The Superbank survey

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)
Swellnet Dispatch

In the final years of the twentieth century the Queensland and NSW state governments finally got together to nut out a longstanding problem.

At issue were the Tweed River breakwalls built by the NSW government in 1962 without consulting the QLD government. It was Queenslanders, however, who felt the environmental fallout from the walls, namely massive downstream erosion as the sand banked up on the NSW side of the river.

Coolangatta 1962, pre-Tweed River breakwalls (Courtesy TSB)

In 1994 they hatched a plan, and seven years later in 2001 the Tweed Sand Bypassing project was switched on. The Superbank was created, Kirra was once again buried in sand, and the rest is history.

Except it's not. Engineering firm McConnell Dowell were awarded a 20 year contract to run the project and that expires in 2024. With the date approaching the agency running the joint initiative are developing a transition model for 2024 and beyond.

To help them plan they've asked all local surfers, and even keen visitors, to fill out a short survey about beach use at Coolangatta.

Click here for the survey


thermalben's picture
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thermalben Wednesday, 29 Jan 2020 at 1:45pm

That image is amazing. 

No groyne at Kirra, just a rocky point. 

No training walls at D'Bah (though apparently construction commenced that year). 

And a broader sand flow setup from Snapper to Cooly not wildy dissimilar from the present. 

Looks like good fishing in that hole at Greenmount!

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean Sunday, 2 Feb 2020 at 11:16pm

It does look amazing! I can remember the area pre sand pumping.

Supafreak's picture
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Supafreak Wednesday, 29 Jan 2020 at 3:02pm

I preferred the 80s when snapper was for mals greenmount for beginners and kirra for those that could surf . Unfortunately the internet gives every man and his dog the heads up these days when kirra is on which is rare . Can’t complain though my parents had a shop across the road from little groin and l only worked weekends so I’ve had countless good sessions at kirra . Watching MP , Tony Ray , Joe Engel plus many more pull in to timeless tubes is something l will always treasure .

Clive Rodell's picture
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Clive Rodell Tuesday, 4 Feb 2020 at 3:36pm

Totally agree

Distracted's picture
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Distracted Wednesday, 29 Jan 2020 at 3:32pm

Was up the Goldy for schoolies many years ago and we were messing around on that sand bank off Greenmount when a bunch of whaler sharks swam up that very gutter chasing baitfish. caused a bit of pandemonium for the lifeguards.

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Surfalot67 Wednesday, 29 Jan 2020 at 3:58pm

That corner at Greeny was great on big storm swells. Fun little peelers along the rocks all the way to a step off on the boat ramp. Nowadays there's nowhere to surf on those days. You can also see what later became known as the Cheeseburger Bank left going back into Greeny. As Superfreak said above, now it's a free for all with every dogsbody all thrown in together on the Superwank regardless of ability.

Clive Rodell's picture
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Clive Rodell Tuesday, 4 Feb 2020 at 3:36pm

Well said

Ape Anonymous's picture
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Ape Anonymous Wednesday, 29 Jan 2020 at 4:00pm

What would be really cool to see is a photo of the former creek mouth on the Northern side of Greenmount headland.

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 5:55pm

Has anyone got that pic? TBB? Edit: found it below, thanks again!

Then you have Mooloolaba before the harbour... QLD must have been amazing - different kind of amazing - up to early 1960s

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Gra Murdoch Wednesday, 29 Jan 2020 at 4:53pm

Survey done – someone high up is now given much to ponder, mostly about reinstating the Cheeseburger Bank.

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tango Wednesday, 29 Jan 2020 at 9:20pm

Had to fill this in. I was lucky to visit Tweed Heads every month or so for work in 02 when the sand seemed to start to kick into gear and the crowds hadn't completely descended. If you minded your manners and went hard, the local boys were ok with you getting waves behind the rock. Mad barrels. A lot of epic waves, running back up to snapper from down near little groyne ....I think I caught four or five waves to get there. Nothing like Damon Harvey's effort though.
Be great if the sand could be managed more in tune with the weather systems and longshore transport.

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lostdoggy Wednesday, 29 Jan 2020 at 9:41pm

It said something like ‘Your information was received perfectly’

I thought Donald Trump must have been accepting it on the other end.

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truebluebasher Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 11:14am

