Tropical Cyclone Hamish has intensified off the coast of Queensland and is now a category five storm. It is bringing destructive winds, rising sea levels and large waves to the Whitsundays.

SkyNews correspondent Meecham Philpott says winds have exceeded 280 kilometres an hour in some places. But he says the good news is the eye of the storm is not expected to go through the Whitsundays.

Two Islands, South Molle and Long have been evacuated and emergency services are on standby.

- Newstalk ZB