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Nature based recreation

The natural areas of the Gold Coast provide numerous sustainable recreational opportunities such as bushwalking, fishing, kayaking, bird watching, mountain biking and horse riding.

Whether you're a birdwatcher, nature lover, recreational walker or serious hiker, there's an experience to suit everyone that will enrich the mind, body and soul. Be active and explore the beauty of these areas - enjoy a bush walk or picnic in one of our reserves.

Get your kids active, exploring and experiencing nature today. There are loads of activities for kids on the coast to reconnect with nature and get them back into the green. Check out our NaturallyGC program and visit one of our parks today or visit the Nature Play QLD website.

You can view our Nature Based Recreational Plan to find out more about our recreational areas.

Use our interactive nature trails map or the links below to select and find trails for the activity you're interested in, including bushwalking, mountain bike riding, horse riding, picnics and scenic lookouts.

Group of people bushwalking

Parks to bushwalk

Bushwalking tracks provide a great way to explore the beauty of the Gold Coast's natural environment while being active and healthy. Why not try it today and explore some of our parks.

Find parks for bushwalking

Picture of a girl with binoculars

Parks for birdwatching

A new brochure 'Bird places of the Gold Coast' has been produced in conjunction with Birds Queensland, BirdLife Southern Queensland, Federation Walk, SEQ Catchments, National Trust Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and City of Gold Coast.

Download the brochure from

Two guys mountain biking through the bush

Parks for mountain biking and cycling

The Gold Coast has a varied range of natural area mountain bike riding and cycling trails. From the beginner to the advanced, check out some of our local parks suitable for mountain biking and cycling.

Find parks for mountain biking and cycling

Picture of a horse

Natural area parks for horse riding

A number of the City’s hinterland reserves and surrounding semi-rural areas offer trails for use by horse riders, and there are many other informal trails and horse riding destinations across the south east. Check out some of our local parks for horse riding.

Find parks for horse riding

A group of people kayaking down a peaceful creek

Natural area kayaking

The Gold Coast’s Broadwater and many tidal and freshwater waterways provide a variety of opportunities for canoeing, kayaking and fishing from kayaks. Read more about the Gold Coast's natural areas for kayaking.

Find natural areas for kayaking

A small family picnicing on a blanket

Parks for nature picnics

The Gold Coast’s natural areas provide a range of picnicking opportunities from local suburban and rural bushland reserves to the more iconic picnic areas such as Springbrook, Lower Beechmont, Numinbah Valley and the Currumbin and Tallebudgera Valleys.

Find parks for nature picnics

Dog exercise areas are provided by City of Gold Coast for dog owners. View our Dog exercise areas page for more information.

For other recreational opportunities across the Gold Coast visit Our natural environment page.

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