Surfers Paradise Sand Backpass Pipeline Project

  • Project typeOcean, beaches & waterways
  • Project scheduleLate 2019 – Mid 2023
The Spit aerial view

Work is underway to install a 7.8 kilometre pipeline that will deliver natural sand from The Spit to protect Gold Coast's iconic northern beaches from coastal erosion. The Gold Coast northern beaches are regularly impacted by storms and king tides, compromising foreshore infrastructure and affecting beachgoers.

Once completed, 6.3 kilometres of permanent pipe will run underground and connect to 1.5 kilometres of temporary above-ground pipe to funnel sand from the existing Sand Bypass Jetty at The Spit onto the upper beach along Gold Coast northern beaches including Surfers Paradise.

The City has been actively working with the Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA) which operates the Sand Bypass Jetty. The Sand Bypass Jetty transfers sand to South Stradbroke Island and ensures the Seaway navigation channel is maintained. GCWA are providing a significant contribution to the project by capturing the sand through the Sand Bypass Jetty for the City to transport and allowing the City to use and modify their infrastructure.

The pipeline will enable the City to conduct annual renourishment campaigns proactively increasing the resilience of the Gold Coast northern beaches. It complements a 2017 beach nourishment project which replenished Gold Coast beaches with three million cubic metres of sand.

The pipeline has the ability to redirect up to 20 per cent or approximately 120,000 cubic metres of the sand transported via the sand bypass jetty to South Stradbroke Island each year. The Spit, Main Beach, Narrowneck, Surfers Paradise and South Stradbroke Island shorelines will be monitored as part of the City's coastal monitoring program.

Independent studies found the project would have no adverse impact on the surfing amenity at The Other Side (TOS) on South Stradbroke Island but will instead work to stabilise the shoreline.

The Surfers Paradise Sand Backpass Pipeline is a long-term investment in maintaining our beaches and supports all outcomes of our Ocean Beaches Strategy 2013–2023.

Construction details

The Surfers Paradise Sand Backpass Pipeline is being delivered over two stages:

Stage 1:

Installation of the pipeline from Narrowneck North to View Avenue, Surfers Paradise was completed by the City in conjunction with the Surfers Paradise Higman Street Seawall and South Narrowneck Oceanway projects in 2019/20.

Stage 2:

Scheduled to begin in May 2021 with the installation of the remaining pipeline between Narrowneck and the Sand Pumping Jetty at The Spit. It will also involve the connection of the pipeline to the existing bypass system which delivers sand to South Stradbroke Island. Stage 2 completion is anticipated for May 2023.

Watch a video overview of the project.