Easing swells from Coral Sea low as it tracks south- becoming tiny into the weekend

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 24th Oct)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Large swell extending into Mon with winds tending NW-N in SEQLD, offshore south of the border, before an a’noon NE breeze
  • Slowly easing E swell through Tues-Thurs with NW-N winds expected
  • Surf becoming tiny from Fri into next weekend
  • Small surf expected into next week
  • Potential S swell on the radar from mid/late next week, check back Wed for updates


Very wild weekend as a sub-tropical low formed off the Capricorn Coast and tracked slowly parallel, and just off the SEQLD Coast. Saturday was mostly a write off apart from the most sheltered Points, favouring Noosa for a late session with 3-4ft surf as winds swung ESE-SE. Everywhere else was a messy 4ft during Sat under straight onshore winds. Sunday saw swell really thicken up with Noosa on the pump and the Gold Coast points almost maxing out but semi-handling it with 6ft+ surf. Overnight Sun into Mon the low tracked S and today has seen some epic surf with clean 6ft+ waves across a wide swathe of the coast, if you could paddle out to it. Winds have already begun tracking NW-N as the low continues to to track down the coast. 

Points on the pump Part 1

Points on the Pump Part 2

All-time beachies this morning, if you could get out to it

This week (Oct 24-28)

A sub-tropical low which threatened SEQLD and NENSW over the weekend after it formed off the Capricorn coast is  now steaming southwards at a fair clip, sliding along a high pressure ridge from a large (1035 hPa) high under Tasmania and dragging a strong fetch with it. The low is expected to merge with an inland low and horseshoe trough on the Gippsland Coast tomorrow forming a stalled low pressure gyre near Tasmania (see below) through to the end of the week. That system will direct mostly W’ly biased winds- albeit with some flukey, troughy wind periods- over the region into and over the weekend.

In the short run and tomorrow is still looking pretty juicy, but you’ll have to pounce on morning offshores before winds tend N’ly. The system is moving quickly and the offshore outflow of the low is expected to last for a brief period before a light N’ly flow establishes in it’s wake. Expect an early WNW’ly flow with strong sets to 4-5ft, easing during the day. N’lies will kick in by mid-morning to lunch-time.

Expect a steady downward trajectory through Wed, with an offshore W to W/NW flow most of the morning tending to light NE sea breezes from mid a’noon. There should be some 3-4ft sets early, grading down to 3ft in the a’noon.

Downwards trend continues through Thurs and into Fri with fun 2-3ft surf Thurs under similar offshore winds tending to light sea breezes.

By Friday we’ll be into babyfood territory with sub 2ft surf suitable for big boards and beginners. The stalled low near Tasmania should be showing some signs of movement by Friday with a front pushing through Bass Strait seeing winds shift to the W/SW through the day. Nothing amazing but should be some surfable options for the right boards on Fri.

This weekend (Oct 29-30)

Offshore winds and light sea breezes Sat will groom an ocean with no meaningful swell, so expect conditions to be tiny with just insignificant swells in the 1ft range. Nice for rockfishing/diving. 

Sunday may see a small bump in S swell from W’lies pushing through Bass Strait. The fetch doesn’t look like anything special at present so it’s prudent to underplay it and expect a few 1-1.5ft sets at S facing magnets in NENSW, more likely through the a’noon.  Tiny to flat elsewhere. Expect W winds to tend W/SW before tending to light SE breezes Sun a’noon. 

Next week (Oct 31 onwards)

A high in the Tasman next week and another approaching mid-latitude low and trough system fires up a N’ly flow through Mon with a proximate fetch likely to deliver some NE windswell through the late a’noon, provisionally in the 2ft range on the Mid North Coast. Small levels of refracted S swell should provide a few 2ft sets at NENSW S swell magnets, banks permitting.

Expect this surf to hold through Tues under current modelling before the and possibly a frontal system push into the Tasman later Tues or Wed.

This may be a more favourable set-up for S swell than we have seen so far this Spring. EC model suggests possible some mid-sized S swell from mid/late next week. GFS is a little less bullish. 

We’ll flag it for now, and see how it its shaping up on Wed. 

In the mean-time there’s a dynamic situation in the near term to focus on.

Seeya Wed. 


Plasticspastic's picture
Plasticspastic's picture
Plasticspastic Monday, 24 Oct 2022 at 6:21pm

Been away for three months in the NT.. and thought I had missed Christmas…. Crazy pattern…

NickT's picture
NickT's picture
NickT Monday, 24 Oct 2022 at 6:32pm

Some of the beacbreaks on the cams this morning were as good as I've ever seen them, ski assist would have been amazing

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Tuesday, 25 Oct 2022 at 8:37am

Yesterday mid morn out the front of the carpark at Byron was the best I've seen it in I don't know how long. massive sweep.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Tuesday, 25 Oct 2022 at 8:49am

Still solid this morning.

There's a small toothed whale washed up on the rocks at Lennox Point.

species unknown at this stage, cause of death unknown.

linez's picture
linez's picture
linez Tuesday, 25 Oct 2022 at 9:56am

I'd imagine that's going attract a few more toothy friends. Do you know if it will be removed FR?

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Tuesday, 25 Oct 2022 at 10:18am

Not sure, there was marine parks there when I came in-----it will be hard to remove, anyway they try.
Won't be able to get heavy machinery to it.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Tuesday, 25 Oct 2022 at 8:05pm

Ballina Shire Council removed whale from rocks and have taken it inland for burial.

Still trying to find out what species it was- apparently these small beaked whales are rare and very difficult to id.

It was about two/three times the size of a fully grown dolphin.

greg-n.williams's picture
greg-n.williams's picture
greg-n.williams Wednesday, 26 Oct 2022 at 10:33am

On the pump mid morm here on the Barrington coast(where the F#*!K is that)! Offshores & 4ft of solid easterly swell!