When Breakwaters Equal Broken Water

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)
Swellnet Analysis

Late last year Swellnet published an article on breakwaters where we described them as “surfing’s happy accident”. The article documented all the great waves unwittingly created by coastal breakwaters. I say unwittingly because there was precisely zero modelling done to determine side effects and the same amount of consideration given to surfing amenity, and yet somehow a number of great waves were created.

That article had only been published a short time when the emails starting coming in about the flipside, all the waves that we’ve lost. The people sending those emails had a point: when you cheer on dumb luck you should also acknowledge the negative impacts of breakwalls - the lost waves and the eroded coasts. All that 'broken water'.

To give an illustration we’ll kick off at the same place the previous article began - Newcastle.

In 1846 work on Australia’s first artificial wave inadvertently began when a causeway was built between the mainland and Nobby’s, a small islet near the mouth of the Hunter River. The causeway was shortly followed up with a longer breakwall which redirected the Hunter River and scoured a deep channel along the northern side of the breakwall. Hello Newcastle Harbour! Not the port but the demonic righthander that breaks inside the river.

In 1912 work on the northern breakwall was finished. It extended a kilometre out to sea and combined with the north-eastern orientation it created a large, moderately sheltered bay at Stockton. It also meant that the northwards sand flow completely bypassed Stockton and created a long term erosion problem.

With no natural sand supply to build a buffer zone, each swell reclaims more of the Stockton foredunes and it’ll soon take buildings. Many solutions have been proffered but none followed up. Stay tuned for a Swellnet story on the situation at Stockton.

Satellite image of Stockton showing Nobby's islet at far bottom, and the Hunter River breakwalls that cut the northwards flow of sand. Note the narrow line of sand - all that's left of the beach - in the middle of the image.

Another place that was starved of sand following the construction of a breakwall is the southern end of the Gold Coast. The story there is well known with the Tweed River breakwalls slowing the northwards flow of sand resulting in vast erosion. Surfers, however, benefitted with the creation of Duranbah and the glory years of Kirra from 1974 to 2000, plus the Superbank after that. Despite the ongoing costs it’s hard to consider the Gold Coast a casualty from a surfer’s perspective.

Further north the issue is more categorical. In 1965 the mouth of the Mooloolah River was trained and one of the best waves on the Sunshine Coast was destroyed. Prior to the breakwalls, sand would stack up to the tip of Point Cartwright then fan in a triangle northwards towards where the Mooloolaba Surf Club now stands. Yet what was a stable sandbank before the breakwalls became a deep hole after. Much like Stockton, the northern flow of sand bypasses the corner and only makes landfall further north at Maroochydore.

Eastern view of the mouth of the Mooloolah River in 1964

It’s easy to apply your imagination to this wave that once was. Under a north swell I squint my eyes and see The Platform tacked onto the beginning of Currumbin Alley, and though the old photos hint at the quality, we’ll never know for sure. Surfing was a young sport when the walls went up.

Taken on a small day, lines of swell are still visible running down the sandbank

The aforementioned waves were ruined due to the sand supply being cut off by a breakwall. Sand depletion isn’t the only way waves can be ruined by breakwalls. More dramatic is when a newly erected breakwall simply shuts off swell to a stretch of coast, or when it’s built straight through a wave.

Australia has largely escaped the construction of offshore, swell-blocking breakwalls, unlike the USA which has lost many waves to the single-minded expansion of industry. See Long Beach, Oceanside, Dana Point, and Redondo Beach amongst many others. On Australia's east coast, offshore breakwalls prevent swell reaching the coast at Port Kembla and Coffs Harbour, though it’s unknown if any waves were lost from those projects - you can’t lament what you never knew.

But by the same token, we can breathe a sigh of relief that an 1885 idea to create a deepwater port at Byron Bay was quashed. It involved building a breakwater linking Cape Byron to Julian Rocks and would’ve destroyed Wategos, The Pass, Main Beach and The Wreck.

In contrast to offshore breakwalls, some breakwalls are built to ‘augment’ the existing coastline. They reshape the coast and in so doing destroy known waves. The most recent example of this  is Bastion Point in eastern Victoria, where a breakwall and boat ramp now intersects the local point break. Surfrider Australia fought it all the way but they were ultimately out-maneuvered, out-spent, and out-voted against the cashed up fishing and boater lobby groups.

