Wrecked beach ‘has been worse before, will come back’
LOOKING at the beaches denuded of sand and strewn with driftwood, it's hard to believe Byron Bay's popular coastline can ever recover.
And with a leviathan 1.91m high tide predicted to decimate the beach on Tuesday, visitors and newbies to the tourism hotspot might despair of ever enjoying the town's Main or Clarkes beaches ever again.
But fourth generation Byron local Kirra Pendergast, 50, is more stoic.
In fact she's more positive than most when it comes to believing the beach will regenerate.
"I was born here, grew up here, have seen the weather and heard a million stories growing up from my dad and other long time locals about these beaches," she said.
"This morning I was with my dad Max at Lennox Head chatting to a mate and he said, 'I have seen this happen before, and it was much worse, and it always comes back'," she said.
"Dad's got photos he took back in 1973 of the Main Beach carpark full of water."
Ms Pendergast said while she was not discounting the damage done, she simply felt philosophic about the situation.
"It's devastating to see the beach like this again but it will come back," she said.
A huge 1.91m king tide is set to hit the coastline at 9.47am on Tuesday.
NSW Surf Life Saving state duty officer Jimmy Keough said people should stay away from Byron's beaches.
"On top of the dangerous surf conditions we will see a large amount of coastal erosion on top of what we presently have along the coastal foreshore from Captain Cook (lookout) to Main Beach," he said.
"We are seeing trees, walkways and platforms being damaged and there's the potential of future destruction with the king tide and massive waves predicted tomorrow."
Mr Keough said swimmers and surfers, no matter how experienced, should avoid entering the ocean.
"The water will be filled with a lot of debris which is hazardous to swimmers and surfers as well as anyone going out to assist them, so please stay out of the water," he said.
"We will be working with council to keep people safe".