Oh Burleigh you little beauty, what’s not to love right? Since the dawn of time (or the dawn of the GC at least) Burleigh has been one of the most-loved suburb amongst a slew of strong contenders.
Sure the beach is beautiful and James Street boasts all the best eats and acai bowls galore but it’s more than that, Burleigh has a soul of its own born of cruisy, barefoot, salty seabreeze vibes you simply won’t find anywhere else.
Gushing aside, here are 17 solid reasons why the locals love it and you should too (or else).
Well hasn’t this simple little piece of Mother Nature become a local legend of late. No matter the day of the week (but particularly Sunday arvos) “the hill” as it’s affectionately known is packed with picnic rugs, ball games and groups of revelers basking in the sunshine. Looking out over the ocean and with the city in the distance, it’s the perfect spot for a late afternoon lemonade or early morning coffee date with the crew. If you’re feeling energetic, take a stroll around the hill to Talle Creek for some Insta-worthy scenery.
Where: The south end of The Esplanade, Burleigh Heads
Sean Scott Boutique
Gold Coast local Sean Scott is a world-renowned surf and nature photographer and his gallery on James Street is filled with his stunning images and the coolest of clothing and accessories. The gallery has been open for five years and is the perfect spot to stop in for some creative inspo or grab yourself a piece of Sean’s incredible art. Read our interview with the man himself here.
Where: 21 James Street, Burleigh Heads
Literally opening out onto the sand at Burleigh beach, Rick Shores is loved (not only locally) for its stunning sunset views and those tiny little taste sensations otherwise known as Bug Rolls. If you’ve never tasted one, you’ve been wasting your life, make a booking RIGHT NOW and order them all. Wash them down with one of Rick’s signature cocktails and you’re a bonafide Burleigh-ite.
Where: Shop 3, Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Bowls Club
A relaxing little beachside club loved by young and old alike, Burleigh Bowls has been around since 1937 and is certainly a prime piece of real estate these days. Barefoot Bowls roll on from 12 to 5pm every Sunday and it’s a measly $5 per person including coaching and bowls (AKA balls whipper snappers). Live music can be heard on Sunday arvos from 2 to 6pm. Get down and support your local while sipping on a schooner.
Where: Connor Street, Burleigh Heads
The Village Markets
Our beloved boutique fashion and lifestyle market is home to hundreds of local makers and has helped to launch the international careers of countless creatives. Head down for an early morning coffee and breakfast and wander through the stalls until it’s time for lunch. Oh and there’s always live music if you need a breather. It’s the best way to spend a sunny Sunday
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Tucked away down a little laneway is Canteen Coffee, one of the Coast’s leading espresso bars and a firm favourite amongst locals. Right next door is Canteen Kitchen serving up the freshest of foods influenced by Middle Eastern flavours and produce. Have a seat out in the sunlit courtyard and watch the streams of people stroll by.
Where: 23 Park Ave, Burleigh Heads
The baked goods that come out of this friendly little bakery are honestly something else. Owners Geoff and Lisa are passionate about baking and opened Burleigh Baker to provide us with the best tasting and most nutritious Artisan Sourdough and boy do they deliver. They use only the finest ingredients and the traditional process of fermentation. Do not buy bread anywhere else. You’re welcome.
Where: 13/50 James Street, Burleigh Heads
Freedom Float Centre
Floating in an enclosed tank of water may not seem like the most freedom-inducing activity in the world but trust us, it is. It’s the perfect place to experience the deepest of relaxation for the mind and body and literally involves floating weightlessly in a concentrated salt solution in a specially designed light proof and soundproof pod. You’ll be shut off from the entire world. Sign us up!
Where: 105 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads
Justin Lane Rooftop
Don your finest frock and rally up your girlfriends for a Sunday session and a spot of people watching on the roof. With cocktails in hand and a balmy breeze blowing in through the windows, you need never go anywhere else again. After a few hours, pop downstairs for one of Justin’s famous pizzas and that’s your Sunday sorted.
Where: 1708 – 1710 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
The OG of giant, gourmet burgers, Ze Pickle’s Burleigh Heads store is all the best burgery things. Opened by friends Joey, Nathan and Aaron in 2012, the concept has spread around Australia and is now loved nationwide. Paired by your favourite local craft beer or a tipple of primo tequila and you’ve got yourself a good time.
Where: Cnr Park Ave and Connor St, Burleigh Heads
The fun times never stop at Commune, the lovechild of Mitch and Nerissa McCluskey, locals who absolutely love where they live. The space is decked out with vintage chairs and tables and festival posters plastered across the walls. There’s a ping-pong table outside and plenty of space to spread out in the sun. The coffee is good, the food is next level and the good vibes are infectious. Local love at its finest.
Where: 1844 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh
Burleigh Farmers Markets
Everyone’s favourite Saturday morning adventure. Get up early, grab your basket and set out in search of fruit, veggies and of course, your first coffee of the weekend. These days the farmers market also boasts locally made clothing and homewares, flowers, meat and seafood and delicious breaky and lunch options. There’s also live music and plenty of laughter floating around. Happy days.
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Grace Loves Lace
Born on the Gold Coast but loved the world over, Graces Loves Lace create beautiful boho wedding gowns for the women who throw it all to the wind. Local owner Megan started the brand in 2010 after unsuccessfully searching for her own dress and has since dressed some of your favourite celebs. Each piece is made on the Gold Coast and their Burleigh showroom is a must-see for brides.
Where: 2 Hibiscus Haven, Burleigh Heads
David Fleays Wildlife Park
Nestled in the heart of Burleigh Heads, David Fleay’s is a wildlife park with a difference. Stroll through the tranquil surroundings to experience some of Queensland’s most iconic natural habitats and meet the resident wildlife — all in just one day. Explore the park solo or join the dedicated Park Rangers at the daily wildlife shows.
Where: Corner of West Burleigh Road and Loman Lane in West Burleigh
Burleigh Brewing Co.
If there’s one thing Burleigh deserves (the big legend), it’s a brewery and Burleigh Brewing Co. certainly delivers. After opening in 2006, BBC has produced nine delicious drops with delightful names such as ‘My Wife’s Bitter’ and FIGJAM – perfectly Burleigh. Get a sixer for Netflix and chill or head into the brewery from Wednesday to Sunday afternoons to get amongst it. There’s live tunes too, what a combination.
Where: 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
BONUS REASONS (for those counting at home)
It’s the good old fashioned party bar Burleigh has welcome with open arms and there’s absolutely no doubt that all the best things go down behind Nightjar’s spray painted roller door. Inspired by wanderluster Sailor Jerry and with very few rules, the back alley bar is home to epic live jams, crazy cocktails and guaranteed good times. Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
Iku Yakitori Bar
Yakitori translates to chicken on a stick. As for Iku, ask the crew when you stop in. Also found in Burleigh’s bustling back alley, Iku was recently opened by Commune and Etsu owners Mitch and Nerissa and is even better than you’d imagine it to be. Skewers are the name of the game and no part of the chicken is left behind. There’s also veggo ones and some ridiculous edamame dip and plenty of tasty cocktails too. Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
Words by Kirra Smith