Bastion Point, eastern Victoria, in 2013 (left) and 2018 (right) after the boatramp dissected the point.

Similar coastal remodelling has occurred at Crowdy Head, where old-timers crow about great waves off the north-eastern tip before the harbour walls were extended, and Wollongong, where in 1966 construction of the northern harbour breakwall destroyed ‘The Baths’, a great lefthander that broke in north swells or big souths. These were known waves that were lost. The photos below show Wollongong Baths and were taken by photographer Dave Milnes.

Wollongong baths in a southerly swell, June 1965 (Dave Milnes)

John Skipp pulling in at Wollongong Baths, March 1966 (Dave Milnes)

Six months later the wave is no more. Note the bulldozer and truck extending the new breakwall (Dave Milnes)

Elsewhere on the eastern seaboard we can presume that waves existed where breakwalls now lie. Apollo Bay is one such place, where a photo from 1935 indicates lines of swell running down the point where the marina now lies.

Apollo Bay pier in 1935 with lines of swell rounding the headland behind it.

Nearby Portland is another example. Inside Portland Bay the inner reaches of the headland is dissected by a jutting breakwall (fortunately for local surfers consolation lies not too far away).

Apollo Bay, at left, and Portland, at right, where the breakwall cuts short a long but fickle wave

And then there’s Botany Bay, where old photos show the natural state of the northern shore to be scalloped with sand and rocky headlands conveniently facing into the south-east, yet it’s now been reshaped into Australia’s busiest port.

Aerial photo of Botany Bay

Many of Australia's best waves are located in the lee of headlands and points. Places where the coastline changes direction to the main orientation. The headland provides wind protection, sand stacks up against exposed rock, and as swell lines spiral around the point they offer a longer, more shapely, ride.

Unfortunately for surfers, these corners of the coastline are often contested zones. Headlands and points provide shelter, and with the construction of a jutting breakwall they can create a safe harbour to service industry. It goes without saying that the needs of surfers pale against any economic metric.

However, even smaller projects where the competing stakeholders are all recreational generally favour other ocean users. It's no coincidence that fishermen and boaters have organised and paid up lobby groups to speak on behalf of their constituents. Surfing has no equivalent group and hence little sway at the negotiating table.


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Blowin Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018 at 1:04pm

Hope the Bastion point boaties are grateful.

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tidak_bagus Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018 at 2:06pm

that's the most insane place I have ever seen a boat ramp placed! to think this passed all logical and environmental checks in recent times.
if this can get across the line then surely submarine wave focusing bombies should be everywhere!

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stunet Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018 at 2:56pm

You're touching upon something very powerful there TB.

The reason boatramps, dredged channels (such as Currumbin), and artificial fishing reefs get over the line is because fishoes and boaties have organised lobby groups. When fishoes pay license fees and boat owners pay rego, they contribute to the govt coffers, and in turn the govt listens to them.

This isn't the case in surfing. We don't pay anything to surf, and while we're constantly told how much revenue surfing makes for tourism, that flow of money is indirect and isn't as easily accounted for. The argument about surfing revenue is washy at best, and so easily ignored at the negotiating table.

Surfrider was once our best bet, not sure who could do it now.

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surfing-cronulla Thursday, 15 Mar 2018 at 12:02pm

Sadly predict that "Climate Change" and associated rising sea levels will cause a knee-jerk reaction as breakwaters, groynes and sea walls proliferate. Pressure on local Council and Government bodies will increase as land and home owners go into panic as their investments become increasingly threatened.
Be prepared. Already on the table, submarine or even visible breakwaters are on the cards at our local.

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mattlock Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018 at 1:46pm

I surfed insanely good Bastion Point at 8ft plus in the mid 90s. The bar we surfed was at least 150 metres from the shore,some guys were actually going left off the peak towards the point. Does it still set up like this with the bar to the north of the aforementioned breakwall?

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mattlock Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018 at 1:48pm

Got a photo somewhere of that day (pre-digital). Will dig it out and try to upload it!!!!!

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willibutler Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 11:11pm

do you think you could please email me this photo to [email protected]

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mattlock Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018 at 1:59pm

And there was a one legged guy surfing with a prosthesis that day . Friendly locals at Malacoota then.

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murphy Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018 at 6:46pm

Its reported that Apollo Bay did have a great right hander breaking down into the bay, but the breakwater was built in the early fifties and any photos of it from that period are scarce- but the ones I've seen show that it certainly had potential.

