James KC

S swell, then a quiet patch before S swells fill in again

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by James Casey (issued Monday 19th April)

Best Days: Tuesday at S facing beaches. Saturday


  • S/SE swell from low has been downgraded only providing a weak S/SE pulse for Tuesday
  • Longer period S swell to keep waves around the 3-4ft mark for Tuesday easing into Wednesday (NNSW Mid N Coast)
  • Small waves on Thursday and Friday
  • Longer period S swell to fill in on Saturday easing into Sunday
  • Another S swell for to move up the coast Tuesday/Wednesday


The long period S swell filled in over the weekend with 3ft sets for the Mid N Coast and N NSW late on Saturday, more like 3-4ft on Sunday on Sunday, while SE QLD largely missed out on any of the energy remaining in the 1-2ft range and smaller. 

Winds were W/SW in the morning and tending more SE later in the day, while remaining SW for most the day south of the border. 

This morning winds are SW again with 3-4ft waves south of the border, remaining 1-2ft and smaller for SE QLD. Winds will tend more S/SE as the day goes on. 

The new week

Another longer period S swell will fill in on Tuesday providing 3-4ft waves for N NSW and the Mid N Coast, mainly going past for SE QLD. This swell is from frontal activity in the Southern Ocean so expect a wide range of swell sizes, smaller in southern corners and larger at S facing beaches. 

As discussed last week, a low forming off the coast will provide a bit of S/SE swell. Unfortunately for wave heights it didn’t intensify like hoped, not that it was expected to be anything significant. It will only provide additional 2-3ft of energy for N NSW and the Mid N Coast but it’ll be overshadowed by the more powerful S groundswell mentioned earlier. For SE QLD I wouldn’t expect more than 1-2ft from this S/SE swell as waves remain small.

Winds will be out of the W/NW early on Tuesday before swinging around to the N so head to beaches exposed to the S swell to pick up the most of the new swell and cleaner conditions. 

On Wednesday the longer period S groundswell will be easing down to 2-3ft. Again nothing of note for SE QLD. With W/NW winds early there’ll be some options at S facing beaches. Meanwhile a S change will make it’s way up the coast reaching the Mid N Coast by the middle of the day, moving into southern parts of N NSW by the afternoon. Ahead  of the change winds will remain offshore. 

Thursday will see winds go back offshore early before tending light and variable seabreeze later in the day, mainly out of the NE. Wave wise there won’t be a lot on offer. A little S wind swell and left over SE swell from the weak low, all in all it’s be the low point across the region. It’ll be a small 1-2ft. 

A similar story for Friday, small 1-2ft waves, ahead of a longer period S swell looking to fill in for the start of the weekend. SW winds early, becoming light and variable out of the E later in the day.  

The weekend 

A longer period S swell will begin to fill in on Saturday up around the 3-4ft mark by the afternoon for the Mid N Coast and N NSW. Yet again the acute angle of the swell wil see it fail to filter into SE QLD. This swell will form with a strong front pushing up and around Tassie and a little burst of winds out of the eastern Bass Strait. 

Winds will be light and variable for most of the day, mainly offshore for Saturday early, more out of the E later in the afternoon. 

Sunday will see S/SE winds and the swell easing so best for southern corners but it’ll only really be 2-3ft. Remaining small for SE QLD. 

A SE windswell will fill in on Monday before another longer period S swell looks to fill in late Tuesday into Wednesday from another front moving into the Southern Tasman. 

Later in the forecast period there looks to be some interesting tropical activity developing, it's worth keeping your eye on it. 

Tune in on Wednesday for an updated forecast.


donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather Tuesday, 20 Apr 2021 at 12:42pm

Very good call for this morning James. I have to admit I had my doubts last night but you came through smack on the money this morning. Well done and congrats mate.

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono Tuesday, 20 Apr 2021 at 1:59pm

Yep agree Don, some fun clean 3ft+ waves where I was on the Tweed this morning.

scrotina's picture
scrotina's picture
scrotina Tuesday, 20 Apr 2021 at 4:51pm

anyone surf northern gc this morning?

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg Tuesday, 20 Apr 2021 at 7:01pm

It’s been a pretty nice couple of days down here...some good sand around and that was a nice swell and wind combo.