A giant waterspout that developed off NSW's south coast may be one of the largest ever caught on camera in Australia.
The towering twister appeared off Batemans Bay on Sunday afternoon and spectacular images of the swirling, dark grey vortex rapidly spread around the world via social media sites.
Bureau of Meteorology severe weather forecaster Mick Logan said the waterspout, which lasted about 20 minutes, attracted so much attention because it was particularly well-formed and intense.
"It's the most intense that I've seen off the NSW coast," he told AAP.
"There's not many photos that I would know of that have come in with something as strong as that one."
Mr Logan said waterspouts were more commonly spotted off Australia's east coast in late autumn, when the sea temperature was warmer and the air cooler.
The last one reported by AAP was in February off the coast of Medowie, north of Newcastle, in February.
"But in the digital age there's more and more footage coming in of them," Mr Logan added.
Meanwhile, amazing video footage of severe hail and thunderstorms which affected southeast Queensland on Sunday is also being posted online.
One video, posted by Flinn McKenzie and shot from a balcony, begins with the fast-moving storm visible in the distance and a person just off camera commenting: "It's getting closer - it hasn't arrived yet."
But within 20 seconds heavy rain is bucketing down and then the hail begins, forcing whoever is holding the video camera to scramble inside and quickly shut the sliding glass doors.
Towards the end of the video, the cameraman moves back outside and shows the ground covered in large hailstones.
A tarpaulin-style roof covering at the same property is full of holes - apparently where the hail has hit it, and washing has been knocked off a drying line.
Another video, posted by Nikos Athanasiadis, shows hail thundering into a backyard swimming pool and plumes of spray erupting into the air.
A third video, posted by Andy Reid, appears to show hail damaging a car parked in a Brisbane street and tearing leaves from nearby trees.