Watching the tide come in became a spectator sport this morning as thousands of people flocked to the Far North Coast’s beaches and waterways to see a once-in-18-years king tide.

Fortunately, there wasn’t a large sea swell, which minimised coastal erosion. However, the water level was high enough in Ballina about 10.30am today to ooze through stormwater drains and cover a section of Tamar Street at the bus terminal (above).

Far North Coaster toured the beaches and waterways of Ballina, where the king tide peaked at 2.01m (six feet seven inches under the old scale) at 10am.

Our pictures show Lighthouse Beach at East Ballina, Shaws Bay, the rock wall at the Richmond rivermouth near the northern approach to Missingham Bridge, Fawcett Park and the boatharbour at the end of Martin Street.

If you have a good photo of this morning’s tide, the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) will be interested to see it.

The DECC asked members of the community along the NSW coast to assist in a volunteer photographic survey of the impact of the king tide.

“The king tide will provide an opportunity to see areas along the coast that are subject to flooding and at risk from erosion and storm damage,” the department said.

“It is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the long-term challenges of sea level rise.

“In recent workshops around the State, the Department has presented forecasts of climate change impacts, including the potential for sea levels to rise by 40cm by 2050 and by 90cm by 2100.”

DECC is also interested in photos of submerged foreshore areas and other areas that are vulnerable to inundation.

“The photographic coverage will help create a statewide snapshot of vulnerable areas, many of which will not have been recorded before. This will help planning for future implications of sea level rise,” it said.

Check out http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/climatechange/kingtide.htm

There will be other bigger king tides later this year — but they might be hard to photograph. They will be at 8.45pm on Tuesday, June 23, when it will peak at a whopping 2.05m (six feet nine inches), with the same height being reached again on June 23 at 9.31pm. On Wednesday, July 22, the peak tide will be 2.06m at 8.24pm