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stunet Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018 at 7:18pm

Hey Murph, check the article now, I've updated it with a photo I found - Apollo Bay, 1935, with a few tasty looking peelers behind the pier.

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Sammyd Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018 at 8:16pm

Still the odd tasty one occasionally, but WOW nothing like it used to be.. Great photo!

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murphy Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018 at 8:36pm

Wow...I've never seen that before. I do know that the shoreline is now vastly different and that many of the wrecks lost in the bay are now under metres of sand and many metres inland from the original high tide mark. There's still the occasional wave near the harbour but its fickle...that shot makes it look really epic!

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lostdoggy Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018 at 8:57pm

It's like the bloke waited for it to line up before he took the shot.

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lostdoggy Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018 at 7:02pm

I wonder what Warrnambool would've been like, too.

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Älskarhavet Thursday, 15 Mar 2018 at 8:41am

I grew up and learned to surf in that area lostdoggy, we asked that question many a time when we were grommits!

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truebluebasher Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018 at 9:14pm

Excellent follow up Stu! Yeah ! Yeah! I'm gonna go back! Were we go again!

Dunwich Convict Causeway was custom built for 1827 Rafterz & 1829 Convict Surfers
Stotts Island Tweed River cedar was surfed to Dunwich.
The size of Causeway reflected the hull of ships-being the width of 1st Oz Anglo Surfcraft.
Perfect size Surfcraft hoisted from Causeway direct into ship hull as ballast to UK.
Unique to world {SN 1st}.

Getterz surfed out Tweed prior, during & after 1902 Breakwalls.
Before photos & text reveal wipeouts on Points/Southport Seaway/Straddie.
After Breakwall photos indicate first surfcraft wipeouts on D'bah beach.
Hinting a more treacherous tide turning rivermouth maneuver than previous.

1877 Southport Breakwall was also described as heavily timbered Wipeout central.

Stu/Recapping Currumbin...1890's Elephant Rock was a long Point break ending in lagoon.
Lagoon butted up to cliff face. Yeah hard to imagine!
Currumbin Rock/Sand dune Point collared ultra long left point into same lagoon.

Turn of century Farrell & his Steeds scooped the beach into the Township we know today.
In 1910 both Farrell & Main Beach Phipps pioneered locally shaped stand-up/surfboards.

Filling in the beach was minor engineering but dealt dramatic eco/surf consequence.
We now know!..Breaching the left point eroding same corner leading to breakwall fix.

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indo-dreaming Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018 at 9:46pm

This is depressing seems Victoria has screwed up quite a few waves but i can't think of any we have improved?

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velocityjohnno Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018 at 9:51pm

Point Cook Groyne?

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velocityjohnno Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018 at 9:55pm

Stu another great article. You will end up becoming the curator of the pictorial history of the Australian coast...

You could add to this with some WA -
Geraldton Marina and erosion to the north of it, including surf locations. I saw some created, then gone within a decade.
Photos of Fremantle port prior to North Mole - sandtrax was apparrently a healthy, great shaped beachy that extended far south from its present location
Dawesville Cut, before & after

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quokka Thursday, 15 Mar 2018 at 12:08am

Yep VJ, North Mole has ruined Sandtrax completely, not to mention Leighton and Cott main. All three were saviours from the ever prevalent S/SW winds.
Rubbish Tips was supposed to be the best wave in the Mandurah area until it got blown up for the Cut. Never had the chance to surf it but a teacher at my high school used to rave about it.

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Clam Thursday, 15 Mar 2018 at 2:36pm

Thats interesting quokka i partly remember the place before the cut. When u could see waves from the highway peaking outside the reef at the tip break area .
Potentially the cut groynes could have made a great surfing setup but unfortunately a big chance was missed there ? If only a duranbah type beachie.
Although luckily that washy short pyramids wave created by the cut , keeps the bodyboarders happy .

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quokka Thursday, 15 Mar 2018 at 10:21pm

Yeah Clam, not sure what it is with groynes along the WA coast but they're either not long enough or at the wrong angle, none of them really create good waves anymore. Cott used to have good waves but since North Mole was extended all beaches in the vicinity north seem to have had their sand flow affected. Imagine if they'd got North Mole at the right angle and sand built up along it's northern side (not sure where from mind you), that would create a super long left.
The Cut has also ruined Avalon Pt, stopped all sand flow north.

