Tweed River entrance sand bypass
The Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project is a joint initiative of the Queensland and New South Wales governments to:
- maintain a navigable entrance to the Tweed River
- provide an ongoing supply of sand to the southern Gold Coast beaches.
Find out more:
After being extended in the 1960s, the breakwaters at the entrance to the Tweed River trapped and reduced the supply of sand to the southern Gold Coast beaches.
This sand normally would have been transported to southern Gold Coast beaches by wave action and near-shore currents.
Eventually, the sand moved past the end of the breakwaters and created a large, shallow sand bar at the Tweed River entrance that was hazardous to navigation.
The Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project aims to overcome these problems.
Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project/New South Wales and Queensland governments
We are undertaking the project in 2 stages.
The first stage, now complete, involved dredging more than 3 million cubic metres of sand from the Tweed Bar and entrance to create a navigable channel and to nourish the southern Gold Coast beaches.
We delivered sand onto the eroded beaches to bring them back to a condition similar to the one before the breakwaters were extended.
The second stage has provided a permanent sand bypassing system since 2001.
Sand arriving at the permanent system on the southern side of the Tweed River entrance is trapped and pumped to the southern Gold Coast beaches.
What’s happening now
The project’s current activities include:
- the sand bypassing system is now delivering sand to Snapper Rocks East
- the sand bypassing system also delivers some sand to Duranbah Beach. This occurs during autumn and spring every year
- sand pumping occurs primarily at night, except under specific conditions such as system testing or storm events—during which, there may be continuous operations. When outlets are operating, you should keep clear for safety reasons.
We involve the local community in the Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project through regular consultation. This includes feedback on feasibility studies to improve project operation.
Community Advisory Committee
Information on the project is provided to the community in an open forum through regular meetings.
The most recent presentation is available at the Community Advisory Committee page of the New South Wales Government project site.
In July 2009, the Queensland and New South Wales governments announced feasibility assessments would be made to improve the long-term operation of the project.
There were 4 proposed options:
- North Kirra outlet—extend the existing sand pumping and delivery to a new outlet at North Kirra
- additional dredge placement areas—consider placing dredged sand at locations along Bilinga and Tugun beaches, as well as in deeper waters, offshore of the existing Point Danger to Coolangatta nearshore sand placement areas
- Kingscliff sand delivery—consider the Tweed River entrance as a one-off source of sand for the eroded south Kingscliff Beach, as proposed by the Tweed Shire Council
- sand back passing—develop a dredging and/or pumping regime to allow sand to be recycled to southern Letitia Spit.
In 2011, the findings of these feasibility studies were released for community consultation.
Based on the feedback received, the New South Wales and Queensland governments decided to investigate options 2 and 4.
View the feasibility studies reports on the New South Wales government project site.
- New South Wales Government project site
- Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project Agreement Act 1998
- YouTube video—Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project
- Video monitoring of southern Gold Coast beaches
For general questions, contact:
Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project
NSW Department of Trade and Investment
Phone: (02) 6620 5502
Fax: (02) 6681 6944
For questions about the works, including operations and environmental management, contact:
Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Company
McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) Pty Ltd
Phone: (07) 5524 1833
Fax: (07) 5524 5241