Caring for our beaches

Dune care

Our beautiful beaches are one of our most precious natural assets for both residents and visitors as well as a major natural economic asset. The beach is a large part of the Gold Coast way of life and is instrumental in shaping our city's culture and economy.

Dune maintenance & restoration

Stable dunes are critical to the health of our beaches. They also form a key defence against erosion, protecting people, properties and infrastructure.

Dunes buffer our coastline from the impacts of storms and erosion. During storm events, sand from the beach and dune system is eroded to form a nearshore storm bar. Our dune systems absorb wave energy and act as a soft buffer from further erosion. During calmer conditions, the sand is slowly swept back up onto the beach.

Native vegetation stabilises coastal dunes. Plants trap and hold windblown sand on the beach, helping growth and recovery of dunes after storm events. Without this vegetation, sand on the beach is blown inland, reducing the amount of sand on the beach, and impacting properties and infrastructure.

Coastal dunes also provide valuable habitat for native wildlife such as birds, reptiles, and invertebrates. The dunes also form a critical corridor for movement of wildlife in our urban landscape.

Implemented as part of Our Beaches Strategy, the dune restoration works program aims to:

  • improve the health and function of the dune vegetation
  • improve the stability and resilience of the dunes
  • enhance the amenity and safety of the beach experience.

The program is delivered over 14 ocean beaches and 7 foreshore areas within The Broadwater. Each beach area has a Dune Restoration Works Action Plan. Work is carried out by specialist contractors and our internal natural areas dune crew. Additional projects are undertaken when there are seawall construction works. These are often largescale project works and can involve planting up to 20,000 plants on one site.

The current dune works program systematically controls introduced plants and encourages native coastal species to cover the dunes. Annually 90% of Gold Coast dune systems are actively maintained under this program.

Caring for our dunes is a collaborative effort between Council and beach users.

What we are doing

We work to protect our dunes and promote healthy native vegetation by:

  • controlling weeds and introduced plants
  • planting native species
  • installing dune fencing and maintaining public access ways
  • running community dune planting and beach clean activities
  • beach cleaning and litter patrols.

What you can do

You can help protect our dunes by:

  • using designated beach access ways and keeping off the dune vegetation
  • disposing of rubbish and green organics in the bins provided
  • joining in local Our Beaches activities
  • reporting camping and vegetation vandalism as soon as possible

Learn more about how you can care for our coastal environment through Our beaches.


Tugun Restoration Project

Our Beaches team and the local councillor have worked together to improve the condition of a section of dunes at Tugun.

The area at the end of Dune Street had a lot of informal paths used as shortcuts to the beach. The foot traffic had significantly reduced the vegetation on the dunes, allowing weeds to take hold in some areas.

In December 2020 a new public path was installed, weeds were removed and 1500 native ground layers were planted. Another 240 natives were planted at the site. We urge residents and visitors to stick to public paths and avoid shortcuts on all dunes.

Beach cleaning

Sparkling beaches and waterways are synonymous with our city. To ensure our beaches and foreshores retain their sparkle, we invest in a range of cleaning and management services.

Every day, 36 kilometres of ocean beaches are swept clean between midnight and sunrise.

Following large storm events, beach crews clean up large debris such as logs and hazardous materials.