calming swims in the pleasant water. This unpatrolled beach will allow you to see the beloved creek through the eyes of locals.
Tallebudgera Creek Beach Parking
There are quite a few places you can park your car for free when you visit Tallebudgera Creek Beach. One such place is along Awoonga Ave and another is up near the Tallebudgera Beach Surf Club. You will find that most parking spaces are a bit of a way away from the stream itself, but you will most likely find BBQ spots, playgrounds, eateries and wildlife like birds and lizards along the way that will make the walk worthwhile!
Wherever you choose to park, make sure you get there early because it gets increasingly difficult to find a spot post 8 AM. Tallebudgera Creek is quite popular and gets more crowded especially in the warmer months so it would do well to consider other modes of transport as well. You could choose to bike there if you’re going solo or if the trip is planned for the entire family, consider catching the bus! It is a great option because of the various bus routes that service the area. Otherwise, if you have a myriad of children and two adults it could be worth dropping all your things at the entrance and having the driver park further away and walk to you.
Tallebudgera Creek Aboriginal History
The local Indigenous peoples called the Gold Coast area “Kurrungul” which alluded to its endless supply of hardwood for their boomerangs. The Yugambeh people were the original custodians of the region and lived in the valleys of Springbrook for at least 6000 years. The traditional owners of Tallebudgera were the Tulgigin people¹.
In fact, Tallebudgera is an Aboriginal word said to mean “good fish” and derived from “talle” meaning “fish” and “budgerie” meaning “good.” In 1840, a government surveyor named Dixon charted the Gold Coast region and named many of the landmarks after senior naval officers. Soon after, surveyor General Thomas Mitchel changed their names to Aboriginal names, which is when the name of the creek changed from “River Perry” to Tallebudgera Creek².
Tallebudgera Creek Accommodation
Tallebudgera has a range of options when it comes to accommodations, from luxurious villas and basic boarding to the quintessential lodging experience at Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park. The campground fills up quite quickly on account of its popularity but most Queensland families would argue that getting a spot here is well worth the hassle!
The best time to book any popular accommodation on the Gold Coast is the week immediately after the year before you want it.
Considering its proximity to the creek and the comfortable accommodations that it offers, along with its tennis court, two pools and fun playground, it’s no wonder why Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park a family favourite. Facilities include a camp kitchen with electric BBQs, provisions for laundry, bikes for hire, facilities for people with disabilities like wheelchair access, and seasonally heated pools; one even with waterslides! It has a range of accommodation choices to consider, including 3-bedroom waterfront villas, 2-bedroom waterfront spa villas, bunkhouse-style lodging with shared amenities and so much more.
Don’t have to worry too much if you miss out on a Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park accommodation because there are a number of other qualit stay options available in the Tallebudgera area. Consider staying at Burleigh Beach Tourist Park or Nobby Beach Holiday Village – both within 5 km from the creek.
Tallebudgera Creek Facilities
Toilets: Yes! They are easy to locate, access toilets and are equipped with baby changing tables.
Beach showers: Yes! A must to get that post-swim stick off!
Disability access: Yes!
Water fountains/bubblers: Yes! You won’t have to worry about lugging plastic water bottles around for the kids.
Electric BBQs: Yes!
Picnic tables: Yes! You will find picnic tables and park benches around where you find the BBQs.
Picnic shelters and shade: Available but they are limited so remember to pack sunscreen, hats and perhaps umbrellas for shade in case you can’t find yourself a good enough tree to rest under!
Water sports zones: You will find specific zones for water sports like boating, jet skiing and wakeboarding on the north and south of the river.
Playground: Tallebudgera Surf Club Playground is a favourite among families and is just a short walk from the beach. Tallebudgera Creek Park is another playground where you can take the kids.
Walking tracks: Tallebudgera Creek Walking Track is a 7.4 km loop starting at David Fleay Wildlife Park on Loman Lane with constructed lookouts and wheelchair access. If you’re looking for shorter strolls, check out Burleigh Heads’ walk trails.
Dog-off leash area: The dog beach area where dogs can be off-leash is at the northern end of Palm Beach, to the left of the Tally surf club. There, they can run free from the top of Palm Beach to the first set of lifesaver flags.
What Parents Love About Tallebudgera Creek
Tallebudgera Creek is a wonderful place for both the family looking to unwind and take it easy, while also catering to the family looking for adventure and activity. Parents who are BBQ enthusiasts will be delighted by the facilities provided all along both sides of the river.
The main strip of beach is patrolled so you can feel at ease knowing your kids are under the watchful eyes of the lifeguards. Swimming between the flags is a must since the current in the middle of the creek gets strong, but playing in the shallows is perfectly safe and fun! Furthermore, the way the creek is situated makes it easy for parents to keep an eye on what their kids are doing even from afar.
With children’s playgrounds, beach showers, toilet blocks and drinking water fountains all along the stretch of the river, Tallebudgera Creek becomes one of the easiest getaway trips to take for parents with small children.
What Kids Love About Tallebudgera Creek
It’s nearly impossible to find calm water beaches on the Gold Coast (aside from Currumbin Creek) but Tallebudgera Creek is one of those rare perfect exceptions. Kids get to play in the cool, turquoise blue waters without the fear of giant breakers pulling them under, which also means they get some distance from their caring (read – hovering) parents.
The white-sand beaches have crystal clear water where kids can enjoy spotting tiny fish darting about. Snorkelling is just one of the fun water activities for kids to try at Tallebudgera Creek when the current is weak at high tide. Younger children will have just as much fun digging and building sandcastles by the waters edge without worrying about big waves ruining all their hard work.
Most of the water sports Tallebudgera Creek offers are kid-friendly owing to its gentle currents. It’s the perfect place to teach your little ones activities like kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding for the first time. Being one of the most calm natural swimming spots you’ll find, it’s a great place to teach kids how to safely swim in open waters as well.
Once everyone is done frolicking in the water, the adults get to sunbathe in peace while the kids dry themselves off by exploring the fun playground. If ever there was a travel destination with something for every member of the family, Tallebudgera Creek would be it.
Source 1 Fox, Ian (August 2006). “Cobaki and Terranora Broadwater Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management Plan” (PDF). Southern Cross University. Retrieved 12.8.2020
Source 2 “Tallebudgera History“ City of Gold Coast Retrieved 12.8.2020
How to get to Tallebudgera Beach