Thanks for the story & survey link Stu & Ben...
Here's some shots the crew may not have seen...a real special treat.
1894 Shark Bay
1901 Flagstaff Beach
1900-10 Breakwall Erosion (Ape) Greenmount creek/Gully between Borders! (see: 1954)
1940's Surf Chix
1940's (Late) All Points + River
1954 -Ape Anonymous request ....waves last broke thru to Tweed River this Cyclone.
Qld: Waves broke over & flooded Marine Pde Greenie & into R.Bay Kiosk.(Same time!)
NSW: Bar Waves blocked big tide-Sth wind ramped flood waves meeting Qld Waves.
Below Surf shot is most likely after the rain next afternoon, as swell backed out quick.
Saltwater : Fingal / Pt Danger (Echidnas) + Currumbin Rocks (Orphans) Transients!
1956 Deep Greenmount Point (Shows how easy waves joined with creek in 1954).
1956 All Points + River
1957 All Points + River
1950's (Late) Babes'n'Boards
1960 Greenmount (Lines ONLY)
1960 Greenmount Party Wave
1960 Schnapper Rocks Line-up...thanx Mal Sutherland
1962 Bodybash'n Greenie...(Same year as feature Photo)
1963 Cyclones raised massive 13m Waves well offshore ...Bob Evans at Kirra
1963 Cook Island relic
1965 Photo set shows 'Perfect Southern points' alignment that shaped GC 60/70's
1966 Photo starts putting out for the crew...
1960's (Late) Little Mali wrap Pointbreak
1969 Kirra
1969 (D'bah whiteout!) Take a peak over at Superbank into Greenmount!
1970 Schnapper Point / Little Mali Point / Greenie Point
1970's early (Between Cyclones-Healthy beach was soon chewed up!)
1973 Classic Kirra Keg...Gotta be Stoked with that...stop drooling.
1970's (late) Classic Deep Greenmount Point ....Get Moist on that...
1977 Typical lines of the day ( Used to smash heavy off the point )
1970's Kirra Keg
1970's (Late) Hut Ocean Province
1981 Southern points Nivana (Best Mix of Old vs New) So many breaks to choose.
1980's Come Together
1996 End of an era when Little Groyne was shortened (Beginning of the end)
2011 Schnappereded Shut.
2013 Shortened Kirra Little Groyne (Peak-a-boo!)
2013 mid year Greenmount comeback tour lasted all up...about a few weeks.
2013 Brilliant series by GC best Aerial spotter resembles a 70's lineup
2018 Kirra Reef + Turtles are returning
2019 (14 wave empty line up)

Crew thanks Cooly Reunions for fantastic Southern Points photos.

fitzroy-21's picture
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fitzroy-21 Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 7:05pm

Wow TBB, those early pictures are awesome.

I wouldn't mind betting that, once upon a time, the Tweed River entrance may very well have come out at Greenmount.

Cooly/Dbar hill may have even possibly been an Island at some time.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 1:57pm

fitzroy-21 (Photos! Crew intend to reward Mal & Cooly kids).
Mal's > Cook Island Hut request/ via: Tweed river ...OK!
Be easy for us crew to honour that link that below!

1900-10 see 1st Breakwater rises level to brim narrowneck
1954 -(3 newspapers report separately) on same o/n sequence.
At height of storm, all 3 report of seas overlapping said roads.
Ocean Surge + Surf + Boiling Tide + Wind Waves =7m peak.
Briefly, Greenmount & Pt Danger isthmuses were islands.
re: (Low range-Flood Map) Must have Saltwater studies tool.

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 12:02pm

Look at it.... It's a fucking disgrace..... All so developers can advertise their muti million dollar canal estates as having "ocean access". It's no super bank. It's super wank

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 12:05pm

Snapper, early 70s

booman's picture
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booman Tuesday, 31 Aug 2021 at 8:45am

amazing, thx

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 12:08pm

When greenmount was close to the rocks and protected in an ese wind, even semi protected in an easterly

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean Sunday, 2 Feb 2020 at 11:20pm

I remember this! Great memories.

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stunet Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 12:10pm

But also when Cooly and Kirra were eroding to the hard structures after every swell while Leticia Spit needed a camel train to cross.

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 12:14pm

Early 80s Greenmount close to the rocks

boogiefever's picture
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boogiefever Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 11:10pm

Hello old chum..........p!!!!!
TBB has this picture tagged as 2013 only a couple of posts above yours.......not early '80s as you have told us.
Who to believe. Hmmmmmm.

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 12:17pm

So the answer to fucking with nature is more fucking with nature stu? The Original issue was the rock walls at tweed for the fishing boats.
This my home turf mate, where I grew up

stunet's picture
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stunet Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 12:26pm

Nice that you grew up there, but it doesn't weight your opinion anymore than other people's.

The Tweed River walls fucked with nature, no doubt about it, but in the face of ongoing and destructive erosion, not to mention ongoing and expernsive repairs - remember the million dollar bank? the sand dumping that cost GCCC plenty and disappeared in a swell? - the TSB attempts to mimic nature and it does a pretty good job.

All those photos you put up aren't 'natural', they're a heavily eroded coast that just happened to benefit some surfers, and surfers who wish to take it back to that are self-centred ingrates unable to see a picture bigger than themselves.

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Sheepdog Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 12:17pm

Whats the carbon footprint to all this pumping btw?

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Sheepdog Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 12:19pm

The real "gatta"...... Early 80s

Smorto's picture
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Smorto Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 5:26pm

Mate you're dreaming if you think this photo is from the early 1980s. More than a few 1990s high rises in this image.

I think you need to take your rose tinted glasses off!

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 1:07pm

Ohhhh my bad, I hit the 8, not the 9...... My point is, nimrod, that this is a pic PRE SAND PUMP ERA..... Classic Gatta.

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boogiefever Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 1:53pm

Did you accidently hit the 8 button instead of the 2013 button in your greenmount post above???
Dont let the truth get in the way of a good story hey sheepshagga......
Lucky you got no credibility to lose.

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Smorto Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 2:27pm

Haha yep, I reckon this photo is still within the sand pumping era and is not 1998.

Prep-pumping Kirra was great but I still dont think it compares with some of the sections that we've previously had as part of the superbank.

Its been a few years now since we've had the sand really good but at a few points in time the superbank from mid-way through Rainbow, all the way past Greeny to Cooly was beyond epic.

The crowds suck but if you managed to snag a set wave and made sure you scream at anyone even looking like they're starting to paddle then even us average joes could score a below sea level, multiple barrel, burned into your brain for life wave.

