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Byron Shire
February 23, 2024

Seven Mile Beach gets a breather

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Seven Mile Beach in its natural state. Photo David Lowe.

The beach north of Lennox Head was unusually quiet on the weekend, with 4WD traffic blocked from entering due to the dangerous conditions in the previous week.

Instead of being the usual rutted sandy highway, the beach was allowed to revert to its natural state, with terns, oystercatchers, gulls and the occasional person walking a dog. There were also families flying kites, enjoying the serenity.

4WD tracks through dunes at Seven Mile Beach. Photo David Lowe.

High seas from recent cyclonic conditions have hammered the dunes, with the problem exacerbated by 4WD tracks running through fragile natural ecosystems parallel to the sea, whether from people escaping high tides or improvising a 4WD rollercoaster through the dunes.

This is obliterating the karkalla and other stabilising species.

There were also signs of improvised tracks and camping areas in the nature reserve behind the beach, which contains banksias, wattles and casuarinas, providing habitat for a wide variety of animals.

Turtles are increasingly visiting the beach, with pippies and crabs also able to avoid being crushed by heavy 4WDs, at least temporarily.

The gate to the beach remains locked for the moment, but the long term future of 4WDs on the beach is yet to be determined by Ballina Shire Council and other stakeholders.

This will be an issue to watch in the forthcoming term of council.

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  1. Thank goodness for nature .
    Council, stakeholders and community need to put nature first. Why has it taken so long to address this and why aren’t other areas under the spotlight.
    There is an absolute abuse for respecting country, nature and indigenous people.
    Today blue helpers on Main Beach owner couldn’t care less and the same each day this week. They chase the birds that are already suffering from habitat loss.
    It is up to Council, Business Chambers, National Parks etc to develop creative, intuitive. And collaborative campaigns to educate locals and visitors.
    This events vehicles, over visitation, illegal parking and camping at night in sensitive areas with fires are having an impact.
    What makes this region unique is that we have intact. Ancient rainforest and abundant wildlife.
    We want to attract people that happily will engage with nature respectfully and want to experience the intrinsic benefits of it ie quiet, sounds of Nature.
    This is totally different when all you see if stream of vehicles, noise, tracks in the sand etc.
    Its long overdue that we address the fact that we are just threatening the hand that feeds us literally and via tourism and other business that trade on these pristine images of Nature.

  2. Beach access for 4wd’s should be prohibited permanently for the whole length of the beach. For the environment’s sake, as well as for people in general to enjoy. How can the beach be safe for those on foot, kids playing etc? It’s like dodging traffic on a highway!
    Rev-heads & thrill-seekers rarely care for the environment, only their own enjoyment.

    • Barry, before you use pejorative terms again perhaps you should look up their meanings ?
      [Now – where did I put my favourite red bandana…..)


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