Parks, natural areas & waterways safety

Always remember, call Triple Zero (000) in an emergency.

While these areas are generally not well-known for crime, it still pays to be on your guard. Take steps to reduce the chance of petty theft. Do not leave valuable items in plain sight in your vehicle.

The Gold Coast has an abundance of beautiful parks, natural areas and waterways to enjoy. It's important to plan before you head out, as these places sometimes have hazards and other obstructions.

The 'great outdoors' contains other risks such as biting insects, snakes and spiders, uneven ground and paths, and of course exposure to sun, rain and wind. Make sure to remember sun protection, bug spray, appropriate clothing and footwear, plus plenty of water.

Park and natural areas safety tips

  • Be vigilant and aware of your surroundings – where are you, who is around you?
  • Trust your instincts – if it doesn't seem right, remove yourself from the situation if possible, or ask for help from others around you.
  • Do not wear headphones as they reduce awareness and your hearing senses, especially of persons approaching from behind.
  • Go with a friend or with a leashed dog when exercising or running/walking in parks.
  • Tell a reliable person the route you plan to take and when you expect to be back.

Park facilities tips

  • Closely supervise your children as they play in a park.
  • Only use park equipment and/or facilities for their intended purpose.
  • Report non-urgent park maintenance issues using our Report a problem service
  • For urgent and/or hazardous situations where public safety may be at risk phone 1300 GOLDCOAST (1300 465 326) or 07 5582 8211

Safe swimming in waterways

Council swimming enclosures

Council provides swimming enclosures located alongside playgrounds, barbecues and shopping facilities. These areas are popular with children and those who prefer calm natural swimming waters.

Residents and visitors are reminded to follow this advice when using the swimming enclosures:

  • supervise children at all times
  • keep clear of enclosure boundaries and underwater net
  • take care when entering, as depth will vary with tide
  • do not swim alone
  • be aware that marine creatures may exist within the enclosure
  • do not run or dive off floating pontoons.

Canals

  • It is NOT recommended to swim in the city's canal systems due to the presence of dangerous marine animals, such as bull sharks.

Creeks, lakes and rivers

Swimming in creeks, lakes, and rivers is fun, but there are hidden dangers, which can cause serious injuries. Be careful! It is not the same as swimming in a Council swimming enclosure or a pool.

  • Seek local advice before you swim – creeks, lakes, and rivers can hide dangers such as submerged logs and rocks and unexpectedly strong currents, especially after rain.
  • Check the current and the water quality before entering the water. After a lot of rain, the water quality may be an issue due to runoff and debris from surrounding land.
  • Never dive or jump into any waterhole. You could seriously injure yourself if the water is too shallow or there are submerged logs and rocks.
  • Stay away from waterfalls to avoid slipping.
  • Beware of boats using the waterway.
  • Avoid swimming near boat ramps or in boating areas.
  • Look out for other dangerous marine animals.

Ocean

Please see Lifeguards & beach safety for tips to keep safe at our beautiful beaches.