Not sure if it has anything to do with the Kirra groyne being extended but that Rainbow through Greeny bank hasn't been the same as that epic 2011-through 2016 quality.

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NickT Thursday, 6 Feb 2020 at 7:20am

Totally agree

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MGB Thursday, 6 Feb 2020 at 1:29pm

so true! just one of those bombs on one of those days and youll never forget it.

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Smorto Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 2:34pm

Nimrod hey? Resorting to personal attacks are a clear sign of someone who's been proven wrong with facts. That's just about as lame as someone who thinks their opinion is worth more than others because they've lived in a certain location for a longer period of time.

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NickT Thursday, 6 Feb 2020 at 7:18am

Too many stubs before hitting the post button

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 4:00pm

That article photo is interesting as its quite clear from that pic that current sand build up is more natural than the 70-90s period that as Stu says above was really just a heavily eroded coast.

I still think surfers have been winners out of mans messing around with things up there, even ifs Kirra is not what it was, it's hard to Imagine D-bah would have been much back then, and now its one of the most consistent rippable beaches in the world, easily the most consistent spot on the Goldie.

And pretty hard to complain about the super bank.

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Lanky Dean Sunday, 2 Feb 2020 at 11:24pm

D bah , was an amazing wave in the 80, 90s.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 5:13pm

Sheepdog these last 2 photos are from 26 July 2013 set of Photos.
Yes! I know many think/thought otherwise. Both from same 2013 set!
1) Short board in the face + No Long Wetties -GC 70's? + Tall Trees
2) Mod' LG tower / Hi-rise sprawl / Snapper Rock Path-wall (All new!)

However! 2013 Was lowest recorded Sand Pump Year (319.883 m3)
So Yes! Right to example these photos as resembling 1970's Golden Era.

2013 Greenie & Kirra did start shaping up..(As sheepdog shows here!)
tbb's photo timeline shows 70's Greenie + 2013 Little Groyne comeback
2018 = The next less amount and Turtles come back to Kirra
So we all know without a doubt Sand pumping is evil for Gold Coast!

2013 tbb streamlined for 2 months from Greenie > Kirra Groyne > point.
It'got pretty crowded behind, but never looked back. Got in quick...stoked.
Proof! 100% of GC Surfers are right! Sand Pumping has destroying the lot.

Why do Oceanographers downplay the ecology of real GC beach history.
From day one to the silence of current Quarry Erosion! ...Here's yer chance!
Blue Sky dry sand mining over the city & Whales keeping clear.
Gold Coast surf used to engage with town swamps...with more entrances.

Estuaries are Tips / Islands are clubs / Reefs are sand dunes (All gone!)
We have killed 80% of estuarine habitat & now Quarry the ocean...(Why!)
We now have less coastline than any time in history!

More Pumping = less Coastline = less WSR value = more surf rage = zero
More buy back = Deeper WSR Points + Marine bio diversity = wealth.

Collar Tassie in sand & yer left with half of former rich surf coast... Durr!
Our expert mad scientists fill in all our coves for less surf coast... Durr!

There is a method to wildlife destruction...(Just for humane purposes)
Extending the Points with coves would prevent loss of Coastline amenity.
Animals would all die & surf would be a wave pool version of original.
Still be more humane than burying everything alive as now!

All Southern points are now Fossilised Pyramids in Deserts.
All Reef habitat smothered to kill off last chance turtle migration .
WSR has lost 20 breaks or 4kms of surf breaks for a half dead party wave.

Soon the world will put GC on Trial for starving endangered Turtles.
We will be made to renourish our stretch of East Coast supply line.
Marine life before surf before time share...again a no brainer!
This shouldn't be as difficult for experts to manage...shaking ones head!

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 1:11pm

No true blue... The article was from 2013..... Not all the pics were from 2013

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 6:21pm

Wow, all those different faces to the place. Surf wise, I first got to surf it '97 and '99 and have been back a few times. But I'm not a local and don't have such a stake in it. I remember great waves at Rainbow initially, 60 dolphin charge through the lineup, jumping off Greenmount point and it didn't seem too far out - and also a great wave. Kirra in 99 was really good, long fast barrel section (or closeout if you weren't quick enough) off the groyne) then one of the best rights I'd ever seen or surfed, that was magic. Magic compared to my frame of reference at the time, anyway.

So what do you do? The place has had so many 'faces' - how to you tweak to optimise? What do you value? Wildlife, like TBB suggested, quality of wave, break it up into different lineups or go for one big groomed piste (complete with everyone in one spot)? Above my pay grade.

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tubeshooter Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 7:22pm

The horse has bolted. Refining the juggling act needed to keep sand flowing still needs tweaking .

upnorth's picture
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upnorth Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 10:42pm

Isn't any sort of sand pumping unsustainable in the long term? At some point the pump will be switched off and nature will have its way. Surely any planning should be with this in mind and with a view to mitigating the impact by relocating everything in the areas that will be eroded. A tactical retreat of sorts.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 7:51am

Why would they stop pumping at some stage?

They only pump when they need to move sand mostly to keep the seaway safe for boats, just like the seaway up north goldie.

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stunet Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 9:17am

Why is it unsustainable? The TSB has nothing to do with sea level rise, or coastal erosion, or anything like that. As long as the sand keeps coming - and it's one of the largest sand transport systems in the world - and as long as people want to access the ocean from the rivers, then they'll keep pumping.

Straddie and the TSB weren't designed with surfers in mind, but we've benefitted every bit as much as the boat owners who can navigate the entrances.

