Australia battered by one-in-100 year 'monster storm'

The east coast of Australia has been battered by a one-in-100 year "monster storm".

The shores of Byron Bay are now unrecognisable and changed forever after king tides and strong swells washed away the popular beach and eroded its coastline.

The storm was similar to a category 1 cyclone and follows days of heavy downpours across northern New South Wales and Queensland.

By Tuesday morning, homes and lives came under threat and evacuation warnings were issued to coastal towns.

One coastal restaurant was forced to use a defensive line of sandbags, which was all that saved it from the wild weather.

"We're witnessing Mother Nature put on a hell of a show," the restaurant owner said.

This summer, forecasters predict it will be a season riddled with storms rather than bushfires.

"It's been a long time coming," one local said. "The drought's been broken, it'll flood the dams, it's good."

Australia battered by one-in-100 year 'monster storm'
Photo credit: Newshub.

In the midst of the storm was a rare phenomenon. A beach blanketed in sea foam became the centre of a search and rescue effort for a pet dog named Hazel.

"We were just playing on the foam and suddenly a wave came and she disappeared and I assumed she was drowning," Hazel's owner Nat said. 

Hazel was soon found after a frantic search.