Gold Coast Now a World Surfing Reserve

The Gold Coast – specifically from Burleigh Heads to Snapper Rocks – has now been recognised as a World Surfing Reserve. World Surfing Reserves (WSR) proactively identify, designate and preserve outstanding waves, surf zones and their surrounding environments around the world. WSR is an initiative launched by Save The Waves Coalition in 2009 in conjunction with National Surfing Reserves Australia and other partners.

We all know that the Gold Coast has some of the best waves on the planet, and now it has been recognised globally, and even though the declaration has no teeth as far as legislation is concerned, it does identify our beautiful coastline and waves as unique and world class.

The Gold Coast will become the eighth World Surfing Reserve and will join the prestigious network of other WSRs including Malibu, California; Ericeira, Portugal; Manly Beach, Australia; Santa Cruz, California; Huanchaco, Peru; Bahia Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico and Punta de Lobos, Chile. The Gold Coast WSR is expected to become formally dedicated in 2016.

The announcement was made from the House of Commons, London, during the four day Global Wave Conference attended by leading International surf and environmental academics including former three-times World Champion Tom Curren.

“This year there were applications from Gold Coast, Australia, Guarda do Embáo, Brazil and Noosa, Australia.” said Save The Waves Coalition Executive Director, Nik Strong- Cvetich. “Each applicant was highly unique, however the Gold Coast’s combination of perfect point breaks and world champions was a deciding factor in winning the approval for 2016.”

It has taken almost two years to process the Gold Coast’s nomination for a World Surfing Reserve from Burleigh Point to Snapper Rocks, approximately 16 kilometres of coastline. The final Gold Coast application was the culmination of a lot of hard work from local and regional advocates and the efforts resulted in an application highly endorsed by a range of important stakeholders. The Gold Coast application demonstrated a high degree of community support, which is an important selection criteria for the WSR governing body and City of Gold Coast will look after the reserve under their Surf Management Plan.

In recognition for all of this community support over those two years, Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve Chairman Andrew McKinnon issued a statement.

“We would like to especially thank the Queensland State Government, the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Dr Miles for their unwavering support and ultimately paving the way so this dream could turn into a reality,” he said.

“Special thanks to the Gold Coast City Council for their support in particular, the Southern End Councillors Greg Betts (Burleigh), Daphne McDonald (Palm Beach) and Chris Robbins (Coolangatta) who convinced the Mayor and fellow Councillors that we were worthy of such global recognition.”

“We feel humbled to receive this great accolade amongst such great surfing communities and environments like Noosa Heads and Guarda do Embáo, Brazil. We sincerely wish them good luck in their future approval as a WSR.”

So now our waves are recognised worldwide, and let’s hope that nothing will interfere with nature’s perfect miracle we have here on the Gold Coast.

Find out more about Save The Waves Coalition at


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