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upnorth Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 8:27pm

Isn't the TSB preventing severe coastal erosion of the southern gold coast beaches? Man made erosion due to the extension of the rock training walls in the 60's. In terms of navigation through the tweed river entrance and stripping the gold coast beaches of sand this could be classed as a major fuck up.

To me it seems the sand bypassing project is a sticking plaster, keeping pace with nature but not solving the problem of what happens when the pump stops. All sea defenses have a life span and while the TSB system isn't a concrete and steel structure at the mercy of denudational processes, in terms of the life of the river mouth and surrounding coast it will have no more than a walk on role.

Given the rate of change of opinion over the last 100 years I think its fair to assume that what seems like a permanent fix now might not be at the end of the century. Changes in our use of energy and resources will change how we view projects like this. The idea of using human ingenuity to battle against and overcome nature rather than working with it belongs in the era of those who built the first sea wall. Maybe the long term solution lies in removing the man made structures and allowing nature to take its course. It'll be a problem for future generations anyway. My point is that unless you can imagine the pump running for hundreds of years then at some point sand will stop moving north. Better to plan for that now than wait for it to happen imo.

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truebluebasher Thursday, 30 Jan 2020 at 11:45pm

tbb is backing sheepdog...he's calling the shots, just saying it's the same coast long.
South of Moreton Bay... Goldie,Tweed, Northern Rivers take yer pick!

Interstate, intercity, town to town Shipping, River Cruises are all dead...
River cities Grafton, Lismore, Murwillumbah, Nerang, Ipswich... no longer see ships.
Count on one hand co/ops & trawlers from Ballina & same for nearby rivers (True!)

Oz imports more fish than it exports, fish farms are flooding the market.
Qld Govt is knocking back queues wishing to sell back licenses...round 2 & on & on.
NSW Govt licenses price them out of a job - $130,000 Harbour fees between last 4.
That's not even half their restrictive licensing fees, gotta pay more to catch more & on.
Govt & World lock up more Marine Cook Island / Byron & more along coast.

No public benefit to keep up this River Mouth game...(Show pony for the idle rich).
Hands on Hunting Charters for rich to mow down last of the endangered critters.
Is there more & more private boating bumping off less & less wild life...Hell Yes!
That is screamed from every wildlife hospital...(Bars are now Game reserve turnstyles)

Turtles last meal is in the heart of the very same evil trap that starves them!

Whole planet wins if we walk why must we ratepayers fork out to kill more.

Sheepdog is on it, this is about releasing flood waters for whiteshoe canal estates.
Goal is to tick [1 in 100 boxes]...just to show you care. (see: Coolum Wave Pool bribe!)
Of course it doesn't work...pick any seachange beach & watch it, as it disappears.
JR: 'Ever get the feeling you've been had!'

Goldie crew are really sick of this end game.
You can can feel that from Sheepdog &'s personal...we live in this plastic Utopia.
Locals know tbb was being a gentleman by underscoring GC wave loss.
tbb will stand by local spending boardriders over fuel dumping Toxic marina yuppies!

PS: Memo...Say something nice about TSB
The sewage gets extended out a little further, buys an extra 10mins before rinse cycle.

If you came out the otherside of that earn a treat!
1979 Tweed River Dynamics Study.
Plenty of pre TSB sequence sketches & photos of Tweed Bar

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean Sunday, 2 Feb 2020 at 11:33pm

Nambucca used to have a river cruise boat.
Nambucca river and Valley formed a huge river network.
At some point the river changed and the boats disappeared.
I wonder where the boat went? Life of mystery .....I guess.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 9:28am

Just a small point of accuracy.

The photo above is not "pre-Tweed River break walls".

The break walls were first built in 1891. So the rivermouth was stabilised for almost a century before the walls were extended in 1962-64.

Richmond River walls at Ballina were constructed 1901 for comparison.

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 1:23pm

Hope u been well Free ride.

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freeride76 Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 1:41pm

all good SD, and you too brother.

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Sheepdog Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 1:42pm
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Sheepdog Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 1:47pm

The gatta, 1934, Beach eroded way before the large walls were constructed in the 1960s. the sand used to come and go back then too depending on the wet season storm surf.

Ape Anonymous's picture
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Ape Anonymous Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 1:50pm

Been seeing flashes of the future over the past two years: straight sand bank running from snapper to Surfers Paradise. Plastic kites towing beach buggies. Alley Rock is a boulder (climbing) mecca. Shuttle buses taking Kazakh tourists from the carpark to the waters edge. World's largest full-moon beach parties.

Time to do the survey!

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Sheepdog Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 2:23pm

Look.... it's all about ocean access for those living on the tweed river. The fact that for a few years there was a phenom bank for surfers was a unintended by product. Whover called it the "superbank" back then should be tracked down and killed. Publicly executed On big groyne Kirra. Sarcasm.
There is now an unnatural amount of sand heading north... From afar it even looks like the alley has been affected. Ape anons joke has some merit.
Kirra beach front shops gone broke - no one wants to walk 3 hours to the waters edge.
Oldies used to holiday in rainbow bay. Theyve gone, as have the families with little kids.
I'm a realist and know its gone too far now to stop the pumping. But maybe have a boating levy for all boat owners using the tweed for ocean access.. That money can be spent trucking the sand away, or pumping it further out to sea. And if a major storm does erode the gatta away, the infrastructure is still there to replenish the beaches.
I hope future scenarios look more at reef construction and water flows to keep channels deep, and to stop beach erosion. Once built, no more carbon is spent. And that outer reef not only serves as a surfing bommie, it becomes a home for marine life AND stops erosion

Ape Anonymous's picture
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Ape Anonymous Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 3:36pm

In all seriousness, actually had the vision of a sand bar stretching the whole way. That's what I thought the new Palmy reef was for - catching sand??

