Sand bypass and transfer systems around Australia

Swash has created a series of maps showing sand bypass and transfer systems around Australia, from east coast to west.

Produced with input from peers, local experts and academics, the maps pool a unique collective body of industry knowledge to deliver an invaluable shared resource.

Download the maps

Each map is available for download in high resolution.

We encourage everyone to print out copies and put them up in their office for quick reference.

Our aim is to update these maps periodically, so they continue to be a relevant current reference.

A quick summary of the learnings

Our founder, Damian, published a blog on LinkedIn that looks in more detail at the learnings from these maps, including some useful categorisations around how sand is collected and discharged.

If you have a potential project on the radar, we recommend reading that blog.

To re-publish just the big picture here, however:

  • There are more than 35 regular sand bypass and transfer systems operating Australia wide.
  • More than 3,600,000 m3 of sand is shifted annually through these systems.
  • West Australia (14) and south-east Queensland (9) have the most systems, followed closely by Victoria (7).

Criteria for inclusion

The criteria for including a sand bypass and transfer system in our maps was:

  • Material is sand
  • Sand is placed on shore or in surf zone for beach nourishment
  • >10,000m3 is relocated on an annual or frequent basis (not ad hoc).

Naturally, there are many other small and large systems and locations where sand is relocated on an ad-hoc basis, but for the purposes of clarity it made sense to devise a framework like the above.

Maps by region

For those who want to concentrate more closely on just one of the areas that make up the national map, here’s a little more detail on each below – plus links to the original LinkedIn posts if you want to read people’s original feedback.


South east Qld and northern NSW

This one was first cab off the rank. As we noted at the time, most industry people we’d chatted to in south east Queensland and northern NSW knew of the Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project and the Gold Coast Seaway.

But some of the other nine sand bypass-transfer systems operating annually between Noosa and Newcastle are less familiar.

Download the south east Qld and northern NSW map.

Adelaide to Sydney

Next up, we worked on the southern coastline. Again, we got a lot of useful feedback and questions around what we did and didn’t include, and a few new pieces of information eventually found their way onto the finished map.

Download the Adelaide to Sydney map.

Western Australia

Finally, we put together the Western Australia coast line map.

As before, industry peers were generous with their time and input, opening up the conversation to colleagues, referencing historical documents for further context and helping me to clarify my objectives.

Download the Western Australia map.

Get in touch

These maps are intended to show the sand bypass and transfer systems that are currently in place and which meet my criteria for inclusion.

If you’d like to talk more about any of these projects or a new project, please get in touch or connect with me on LinkedIn.