Return of the bay
By ROXANNE MILLAR
RAINBOW Bay - its name suggests it would be just the place to find a pot of gold.
And over the past few months beachgoers have been doing just that, as they rediscover a lagoon in the tranquil bay.
Since the Tweed Sand Bypassing Project toned down its activities in the area last year, water has returned to the bay to make it the ideal family swimming spot.
The nippers are back training and beach volleyball is being held on the svelte sand.
And it just gets better.
Behind the bay is Snapper Rocks' world renowned "superbank", which is still providing surfers with reliable waves that deteriorate before getting too close to the bay and its young swimmers.
Rainbow Bay Surf Life Saving Club president Peter Hickey said it was the perfect picture for Rainbow Bay after a long battle with a wide beach.
"We have the major international event that is the Quicksilver Pro and then can fall back on the peaceful and tranquil Rainbow Bay," he said.
"Each weekend we probably get about 5000 people down here.
"Before, there was so much sand the nippers were facing waves from Snapper Rocks that were really dangerous and had to train in Jack Evans Boat Harbour. It is good all-round for us."
The picture perfect beach is the result of almost 10 years of dredging and sand pumping in the area, and is set to stay.
Tweed Sand Bypassing Project manager Ian Taylor said what people were finally seeing were the project's long-term results.
"When the project really settles it will give the community beaches just like they were in the 1960s," he said.
"We will see a progressive move of results along to Coolangatta and Kirra, but these are weather dependent. If we had a cyclone we could lose a lot out of Kirra, but if it is calm it could take a year or two.
He said when beaches return to early conditions they will be able to protect themselves from storms.