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 2:34pm

Kirra beachfront shops gone broke?

mate, when was the last time you were there?

the whole of Kirra has been massively gentrified and is thriving.

not to my taste but it's happened.

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Smorto Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 2:45pm

Haha yep given that its "his home turf" he seems to get a lot of things wrong about it. Heaps of thriving shops and cafes along Musgrave Street and new accommodations building that were constructed whilst the Kirra Desert was there.

The grotty Pizza Hut (which I know has a nostalgic place in some people's hearts but I took my kids there a couple of years ago and it really was grubby and not fitting of the location) is being replaced with some restaurant that was no doubt willing to pay top dollar rent to Council.

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 3:05pm

Yeah I left when the kirra desert was there FR. So it has been a while. I was up 2 years ago but TOTALLY avoided the goldy. Went back to my other home,. Coolum

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Sunday, 2 Feb 2020 at 4:35pm

Nice Link...
Rainbow Dredge 'd knock up a GC Pro designer Surf Spit Port in 6 years easy!

Back to the Future...more on nearest past breakwaters...
1877 Southport Boulder wall Ocean Breakwater had Beacons both heads + Pilot.
1888 Inside River - Goat Island Boulder Breakwater was well underway but halted.
Quarry/s may have been TSS oval n/w & or Hill behind Southport swimming Pool.
Both of these sites have unnatural square cut away slopes + run easy to river barge.

1877 Interstate Bne Cruises commenced thru Southport Breakwall thru Tweed Bar
Never will you read of this in Govt/GCCC/Griffith Uni Ocean Planning Docs.
Brizzos & Goldie shipped in/out open Tweed Mouth with pilots + 1888 Beach Buggy
1903 Train opened alongside Tweed Breakwater ending interstate Cruises (Day 1)

1884 Mudgeeraba/Merrimac Seaway Tided Canals...also black listed from studies.
Main Drain empties The Big Swamp out thru the Seaway.

1900 Reclamation of Currumbin Swamp into a Beach-road Township.
Massive undertaking freeing Currumbin Rock dune & banking Elephant Rock dune.
Largest man made shift in GC wave dynamics...when will these experts record that!

3 mega sand operations to 1985 never once factored in any GC Beach Studies?
Add the constant denial to include several Saltwater Surf Histories...from studies
Not even in Spit Master Plan (History)...despite tbb's submission on these & more.
No respect to mega GC ocean engineering so why take these clowns seriously...

1790's Moreton-Straddie breakthru ...again monumental ...again, nothing in studies!
1954 Recent Greenmount Breakthru...again nothing in studies...on & on & on!
2018 Govt simply level any reclaimed Cooly Dunes for $20m Comm Games Volleyball.

How about less bullshit & some decent data ...starting with these Rainbow Quarries.
Nope...already banished with other Monumental Coastal events...more cover ups.
tbb is not buying it, not for Big Bird Oz #1 Whiteshoe Buoy off South Straddie.
As you can read, none are conspiracy but play out larger than life before visitors.

Ape Anonymous's picture
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Ape Anonymous Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 3:34pm

"1877 Interstate Bne Cruises commenced thru Southport Breakwall thru Tweed Bar" - grandfather went to Bris from Condong/MurBaa via boat, thanks for the flashback!

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Sunday, 2 Feb 2020 at 4:46pm

Ape's Grandad did most of the way Murwillumbah to Ipswich ...not an issue!
1930's Golden Age of Travel (Rail Ports to beach flights to hinterland back to rail ports)
Car Bridges from Ipswich to Grafton ...Any travel combo anywhere all faster than now.
Fastest GC long Bus Trip was in 1930's.

New Light Rail is slower than 1903 Steam Train.
From Grafton to Ipswich to coast (Now 300kms less Shipping + 500kms less Rail)
No Rail Ports ...No Interstate Shipping...(2x month GC ship to Bne $90 ticket)
You all saluted the 100 red lights the length of GC H'wy... < [ sdrawkcab gniog ]
Surprised the Seaways lasted as long as they did! ('Slams flyscreen & lights candles!')

frog's picture
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frog Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 7:18pm

So many changes over the years. The defined breaks of the middle period pre superbank looked pretty ideal for surfers although my memories of snapper were of it being soft and often disappointing.

I still view the superbank as usually multiple surf spots in one and by being fast and having no single takeoff, it can leave options for less competitive surfers like me to pick up waves. T tree or nationals at Noosa in contrast are much crueler and frustrating places in a heavy crowd. The A team can totally dominate.
Greenmount, as it once was, hugging the rocks on a good day and empty, would be great but with 50 out - not so much.

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indo-dreaming Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 6:20pm

When all the sand was right it was good, but reality is for long periods Snapper was soft or short or even broke wide even lefts going towards the rocks.

And then rainbow bay was generally total puss or too deep to break.

Yeah Greenmount could get fun on it's day, but most of the time at least when i lived on the Goldie it was generally just a kiddies wave and super weak as waves had felt the bottom for ages or even already broken out the back. (always looked good from up on the hill looking down though)

Kirra yeah Kirra was epic but it was always 50/50 if you got one before the sweep pulled you down the point and if you got one 50/50 again that you would get burnt.

