Managing natural areas

Our city is one of the most biodiverse in Australia. As our population and city grows, we aim to conserve our unique biodiversity. This includes working towards 51% native vegetation cover.

To achieve this, a connected natural asset network is vital. Natural assets are the land and water and include the plants and animals they support. Connecting natural assets into a network across both private and public land supports land-based, aquatic and marine ecosystems, along with their ecological processes.

A connected network increases the resilience of species and ecosystems. It builds their survival capacity when faced with natural hazards. We can provide opportunities for balancing the protection of habitat areas too. This can be achieved with appropriate nature-based recreation and tourism opportunities.

Preserving our natural city

We are responsible for the management and day to day operations of over 13,000 hectares. This natural area estate is made up of over 800 reserves. They neighbour approximately 12,000 properties. Around 3,200 hectares are currently under active ecological restoration.

Our natural asset network is across both private and public land. This network is identified in Our Natural City Strategy. It has been established over decades through a range of conservation initiatives.

The 'existing natural asset network' (shown in the map below) highlights the importance of partnerships in delivering outcomes across the natural areas we manage, State Government managed natural areas and natural asset management activities on private land, to connect up the natural asset network.

Learn more & get involved

Learn more about what we are doing to manage natural areas and get involved:

Natural Areas Management Plans

Natural areas are important environmental assets for our city. They also provide opportunities for nature-based recreation. We seek to protect and manage these areas sustainably through our plans.

Bushfire management & planning

To mitigate bushfire risk, each year we conduct mechanical or hazard reduction burns in key areas. Hazard reduction burns are undertaken to protect nearby properties and structures.

Bushland restoration & environmental weeds

Our population and urban areas are expanding. Pressure on our natural areas is a by-product of this growth. Expansion also increases the threat and effects of weed infestation. To mitigate this risk, we focus on restoration, rehabilitation, and maintenance of natural areas. Strategies include weed control and native tree planting.

Beaches to Bushland Volunteer Landcare Program

Volunteer in a Bushcare or Landcare group. You can help protect, maintain and enhance our natural areas. This program also includes tree planting for community groups.

NaturallyGC program

Our NaturallyGC workshops and activities are designed for people interested in connecting with and exploring our city's natural environment. You can participate in a variety of free or low-cost activities.

Other activities include:

  • strategic planning to best manage our natural assets
  • our Conservation Partnerships Program and Nature Conservation Assistance Program which supports private landowner's native habitat on their property
  • managing the health of our water catchments and waterways which also helps restore degraded habitat areas
  • improving the health and habitat quality of our bushland including managing pests, undertaking proactive bushfire management, and improving our natural asset network to create wildlife corridors and larger areas of habitat
  • partnering with universities to research and support the Gold Coast's natural assets and conservation programs.