Exploring the Coastal Beauty: Swim with Saltwater Swimmers from Burleigh Heads to Tallebudgera.

The Gold Coast of Australia is renowned for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life. For avid swimmers and nature enthusiasts, embarking on a swim from Burleigh Heads to Tallebudgera is an exhilarating and unforgettable experience.

Located in Queensland, Australia, Burleigh Heads and Tallebudgera are two iconic coastal destinations that boast breathtaking beaches and captivating ocean views. The swim from Burleigh Heads to Tallebudgera covers approximately 2km, taking swimmers along a picturesque stretch of coastline that showcases the region's natural wonders. 

Amazing Drone Footage By DN Images

Sunday Adventure swims are the brainchild of Clayto & Dowks from Saltwater Swimmers GC and they have created an amazing open water swimming community. What really stands out is that it’s welcoming, no egos, just like-minded swimmers, who love swimming and this beautiful coastline. It’s common to see first time ocean swimmers looking a little nervous, regulars, overseas visitors and sporting legends including ex Olympians and surf lifesaving greats, all enjoying the experience at different swim paces.

Swim Sign On:

Sam and I turned up at 6:40am on a stunning morning at Burleigh beach, walked across the perfect white sand in front of the surf club and signed on. Open to all swimmers the only requirements are having a great attitude, being able to swim 200m in less than 5 mins and being able to tread water for 5 mins. Meeting those requirements we paid $15 dollars each to the amazing volunteers and completed the mandatory waiver before being allocated a swim number. Looking around at the amount of water safety and support watercraft for this adventure swim, which included IRB boats, board paddlers, plus 150 swimmers all looking out for each other, it was clear that safety and fun go hand in hand.

Safety Briefing:

We headed over for the swim briefing from Clayto and Dowks, which was clear, super professional and again really comforting for newer swimmers or first-time swimmers around the headland. At this point Sam mentioned this was his first ever ocean swim, so we elected to swim with Charlie Group, the slowest swim group. Charlie group would have a 5 min start on Bravo Group and then finally the Alpha group would earn their breakfast being a further 5 mins back. The service was so impressive, the team would even take your towels to the finish if needed.

Warm Up & Start:

We put on our Volare wetsuits and followed Dowk’s along with about 35 fellow swimmers who would make up Charlie group for the warmup. We buddied up as per the briefing and lined up on the swim start buoy with a little trepidation. Dowk’s who was now on his surf lifesaving board clearly a man of many talents and would be the Charlie group leader. He was easy to spot wearing the world’s brightest orange water safety rashie and every swim group had a leader on a board, making sighting and navigation easy.

Immersed in Nature: Marine Life Encounters

We got underway swimming without any rush or chaos, just a calm relaxed swim in what looked like an aquarium, with a diverse array of marine life, as I looked down into the depths, I could see trevally and whiting hovering above the white sand below us. Swimming in this aquatic paradise allows you to forge a deeper connection with nature and appreciate the beauty of marine biodiversity. After around 200m we settled into a very comfortable rhythm and started passing over large underwater boulders. The pristine waters of the Gold Coast are home to a rich and vibrant ecosystem. Keep your eyes peeled for playful dolphins gracefully swimming alongside you, sea turtles gliding through the depths, eagle rays and an assortment of colourful fish darting in and out of the large underwater boulders.

The super flat conditions let us hug Burleigh Heads and about 500m after the start we spotted the first swim buoy and Dowk’s kept everyone on course by leading the way on his board. Swimming past the Burleigh headland and looking up at its beauty, I wondered how many people have seen it from this angle. With no surf and perfectly flat condition, we stayed super close to the rocks and looked up at the walkers, plus runners making their way around this famous landmark.

I was suddenly struck by a number of thoughts, how lucky, we all were to be swimming in this magical place, the immense sense of peace I felt as we glided along and what an amazing way to start the day. In what can only be described as crystal clear water we spotted a friendly Wobbegong shark on the bottom, which is a species of carpet shark, just enjoying the morning rays. The feeling of being immersed in the vastness of the ocean, surrounded by pristine beaches and rugged cliffs, is truly unparalleled.

The pristine waters of the Gold Coast are home to a rich and vibrant ecosystem. On previously swims with Saltwater Swimmers GC we have spotted playful dolphins gracefully swimming alongside, sea turtles gliding through the depths, eagle rays and an assortment of colourful fish darting in and out of the underwater boulders. Swimming in this aquatic paradise allows you to forge a deeper connection with nature and appreciate the beauty of marine biodiversity. It’s hard to put into words, but the adventure swim isn’t a race, it’s an experience, a bucket list swim. It’s about taking in all that nature has to offer and you truly feel connected and alive as you make your way around the point.

The second swim buoy approached and marked the turn into Tallebudgera creek. We made the turn in peace, no panic, no being pushed underwater, just a calm orderly line of likeminded swimmers heading for Tallebudgera Creek Bridge and onto the swim finish at Koala Beach. As we entered Tallebudgera creek Dowk’s our swim leader expertly headed for the deeper water and what locals call “the Talli express”, the incoming tide creates a conveyor belt which effortlessly speeds swimmers along. I thought how kind they were to make the swim with the tide and headed for Tallebudgera bridge. At this point the underwater scenery changes to white sand and tons of smaller fish enjoying the shallower warm water.

We passed under Tallebudgera bridge, which is a magical underwater experience, with sea life hanging around the bridge pylons and spotted the last swim buoy. At this point Sam decided that bragging rights for being first out of the water was worth having and with Koala beach in sight made the most of the Talli Express to pick up the pace for the last 200m.

Having never done an adventure swim and having only ever done open water or triathlon swims for time, I’m totally hooked. The big plus for me was nothing was a panic, we never got caught by the other groups or swum over. We swam in clear water taking in the amazing fish life and views of the headland. The adventure swim concept means you can stop, dive down, take photos and swim on. But the standout point was the swim community, with everyone waiting for the last swimmers and then either swimming back to the start at Burleigh or walking back along the stunning headland for a group coffee and breakfast.


The 2 km swim from Burleigh Heads to Tallebudgera offers open water swimmers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with nature and immerse themselves in the coastal beauty of the Gold Coast. While a 2km ocean swim for many is a challenge, you can be totally secure in the knowledge that every possible safety measure is in place and that this is totally achievable.  This extraordinary Gold Coast swim is a remarkable adventure and accessible to all thanks to the Saltwater Swimmers GC team. Swimming from Burleigh to Tallebudgera is a bucket list swim, that will be etched in your memory forever and aliven the senses. So, gather your swim gear, dust off your Volare wetsuit and dive into open water swimming on the Gold Coast.