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Cultural Heritage

5000-year-old jewel


5000-year-old fish trap with indigenous elders wanting to restore

Amongst other significant sites, The Gold Coast hosts a cultural treasure in the waters of Tallebudgera creek. The fish traps carry an important part of the indigenous history.

Tallebudgera bridge | Underwater eastern fish trap
Uncle steve
Uncle steve
Remnant fish trap
Remnant western fish trap

Cultural significance

The corridor of Burleigh to Currumbin contains a number of cultural heritage features, which have been highlighted in a desktop Cultural Heritage Assessment by TMR10. 

The key outcome is the significance of the northern part of the study corridor with numerous “story place”, shell middens, fish traps and artefact sites on or along Tallebudgera Creek, within the Burleigh Head National Park, as identified in Figure 3-11 of the Jacobs Report, and identified by Indigenous elders. 

The Cultural Heritage Assessment notes “The social / cultural significance of Burleigh Headland and its surrounds cannot be overstated. The sheer number of registered tangible and intangible cultural heritage sites in this area attest to this significance.” 

This report identifies the very high cultural significance of the area yet underestimates the impact on these sites. In consultation with aboriginal elders, there is evidence of even more cultural significant sites, such as female birthing and initiation sites, and other unregistered fish traps. 

We aim to consult with relevant elders to map these unregistered sites and inform the government of the impact the light rail will have on this hotspot of spiritual, country, home, people’s identity, and environment.

This corridor is of immense importance to the indigenous people, and for the cultural heritage of all Australians.


Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre is the Gold Coast’s only dedicated Aboriginal cultural centre and is fully owned and operated by the local Aboriginal community. It is is an initiative of Gold Coast-based Kalwun Development Corporation which provides a range of services and facilities for the Gold Coast’s community of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in areas including housing, health, aged care, child protection and more.

TMR plans to build 4 lanes plus 2 tracks. It is physically unlikely that they can achieve this given the space as it is now.

Stay tuned for SOSGC further studies and updates.