Mystery over what has turned sea on Coast green

Playing in the greenish brown ocean at Point Perry, Coolum.
Playing in the greenish brown ocean at Point Perry, Coolum. Warren Lynam

DEAR tourist, I know the sea might look a little pea soup at the moment, but it will pass promise.

This could be the welcome letter to the thousands of people flocking to the Sunshine Coast with school holidays already on the go for many private schools.

The northern beaches, from Coolum Beach to Sunrise Beach haven't had the breathtaking blue and see-through conditions locals have been enjoying for the past few months.

This is how Coolum Beach has been looking over most of autumn.


Coolum Beach when the sea is crystal clear.
Coolum Beach when the sea is crystal clear. Aamie Cush

But this is how Coolum Beach looked for the start of summer.


Playing in the ocean at Point Perry, Coolum.
Playing in the ocean at Point Perry, Coolum. Warren Lynam

Coolum's Simon Tyler, was not quite as enthusiastic when he went for his swim with the well-known group of Coolum swimmers called the 79ers on Sunday morning.

"I thought it was cooler and murky," Mr Tyler said.

"And no, I couldn't see the bottom."

No one knows yet what has caused the sea to change from blue to green, but Sunshine Coast Life Saving's Aaron Purchase said it was nothing to be concerned about.

"Nothing we've seen out there should concern anyone," he said.

"Depending on weather conditions, the ocean does change its colour."

Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford was also not worried the green-tinge might detract tourists.

The region is already geared up for possibly its best festive season ever.

"We are looking at a sensational holiday season," Mr Latchford said.

"Wotif (booking website) listed the Sunshine Coast as the second most popular holiday destination for this coming holiday period.

"And when one of the booking engines tell us we are number two in the nation... and we're up against the Whitsundays, Mornington Peninsula and all those other place."

The Sunshine Coast came second to the Gold Coast, with its "$20 million (tourism) budget".

"The Sunshine Coast is a very exciting phase, we are closing up extraordinarily quickly to go from zero to hero that fast."

The other boost for the region was the "major increase in capacity across airline partners".

"There are over 60,000 extra seats available, demand is huge," Mr Latchford said.

"It's never been numbers like this before."

And the "lucky last" factor was the Australian dollar and fuel price which was "keeping Australians at home".

Mr Latchford said most tourists wouldn't worry about the sea colour if they understood what caused it.

"I did a stint in the Whitsundays and at a particular time of they ear we would get a coral spawn."

This turned the beautiful blue sea into a tinge of pink.

"Once tourists understood it was natural, they had no problem.

"Someone also explained it was protein based and great for hair, they loved that fact."

Topics:  beaches coolum sunshine coast tourism

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