Fun beachies ahead, then an average weekend
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 1st July)
Best Days: Thurs/Fri: clean leftover SE swell, inconsistent but fun at the swell magnets, biggest in Northern NSW, only small in SE Qld. Late Tues/Wed: large S'ly swell for Northern NSW, plenty of size for SE Qld outer points.
Recap: We’ve had great waves for the last few days, in fact the swell cycle was both a little later to arrive than expected (early Tuesday), and also persisted for a little longer across SE Qld too, though size did slowly ease today throughout Northern NSW. Overall, we saw a peak south of the border around 4-5ft (late Tues/early Wed) whilst SE Qld came in around 2-3ft+. Winds have been light so conditions have been clean.
This week (July 2 - 3)
The fetch responsible for the last few days of great waves has remained active off the west coast of New Zealand since Sunday, though is now slowly weakening and rotating outside of our swell window.
That being said, we’ve got another small pulse of swell expected from this source. Thursday should see early 3ft+ across south facing beaches south from Byron (smaller at southern ends and protected spots), but it’ll be smaller in SE Qld, up to 2ft at the swell magnets and outer points, smaller again elsewhere. Expect very long breaks between the sets, and a possible slow decrease in size through the day.
The next minor pulse is due into the Mid North Coast overnight or early Friday, probably no bigger than Thursday morning’s size though it’ll probably be even less consistent. I’m expecting a delay on this new energy in Far Northern NSW and SE Qld - so it may end up benefiting the afternoon over the morning - and you’ll really have to scout out the swell magnets for the best waves.
Both days look clean for the beaches with light to moderate NW winds, though there is a northerly risk, mainly on Thursday. No major strength is likely, so aim for a northern corner for both the most size and best conditions.
This weekend (July 4 - 5)
Saturday will start off very small, though clean with early offshore winds. We’re looking at a minor combination of leftover SE swell and a small S’ly swell (in Northern NSW, mainly south from Coffs), originating from strong W/SW winds exiting eastern Bass Strait on Friday (though this has been downgraded in the latest guidance, so I’m not confident there’ll be much size).
Most beaches in Northern NSW will likely be very small around 1ft, with rare 2ft sets at the south swell magnets if we’re lucky. It’ll be tiny north of the border.
A strong front will rocket up the Southern NSW coast during the day, bringing gusty SW tending S/SW winds from late afternoon (Mid North Coast) into Sunday (everywhere else). This will also generate a strong new S’ly swell for Sunday, though beaches picking up the most size - south from Byron - will be wind affected, size probably somewhere around 3-5ft.
Elsewhere, expect much smaller surf (say, 2-3ft tops), and this will include SE Qld which won’t enjoy the acute S’ly swell direction nor the short swell period. Most beaches will be tiny in the 1ft range, outer points may just scrape the 1-2ft mark and exposed northern ends will be a little bigger but wind affected.
So, keep your expectations low this weekend. There’ll be waves but it won’t be anything amazing.
Next week (July 6 onwards)
The fetch trailing the weekend’s front will broaden through the western Tasman Sea into Sunday, and this will contribute a steady supply of S’ly swell through Monday, pushing 4-5ft+ at south facing beaches south of Byron. However the poor swell direction (relative to SE Qld) will maintain much smaller surf north of the border. Winds will remain out of the southern quadrant, so SW early tending S’ly through the day.
Wave heights will then ease into Tuesday morning, ahead of a powerful front pushing through the lower Tasman Sea that’ll generate a large S’ly swell for Tuesday afternoon (Mid North Coast) and Wednesday (remaining Northern NSW coast). This is like to reach somewhere in the 6-8ft range at south facing beaches south of Byron, and it’ll be best suited to sheltered points and southern corners.
SE Qld will pick up plenty of size from this event, with 3ft+ sets across the outer points though options will be limited to sheltered spots under gusty S’ly breezes.
Strong though easing southerly swells are then expected on Thursday, becoming gradually smaller into the weekend.
More on this in Friday’s update.