Tiny surf ahead for SEQLD with some small S swell south of the border

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri 28th Oct)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Surf becoming tiny from Fri into this weekend
  • Small S swell pulses Sat PM and Sun, only showing at NENSW S facing beaches, tiny elsewhere
  • NE windswell Mon PM, building a notch Tues and easing off quickly through Tues PM
  • Strong NW to W’ly pattern develops later Tues into Fri with small S swell pulses in NENSW and tiny/flat surf in SEQLD
  • More small S swell into next weekend, check back Mon for updates


It’s been an impressive tail end to this E swell episode with size at the upper end or over f/cast expectations, and with mostly light winds has supplied some glorious surf, especially notable for being in Spring. Yesterday saw size in the 3ft+ range with premium offshore conditions through the morning, tending to light/mod a’noon Nor-easters. Today has eased in size but there are still some 2-3ft waves to be had, with more premium offshore surface conditions to be enjoyed. Size is definitely easing though with this swell source just about dried up. What a lovely run of surf and great conditions this week has been.

Sill a bit of swell enery around, easing and cleaning up under offshore winds

This weekend (Oct 29-30)

No great change to the weekend f/cast. Our Autumnal run of surf and condition is now going to be replaced by a more late winter-style pattern, dominated by W’ly winds. A complex low pressure gyre is located over Tasmania with a trough having moved offshore from the NSW coast and a cold front pushing through Bass Strait today.

That will drive a mostly W’ly flow across the f/cast region through Sat. There is trough line which hovers about the coast through the day which may bring some flukey winds, likely SE-NE in direction but the basic W’ly synoptic flow should be able to over-ride this through the late a’noon. If not we’ll be left with an a’noon NE seabreeze. Not much swell to speak of- just a few small small traces of E swell in the 1-2ft and some refracted S swell in the 1-2ft range at the better known S swell magnets in NENSW. 

We should see a slight bump in S swell through Sun as the trailing fetch off Tasmania delivers a small payload. This will amount to some 2ft sets at S facing beaches, more common in the a’noon at NENSW swell magnets. Expect tiny surf in SEQLD, likely only rideable on big boards. Winds look a bit flukey Sun as a troughy area persists about the North Coast and interior SEQLD. We’ll get a morning offshore flow but expect that wind to wander around the compass through the day, possibly with a weak SSW flow about NENSW-  before tending mostly SE-NE then with a NE seabreeze kicking in through the a’noon. 

Next week (Oct 31 onwards)

A quick spike in NE windswell is expected Mon PM into Tues AM as another mid-latitude low approaches from the Bight and tightens the pressure gradient with the high in the Tasman. We’ll see some small S swell in the water through the morning with 2-3ft sets at NENSW S swell magnets, tiny elsewhere.  Expect freshening N to NE winds and surf quickly building into the 2-3ft range as the fetch draws up past Fraser Island. It’s a  fast moving fetch but the expected NW tilt to winds should occur overnight Mon.

Tuesday is a better bet for that, with NE windswell peaking through the morning in the 3ft range before easing quickly as the fetch gets shunted Eastwards, away from the swell window. 

Unfortunately the mid-latitude low which dips down below Tasmania during Mon/Tues either stalls behind Tasmania (see below) or quickly dissipates in strength as it enters the Tasman Sea and our swell window proper which is going to downgrade the S swell potential for next week. 

The movement of the low into the Tasman and accompanying fronts will drive fresh W/NW to NW winds across the state Tues, and quickly flatten NE windswell. 

W’ly winds then dominate through Wed and into the end of next week. While the orientation of the fetches is far from ideal for swell production we’ll still see some small S swell through the second half of next week in NENSW with SEQLD enduring a  spell of tiny surf. There should be just enough energy from distant tradewinds in the South Pacific to maintain a small, residual E swell in the 1-1.5ft range with the odd 2 footer.

We’ll need to dial in specifics early next week but pencil in some small surf from the S possibly as early as late Wed, with some small pulses Thurs/Fri. Expect tiny surf away from S facing beaches.

Into next weekend and another frontal progression passing through the lower Tasman suggests more S swell next weekend although no great size is suggested a this stage.

There does seem to be more activity bubbling up in the South Pacific and Northern Coral Sea later next week so we’ll keep tabs on that over the weekend. Other than that, more troughiness is expected to redevelop the NSW Coast and Tasman suggesting our current unstable pattern will extend well into November.

Check back Mon for the latest and have a great weekend!


eat-your-vegies's picture
eat-your-vegies's picture
eat-your-vegies Saturday, 29 Oct 2022 at 12:19am


thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 30 Oct 2022 at 11:39am

Small pulse of fun lil' S swell kicked on the Tweed mid morning with occasional 2ft+ sets.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Monday, 31 Oct 2022 at 12:31pm

a few fun ones around Ballina yesterday.

lickwid's picture
lickwid's picture
lickwid Monday, 31 Oct 2022 at 6:15pm

Just south of the boarder had 3ft sets all afternoon Sunday. Barely anyone with boards about, good fun! Onshore barely nudged the vibe.