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Narrowneck Reef Renewal

The Narrowneck artificial reef is being renewed to support outcomes from the City's Ocean Beaches Strategy 2013 – 2023.

Click to enlargeFaucon at Narrowneck Reef Renewal aerial - Courtesy: International Coastal Management

Photo courtesy International Coastal

Project update - July 2018

The Narrowneck Reef Renewal works were completed on 17 June 2018. A total of 84 additional mega geotextile sandbags were placed since the renewal works began in September 2017. The completion of these works will help to ensure the Narrowneck artificial reef continues to function as an effective coastal protection structure.

View our project image gallery.

Video footage courtesy International Coastal Management (ICM)


The Narrowneck artificial reef was built to protect the vulnerable, exposed and narrow stretch of foreshore. Before the reef was constructed in 1999, Narrowneck had a history of high-level erosion during storms.

Coastal monitoring shows that the reef has been an effective coastal protection asset that has increased the resilience of Narrowneck beach against the impacts of storm events and large ocean swell. The reef lessens the erosion impact of large waves. As these waves cross the reef, their intensity becomes less threatening to the beach. The reef also promotes a build-up of sand near the structure, and this sand acts as a buffer to protect the beach during storms.

The renewed reef will help retain sand placed on our northern beaches as part of the Gold Coast beach nourishment project.

Like any infrastructure, the reef has a design life and requires renewal to ensure the structure continues to function.

For more information view our Narrowneck Reef Renewal - FAQ fact sheet.


The renewal works involve placing additional geotextile sand containers on the existing artificial reef using a specialised vessel. The containers will be constructed using the latest geotextile fabric.

The predetermined locations of the new containers have been influenced by physical modelling undertaken at the Queensland Government Hydraulics Laboratory. There will be some minor changes to the shape of the renewed reef. The target depth of the renewed reef is the same as previously adopted, which is approximately 1.5 meters below low tide.

Scale model tests will be undertaken to assess wave breaking characteristics as part of the design phase of the renewal works.

Prohibited Anchorage Area

The Narrowneck artificial reef has recently been declared a ‘Prohibited Anchorage Area’ and two yellow navigation buoys have been installed adjacent to the reef to mark the extents of the area.

Preventing vessels from anchoring on the reef will help mitigate potential safety hazards and ensure that the renewed reef is not damaged by anchors. Anchoring on the reef has been a leading cause of damage to the Geotextile Sand Containers.

Stakeholder engagement

A comprehensive stakeholder engagement plan continues to be delivered as part of this project.

A number of stakeholder meetings have taken place with key stakeholders including a selection of community group leaders who have represented their members. The meetings have provided an opportunity for stakeholders to ask questions and for the project team to respond to and address any issues while informing stakeholders about the need for the project and method of delivery.


The Narrowneck Reef Renewal is a joint initiative of the City of Gold Coast, the Queensland Government and the Australian Government. The project is partly funded through the Natural Disaster Resilience Program, a joint State and Australian Government funding program.


A design and construction tender for the renewal works at Narrowneck Reef was advertised from February to April 2017. The contract was awarded to McQuade Marine No 2 Pty Ltd in June 2017.

McQuade Marine's design and construction team comprises International Coastal Management (ICM) providing project management and design services, and the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation (DSITI) providing physical modelling services.


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