FRASER Island is showing its scars after wild weather from Cyclone Oma tore through.

The landscape, particularly on the eastern side of the island, has drastically changed after being buffeted by king tides, large swells and wind gusts up to 56km/h in the past fortnight. In spite of this, the island has not lost its appeal for many visitors - and business owners feel optimistic about its future.

If you ask long-time Fraser Island patron and chef at Happy Valley's Fraser Island Retreat, Christopher Jeffery, the ever-changing environment is part of the island's charm.


Fraser Island - chef Christopher Jeffery at Fraser Island Retreat, Happy Valley.
LAIDBACK: Chef Christopher Jeffery at Fraser Island Retreat, Happy Valley. Alistair Brightman

"It's like a living, breathing thing," he said.

"The condition of the tracks and landscapes are dependent on so many weather factors and tides.

"In three months it could look completely different again.

"It gives the visitors now a unique perspective.

"The big tides have moved a lot of sand, in places cutting as far up the beach as Cyclone Hamish did in 2009.

"Poyungan Rocks and Yidney Rocks have been completely exposed which is challenging to cross now and I've heard parts of the Maheno have been broken down."


Fraser Island - erosion on the Eastern Beach after cyclone Oma.
DENUDED DUNES: Erosion on Fraser Island's Eastern Beach after Cyclone Oma. Alistair Brightman

Visitors cancelled holidays, an extra paramedic was stationed to the island as a precaution and tourist areas flooded as the cyclone stayed about 800km from Brisbane off the coast.

Several beaches have experienced severe erosion and hazards such as steep sand dunes, deep washouts and gutters, hidden banks, fallen trees, exposed coffee rock and debris including logs has been unearthed.

Island residents say despite being cut off from the eastern beach roads for a few days, they fared well, protected in sand valleys.

Although most businesses missed out on about three days of work during the cyclone, the business calendar has just ticked over into a traditional quiet season.


Fraser Island - the Maheno wreck on the Eastern Beach.
ALWAYS CHANGING: Chef Christopher Jeffery. Inset: The Maheno wreck on the Eastern Beach. Alistair Brightman

Mr Jeffery, who is based at Burrum Heads, has more than two decades of experience on the island and said the swell was the worst he had seen in the past 10 years.

"Wind-wise, it wasn't too bad. Cyclone Linda definitely had more of a punch," he said.

"The biggest swell here got to about 5m."


Fraser Island - Lisa Walker from Fraser Island Taxis at Eurong.
Fraser Island - Lisa Walker from Fraser Island Taxis at Eurong. Alistair Brightman

Business owner Lisa Walker, who runs holiday accommodation near Eurong as well as the island's taxi service, said thankfully those who had cancelled their bookings had rescheduled at a later date.

"Some of the people who still wanted to come over here despite the weather warnings couldn't get the permits they needed and were forced to cancel, too," she said.

"It was a bit windy but nothing out the ordinary."