The awesome power of nature.

Gita, a severe tropical 4 cyclone, powered through the South Pacific during last week and devastated Tonga. It then headed south for New Zealand. Downgraded to a category 3 it passed out at sea along the East Coast of Queensland. The excitement among the surfing community was intense as they watched and waited for the predicted huge swells to arrive. The weather forecasters fuelled the anticipation with regular up-dates. Yesterday many beaches were closed due to rough and unpredictable surges, wild surf conditions  hit on Friday and were due to peak on Sunday.

Then today, Sunday, the oceans rose to awesome 3 metre waves.

stormy ocean 024_5184x3888Look carefully in the above photo and you will see a surf ski with the wave dwarfing him?

stormy ocean 003_4927x3623The surfers were being taken out to the back of the waves on the surf skis. It was a wild ride but so much easier than having to paddle out.

stormy ocean 076Every vantage point was lined with crowds of spectators. Old and young, man and dog. stormy ocean 082_5184x3888

What a bonanza for tourism. Weekend, perfect weather and the excitement of a free show. One down side, finding a car park was almost impossible after 10am.stormy ocean 018_5184x3888Even the bike racks were full. We tied our trusty steeds to a spare post, then joined the throngs to watch the show.

stormy ocean 050_2500x2361Can you see that hazy figure in the middle of all the spray? Only experienced surfers would be able to handle these conditions.

stormy ocean 051 croppedMy camera is only a point and shoot and this is, again, quite blurry, but it gives an idea of how huge the swell was.

stormy ocean 023_5184x3888Round the corner, away from the headland, it was smaller waves and this fisherman had found a safer place to try his luck.

The cyclone will not make land fall in Australia but is turned south-west and heading straight for New Zealand.

“Cyclone Gita is set to bring 12m waves in areas near its centre when it hits New Zealand, leading to significant coastal damage and flooding.

After much uncertainty about when and where the cyclone would make landfall, WeatherWatch said today it could hit the upper northwest corner of the South Island on Tuesday afternoon.

“Certainly central New Zealand (upper half of the South Island and lower half of the North Island) appears to be at the greatest risk based on the past few days of various models – but this could still shift further north or south,” WeatherWatch said in a statement.

“Of course this isn’t yet locked in and with the storm still at least three days away this could definitely still change.

Here is a short video I took of the surf.


    • Hard to get the feeling in a photo. The whole atmosphere was electric. The crowds, the heat, the roaring of the ocean, the excitement and communal holding of breath each time a surfer caught a wave. If you watched my video there were some other Burleigh surfer videos after it, showing this beautiful area from out on the waves

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow that’s amazing. I saw a friend in Brisbane post some pictures of pink water as the waves hit the beach, and they said it was possibly algae related. I wonder if it was stirred up by these waves!

    Liked by 1 person

    • They would be interesting photos DJ, possibly algae. There was a lot of debris washed up with these waves, saw a quite sizeable log floating by. Now that would be dangerous for surfers or swimmers


  2. Those are some waves! I hope the New Zealanders are safe. My son is due to get married next Sunday in Raglan (on the west coast north island), but fortunately the wedding will take place on a hill!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Fantastic with your little Canon SX720HS you did a mighty job and your way with words gave a good idea of our experience. I especially liked that opening snap and the words every ‘man and his dog’.
    The YouTube clips following your video are an added bonus for any one that wants to continue the Burleigh experience. I’m living in paradise with an angel no need to die to be in heaven.😎🙏🚴‍♂️

    Liked by 1 person

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