Is It Safe to Swim in the Gold Coast Canals or Are There Bull Sharks in the Canals?


For most people, including me, the question of whether there are bull sharks on the Gold Coast freaks me out a little. But do we need to fear them? Bull sharks love swimming in shallow coastal water, so it’s only natural that people often see them. 


Is it safe to swim in the Gold Coast canals or are there bull sharks in the canals? It’s not safe to swim in the Gold Coast canals because bull sharks frequent the area for food, particularly day and night.


If you’re interested in learning about bull sharks on the Gold Coast, continue reading, as this article will tell you the answer.


Should I Fear Getting Attacked By Bull Sharks On The Gold Coast?


No, but you should know that some bull sharks appear on the Gold Coast from time to time. The Gold Coast has over 500 kilometres of canal systems that branch off creeks and rivers, most of which contain dark, murky water. The creeks and canals’ flowing water provides the fish with the ideal habitat for living. In other words, the number of canals directly relates to the number of sharks.



Tiger and white pointers sharks should not be confused with bull and whaler sharks. The smaller bull and whaler sharks, who are known man-eaters, graze more sporadically than the earlier two.


Due to their poor eyesight, these two estuarine-type sharks depend heavily on their receptors to sense vibrations and impulses in the water. They have a natural propensity to find fast-moving fish, such as trevally quickly. In contrast, a slow-moving, lethargic fish like a mullet has a better chance of going undetected.


So, imagine when that’s a person splashing around in a canal. The sharks will surely mistake it for a school of fast-moving fish thrashing around. Naturally, a bull shark won’t miss out on the chance to have its meal because it is an opportunistic feeder. The shark realises after the bite that it has not bitten a fish but rather something much bigger. At this time, it will release its “prey,” sadly leaving a painful wound.


For this reason, the city advises locals and tourists to be SharkSmart by only swimming on the famous beaches on the Gold Coast, dedicated swimming enclosures, and public swimming pools. People are also advised to swim between the flags and avoid excessive water splashing.


The Gold Coast Is Also Their Home


Most beaches on the Gold Coast are surrounded by shark control equipment like shark nets so you can safely swim in beautiful waters. Bull sharks and other sharks frequent the Gold Coast canals, lakes, and some beaches, but it’s nothing to worry about. Sharks exist on the Gold Coast, and they always will. It’s important to remember that we can all ensure our interactions with them are respectful.


Also read:

Does Surfers Paradise Have Shark Nets?