While NSW was getting smashed by storms, Queensland looked like this

Australia is a country of extreme weather.

It has floods. It has drought. Bushfires scorch the earth and cyclones flatten the houses on it.

A perfect example of these extremes was evident last week when the south-east coast of Australia was hammered by ferocious storms that literally ate away at beachfront houses, and flooded others.

Three people died in floodwaters.

Here’s a look at the devastation it caused.

Collaroy Beach in Sydney’s northern beaches was one of the hardest hit

Photo: Daniel Munoz/ Getty Images.
Photo: Daniel Munoz/ Getty Images.

Powerful sea surges hammered the coastline

Photo: Daniel Munoz/ Getty Images.
Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.
Photo: Heath Holden /Getty Images.

Coogee’s surf club copped a beating too

Photo: Brendon Thorne/ Getty Images.
Photo: Ryan Pierse/ Getty Images.

Meanwhile just a two-hour flight north of Sydney, Cairns and Port Douglas remained untouched, if not had better weather because of the southern weather system.

Business Insider flew in a helicopter over this northern region in the wake of the Sydney storm, as it moved into Tasmania — where Launceston copped the brunt of it.

This is what we saw in Cairns.

From the air over Cairns, it was nothing but cloudless sky and pristine water

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley.
Photo: Sarah Kimmorley.

Flying over the Great Barrier Reef, it was so clear we could spot eagle rays and pods of dolphins

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley.
Photo: Sarah Kimmorley.

With next to no wind, the sea was calm and crystal clear

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley.
Photo: Sarah Kimmorley.
Photo: Sarah Kimmorley.

We took the land route on the way home. A few clouds but still idyllic conditions

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley.
Photo: Sarah Kimmorley.
Photo: Sarah Kimmorley.

The pilot of the chopper said he thought the unusually still conditions, and pristine waters were due to what was happening in the south-east parts of Australia.

Business Insider reached out to the Bureau of Meteorology to find out if there was a correlation between the weather conditions.

We’re waiting to hear back.

* Business Insider traveled to Cairns as a guest of Airbnb.

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