Natural asset network

Natural assets are land and water, and include the plants and animals they support. Connecting natural assets into a network across both private and public land helps keep them healthy.

Our natural asset network is identified in Our Natural City Strategy. The network has been established over decades through regulatory and voluntary conservation initiatives. Partnerships have been and continue to be imperative to deliver solutions. Why? We are working across 3 areas within the network:

  1. State Government managed natural areas
  2. City of Gold Coast managed natural areas
  3. natural asset management activities on private land.

A connected natural asset network is vital to:

  • support land-based, aquatic and marine ecosystems
  • support those ecosystem' ecological processes
  • increase the resilience of species and ecosystems to natural hazards.

Balance is paramount. With a connected network, we are better positioned to both protect our habitat and deliver nature-based recreation experiences for locals and visitors.

Our Natural City Strategy seeks to achieve balance by focusing our efforts on securing the resilience of the intended natural asset network. At the same time, it facilitates growth primarily within the urban areas of the city. Our strategic intent for key natural asset areas is detailed in the following map and accompanying descriptions.

Coastal wetlands & islands

Our coastal wetlands and islands are internationally recognised and listed under the Ramsar Convention. This is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the protection of wetlands. Our coastal wetlands and islands are home to large numbers of nationally and regionally threatened species. City of Gold Coast supports these aquatic and marine landscapes. We find solutions to help protect these threatened species. We also balance the protection of these sensitive areas with providing appropriate nature-based recreation and tourism activities.


Our hinterland contains key elements of the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. This is the most extensive area of subtropical rainforest in the world. Our hinterland is home to 200 rare or threatened plant and animal species. It is important that we maintain and protect the hinterland, and its threatened species.


Coastal dunes critical corridor

Our coastal dunes form a significant north to south corridor. We seek to constantly improve the stability of the corridor through the protection and restoration of dune vegetation. Strengthening the corridor reduces the impacts from natural hazards on our beaches. The Gold Coast's coastal dunes are also a tourist destination, suitable for recreational activity.

Critical corridors

The critical corridors form the backbone of the Gold Coast. They provide the link from the hinterland to the coast. Protecting the function of corridors is vital to the movement of plants and animals. This involves the protection and management of existing habitat. It also includes restoration of strategic locations which have reduced in quality. These corridors include:

  • Southern Moreton Bay to Wongawallan
  • Clagiraba to Southern Moreton Bay
  • Burleigh to Springbrook
  • Currumbin to Currumbin Valley
  • Currumbin to Cobaki (Tweed Shire).

Download the Critical corridor and substantial remnant mapping report 2016 from the Related information section at the foot of this page.

Significant urban biodiversity

Substantial remnants

Substantial remnants (as shown on the map) support a wide variety of plants and animals. They contain much of the biodiversity within the urban areas. These substantial remnant areas are highly valued by our local community. They also provide opportunities for nature-based recreation and are important wildlife connections to the critical corridors of the natural asset network.

We are committed to improving these important areas which support vulnerable koala populations. Council is doing this by avoiding and managing impacts of vegetation clearing, pests, fire, vehicle access, and other urban impacts.

Download the Critical corridor and substantial remnant mapping report 2016 from the Related information section at the foot of this page.

Urban biodiversity

Native plants and animals within the urban area are an important part of our way of life, as they contribute to:

  • a healthier ecosystem
  • improved biodiversity
  • natural recreational experiences
  • our health and wellbeing
  • can cool the city
  • reduce stormwater and pollutant run-off.

We seek to:

  • protect and restore poorly represented regional environments
  • prioritise habitat sites
  • plant corridors with native species.

Our team is partnering with government, landowners, businesses, research institutions and the community to support a healthy environment in our urban areas.

Other strategic priorities

Gold Coast Central Park

Centrally located, this multi-purpose open space will be enhanced to promote active and passive recreational use. The park will also ensure the protection of the environment, our heritage, water catchment and stormwater management functions. The mapped area represents our City-owned assets.

Native vegetation

The Gold Coast has a vast array of native plants in Australia; 49.58% of the land area is covered by them. Conserving and enhancing our environment is supported through working toward our goal of achieving 51% native vegetation cover.

In urban areas outside critical corridors and substantial remnants, high priority native plants will be protected. The loss of medium priority native plants will be offset by replacing them in strategic locations. There, they will have a better chance to grow with minimal disturbance. Outside urban areas, native plants will be given even greater opportunity to thrive.

Major waterways

Waterways underpin our lifestyle. We are balancing the protection of these sensitive habitat areas with appropriate nature-based recreation and tourism opportunities. This is important for our economy, tourism, and city reputation.

Safeguarding our land, aquatic and marine ecosystems including, and leading into, waterways and wetlands will enhance their ecological function as wildlife corridors. Improving water quality will also benefit our water-based recreation and lifestyle.