Huge waves wash away sand dunes

The damage to the Agnes Water beach in the wake of Cyclone Hamish.
The damage to the Agnes Water beach in the wake of Cyclone Hamish.

HUGE seas whipped up by Cyclone Hamish combined with big tides on The Discovery Coast wreaked havoc with beaches, spilling up over the dunes and ripping out sizeable trees and washing away boardwalks.

But the surfers loved it, as one of biggest swells in most memories poured through, making for treacherous conditions but some exhilarating rides for the experienced only.

While no buildings were in immediate danger, the sand dunes along Agnes Water's main beach, stretching all the way up to 1770, took a pounding, with erosion a major concern.

Council workers surveyed the carnage, with plenty of work to be done in coming weeks, repairing walkways and beach access points.

“There's no real damage to property, just all the dunes are washed away and few of the boarded tracks and walkways,” said a council worker.

The Gladstone Regional Council closed the beaches to bathers with signs warning of the dangers with river-like rips and surges.

Dunes were swept away and became cliffs of sand, once held together by she-oaks, were battered into submission by the relentless waves and collapsed along with much of the vegetation into the sea.

Further south, Springs Beach was a brown washing machine mix with floating debris of all sorts, mostly vegetation and driftwood, and plenty of sea life, stirred up by the big surges as many millions of tonnes of water swept the beaches.

But for surfers, Hamish has been sent by King Neptune, staying far enough away from the coast not to cause too much damage but pumping huge waves in sets to the horizon.

The swells stood up to some of the biggest many could remember.

"I've been here seven and a half years and it's the biggest I've seen," said local surfer Earle Pedersen.


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