By GREG ANSLEY
Wax up your boards and hook your lines. By next month the world's most advanced man-made reef will be pumping perfect waves off the beach at the Gold Coast's Narrow Neck, creating an instant new Mecca for the stream of Kiwis who head for Queensland beaches every year.
The New Zealand-designed reef is also rapidly becoming a prime fishing spot as marine life colonises the huge, 500-tonne sandbags used to form it.
Even with 50 of the 340 bags still to go in, the reef is already performing for both fishers and surfers.
Boardriders who have tried the waves report enthusiastically on the potential of the reef, which will almost double the size of most swells and provide near-perfect right and left breaks.
Anglers are equally happy, with regular catches of 50 to 60 tailor.
Local real estate developer Gordon Douglas reports a catch of 40 tailor in 30 minutes off the reef.
And there will be gains for the less energetic.
The reef is being built as an alternative to a groin to stabilise a huge flow of sand from north to south along the coast.
It is also designed to prevent the massive storm erosion of the kind that in 1967 caused $A340 million in damage and left the Gold Coast feeling like a ski resort in a lean snow year.
By stopping about 20 per cent of the sand-flow and keeping it on the Gold Coast, the local council plans to widen its beaches by 50-100m, allowing much more room for playing and lazing about.
By GREG ANSLEY