For a beautiful beach that isn’t touristy, look no further than Burleigh Heads. The surf break is good here and it’s a great spot for families: wander to Burleigh headland (aka The Point) for a picnic or barbecue and a great view of the action in the ocean. Around the beach you’ll find people playing cricket and, on Sunday afternoons, fire-twirlers and local musicians come out to entertain in the park beside the local surf life saving club. Nearby, Burleigh Head National Park offers walks in the native rainforest; some of the trails have ocean views and, in winter and spring months, you may even spot a migrating humpback whale. If you are a beginner hoping to surf, check out our “Learn to surf” listing.
Burleigh Heads began its life in a similar fashion to many of Gold Coast locales: as a small fishing community. Today, it’s a popular beach break and hub of activity. While there are ample accommodation options here for tourists, Burleigh is more about the locals. The streets behind the beach have a village-y feel where you’ll find a hub of boutiques and eateries – wine bar Bin 12 (12 James Street, Burleigh Heads +61 7 5535 3085) is highly regarded by residents; must-visit restaurants include The Fish House (link to listing) and Justin Lane (link to listing); vegetarians can get their fill at Govindas (20 James Street, +61 7 5607 0782).