More small S swells with offshore winds into the weekend with some action from the E early next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

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

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Small, low energy E swells keep surf above flat in SEQLD 
  • Low point in S swell energy Thurs
  • Slightly stronger S swell arriving later Fri, holding into Sat
  • Developing E’ly tradewind swell Sun with onshore winds
  • More S swell next week, tending to stronger SSE swell by mid week
  • Possible trough/low forming off North Coast next week with potential for small E’ly swell event and offshore winds, check back Fri for updates


Ruled edged S swells of uncommonly long period (17-18+ seconds) have provided a range of wave heights across the region yesterday and continuing into today. Mostly 2-3ft in NENSW, with S swell magnets 3ft+ and SEQLD S swell magnets 2ft. Clean conditions extended through the morning under W’ly winds before light a’noon N’lies. Similar winds today although tending more NW north of the border. Lots of end to end close-outs but if you could find somewhere handling the steep S swell direction, some great waves to be had.

A few small, clean lines making it as far as the Northern Sunshine Coast

This week (May 31- June 2)

No great change to the current pattern with a large high sitting very far up (right up on the QLD/NSW border!) allowing free passage for cold fronts into the lower Tasman and a generally synoptic W’ly flow to continue across the region. Mostly long period S swell trains will continue to the be the dominant swell source until next week when a much more S’ly located high brings an onshore flow to most of the Eastern Seaboard. A trough of low pressure looks to briefly form off the Mid North Coast early next week before moving away quickly.

In the short run and we’re still looking at Thursday as the low point of the week with just small amounts of leftover S swell topping out around 2ft at S swell magnets in NENSW, tiny elsewhere. Traces of E swell will hold SEQLD open beaches in the 1-1.5ft range with some 2ft sets every once in a while. Good winds for S swell magnets with a W-NW flow on hand, likely tending variable in the a’noon.

A strong front will have pushed into the Tasman Thurs with gales extending off Tasmania and deeper into the Tasman. The resulting pulse of S swell is looking pretty solid and now expected to arrive Fri a’noon, with size building to 3-4ft at S facing beaches, across NENSW through the mid-late a’noon. Likely just showing across the Gold Coast by dark. Variable winds look good until after lunch when a weak high quickly moving into the Tasman develops a light E’ly flow across the region. 

This weekend (June 3-4)

Pencil in this weekend for the last of the offshore/light wind days. Winds should be great- light SW tending to light SE-NE seabreezes and quality S swell to 3-4ft at S facing beaches in NENSW, smaller 2-3ft at S swell magnets in SEQLD.

By Sunday a’noon we’ll see a step change in conditions as a large high well south of Tasmania slides E, bringing an onshore S-SE flow, even tending E/SE in the a’noon. Early 2-3ft sets from the S in NENSW, smaller 1-2ft in SEQLD at S swell magnet should fade through the day. We’ll likely see some building E’ly swell through the a’noon as the high pressure ridge generates E’ly tradewinds down into the Southern Coral Sea. Expect size building to 2ft in the a’noon, 2-3ft on the Sunshine Coast.

Next week (June 5 onwards)

Stronger S swell is on the menu for Mon as the deeper fetch associated with Sundays front generates a larger pulse, up in the 3-4ft range at S facing beaches in NENSW through the middle of the day. Winds look terrible though, straight onshore E’ly and moderate in strength. We’ll also see moderate amounts of short range E’ly swell in the 3ft range from the Southern Coral Sea fetch. If you can handle the onshore there’ll be plenty of swell on offer.

Tricky wind outlook Tues, as a low pressure trough forms off the North or Mid North Coast (see below). We potentially may see an offshore flow develop north of the trough axis during the day- likely from Yamba northwards, although far from set in stone. We also may see straight E’ly winds depending on the formation of the trough. Expect a mix of S-SSE swells to 3ft mixed with short period E’ly swells to 3-4ft with quality dependent on local winds. 

 A low will have become slow moving near New Zealand from Sun/Mon and SSE-SE winds extending from the bottom of the South Island will generate SSE swells for the region, up into the 2-3ft range through Wed/Thurs.

Thursday should see an improvement in conditions with light morning winds likely as the low pressure trough quickly moves away. That will coincide with a peak in SE swell from the fetch below the South Island, supplying sets to 3-4ft under current modelling.

An approaching mid latitude low is likely to see winds shift N-NW through Fri next week with easing swells.

Looks like we’ll see small surf establish late next week and into the weekend.

We’re still monitoring a long trough and potential low pressure system forming in the trough well to the SE of Tonga next week. It’s right on the edge of the swell window and a long way away but we may see some small long range E/SE swell from it during the week 12/6.

We’ll see how that looks when we come back Fri. Seeya then.


Dannon's picture
Dannon's picture
Dannon Wednesday, 31 May 2023 at 7:59pm


Ardy's picture
Ardy's picture
Ardy Thursday, 1 Jun 2023 at 3:52pm

Giddy up how fkn good

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Friday, 2 Jun 2023 at 8:39am

Thursday was actually the high point here ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Friday, 2 Jun 2023 at 9:04am

Yeah, that background E swell over-achieved yesterday.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather Friday, 2 Jun 2023 at 12:28pm

Was quite consistent too.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Friday, 2 Jun 2023 at 12:41pm

It was very slow here, lots of 20 min dead flat spells but some nice 2 footers when they came.