Gold Coast approved as the 8th World Surfing Reserve

The Gold Coast has been named the World’s 8th Surfing Reserve at the four day Global Wave Conference held on the 15th of October. The conference was held at the House of Commons, in London, U.K, and attended by leading international surf and environment academics. A committee of seventeen experts from the Save the Wave Coalition announced the Gold Coast the winner at the conference.

The reserve will cover 15km of coastline from Burleigh Headlands to Snapper Rocks, and including Kirra & Currumbin Alley. There was a lot of tough competition this year, and the Gold Coast was able to come out on top over the other finalists Noosa, Australia and Guarda do Embáo, Brazil. Save The Waves Coalition’s Executive Director, Nik Strong-Cvetich said, “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”.


Gold Coast’s nomination process has taken nearly two years, but it was well worth the time. Chairman of the Gold Coast Surfing Reserve, Andrew McKinnon, has been building a case for the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve since early 2014, talking with state and local government. Becoming a World Surfing Reserve requires a lot of hard work from the local community, and Surfrider Foundation Gold Coast Tweed is proud to have assisted in the nomination. The branch is a part of the Surf Management Plan Advisory Committee (SMPAC), formed to provide input on the Gold Coast’s Surf Management Plan for the Ocean Beaches Strategy. The Surf Management plan will define future coastal management and the importance of surfing to the Gold Coast’s economy and lifestyle.


The official World Surfing Reserve dedication ceremony is planned for March 2016 alongside the World Surf League’s opening event of the New Year, the Roxy and Quiksilver Pro world surfing tour at Snapper Rocks. The World Surfing Reserves program identifies and preserves outstanding waves, surf zones, and surrounding environments from around the world. The criteria that eligible waves and surf zones are evaluated and chosen on are quality and consistency of the wave(s), environmental characteristics, culture and surf history, and capacity and local support.

For more information or to keep up to date with surf amenity within the World Surfing Reserve check out these links:

by Ashley Pilkinton, Griffith University, Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Communication

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