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velocityjohnno Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 1:20pm

That's really sad to hear. It's been years now, but Av Pt was great fun at size. So no more of paddling up to that deep takeoff? Does Av Bay near the middle still get a wave? And for a while in the 2000s there was this break much further south of Av Pt in front of the rockwall which kind of broke, pretty heavy.

& does that mean you have to go south of the cut to those breaks to get nice sand now?

One of my first days of surfing was out at Av Pt well before the suburb and the cut, it was a pretty special place.

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quokka Thursday, 22 Mar 2018 at 4:07pm

Haven't surfed Av Pt for a year or so but last surf was garbage, decent swell but the wave is now a few short sections, bloody crowded too. If you're talking about Sharkies then yes it still breaks but with the attack at Gearies not sure I'd be paddling out there! Not sure about the heavy break you mention. Haven't been to Melros or Tim's for decades so not sure what the sand is like down there.

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mattlock Wednesday, 14 Mar 2018 at 12:04am

I reckon we could do with a couple of breakwalls between Middlton and Goolwa. Not for boaties but for suckers like me whom have been reduced to surf there. One thats too far for geriatric mal riders and sup dangers to walk toowould be good. Or maybe a massive one straight off Dribs point,wind protection from the east and west....win win yeehah.

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gavin007 Wednesday, 14 Mar 2018 at 12:43pm

Any chance we can build a breakwater through the brains of the boating and fishing lobby groups? And maybe our councilors and politicians who approve this stuff.

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surfing-cronulla Thursday, 15 Mar 2018 at 11:41am

Great pics. Just two tanks and an office at the Lube and the Oil underway. No Pumpo so I guess Caltex Oil Refinery is not up and running at Kurnell and the magnificent sandhills, remember them?
Thing is Kurnell Peninsula is a "Land Tied Island" and as such the removal of too much sand will at some stage cause problems. Already down to sea level or below in some sections, the water table is now showing in lots like rice paddies!
Breen and the Ausland group have obviously not taken this into consideration and waiting in hope for the next super storm to break through between Cronulla and Botany Bay.
Good news for surfers. Imagine a long wrapping "The Box" like left running off Boat Harbour protected from the Nor' Easters and a Wanda Superbank right protected from the Southerlies wrapping around to Towra Point! Damn nice though obviously not going to happen, shoring up will be a growth industry in the near future but we can only hope. Sitting on a thin sheet of land fill at Sea Level the Greenhills Estate is bound for problems.
Pre-groyne Kurnell Beach was a long wrapping wave peaking from a long pier for pumping oil to/from tankers and a plus for once. wonders if anyone has pics though very rare, like The Bay, it was grab board and go to get a Noosa like wave in our own back yard.

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truebluebasher Thursday, 15 Mar 2018 at 12:57pm

Stu your breakwater sessions are open ended marathons. Fantastic insight Swellnetonians.
Amazing how breakwaters are play things for the highest bidder.
More so as Stu puts it. the whole box & dice goes to the loudest lobby group of the day.
Weirdly enough that too changes by generation.

Breakwalls by Era...(Add your fav' local lobby groups to this basic list)
Early 1800's...Convicts export resources to Empire
Late 1800's ... Interstate-Commonwealth Passenger Lines/Piers/Southern Headlands Coal
Early 1900's...Rail Ports/ Passenger + Trade/Beachfront roads & bridges + Seawall Baths
Mid 1900's ...Fishing Fleets + Northern sand mining
Late 1900's ...Beach home Erosion/Creek canal estates/Recreational Fishing/Ramps & Jetty
Early 2000's ...Airport expansion/Leisure & Charter Yachts access/CST+ Resorts

Today 2010's Dive industry + Surfing bodies tinker with shape/length of walls to suit.
Swellnet Quicky live action is bettered/hampered by Kirra Groyne extension back in 2013
Like all before Surfing lobby wave pass-outs if Kirra Kegz don't roll-out WSR special brew.

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Sprout Thursday, 15 Mar 2018 at 5:40pm

~50 years later...

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trevbucky Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 2:02am

Some of the waves groynes in wa have ruined:

Sandtracks, Scarborough ( apparently broke way out in the 70s), Trigg Point, ( my brother says it was a really good right hand point break in the 70s).

In Mandurah Dolphin drive at the estuary ocean entrance was apparently a great beachbreak that picked up more swell in the 60s & 70s. Now it’s a novelty wave in big swells.

