This National Park is small, only 0.30 of a square kilometre, but it is an ideal walking track. Positioned right in the heart of the Goldcoast with the ocean along it’s border and the Tallebudgera River curling around the other side. There are two tracks to choose from, the flat ocean front walkway or the steeper track up and over the top. A favourite, challenging track for runners.
My favourite time is late afternoon. The sun has dipped behind the hill and the bush creates a cool inviting place to walk.
Start of the walking track
So I would like to take you for a walk in the park. This area was formed by volcanic action 23 to 25 million years ago and now supports a littoral dry rainforest that only grows along the ocean and in rich basalt soil. The distinctive Pandanus tree dominates the first part of the track, with their strange fruit formations.
Watch for falling rocks
High up the slope there are still signs of ancient volcanic action. These unique 8 sided volcanic rocks are only found in one other place in Australia. These were formed millions of years ago when a volcano half spewed them out then stopped in mid flow. The track is closed when we have heavy rain (which hasn’t happened for quite a while) as they still crash down and block the track.
This is an old rock fall
Volcanic rocks line the track
This little fellow made us stop in our tracks and sneak up close for a photo. He did not seem too worried and posed nicely before scurrying away into the rocks.
Hello little fellow…
As we round the corner and pass through the rock and rainforest area, the mouth of the Tallebudgera River comes into sight, with views south to Coolangatta and the New South Wales border.
There is a walk/bike track runs all the way to NSW and beyond. A very easy flat, scenic, safe ride. From the northern end of the Goldcoast to the border is 40 kilometres.
Mouth of the Tallebudgera River
This side is a popular and safe area for families. The Goldcoast highway crosses the bridge and in the distance you can see the misty outline of the Hinterland, but that is smoke haze…
Paddle boarder enjoys the calm water
We sit for a while and watch the activity and talk to a couple of tourists before turning back for home. Feeling relaxed and rather lazy we decide to go back along the ocean track. The challenge of the mountain does not appeal in this hot weather.
The same track but the view is quite different when we go in the opposite direction. The first thing we see is this busy boy…
He was busily digging in his old nesting mound. This male had built this big mound of leaves and debris to incubate his eggs. In spring he would’ve rounded up a number of females to lay their eggs in his mound then with loving care he would monitor the heat each day, using that yellow wattle, and either add mulch to heat it up or scratch some off to cool it down. The females just left him to it!! Once hatched the chicks are on their own and father can go back to his solitary life of bachelorhood till next spring
Going back, views across the ocean
Views of Burleigh
Burleigh only has a few high-rises, but Surfers Paradise is the tourist hub of the Goldcoast and it is packed with apartments and hi-rise buildings. The tallest building you can see in the photo below is the Q1 apartment. When it opened in 2005 it was the tallest residential building in the world at 88 floors. It has since been surpassed by a building in Dubai. But is still the tallest in Australia.
Zoomed in on Surfers Paradise
The sun is setting and time to go home. The Goldcoast is a maze of canals, lakes, rivers and waterways. On the way home we pass one of the lakes and just had to stop as the sun dipped below the horizon in a blaze of glory.
The sun has gone but left a silver lining.
I hope you have enjoyed this walk around our beautiful national park. I will be back soon with another look at one of the unique features of this place I call home…