Mangrove Walk

Mangrove Track and Tallebudgera Creek Conservation Walk

Tallebudgera Conservation Park walk is not well known, it’s part of a network of bushwalks around beautiful Burleigh Heads, and there are two options to access this walk.

Where is this Mangrove Track?


  1. From David Fleay Wildlife Park
  2. Ocean Parade, Burleigh Heads

Approximately 2.8km return

Hat, sunscreen, walking shoes, water and inspect repellent a must!

View Where is David Fleay’s Wildlife Park? in a larger map


After a morning at David Fleay Wildlife Park, why not check out the wildlife outside the park?

Down the ramp to the Mangrove Track, they call it a track but it’s actually a combination of both boardwalk and track through the Mangroves, it skirts around the outside fencing and then continues for another 860m along Tallebudgera Creek to Ocean Parade, Burleigh Heads.
This is a wonderful introduction to bush walking right in Burleigh Heads; you have the diversity of the mangroves, before the crystal clear waters of Tallebudgera Creek appear.

Mangrove Track Section- 600 metres

  • Take the boardwalk through the mangroves – distance 600metres
  • Sunhat, sunscreen and insect repellent a must!

This is a wide boardwalk and well maintained and only 18months old at the time of writing.

The mangroves do have a smell about them, it’s all that rotting vegetation but keep in mind the importance to the ecosystem they provide and you will look at them in a different light.

Research indicates that 75% of all fish spend sometime in the mangroves, so when you are enjoying that seafood basket remember that some of that food on your plate spent sometime in a mangrove in Queensland…Enjoy!

The Mangroves Natures Supermarket

Once people thought of mangroves as swamps, wetlands, waste ground, and full of rotting vegetation just useless eyesores to be removed or filled in and drained. Unfortunately this ignorance still persists.

In reality these waters below your feet on the boardwalk are full of life, a living nursery to marine life full of nutrients and living matter.
To the traditional people these mangroves were a virtual supermarket and pharmacy supply location.

The Kombumerrie Aboriginals knew when to harvest,  the food sources available throughout the year. It’s reported that festivals were planned around the time when food sources were available and abundant, many hundreds would attend.

Read the signage along the boardwalk it will enrich your appreciation of the mangroves.  Read more at this link

When you arrive at the observation deck, you will notice the path takes a sharp left.

Continue along this track to Ocean Parade Burleigh Heads. Before continuing on just stop a while and read the plaque about the importance of the mangroves place in the food chain. (Remember that fish dinner)

 Stop and read the plaques, this photo on your left reveals something important…

When you look at the nutrient rich waters and the birdlife on this stretch water, just think if this were North Queensland you would be watching out for Crocodiles, but the only Crocs here are behind you at the David Fleay Wildlife Park.


Tallebudgera Walk to Ocean Parade Burleigh Heads – an additional – 860 metres

The next section is the Tallebudgera Conservation walk, a diverse change compared to the Mangrove Boardwalk.  Not too far along the path is a sign with Scott Derrick Place inscribed on it.


Scott Derrick Place
Dedicated 7th September 1994
A great man has passed this way
Scott Derrick – oracle, writer, educator, devotee of all things Australian.

We salute you for the love and unfailing support given freely to Fleay’s Fauna reserve for over 40 years.

A man of good humour, peace and positive thinking.

The Kombumerri people honour Scott Derrick for his work as a reconciliatory and supporter of the Aboriginal movement for self-determination.

“A friend who sat down and told stories by the sea’
‘Yahna jimbelung giani gurema wallul borruguramir’

After reading this plaque look to the right and you will see a worn path to the water’s edge, not sure why, perhaps this is where Scott Derrick would tell stories about the sea. From this location you can see Tallebudgera Bridge and mystic Burleigh Headland. 

Or maybe it’s a popular spot to fish; I like to think this was a spot that Mr. Derrick visited and the commemorative plaque was placed here to remember him. The whole area right to Burleigh Headland (Jellurgal) is of importance to all aboriginal people.I am sure there is some significance here...
Next time you are walking across Tallebudgera Bridge if you look straight down the creek you will see your present location in the form of dense trees. (Approximately)

 Dark Nutrient Water Replaced…

Continuing along the bush track you are going to be in for a treat, the rich nutrient dark waters will be replaced with the clear clean waters of Tallebudgera Creek, it is spectacular along here.

Rainforest right to the waters edge sand islands offshore with small trees and the birdlife is prolific. Taking these two walks is an added bonus after visiting the wildlife park, if the timing is right who knows what you might see.
Further along this 860metre additional walk is signage warning about a ‘Landslip area ahead’ the ground is unstable during heavy rains, so the walk can be closed.

Take seriously this signage don’t try and continue on if the gate has been locked.
There are a couple sections of the walk called ‘a washout’ actually it’s two small gullies where a large timber bridge was originally constructed but due to cost they haven’t replaced them.


So be very careful here if you are not sure-footed or you have young children, the track has been downgraded and no longer has wheel chair access.

There are quite a few steps going down into the ‘wash out’, I wouldn’t recommend taking a stroller if you are walking alone.

You will need assistance if you have a small child.

What I like about this leg of the bush walk is all the timber bridges you have to cross, the rainforest is quite dense here and at times the view of the creek disappear completely only to emerge and reveal its pristine waters. 

Best time to walk is early in the day…to catch the birdlife

Early in the day you will hear the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo screeching overhead and Lorikeets squealing, fascinating place for overseas visitors to get the feel of the Australian bush without travelling to the Gold Coast Hinterland.
Finally the bush track will end at the top of the hill at Ocean Parade, and it’s time to walk back.

One thing about retracing your steps is you see the location from a different angle and if photos are your thing undoubtedly you will be snap happy.


  Take a Virtual Walk on the Tallebudgera Conservation Track

Experience the Gold Coast on foot…


Take a Fly-Over of the Location Below


2 Responses to Mangrove Walk

  1. […] waters of Tallebudgera Creek with homes on Nineteenth Avenue, Elanora and on your left are the Mangroves, bubbling with life and did I mention be cautious of […]

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