Beach vehicle access north of Coffs Harbour and a number of camping and visitor areas in the Northern Rivers area have been closed until Wednesday 27 February for public safety, due to dangerous conditions associated with Tropical Cyclone Oma.
As Cyclone Oma approaches the coast of south east Queensland, large swells, wind and possibly heavy rain is expected to impact along the NSW North Coast, in particular in the coastal areas of Tweed, Byron, Ballina, Yamba and Coffs Harbour with conditions expected to peak Saturday 23 February.
“All beach vehicle access and pedestrian access in National Parks and Wildlife Service areas along the north coast between Coffs Harbour and the NSW/QLD border, as well as a number of campsites and day use areas in the Northern Rivers area, will be closed until Wednesday 27 February,” NPWS Director Russell Madeley said.
“Forested areas during a cyclone or severe storm have a high risk of falling limbs and trees,” he said.
“Until Wednesday 27 February people are strongly advised to avoid the beaches and national parks on the North Coast.
“Gale force winds are also forecast for the Byron and Coffs Coasts. The Cape Byron lighthouse precinct will be closed if winds reach more than 95kph,” Mr Madeley said.
Closures have commenced and will occur progressively over the next 24 hours, including:
- All beach vehicle access north of Coffs Harbour.
- All camping and visitor areas in Richmond River and Clarence Areas, including the following camping areas:
- Black Rocks and Woody Head in Bundjalung National Park
- Sandon and Pebbly Beach in Yuraygir National Park
- Forest Tops and Sheepstation Creek in the Border Ranges National Park
- Rummery Park in Night Cap National Park.
- Wollumbin National Park in the Tweed Byron Area.
- Clarkes, The Pass, Wategos and Tallows beaches at Byron Bay.
“For people’s safety, and that of the emergency service staff who might be required to provide emergency assistance, people should carefully consider the need to visit areas impacted by Cyclone Oma until they are declared safe,” Mr Madeley said.
“If travel cannot be avoided, be sure to check the NPWS website as well as advice from the NSW State Emergency Service and weather warnings from the BOM.
“NPWS will be actively monitoring the cyclone situation over the duration of the weather event and assess the damage once the storm has passed.
“We will re-open parks, campsites and beach vehicle access when visitor safety can be guaranteed,” he said.
For information on NPWS safety alerts, visit: Alerts for NSW National Parks
For emergency services updates on Cyclone Oma, visit the NSW State Emergency Service’s website at: NSW State Emergency Service
For real-time weather warnings, please check BOM’s website at: New South Wales Weather and Warnings Summary