Gold Coast’s beaches are closed due to Queensland’s monster cyclone but it hasn’t stopped board-riders lapping up heaven-sent conditions.
World champion Mick Fanning led the way on Saturday as teams of local surfers carved up the best waves on the southern points at Snapper Rocks, Burleigh, Currumbin Alley, Kirra and Greenmount.
While more than 55,000 properties were damaged and 60,000 houses blacked out further up the Queensland coast, the aftermath of Cyclone Marcia – now a tropical low – ensured a perfect playground for experienced board-riders.
With the swell coming from the east instead of the south, rolling six-foot barrels have been the order of Friday and Saturday.
“This is not far off the best I’ve ever surfed,” Gold Coast lifeguard Joel Nantes told AAP.
“Indonesia is obviously the No.1 destination for surfers, and Hawaii as well, but this matches up to that. It’s as good as places overseas are going to throw at you.”
The Gold Coast disaster management committee met with Mayor Tom Tate on Saturday as the city prepared for the wild weather and potential flooding coming its way.
Surf conditions were more dangerous at the northern end of the Gold Coast but beaches were closed all the way from the Sunshine Coast to the NSW border.
Lifeguards aren’t patrolling but are happy for board-riding stalwarts to make the most of the swell, which isn’t about to die down yet.
“It looks like it’s going to be here to stay for the next three to four days as the tropical low re-intensifies,” Mr Nantes said.