Ive never actually surfed the super bank, but IMHO its looks better, it's just like a longer version of the alley and at the alley you could often find sections where you could sneak a few in and like you say local ripper generally hung right of the first section.

Sheepdog just has some serious rose coloured glasses like we all do about the waves we surfed as groms.

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frog Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 7:26pm

Yep, being honest, I much prefer it now. There can be mysto 50 metre empty zones that pop up (for a few minutes or even longer) and you can get lucky. Whereas super defined takeoffs such as T Tree = zero waves for me once the crowds hits. Snapper is too hard for moi. though for the same reasons. Last autumn had a weird bank way out the back of Rainbow though that made it funky so every year is a bit different.

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 4:43pm

Well it has definitely been interesting fence sitting this one.

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Lanky Dean Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 4:41pm

Just from an outsiders perspective.
Any chance some one is willing to mind 20 trillion tones of sand at their local beach for me?
I'll pick it up next month I promise!

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boogiefever Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 7:20pm

If you're the Sunshine Coast Council you can just dredge 1.5million cubic metres of sand from the south-north coastal sand migration and use it to create an airport. Dont worry about long term degredation of the beaches and sand dunes(including heritage listed fraser island) north because money talks. Goodbye community spirit.... Hello chinese investors.

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Ape Anonymous Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 6:15pm

Wow. That survey was really... disappointing.
One question: do you think the sand bypass has done a good job? Yes/No
Why do I feel like a herd animal?
Cattle dip/leech check anyone?

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Saturday, 1 Feb 2020 at 2:07am

Surfing 1970's
Everyone's Fav wave Greenmount allowed for open surfing style at one's own pace.
Front of Headland afforded a real fine thread-line across from Rainbow.
Very dangerous & same as behind the wall with earlier whip backwash than late ramp.
High tide rewarded those who weaved the inside rock line.

Anyone Surfing in from Snapper thru Little Mali across Rainbow into Greenie was #1.
Linking 4 entirely different breaks strung together...took some fine surf skills.
Crew would Hoot like crazy and short board Surfer would be waved thru & Stoked.
Old school cool fact...any kook who dropped in on the King was likewise rubbed out.

tbb was a centre/north Grom so bummed lifts & was proud to ride thru the once.
Just one dropkick there + as said outta the wind & all could just smell when it was on.

Free surfed wind-up superbank 1000 x occasionally snuck thru to Greenmount...Shh!
Luv long Superbank barrel rolls but it limits tight deep power surfing, often duck & yell.

Snapper's tight key into Little Mali when spinnin' is very similar to old Greenmount.
You all know how it allows only one to snuggle into the face & passenger is bumped.

Greenmount's private cabins cocooned kooks from the pack rats (All surfers got a go!)
Steaming off the face re enter full arc roundhouse slam cutbacks were the move.

Never thought of better than Greenmount but foxed rare Fingal Point run 2010...OMG.
Extra terrestrial inside pointbreak is like 4 scenic surfbreaks in one...just dreamlike.

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wally Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 8:44pm

Just in passing, and I have no problem with Stu’s ‘Superbank’ headline which is a helpfully recognisable tweed sand pumping bank reference....

But, the over-the-top super bank, which got named the Superbank, no longer exists. For a whole variety of reasons there is less sand being pumped around which has made the points more ‘normal’ and much better for the general beach goer and the local community.

The Superbank of around 2005. It was great for board riders, but not much good for anybody else.

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freeride76 Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 8:54pm

I remember a weather bomb swell in June 2003.

Superbank was one ruler edged straight line from Snapper to Big Groyne. Deep to shallow the whole way.
Pure white line fever.

never seen waves like it.

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean Saturday, 1 Feb 2020 at 4:12pm

You have to go to Chile then......

crg's picture
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crg Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 9:55pm

Can't remember the exact year but got a wave there in the Superbank era which ran for maybe 500 four separate, proper barrels on the one wave. I stood on the beach afterwards reflecting on one of the best waves of my life. I wasn't happy or feeling any joy. The shitfight I had endured in the three hours I'd surfed completely overwhelmed the experience. I turned my back on the place and I've never surfed it since. Probably 15 years or so ago.
No matter what they do with it, how perfect it gets, for me it has ceased to be a wave and nothing in that line up is anything to do with surfing as I know/feel it.

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lostdoggy Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 10:24pm

I was there the other week, and I by no means got a wave like you describe, but I was able to catch plenty of waves somehow despite the crowd.
But the general feeling of being surrounded by people and no matter how long you wait there is always someone on your inside or about to drift down to your inside or kick out to your inside. I didn't enjoy it at all.
I think I'd find something else to do if that was my everyday surf.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Saturday, 1 Feb 2020 at 1:59am

Return favour for Cooly photos... Cook Island / Hut

Cook island has a few secrets...
The early unexplained ship wreck (Not even Oxley could fathom)
The Blow hole on the Western side.|||l-state=New+South+Wales|||l-decade=192

The Humpy later the Fishermen's / Ranger's Hut...

1916 Sand Bar allowed one to walk to Cook Island ? re: 1963 Comments
1920 Photo of Fingal (Explanation) Earlier low sand saddle walk out to Lighthouse?

