South swell finally fading out this weekend with fresh swell sources on the radar next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed 15th June)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Pulse of S swell Thurs, favouring NENSW for size, with offshore winds
  • Low point Fri
  • Long range SSE groundswell Sat, easing into Sun with SW/S winds
  • Short range SE swell builds Mon, peaks Tues
  • Better quality E/SE groundswell fills in Wed, holds Thurs and eases Fri, stay tuned for updates


The long tail on the current S swell event has supplied plenty of good and still sizey waves since Mon. There were still plenty of 6ft sets on offer yesterday- smaller 2-3ft in SEQLD - with light winds providing premium surface conditions. Size has eased back another notch today with clean 3-4ft surf across most of the NENSW region and smaller 2-3ft surf in SEQLD. Hope you are getting your fill.

Easing but still some strong lines

This week (June 15-17)

Beautiful settled conditions at the moment with high pressure in the Tasman off the Central NSW Coast and a weakening low and frontal system just west of Tasmania poised to supply a couple more days of W’ly biased winds through the short term. The Southern Ocean gyre is now well to the S and SE of the South Island, generating one last pulse of long period swell for our region. There’s a fresh set of cards to sort through next week with a couple of swell sources on offer. Read on for details. 

A front passing well to the south Mon, supplies another pulse of S swell which should show be in the water at dawn on he MNC and be in the water early morning across Ballina/Yamba, reaching the QLD border mid/late morning, with sets to 3-4ft at S facing beaches, smaller 2ft at SEQLD S swell magnets.  NW winds will swing more W’ly through the day as the low moves east of Tasmania and drives a fairly weak synoptic flow across NSW. There should be a few fun waves to be had, with S exposed breaks in NENSW seeing the best of it.

The working week ends with surf easing through the day. Leftover surf  in the 2-3ft range at S exposed breaks in NENSW will be clean early under W to SW winds but these winds will clock around SW to S through the a’noon as weak low pressure and a high in the bight combine to drive a thin S’ly flow along the NSW Coast. This should reach QLD by late morning where surf is expected to be tiny, apart from a couple of the most reliable S swell magnets.

This weekend (June 18-19)

No great change to the weekend f/cast. Winds still looking a bit iffy with weak low pressure in the Tasman and a high moving East from the Bight maintaining a S’ly flow along the coast for both Sat and Sun. There’s likely to be a window of SW winds early both mornings, more , before S’lies kick in.

Surf-wise, long period SSE swell peaks through Sat. Exposed S facing breaks will see some inconsistent 3-4ft surf, with more protected breaks smaller. Keep expectations pegged quite low due to the wind, but there should be enough energy and period in the swell to provide some fun waves at more protected spots.

Sunday sees the SSE swell slowly easing back with 3-4ft sets early, dropping back to 3ft or less during the a’noon. A bit of short period, local S’ly windswell is likely through the a’noon if you are desperate. Nothing amazing Sunday but there will be some surfable options.

Next week (June 13 onwards)

Weak high pressure ridge along the coast early next week and the high in the central Tasman sets up a SE flow adjacent to New Zealand and extending into the Central and Northern  Tasman. That fetch now looks a little weaker than it did Mon but it will still provide waves for the region.

Mod S to SSE winds Mon are expected along with a faint signal of long period SSE swell and some short range SE swell, with all sources topping out around 2-3ft. Don’t expect much quality it’s likely to be pretty scrappy.

Tues looks a better bet, with the ridge slackening and an approaching front possibly seeing winds slacken through the day. SE swell should perk up a notch into the 3ft range across most of the region.  That should see some peaky options on beachbreaks through the day.

By Wed we’ll be expecting a muscle up in E swell, as a sub-tropical low intensifies around the North Island of New Zealand early in the new week (see below). There’s swell producing fetches both on the inside of the North Island down to Cook Strait- better aimed at Central NSW- and a fetch north of the North Island, better aimed at subtropical regions. We’ll finesse those fetches as they come into being but for now we are looking at good quality E/SE swell building into the 4-5ft range later Wed under NW to W winds, possibly tending W/SW to SW as a small low spins up off the coast.

This size should extend into Thurs before easing Fri.

Models are still divergent into next weekend but it looks like a small low in the Tasman Sea will not have good high pressure support and surf will be small heading into the next weekend 25/26 June.

Check back Fri for the latest update before the weekend.


Rockethut's picture
Rockethut's picture
Rockethut Wednesday, 15 Jun 2022 at 5:02pm

So surfed out.
Pumping today again.

adsi's picture
adsi's picture
adsi Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 9:59am

Shame about the lack of defined banks around Ballina, should have been pumping but struggled to find anything yesterday and today

burzum's picture
burzum's picture
burzum Friday, 17 Jun 2022 at 5:05pm

Trying to work out if this is sarcasm, given your usual comments here! I assume not as there has been some gold around. Banks on Goldie and Tweed are decent atm.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 10:07am

Yeah, the big full moon tides at night look to have back-scoured out a lot of the inshore sand banks in the last 2-3days.

pretty deep again.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 10:14am

Yep, pushed sand up the dunes but didn't fill in the gutters.

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 12:52pm

Banks along the beaches are different than home. Was up there last couple sat-wed and just having a window shop along the 7 Mile, but I imagine it would take time to find the nuances. Not like home where basically if you have a strong rip heading out back, you’ll get some sort of bowl on it*. Seemed like more sweepy gutters and long bars. Guess you could some bars were enjoying the direction of swell over the weekend but then a swing in direction and it’s a whole new ball game.

*60% of the time, 100% of the time!

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 1:12pm

Based off a very small sample size of time

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Friday, 17 Jun 2022 at 5:08pm

Yeah the beaches north of about Port Stephens do this quite a bit, long outer bar setups with deep gutters inshore and no real rip bowls. South though through the Hunter and South Coast it's much better for finding a gutter and hole running through the inside banks, providing rip bowls.

bbbird's picture
bbbird's picture
bbbird Friday, 17 Jun 2022 at 9:48pm

T'get a glimpse of an idea of the epic surf from your girls perspective.....

PS.... low regrets