Double Island a surfing mecca during big swell
RAINBOW Beach became a carpark, surfers lapped up large breaks and fears for the $120,000 Rainbow Beach access stairs marked a big weekend on the coast.
The commotion was whipped up thanks to Category 5 tropical cyclone Winston, which generated rough ocean conditions after lashing Fiji a fortnight ago.
Waves peaked at just more than nine feet (2.74m) on Saturday, with the cleanest of the breaks at Double Island Point.
By Sunday, the swell was waning while 4WD enthusiasts flooded Rainbow Beach. with vehicles lined up for as far as the eye could see.
Photos appeared on social media showing the newly installed $120,000 Rainbow Beach access stairs seemingly washed away.
Gympie councillor Mark McDonald cleared up the confusion yesterday, saying the stairs had in fact been detached last Thursday ahead of the big swell. Once the seas settled down again, that bottom third will be reattached.
"Those stairs were always designed so that in extremely large swell the bottom third was removable," Cr McDonald said.
The rough seas and big swell has cost the Cooloola Coast about 2m of sand off the beach in the past week.
Back on the beach, the Mudlo Rocks became the backdrop again for a 4WD rescue.
Tiffany and Justin Pfeiffer of Bush 2 Beach Camping witnessed the rescue Sunday afternoon.
A group of men offered a young couple help when their 4WD became stranded on the rocks.
A young man ran bare-footed across the rocks to retrieve a high lift jack from his vehicle which was then used to lift the 4WD off the rocks so it could be turned around safely.
The vehicle was spared a watery grave and no one was hurt in the incident.