More small, clean days ahead with potential for more size from the East next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri 31st March)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Another small, clean weekend ahead with a small mixed bag of S swells, bigger on Sun favouring NENSW for size
  • Easing S swells Mon with light winds
  • A round of E’ly tradewind swells developing Tues, potentially sizey Wed/Thurs
  • Uncertain outlook into Easter but small surf likely with N’ly quadrant winds
  • Possibly more significant swells ahead as low moves into Tasman later in Easter weekend- stay tuned for updates


Small clean surf yesterday under all day offshore winds with size topping out in the 2f range. Today has seen surf ease further with tiny 1-1.5ft surf and a few 2footers at NENSW S swell magnets. Conditions were clean under morning offshore winds which are now tending light S’ly.

Another day of small, clean surf at swell magnets

This weekend (Apr 1-2)

Another weekend of small clean surf ahead. No great change for Sat as a low east of Tasmania deepened and produced a reasonable fetch of SSW winds extending north and south of Tasmanian latitudes bringing S swells to the region. Early winds look good , with offshore W’lies expected to persist well into the late morning, before tending mod/fresh SSW-S as a minor front sweeps up past Cape Howe. Size in the 2-3ft range at S facing beaches is expected in NENSW,  with smaller 2ft waves at SEQLD S swell magnets. Some small, inconsistent SSE groundswell adds in 2ft sets to the mix. 

High pressure quickly moves into the Tasman Sunday and with a small, weak trough offshore from temperate NSW we should see a light/mod SE flow quickly develop across the sub-tropics. Get in early for the best chance of a morning SW flow before winds clock around SE through the day, although they will moderate in the a’noon. Early 3ft surf at S facing beaches in NENSW, smaller 2ft+ in SEQLD will ease through the day but there will still be surfable options if you aren’t too fussy about wave quality. 

Next week (Apr 3 onwards)

Eyes back to the E next week. The high in the Tasman and a blocking band of high pressure well to the south of the continent effectively annuls the southern swell window. With that shut down we’ll be looking to the East. 

We’ll see some easing leftover S swell Mon in the 2-3ft range early dropping back through the day under a light SE  flow with morning land breezes. Basically the same pattern as Sunday.

From Tues we’ll be relying on a building trend of E  tradewind swell filtering down from winds off the top of the high- a broad windfield of moderate-fresh E’ly breezes. A trough or E’ly dip may tighten gradients south of New Caledonia or closer to the QLD coast next week (see below)favouring our sub-tropical regions and will be offset by that system moving away to the East.

So, we’re looking at E’ly swells with subtle ups and downs establishing Tues next week, likely building through Wed and Thurs possibly into the 3-4ft range under current modelling.

A troughy area is expected to form off the coast mid week and be affected by a large, mid-latitude cut-off low approaching from the Bight. As the low approaches we’ll expect a NW-N flow to develop, possibly tending more W/NW- W’ly as we get closer to the Easter weekend.

Small E/NE-NE swells look to persist through that period.

Further ahead and we’ll need to see whether that mid-latitude low can reform as it enters the Tasman. That offers up potential for swell from the S to SE, possibly significant, but models don’t show any development in the Tasman until later in the Easter break. We’ll keep tabs on it over the weekend and report back on Mon, hopefully with signs of the first real swell of Autumn on the radar.

Seeya then and have a great weekend!


Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Friday, 31 Mar 2023 at 3:53pm

First real Autumn morning today, beautiful and cool, no low cloud on the horizon for sunrise, magic.

adsi's picture
adsi's picture
adsi Saturday, 1 Apr 2023 at 3:19pm

Yep and the swell was a good 4ft at the magnet I surfed mid morning.
Not amazing but pretty fun

boogiefever's picture
boogiefever's picture
boogiefever Sunday, 2 Apr 2023 at 7:24am

Hi Ben, or Stu or some random computer nerd reading this...i'm being told that every cam on the sunshine coast is currently offline.... Is that the case? Or is there a problem with my app? Any one else having this issue??

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 2 Apr 2023 at 7:35am

The cams are working fine, but there's a bug in the App (which we have fixed) and it requires you to update it. Can you please download the latest version and try again?

basesix's picture
basesix's picture
basesix Sunday, 2 Apr 2023 at 7:46am

If it's any consolation boogers, you're not missing much
Go to Bunnings

boogiefever's picture
boogiefever's picture
boogiefever Sunday, 2 Apr 2023 at 9:15am

Cheers Ben... Worked a treat!!!

Now, if you could just work your magic on the swell....??

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 2 Apr 2023 at 9:52am

That'll be an extra $8.95 per month.

burleigh's picture
burleigh's picture
burleigh Sunday, 2 Apr 2023 at 12:25pm

You must be hanging for Noosa to fire up again