Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Magic happened again at Byron Bay last week with some fantastic surfing snagged at Cosy Corner and a great show witnessed when some hard core dudes took on Saturday's extreme conditions at Belongil, screaming across the 10ft faces on the bomb sets. It was way too radical for me and the White Resonant Mirror to launch ourselves into but excellent fun to watch. Poised as we were right on the bay, we spent our down time jutting out into the Pacific like gluttons sucking up that special far eastern energy.

But there's a real issue emerging for landholders here in the guts of the bay and watching big waves like these really brought it home - the dunes on which they built their flash pads are gradually being eroded away by the endless surge of the sea. The owners of our fab establishment - 'Bluewater on the Beach' -have had experts in to advise on ways in which disaster might be averted. One suggestion is to make a series of breakwaters, each one perhaps sponsored by a surf company, which would stem the tide of destruction while providing some potentially awesome surf spots. This would also ease the pressure on the ever popular Pass by distributing surfers more evenly along the Bay.

There are of course problems with this concept because the Bay is a designated Marine Reserve - nothing must endanger or disrupt the marine habitat here. But maybe the break-walls would encourage sea life? It's tempting to let nature take its course but Byron Bay is such an Australian mecca that the sheer numbers of people pouring through the place on a daily basis has already had an impact on every conceivable level. It certainly isn't the little hippy haven I first came to back in 1977!

But there's something about it that mysteriously draws one back time and time again, despite the summer crowds and gridlock. It's like a mystical magnet. Luckily numbers were down this year due to the floods up north so we had a good run of the place. Even an Australia Day, there were only a handful of diners at Rae's - that well known flash restaurant at Watego's (what egos!). Staff must've thanked their lucky stars that our party was celebrating not one but two birthdays in fine style for a second year in a row, gorging ourselves on their delectable Morton Bay Bugs washed down with plenty of good plonk.

We've already made another booking at Bluewater for next year. Let's hope our excellent ocean viewing platform is still intact!


  1. Byron council stipulates that any house built on the Belongil sand spit is at their own risk. And are now enforced to make a demountable structure incase of extreme ocean conditions. creating breakwalls in this fragile and unique environment would be such a travesty. the estuary would suffer as a result of a lack of flushing and regeneration. In such a pristine environment, the sight of several breakwalls reaching out with their black toppled boulders and gravel surfaces in comparison to your photo above would be devastating. can you imagine!! I don't think saving several multi-million dollar holiday properties (i know very few locals who continue to live permanently on the foreshore) is worth the destruction of a natural habitat as unique as the Belongil.

  2. I think we're talking more along the lines or artifical reefs - like Currumbin, Cottesloe, Bournemouth. A series of 3 or 4 A frame sand banks made or tubes of sand designed to catch the predominent swell and form fun little banks. marine life loves a reef, so do divers.
    Apparently a few of these small reefs would help protect the beach by dispersing some of the waves energy and thus help slow down the ersosion. The crowds would thin out at the Pass and Tallows and spread to the closer town beach of Belongil which is really quite deserted most of the time.

  3. Chk out the latest artificial reef in India to help cope with Monsooon Waves eroding the beaches.