Sixteen kilometres of coastline in Queensland’s southern Gold Coast have been designated as the eighth World Surfing Reserve.
The initiative, led by the Save the Waves Coalition, is aimed at protecting the area’s environment and promoting surfing. Gold Coast becomes the second World Surfing Reserve in Australia after Manley Beach in New South Wales, and joins a global collection that includes stretches of coastline in Chile, Mexico, the US, Peru and Portugal.
“From the beginning, it was clear that there was a tremendous amount of community support for the Gold Coast to become a World Surfing Reserve – an important selection criteria for the World Surfing Reserve governing body,” said Nik Strong-Cvetich, Save The Waves Coalition’s executive director.
Gold Coast Tourism’s CEO, Martin Winter, hailed the move, saying it would “elevate the global profile of the southern Gold Coast’s breaks”.
“I’d argue that nowhere is Australia’s iconic surf culture celebrated like it is on the Gold Coast. Our beach lifestyle is an intrinsic part of our cultural identity and defines the way we connect with each other and our city,” he added.
According to Save the Waves, the World Surfing Reserve programme serves as “a global model for preserving wave breaks and their surrounding areas by recognising and protecting the key environmental, cultural, economic and community attributes of surfing areas”.