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Tallebudgera Creek (Lower Section)

Gold Coast



Distance (kms):

12.3 kms

Time (hrs):

Allow 4 hours

Elevation gain (m):


Max. elevation (m):


Difficulty (Grade):


Route type:





2WD Sufficient

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A lovely paddle through changing scenery from the ocean to the hinterland, including picturesque beaches, small islands and expensive waterfront houses.

This heavily trafficked paddle starts from the boat ramp in Kevin Gates Park in Tallebudgera.

From the boat ramp, head left (downstream) to the creek mouth, paddling under the Gold Coast Highway and passing beautiful Echo Beach on the left. The headland of Burleigh Heads National Park towers over the creek mouth.

Upstream, the creek is wide and frequented by boats and other watercraft. A number of tributaries branch off the creek and are worth exploring if you want to see expensive home fronts, however there is little else on offer here.

As you head upstream, marvel at the distant views toward Springbrook National Park. The creek snakes through Tallebudgerra Valley, lined with beautiful bushland.

There are a number of beautiful islands that can be paddled around and rested upon, including Sunny’s Island, near the Gateway Motorway underpass.

A small tributary (Oyster Creek) can be paddled near the David Fleay Wildlife Park and Tchoobey Reserve boardwalk, which is visible when paddling the main creek.

After the motorway underpass the creek continues, with a number of hairpins, past Elanora Wetlands Reserve and Dervo’s Nature Reserve, creating a lot of paddling for minimal distance by crow’s flight.

While the lower section of the river can be paddled all the way to the footbridge at Nineteenth Avenue Reserve, those short on time are advised to turn around at Schuster Park (where the sand beach is).

If the entire length is paddled, the return leg can be shortened by portaging near Schuster park and crossing (just below Dervo’s Nature Reserve) – a distance of approximately 120m, but that saves almost 2.5 kms of paddling.

Difficulty: The creek is wide but offers little protection from the wind, making it a more pleasant paddle during low-wind conditions.

Direction: This is an out-and-back paddle that returns the way it came. The paddle could be completed one-way, with a two-vehicle shuffle.

Besides the couple of short tributaries there is limited ability for taking a wrong turn once on the creek.

getting there

The paddle starts at the boat ramp at the southern end of Kevin Gates Park, on Awoonga Avenue in Tallebudgera, 1 hour drive south of Brisbane.

Parking is ample, however this location can become extremely busy, particularly on weekends.

best time to go

The paddle can be completed year-round. There is limited shade during the middle parts of the day, so morning or afternoon is recommended.

As with any kayak, it is recommended to go in low-wind conditions.

The creek is tidal, and the paddle is upstream, so should be completed 2-3 hours either side of the incoming high tide. While some sections may bottom out at low tide, the paddle can still be completed.

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in new window [on the Garmin website]

Remember, whenever venturing into the outdoors, practice the Leave No Trace principles and be considerate of others. This means: dispose of your waste properly, don't remove things or move things from their natural position and respect all wildlife. Also be sure to plan ahead and adequately prepare for any adventure. 

I respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which all activities listed on this website are found, as well as Elders past, present and emerging. I strive to not promote sites where requests have been made for people not to explore due to the cultural significance of the site to Indigenous peoples, or note how to respectfully visit a site. If I have a promoted a site with cultural significance, please send me a message and let me know.   

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