When they built the Dawesville Cut it destroyed the break “rubbish tips” but during construction it actually created a classic long righthander that a few lucky souls surfed for a few months.. until they put in a small groyne coming off perpendicular to the main groyne to stop the sand flow.

Finally at “Surf Beach” Secret Harbour the developers bulldozed the dunes flat with the beach. This once classic beachbreak hasn’t been the same since.

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velocityjohnno Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 1:41pm

Yep I remember the A frames at Surfs before the suburb. Great setup now altered so much.

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quokka Thursday, 22 Mar 2018 at 4:12pm

I didn't have the fortune of experiencing Surfs before the SH dev but have mates who said it was epic, such a shame because it is absolute shite now. I noticed that the beaches south of Cott groyne to the arti reef have heaps of sand on them at the moment and the beaches north are being starved of sand. It seems a combo of erosion mitigation structures and dune stabilisation that has fucked our locals.

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Sheepdog Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 1:06pm

I wonder if it balances out tho..... TOS, Kirra, Dbah, lesser extent currumbin. There was an insane left at pincushion for a while too.

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Spuddups Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 3:39pm

^ Yeah I was thinking the same thing. My feeling is that it probably balances out in the end, i.e. about the same number of waves have been created as have been destroyed.
Chiba in Japan is an interesting case. There is a breakwall of some description every 300mtrs or so along the entire coastline. The beaches are gently sloping and the swells generally crappy, but the breakwalls provide good surfing. They've fucked up the coastline pretty badly, in that it's super ugly there, but the waves they have created are pretty good.

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j202h2n Monday, 19 Mar 2018 at 10:36pm

Chiba breakwalls are OK, but I think if they'd been built slightly differently they could have made some great breaks.
About 12 years ago I travelled to a very, very remote part of Japan chasing a typhoon. I scoured Google Earth for anywhere that might handle the 6m swell and found a point-reef set up on the tip of a small island off the coast of a medium sized island. I figured that the swell would wrap along a deep water channel between the islands and come into the point at just the right angle. So I caught the ferry, borrowed a bike and cycled for about an hour with my board under my arm. When I finally got there I found a completely deserted point with no houses, no buildings, no sign of human activity -- except THREE breakwalls, one inside the other. And inside the third breakwall a perfect 6 inch wave rolled down the reef.

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Spuddups Tuesday, 20 Mar 2018 at 2:56pm

Yep, that's Japan for ya aye. In the 1980's they had so much money they didn't know what to do with it; hence the massive and often unnecessary coastal hardening that happened during that time.

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truebluebasher Friday, 16 Mar 2018 at 3:51pm

Sheepdog many GC locals thought not...recall the "Bring back the Points" Bumper Stickers.
1970's surf hugged all points...Greenmount rock break was spectacular & most popular.
Every ride stepped onto the sand still peeling.
Inshore natural coastline outcrops also provided countless more left breaks to fire up.
Cooly Creek/Currumbin lefts x 3/Burleigh Lefts x 3/North Burleigh Left/Nobby's Left.

Creek Sandpumping smothered dune contours gutted wave from it's shapely shore.
Roadside Stringline dunes killed A frames. Bulldozers/Sifters iron out 2mm micro breaks.
Waves breaking /receding without inshore tidal steepness lacked the power.

Sand Bypass now one closeout wave from Rainbow Bay to Spit along GC 2 Land Bank.
Jetsons coastline now breaks 100-150 metres out from 1970's organic Coastline.
Gran/kidz often walked to low tide banks but new Rainbow bank is another world away.
Nor has any forage (whitewater) fish bothered to visit .No high/low tide waves make shore.
Rare to get a ride across the deadzone Surf Canal/City long marina in the making.

Mayor says Rainbow will be a regular visitor. One Rainbow winter =10 years Bypass Sand.
Meaning outer bank will quickly build up acting as a Spit.
Our expensive inner shore becoming more turbulent like a bubbling weir.[BEACH CLOSED]
This rainbow Spit will hog our sandflow creating $ Gazillion Gold Coast 2 as cheap as chips.

GC 2 surf resort breaks designed by pros .
Meanwhile Old Goldies -Snake for Snake's spot on Escape from Gold Coast (Party Wave)
By accident or design...Who's gonna stop it or reverse it? At least we know that answer.
Get ready to Rumble!

