Australia floods: Sunshine and Gold Coast covered in 'sea foam'

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This was the bizarre scene on Australia's Sunshine Coast over the weekend, where extreme weather has blanketed coastal towns with several feet of 'sea foam'.

Tourists, residents and emergency services were left bemused by the huge swathes of foam which were whipped up by high winds and then thrown onto land in eastern Australia.

Related: Three dead in dramatic Australian floods

Videos have emerged of cars attempting to navigate through the thick 'snow-like' sea foam in Alexandra Headland and nearby Mooloolaba.

The sea foam forms when powerful storms force water into the air before it is washed onto the beachfront.

The foam may have provided beachgoers with a unique photo opportunity, but it has also had serious consequences as local business have been affected during travel chaos.

Onlookers said the foam reached three metres high at its peak, with emergency services urging residents and tourists to cancel all non-essential travel.

Dozens of Australians have been left stranded by severe flooding in northeast Australia in the last few days.

The extreme weather has also killed three people and affected thousands of homes.

Thousands have evacuated their homes across Queensland and neighbouring New South Wales with widespread flood warnings in the southern path of ex-tropical cyclone Oswald.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the "wild weather had broken a lot of hearts", with some Queensland residents experiencing their third flood in two years, including the devastating 2011 inundation which killed 35 people.