10 July 1920 - 2 Fishermen stranded on Cook Island- L.A. Salmon & A.S. Loder
Upon return remarked Island has Fresh Water stream & Firewood.
Their intention is to build a Humpy & make return visits to Fishing Paradise.|||l-title=1007|||l-decade=192

11 May 1926 L.A.Salmon, A. McNeill, Lowes, King conveyed to Aboriginal Settlement.
Report of Mutton Bird nests-(holes)+coincidentally mosquitoes worse than mainland.|||l-title=1007|||l-decade=192

Seemingly Shelter from the mosquitoes was the most pressing need.
Possibly Salmon's plans of a Humpy was aided by McNeill's Launch.
Indeed Angus McNeill is credited with building the original Cook Island Hut.

2 July 1927 - Party of 8 Murwillumbah Fisherman set sail on Angus McNeills Launch.
Where they'll spend several days on Cook Island. (Seemingly Hut is suitable for Party)
The boat owner Angus is a Murwillumbah fisherman & Photographer|||l-title=1007|||l-decade=192
1920's Photo of Salmon / McNeill's Humpy (Further down the Face)

1947 Angus Mc Neill's Humpy is seen as a White Fleck.

1950 Hut was replaced by Don L.J. Dorrough Hut (Hosting ) Fishing Parties
Note : NP Doc -Timelines are general > 10 year flexible.

1955 No huts? (Possible that Don pulled old Hut Down) Own Plans on Hold!

8 Aug 1959 Cook Island is declared NSW Nature Reserve
Don L. J. Dorrough painted (Green Froggie/s) is appointed as Honorary Ranger
1960's Shows small hut rise up on old site (Possibly base camp for Higher Tier Hut)
1960 Shows the new Grand upper tier Rangers Shed
1963 Photo (Here we may follow the Cooly Stories of Don carting over supplies.)
1963 Mal's Photo clearly shows an out house + Radio / Flag Mast.(As seen by Shore)
We can assume the Fishermen / Ranger's Hut had Rescue provisions / stores.
1963 Sadly also Don passed away {R.I.P} A memorial Island cairn marks his service.
1960/70's Cook Island was battered by a spate of cyclonic weather.
1970's (Late) Photo shows both out-house & Communications Mast is down.
Note: There was a long Mast still seen on n/w shore 2009 > (Google Earth)

1978 Cook Island is registered on 'The National Estate' > re: (2003 Heritage List)
Comments suggest it was removed at this time!
(A deceased Rangers Hut...would hold the high Heritage Value!)
Note: Asbestos was not an issue in 1978...(Phase out was from 1982 & no bans)

Note: Nothing can be removed from a National Estate, without Govt Order!
tbb is not doubting anyone, just the Govt reasoning behind such demolition.

23 Oct 1998 Cook Island NSW Aquatic Reserve skirts the Nature Reserve
Mal & others believe Hut was removed in accordance with Aquatic Reserve Listing.

2011 Plan of Management re: (Hut builders) + "No Fire ever recorded on island"

2012 Dawn Walker (Cook Island) speaks to World Congress of Ocean

2016 IUCN Listing (International Union for Conservation of Nature)

tbb Heresay only :
*NSW NP - Did consider the Hut has Heritage Value. (Not verified!)
*NSW NP- Apparently the Hut contained Asbestos (Removal order). (Not verified!)
* Earlier / clearer Google Earth showed This Hut thru 1990's. (Not verified!)
*1999 -Photo shows Shed is Gone. (Verified!)

Summing up-
Nature Reserve saw No Threat / National Estate can't touch a deceased Rangers Hut.
NP rules out any fire but comments suggest NP burnt down a hut! (Great Mystery!)
Would Tweed council contravene laws to preserve a Hut...Boyd's Shed is an example!
Ranger's Hut leaching Asbestos into 'Aquatic Reserve' habitat - Govt Policy >Remove.
Most likely the Hut was there up until 1998 ...Govt sent in Asbestos removal Teams.
The mast may have stayed (Less of an issue) Not ruling out earlier demise, just reason.
Bigger Mystery! Just how did the fisherman get a large mast up that hill?

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog Sunday, 2 Feb 2020 at 5:21pm

Did the survey and felt it was poorly constructed. Clunky at times and will be hard to analyse the data due to question choice and response options. Would not recommend the developer for their survey design skills to anyone.

tubeshooter's picture
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tubeshooter Sunday, 2 Feb 2020 at 9:42pm

cool stuff on Cook Island tbb , cheers . The result of volcanic work 23 million years ago How time flies.
Did the survey too ,,it was weak but at least it wasn't all multiple choice. How much they read the responses to open ended questions remains to be seen though.

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Lanky Dean Monday, 3 Feb 2020 at 12:09am

Pretty interesting to imagine, what snapper would look like now , present day.
If no sand pumping happened at all.
It's safe to say that everyspot from snapper to lower kirra was buried. Then replaced by one sand bank/ bar.
Another point to note is from looking at old photos, memories, is that how much the sand pumping voided the local marine sanctuary.
Completely buried it actually.
Something the local council seems have completely ignored for the last twenty years.

It's probably something the community could use to there advantage in the future.

Another thing to note is the old days would have favoured a more east swell direction.

dastasha's picture
dastasha's picture
dastasha Thursday, 6 Feb 2020 at 3:07pm

Buried. That's right.

