Gold Coast is 8th WSR

Save The Waves Coalition is excited to announce that the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia has been approved as the newest World Surfing Reserve. The Gold Coast will become the 8th World Surfing Reserve (WSR) and will join the prestigious network of other WSR’s 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, UK, during the four day Global Wave Conference attended by leading International surf & environmental academic’s including former three times World Champion Tom Curren.

“This year we received three extraordinarily high quality applications from Gold Coast, Australia, Guarda do Embáo, Brazil and Noosa, Australia.” said Save The Waves Coalition’s 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.”

World Surfing Reserves, a program of Save The Waves, proactively identifies, designates and preserves outstanding waves, surf zones and surrounding environments around the world. The program serves as a global model for preserving wave breaks and their surrounding areas by recognizing and protecting the key environmental, cultural, and economic and community attributes of surfing areas. The Queensland Environment Minister Dr. Steven Miles said “The decision would help preserve the world-renowned beaches and the surrounding environment. I’m disappointed for Noosa, but it is terrific news and great recognition for everyone who worked so hard to have the Gold Coast beaches declared a surfing reserve. It was one of our election commitments to work with Gold Coast City Council and the community to help achieve this, which is great news for the region and the environment.”

It had 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. 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.

In recognition for all of this community support over those two years, Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve, Inc Chairman Andrew McKinnon stated, “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. 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”.

McKinnon also said, “City of Gold Coast’s Surf Management Plan will be the local authority for the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve with Councils Surf Management Plan Advisory Committee performing the role of the Local Stewardship Council. 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.”

About World Surfing Reserves

World Surfing Reserves (WSR) proactively identifies, designates, and preserves 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.

For more information:



Contact: Nick Mucha, Director of Programs nick.mucha at savethewaves dot org + (831) 345-4837


Photo Banner: Sean Scott

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