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kschenk Monday, 19 Mar 2018 at 5:52pm

I live in Yamba and sometimes wonder if there was a good surf break at the head of the Clarence River on the southern side before they built the breakwalls to change the direction of the river mouth. Out of curiosity, does anyone know anything about that? Turners Beach was created from the breawalls and Turners has fun waves sometimes.

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uncle_leroy Monday, 19 Mar 2018 at 6:40pm

A bit of footage starting at 3:40 from 1958, shorter wall to the t-wall by the looks -

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karlosz Wednesday, 21 Mar 2018 at 6:25pm

Will be interesting to see impact at Shell Cove https://www.frasersproperty.com.au/nsw/shell-cove/ . Proposals from years ago had the several reefs in area going under the marina. Final construction is in middle of beach. High possibility of beach erosion to north of new breakwall...

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philosurphizing... Sunday, 1 Apr 2018 at 9:57am

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philosurphizing... Sunday, 1 Apr 2018 at 10:05am

The huge area of sand between the 2 breakwalls, the shore and the road is going to be removed.
Does anyone know what they plan to do with it ?

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purny Thursday, 22 Mar 2018 at 12:43pm

I'm hearing rumors that the Macleay Valley Council NSW are wanting to remove the old wall at Trial Bay South West Rocks (It was a failed attempt to build a harbour early last century) and restore what arguably could be one of the best rights on the NSW coast, open to all swells it's a long granite boulder point that is mostly covered in sand today. And as "Rabbit" said in commentary at the Quicky last week, "every town that has a good point break has a booming economy". MVC are interested in the potential....ya gotta ask yourself, "Did the Dunghutti Surf ?"

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indo-dreaming Thursday, 22 Mar 2018 at 4:05pm

The only thing that really counts is photos and video.

Have you ever heard any surfer say the waves are better at such and such spot now?

If so its very very rare.

The memory is not a very reliable or accurate way to record the past, its very selective remembers the best days and times and remembers these better than what they were.

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surfiebum Friday, 30 Mar 2018 at 12:03pm

Few whispers that TMR are planning to extend the Mooloolah river breakwall an extra 100m or so and that they don't need planning permission as it's a open project. Would surely kill the waves around carties.

There has been a lot of sand build up the last few years and currently the fisho's can only cross at high tide...

Trying to find out more info about it.

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tubeshooter Sunday, 1 Apr 2018 at 9:53pm

Looking forward to the Stockton Beach follow up. The breakwalls at Newcastle Harbour have a massive history, unlike many of the modern era ones.
I find it ironic the place sits just next door to some of the largest sand dunes in the southern hemisphere ,and next to one of the most industrialised cities in the country and still can't come up with decent plan to do anything about the issue.
An animation of what the harbour looked like in 1818 ,,

&t=96s, and then another in 1825 ,,

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truebluebasher Sunday, 1 Apr 2018 at 10:32pm

karlosz/philosurphizing...Thanx for sharing that bizarre Shell Cove.
Notice the surfers in the promo.Sadly no free space for a SUP or lake recreation in marina.

Here on Gold Coast they'd have 20 storey tower bank fronting the waters edge.
Even canals to max out waterfront as standard for Bribie Island and all other coastlines.

Here the plan shows a lilypad marina with very few low-rise waterfront properties.
The proposed handful of towers are small & all are set back collectively devaluing the site.
So! What's bankrolling the Breakwaters & excavation?
Those blank buildings look like Boat stacking...That could be their huge money spinner.

Non customs ocean port a bit suss in 2018/South American Cartel buying off the plan?
The whole thing is a throwback to the 1950's...Build it and the'll come...but to what?

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redmondo Wednesday, 10 Oct 2018 at 7:39pm

I came from cottesloe I am sure that huge rock wall in Freo was deliberately built to deprive us of surf.

