Every year tourists flock to Cobargo, Batemans Bay, Mallacoota and other beach towns searching for a slice of paradise on the Australian coast.
Today, those idyllic towns have been transformed into apocalyptic scenes as the nation’s devastating bushfires close in with reports of lives lost, people unaccounted for, homes razed to the ground and main streets destroyed.
Social media is awash with images of blood-red skies and terrifying walls of flames currently engulfing these and other coastal communities.
But dramatic and heartbreaking before-and-after photos are also starting to emerge which reveal the true horror wrought by the blaze.
Cobargo – a village in southeast NSW with a population of just 776 people – is one of many Aussie towns affected by the fire crisis.
Photos of the main street before and after the fires swept through town show the extent of the damage, with social media users sharing snaps of the quaint and historic main street that has now been “completely destroyed”.
Some of the most dramatic photos of the fires are coming from Mallacoota in Victoria, where the sky turned a dark red earlier this morning.
Up to 4000 people are currently trapped on a beach in Mallacoota as bushfires rage through the area.
The historic Genoa Bridge across the Genoa River in Victoria was built between 1926 and 1928.
Today, it has been engulfed by flames.
The popular NSW South Coast area has also been seriously affected by the fires, with pictures shared on social media revealing an eerie, blackened sky as smoke enveloped the communities of Batemans Bay, Merimbula, Corrigans Beach and many other regions.
Homes are now believed to have been lost with tourists and locals alike fleeing to the beach in a bid to avoid the flames.