4.5m monster waves hit Heron

SIZE isn't everything. At least when you are talking about the 4.55m waves that fizzled out to nothing off Heron Island.

The waves reached an impressive peak at 2pm Tuesday afternoon after a lull where waves were down to 1.34m in the early hours of the morning.

The 4.55m waves were 95cm short of reaching inside the top 10 biggest waves recorded since a buoy began collecting data in 1995.

Expert wave watcher John Ryan said size could be deceiving, however. While boaties may want to stay out of the big seas, wave height could leave some coastal people believing waves are more destructive than they really are.

"The longer the period of the wave the more energy the wave has. It's not just the wave height it's the period of the wave," he said.

And out at Heron Island the wave period was just 7.14 seconds as the 4.55m waves hit; that doesn't compare to "the big pumping beaches down at the Gold Coast that get up 12 to 15 seconds", he said.

"But obviously that's an extremely active coastline."

Mr Ryan said Queensland was a particularly difficult part of the world to predict what waves would do to the coastline, as there was such a diversity of beaches.

"Every coast line is different -- sometimes the [sand] banks can magnify the amount of energy that is transmitted on the coast line," he said. "Each beach has its own unique character. For me, the Gold Coast is massively different to the beaches on Heron Island. It's like comparing apples and oranges."

He said a strong south-easterly flow was behind the high seas, which the Bureau of Meteorology says will now push rain to Gladstone over the next three days.

Mr Hutchins said while The Bureau's radars suggest areas to Gladstone's north, including Great Keppel Island and Yeppoon, will cop it a little heavier, it could change.

"It depends where you are. Sometimes they [the clouds] come into the coast in a great big train one after the other."

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