Burleigh Head was formed 23 to 25 million years ago. Mt Warning was active at this time and sending a steady flow of molten basalt to the ocean. This basalt hardened and was covered by softer sedimentary rock, which eventually eroded away exposing the harder basalt. This formed the headland and in turn, the beach. Waves coming at the headland are refracted carrying sand to either side of the headland. Also capacious sand mining led to an extension of the beach.