During every full moon, at a usually busy beach, a group of ghostly figures congregate on the shore during the night.
They’re at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast for a unique experience – to ride the surf as it glows under the light of the moon, for surreal waves without the masses of daytime crowds.
One of the dedicated riders, Luis Mori, 42, told Daily Mail Australia about taking photographs of those who get up to start catching the moonlit waves at about 3am in the morning.
Gold Coast man Luis Mori takes photographs of the night riders who take to the water to surf under the full moon
Mr Mori, 42, said the experience of surfing under a full moon was and incredible, spiritual sensation
Mr Mori, originally from Peru, said the amount of light created by the moon was surprising and lit up the surf well – well enough for amazing photographs like this one of a woman swimming underwater
Often as many as 50 night riders would appear on the beach from about 3am onwards, looking like ghostly figures as they made the most of the moonlit waves
‘When there’s a full moon, or nearly full moon, there’s usually about 50 people coming here (Snapper Rocks). They wait for the moon to be in the perfect position so it can shine on the face of the waves and light up the waves so they can ride them,’ he said.
And right now, the experience is even more intense, as Queensland is being hit by large waves caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Winston, which Mr Mori says is making for the biggest swell in a year.
The experience of surfing a wave at night was ‘incredible’.
‘It’s something spiritual, at first you can’t believe how clear it is with the light the moon can create. It’s amazing. It’s just for you’.
From 3am onwards on the night of full moon and the nights immediately before and after, night surfers – and bodyboarders – take to the waves
A lone surfer stands on the beach with city lights in the background, as the moon lights up the sand and the surf
This surfer is clearly having a good time in the night-time surf on Queensland’s Gold Coast
A surf is pictured powering through and night-time turn in a photograph captured by Mr Mori
Those making the most of the moon only have a small window of time to do so – usually the night of full moon and the one before and after.
The night riders are gone when the day breaks at about 5-6am, Mr Mori, originally from Peru, says.
Riding the moonlit waves also comes with the benefits of dodging the crowds.
At the same beach, by 6am, there could be up to 400 people in the line-up for a wave, Mr Mori said.
As for any concerns about sharks in the water, he said it was too dark to see them, even if they were there.
‘A real Aussie guy who is born and bred in Australia, they don’t care, they just jump in the water and surf,’ Mr Mori, who is also a lifeguard, said.
Several brightly-clad surfers can be seen on this wave, shrouded by darkness
Mr Mori said surfing at night was a way to beat the busy daytime surf crowds at Queensland beaches
Forecasters have warned of abnormally high tides and dangerous surf as ex-Tropical Cyclone Winston hits the Queensland coast this weekend.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning which covers the coast from Fraser Island to New South Wales.
Due to the conditions, some of the Gold Coast’s beaches were closed as early as Friday, Weatherzone reported.
Gold Coast City acting chief lifeguard Chris Maynard said five of the region’s 41 beaches had been closed.
He predicted that with intensifying conditions, many more beaches could be closed by Saturday.
Ex-Tropical Cyclone Winston is expected to start weakening on Sunday.
Surf Life Saving Australia has recommended people avoid the water and surf-exposed areas.
A surfer rides a large wave courtesy of ex-Cyclone Winston at Kirra beach on the Gold Coast on Friday
Australian pro surfer Owen Wright is seen in front of waves courtesy of ex-Cyclone Winston at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast
A surfer rides a wave as dangerous surf courtesy of ex-Cyclone Winston hits Coolangatta
A dangerous conditions sign is seen at Kirra beach on the Gold Coast
A surfer is towed into high waves by a jet ski at Kirra Beach on Friday
Spectators watch on as a surfer rides a huge wave courtesy of ex-Cyclone Winston
Members of the public look on as a surfer rides a large wave courtesy of ex-Cyclone Winston at Kirra beach
Surfers attempt to enter the rough water caused by ex-Cyclone Winston at Snapper Rocks
A closed beach sign is seen at Kirra beach on the Gold Coast, where many beaches are expected to be closed on Saturday