NaturallyGC for nature photographers

Green frog on a tree

Do you love photographing nature? Would you like to join our upcoming Instagram competition?

We have put together some helpful guidelines for you on taking photos in nature.

Keep your eye out for news regarding our next Instagram competition, launching September 2021. You can also check out the winners from our 2020 competition.

Nature photography guidelines

Share your nature experience with the #NaturallyGC hashtag.

It's important for you to be considerate of the impact your images may have. All nature enthusiasts, professionals and admirers should minimise their footprint in nature. The following guidelines have been produced to guide you on ethical nature photography:

  • If on public land, respect restrictions to entry. If any permits (such as entry, campfire or filming) are required, obtain them. Be sure that you understand any special instructions.
  • Stay on designated trails, walk softly and avoid delicate soils and plants.
  • As more people access a site, increased knowledge of sensitive species and this location will result in growing impacts. This is particularly important within declared nature reserves, which have been set aside to protect threatened species and communities. Please be mindful when sharing the location of your image and the impact it can have on our environment.
  • Respect the rights of property owners. Obtain permission from the private landowners prior to taking or sharing images.
  • Never enter prohibited areas – for example: those cordoned off and designated for rehabilitation or protection by Council or National Parks.
  • When sharing images online, use it as a platform to raise awareness about nature conservation and threats to the subjects in your photos.
  • Do not interfere, tamper, disturb, alter or manipulate the natural environment, landscape, or objects within the environment. This could lead to temporary or permanent defacement or destruction.
  • Respect the rights of non-photographers to enjoy nature as well. Don't set up your gear in front of another group or person and ruin their enjoyment.
  • Never leave any rubbish behind.

Acknowledgement NRM South Ethical Nature Photography.

Our NaturallyGC Instagram photo competition

Our annual NaturallyGC Instagram photo competition showcases the beauty and biodiversity our city's natural areas.

Help us showcase the beauty and biodiversity of the Gold Coast natural areas by sharing your snaps with us! From our stunning coastal strip to our bush-clad hinterland and unique flora and fauna, there are endless options to explore and capture the natural side of our city.

Not sure where to get started? Check out our nature trails page for a list of conservation areas to discover.

How to enter

To enter, eligible individuals must:

  1. Upload a photo to Instagram during the competition timeframe of 8.00am AEST Wednesday 1 September 2021 to 11.59pm AEST Thursday 30 September 2021
  2. Images must showcase the Gold Coast’s natural areas which may include but may not be limited to bushland, natural areas, waterways, beaches/dunes, native flora and fauna, hinterland landscapes, waterfalls and bushwalking trails. There are 3 categories for judging and include landscape, flora and fauna followed by a People’s Choice featuring the top 10. (Images should not have recognisable people in the photographs)
  3. Image must be taken within the City of Gold Coast local government boundary (this excludes areas such as Mt Tamborine, Lamington National Park, O’Reilly’s and Binna Burra)
  4. Tag the photo with the hashtag #NaturallyGC2021
  5. Tag @CityofGoldCoast
  6. Your Instagram settings must be on public for the Entry photo to be visible and valid

These tasks will constitute one Entry. You can make minor digital enhancements to improve your photo whilst maintaining the natural composition of the scene itself.

Prize winners

The 3 prize winners will be notified via the Promoter’s Instagram account no later than the Saturday 9 October 2021. The prize notification will state the prize that has been won and will include instructions as to how the prize winner is to claim the prize and establish his/her entitlement to it. Each winner must be able to prove to the Promoter’s satisfaction, that he/she satisfies the requirements of being an Entrant pursuant to condition 3 of these terms and conditions(PDF, 173KB).

The names of the prize winners will be published on the City of Gold Coast Facebook page within 48 hours of the prize being won.

Each winner will forfeit the prize if s/he does not claim the prize by contacting the Promoter within forty-eight (48) hours of it being made available for his/her collection.


There are some fantastic prizes to be won, with a total value of $800.

Landscape photo prize

  • $200 voucher for Camping Plus, Labrador
  • Total value $200

Flora photo prize

  • $200 voucher for Bentleys Camera House, Robina
  • Total value $200

Fauna photo prize

  • $200 voucher for Gold Coast Tourist Parks
  • Total value $200

People’s Choice photo prize

  • $200 voucher for HOTA (Home of the Arts)
  • Total value $200

Download our full terms and conditions(PDF, 173KB).

2020 NaturallyGC Instagram photo competition winners