UPDATE: Sandbags at Torquay beach have held up under the pressure of a 4.22m king tide which peaked at 8.59am on Friday.

Infrastructure and planning portfolio councillor Trevor McDonald said his only information was his observations and although some sand covering the sandbags had been lost, they had "held up quite fine'.

"They have done the job they were put there to do and prevented further loss of the actual line of beach," he said.

Cr McDonald said there were crowds of people lining the beach watching the swell.

"It was quite an angry sight," he said.

"There were swells up to 1m in height so it wasn't exactly calm water even though we were spared the northerly winds."

A lake of saltwater formed in the area between the Seafront Oval and the All Abilities Playground in Pialba and Cr McDonald said that would have an impact on vegetation.

He said the work the council had done in the past 30 days since the big northerlies had spared the foreshore.

"Within our budget and the timeframe that was all we could do in 30 days, nobody is claiming that's a permanent solution to erosion along the front but it was a very appropriate immediate response," Cr McDonald said.

"Next step is to investigate and plan for future or permanent and far more costly solutions to the erosion issues."

EARLIER: Waves are breaking over the seawall at Urangan on Friday ahead of the 4.22m high at 8.59am.

A bystander at Torquay beach said the waves had started coming over the sandbags.