That sand barge dumped load after load of sand in the bay. For weeks maybe months on end.
In the late eighties early nineties the waves would jack on Big Groyne out of nowhere coming from deeper water.
Nobody has mentioned the depth of the water beyond the bank so far.
I remember peering in to the deep blue off Snapper. You can clearly see the rocks and the bottom now.
Now you can see the swell approach from beyond the buoys.
A generally lower level of skill in the water has also changed the game.

For the record you can put me down as one of the selfish lot only interested in wave quality. Hollow pits specifically. With a sense of entitlement fueled by regularly increasing rates payments.
I really don't care for the million dollar toilet blocks.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 12:47pm

Goldie / Tweed crew wish to thank #1 Stu & Swellnet for your kind concern.

April 2020 -Superbank Survey Results

Results reflect Recreational Waterways / Beachgoers equally with Surf Crew.
Surf Industry score a gold mine of Surfing insight into GC WSR + Locals Only.

Note: Boaties & Beachgoers evaluate sand on an entirely different level.
However you can read between the lines by tallying like combos (vs) leading aim.

Tweed 50% / Qld 40% / Other10% (About 500 surfers)

Key : ( Highest % > Lowest% )
Erosion : ( Fingal ) = *Letitia Spit
Eco : (Loss of Headland - Bommie - Reef - Marine Habitat)
eg: No longer (Less) Whales or Turtles in Bay or fewer Dolphins.

(Surfers by age) 40-49 > 30-39 > 50-59 > 60-69 > 20-29 > Super Hodads > Gromz

List of Lead responses to Questions geared toward Surfing...
(If Done Better) 216 Need Better regulation of sand
(A good Job [+] Only choice!) 177 Enhancing Sand Movement > Boat > Surf > Beach

(Future Concerns) 109 Sand Flow / 91 crowding / 53 Consult / 51 Eco / 31 Waves
(Changes) 100+Too Much Sand / 100+ Surf & Marine destruction / 100+Erosion

(Project) 97 Good for Beaches / 89 Bad for Surf-Eco'Safety / 21 Good for Surf & Fish
(Improvements) 94 (Fine) / 100 Sand-Erosion-eco-Surf Issues / 52 (?)

Boating reveals main hive of (Support) + No opinion thru-out survey.
tbb chose not to drown out the "Surf report" with Boating specs...(No reason!)

Next Questions reveal *Key anomaly...
(*Letitia Spit = Fingal) > Local's Access + Natural Beauty + Least Crowds & Fav?

(Beach Use) 551 Surfing / 305 Swimming / 241 General / 143 Exercise / 117 Fishing

(Visited Beach) 299 gm / 283 rb / 278 sr / 255 db / 246 k / 197 c / 160 *let / 76 fr.
(Surf Choice) Surf > Wind > Waves > Convenience > Less Crowd > Amenities >

(Fav' Beach) 106 rb / 88 *let / 87 Kirra / 86 gm / 74 db / 68 sr / 17 c / 6 fr.
(Reasons) Waves >Wind > Less Crowd > Quality > Active > Access > (*Nat' Beauty)

(Least Fav) None > All Good > f > sr > c > db > k > *let > rb > gm
(Why?) Crowds > Waves > too much Sand > access > surf only beach > over dev'

(Beach Use) reveals 50+ Walkers as main activity > swimmers > Surfers
Proves important as Senior's Oceanway dominates beach Access to the Surf!

(Beach Order) Future > Recreation > Eco > Community > Scenery > Sacred
(Beach Future Concern) None > Pollution > Aspect > Pumping > Eco loss > Other...

Survey enforces that sand pumping is a major concern for future of the GC WSR
We all knew that...but now it's on record....
Now to legislate the restoration of endangered GC WSR bio diverse wave garden.

Craig's picture
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Craig Tuesday, 31 Aug 2021 at 7:43am

Incredible image of Snapper back in the mid-late 50's.

No sand at all, I thought it was a fake image but no. Insane eh..

lostdoggy's picture
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lostdoggy Tuesday, 31 Aug 2021 at 8:10am

Looks like a SUP pulling off the outer bank.
Ahead of his time.

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Bob Sacamano Tuesday, 31 Aug 2021 at 8:26am

How’s that front row parking!

booman's picture
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booman Tuesday, 31 Aug 2021 at 8:52am

It comes and gos, but after some intense sand pump. omfg it gets sooo good. Recently it is not been good but I havent seen the pump going much.

I wish that sand barge would dump that sand right on the corner of snapper, not down out from Kirra.

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Hutchy 19 Tuesday, 31 Aug 2021 at 1:52pm

There used to be a hamlet on the north side of the Bruswick River ( NNSW ) . About 20 homes from memory . Maybe due to the walls built it was demolished in a cyclone in the early 70's .

I don't think they dredge the river as the bar has always been there providing good waves . Never surfed it in the 70's as too sharky .

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wingnut2443 Wednesday, 1 Sep 2021 at 10:40am

Foyer walls of Ocean Shores Golf Club have great old photos from that era, of that area. Look into the background of a few of them and history shows a different landscape.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben Wednesday, 1 Sep 2021 at 10:59am

Was reading about the history of Ocean Shores a while back.. fascinating!

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 Thursday, 2 Sep 2021 at 6:59am

Some interesting, ah ... "politics" in the mix with how that area came to be developed.

Stick ya head into the foyer next time ya allowed down that way. Some interesting civil works undertaken. Look into the background of some and you'll see the shoreline history. Not quite as impressive as the old photo that's in (is it still there?) the Maroochy SLSC foyer...