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truebluebasher Tuesday, 7 May 2019 at 12:51pm

tbb moves closer to breaking point by dredging up old school Goldy docs
Update(New GC Doc...July 2018) Currumbin / Tweed Breakwaters
*Southern Qld/Tweed (Only)Breakwall Timeline
*Map (Tweed Mouth 1876 /1896 + Breakwall Overlay (impossibly rare)
*Pt Danger / Currumbin Rocks disconnect images
*Silted Creek Mouths
*Tri-Kirra Groynes aerial photo taken from North (ultra rare)
*Tri Kirra Reefs planning Sketch (rare gem)
*Tech stats for Breakwater Boffins

GCW procedural Dredging Doc mostly about Broadwater channels & Seaway

re: Nourishment & Management Strategies
Page 14-15 (Previous investigation & Nourishment)
117/133 of Report. *(Unearths rare Currumbin/Tallebudgera dredge start up stats)

Rundown on The Point WSR...
1975 Pump Pipe fouled Mid Burleigh Point (BB)...this led to pipeline being rundown.
1990 (Annual Pumps then started up by the pool)Now fouls Point from inside out!
2018 Ends annual Rockbreak trail top up, now bouldered off by greedy Club owner.
2019 July-32k c/m sand suffocates WSR stock until cyclones replenish us each May.

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truebluebasher Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 9:32am

Back to the Drawing Board...Stockton Beach Breakwall Erosion
Stu's fans will gladly assist with said update by way of video (See link below)

Looks like a larger version of The Goldie's Currumbin Alley + Palm Beach
Goldie Mayoral Prescription: 1 A Line + 2 Groynes + 1 Artificial Reef +1 Soiled Plaque
Go fund Me choices:
a) Mayor scams sea defence disaster relief, only to on sell beach as Millionaire's Row.
b) Get public onboard by promising Oceanway for Rates increase (Suckers!)
c) Increasing 4WD beach permit fees
d) Roll out Timeshare Trolley & plough thru upzoned skyhigh seachange tombstones

Goldie chose (a) (b) + (d)... just 'cause we can + we got a whiteshoe infestation

If Gold Coast Bully are onto Stockton's case...must mean yer Mayor has just sold out.
"My kingdom for a sand granule!"

[FASTEN SEAT BELTS] For a turbulent fly thru...gets a little rough...Good Luck crew!




peabo's picture
peabo's picture
peabo Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 at 10:09am

Noticed that Apollo Bay is building a few new groynes on the main beach to stop erosion. That beach is one of the only places in Vic that can produce clean straight 2-3ft lines in a W or SW wind (can be hollow too). Problem is, it's just 500m of straight-handers. Might get one day a year where a leftover easterly swell direction combines with a ground swell and a W wind to make it kinda fun.

Anyway, question is... will these new groynes improve the surf along that stretch or are they too short? Looks too short to create a wedge to me, but maybe they'll change the sand formation enough that something happens there?? I don't know enough about how they affect things to be able to predict... which I guess was the original gist of this article.


stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 at 10:23am

I'd say they're too short. Ideally, at least in Council's eyes, the sand will build up and eventually around those groynes so they don't jut into the surf at all. They're purely to catch sand and make the beach accrete.

Not sure about sediment loads down there, but that's what's happened on the Gold Coast at North Kirra and all along Palm Beach. Rocks that one stage jutted into the surf are now high and dry on the beach.

peabo's picture
peabo's picture
peabo Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 at 11:32am

Yeah, that makes sense. I can kind of picture it reshaping that part of the beach slightly, but not enough to have any effect. Thanks Stu.

Ray Shirlaw's picture
Ray Shirlaw's picture
Ray Shirlaw Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 at 9:19pm

Best of luck there,at least its not destroying something already surfable. 70metres is reasonably long,I think longer than the ones in that image supplied but I don't like the sound of the "permanent physical barrier" seawalls to be built between the groynes to "protect the footpath" etc etc ....sounds like a recipe for two big square deep fishing holes complete with backwash, tangled fishing line&discarded bait bags stuffed amongst the rocks. The beach nourishment might help& fun peaks groomed by a sou'wester could be the result?! Seems like if Works are constructed where good surf already exists the usual result is destruction,but if They build something in a marginal surf zone,the result is sometimes (often?) accidental perfection! Again good luck

Jnrjep's picture
Jnrjep's picture
Jnrjep Wednesday, 10 Mar 2021 at 11:26am

Re. Mooloolah breakwalls. When I first moved to kawana from the Goldie 34yrs ago and started hanging with the local crew one of the old boys had an old surf magazine from when Greenough visited the s.c before the walls. In it Greenough calls Mooloolahba " The best spoon wave in the world". Must have been pumping swell cause they also mentioned all the offshore reefs they could see white wash on.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Tuesday, 6 Jun 2023 at 1:25pm

A close call for NSW South Coast surfers?

Just found this 1839 map of a village proposal at Broulee. If it proceeded as planned, breakwalls and all, there'd be no Pink Rocks.