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The Gold Coast

One of the most popular destinations in Australia offering a wealth of attractions, entertainment, facilities and services.

Discovering our coast

Enjoying the Oceanway at Greenmount

Enjoying the Oceanway at Greenmount

Our dynamic coastal environment is shaped by interactions between ecology, physical processes, storm events and human activities.

City of Gold Coast, in partnership with Griffith University's Centre for Coastal Management, works to better understand the ecological and physical processes that shape our coastal environment, so that we can manage it sustainably.

Our coastline is teeming with life. From the great sandy dunes of South Stradbroke Island, to the rocky shore at Burleigh headland, to the coastal wetlands of Coombabah, there is an abundance of plant and animal life of all shapes and sizes.

  • Spinifex grass

    Spinifex grass has an important role in stabilising sand dunes, as well as providing habitat for beach fauna.

  • Curlew

    The Bush stone-curlew frequents dunal habitat on the northern beaches such as The Spit and South Stradbroke Island.

  • Banksia

    Banksia can be seen on the more established dune systems along our coast.

  • Bearded dragon

    Bearded dragons love to sun themselves in our warm coastal climate.

  Beach Crowd

  Crowds at Greenmount Beach 1959
   Ray Sharpe

The movement of sand plays a fundamental role in creating and shaping our coastal environment. Although the east coast of Australia is affected by the Eastern Australian Current, its greatest determinant is the process of longshore drift.

Tidal exchange flushes nutrients from the creeks and rivers out into the ocean, maintaining water quality in the estuarine environment. You can observe all of these processes at work at Currumbin Creek.

Natural disasters have played a huge role in the history of the Gold Coast. Cyclones, tsunamis and storm surges affect not just our coastal development and recreational amenity, but also the ecosystems of our coast.

The beach is a huge part of the Gold Coast way of life, and is instrumental in shaping our city's culture and economy.

To find out how you can experience our beaches and foreshores, and the wildlife you might find at various points along our coast, check out our Oceanways and Foreshoreways pages.

For more information on caring for our coastline, visit the Caring for our coast page, or watch our coastal management videos.

Find links below to Griffith University's Centre for Coastal Management website and our fact sheets for more information on our beaches and foreshores.

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