Easing S/SE swell pulses into the weekend with a typical winter week next week (more S swell!)

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed 5th July)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Small in SE Qld, though there'll be options at south swell magnets and open beaches
  • Fun E/NE swell Wed with offshore winds
  • Background S/SE swell for the rest of the week favouring Northern NSW, clean with offshore winds
  • Chance for a brief pulse of strong S/SE swell sometime late Thurs into Fri (Northern NSW only)
  • Small inconsistent surf from the S/SE for the weekend with mostly offshore winds 
  • Typical winter week ahead wth mod S swell pulses due Mon/Tues and Thurs PM/Fri, favouring NENSW for size


S/SE groundswell saw surf around 3ft of surf across most of the region, smaller 2ft in SEQLD with a late pulse building to 3-4ft in NENSW. Conditions were cleanish under rain and variable winds before a variable flow tended E to NE in the a’noon and made most spots wind affected. Yesterdays pulse has held into this morning with 4ft sets are still on offer in NENSW, smaller 2-3ft in SEQLD at magnets and northern corners, with the cloud band clearing and offshore winds and sunny skies making for a nice day of mid winter waves. Fun amounts of NE-E/NE swell from a local fetch off the top of the high added some 2-3ft energy across the region.

Still a fair bit of size on offer in NENSW

This week (Jul 4-7)

We’re currently seeing both the tropical air mass and trough, and strong node of the Long Wave Trough exit our sphere of influence to the East and far South. A more typical winter pattern which we saw in June is set to return, with high pressure over the continent ridging against frontal activity with a W’ly flow extending right up to the sub-tropics. Residual S/SE groundswell pulses from the off axis fetch as it drifted slowly SE of the South Island will put a floor under wave heights before we see a fresh round of S swell early next week. Good news for some areas south of the border, with a much less exciting but seasonally expected outlook for SEQLD.

In the short run and we’ll see basically W’ly winds with periods of embedded W/NW to NW winds are likely in the a’noon, perfect for S facing beaches and coastlines but likely to put some N’ly scarring across some breaks. Todays heights will come down slowly through tomorrow, still supplying some inconsistent 3ft surf across most S exposed breaks in NENSW, smaller 2ft at SEQLD S swell magnets. Another pulse of S/SE groundswell may make landfall late on the MNC but Friday is a safer bet.

Thursday's late or o/night pulse holds through Friday under similar direction winds, although fresh and gusty offshore winds may be an issue at some breaks and we’re likely to see a shift towards the W/SW-SW on the MNC up to Yamba . Inconsistent 2-3ft sets early should wind back through the day but not dropping below 2ft by close of play. Expect smaller surf in SEQLD, topping out with 2ft sets at S facing beaches and Northern Corners.

This weekend (July 8 - 9)

Not much change expected for the weekend f/cast. W/SW-W winds through Sat, tending more W-W/NW Sun as a strong front passes through Bass Strait and into the Tasman. 

We’ll be relying on the leftover S/SE groundswell Sat with very inconsistent but long-lined 2ft+ sets on offer favouring swell magnets in NENSW, likely only a few 1-2ft sets at the best SEQLD swell magnets, tiny elsewhere.

Gales out of Bass Strait now don’t occur now until Sat, which may see a late a’noon increase in new S swell on the lower MNC up into the 3ft range (Mon is a better bet). For the rest of NENSW we’ll be relying on inconsistent 2ft S/SE swell, tending tiny in SEQLD. 

Next week (July 10 onwards)

Typical winter programming next week with a strong front pushing gales out of Bass Strait Sat/Sun and a deeper fetch of SSW gales SE of Tasmania (see below). Both sources will be in the water Mon with a moderate S swell building into the 3-5ft range at S facing beaches in NENSW, showing a little later in SEQLD before building to 2-3ft at S facing beaches. Early SW winds should tend to light SE breezes in the a’noon.

Tuesday looks pretty good for S facing beaches south of the border with Mondays pulse extending at least into Tues a’noon at similar sizes before easing with light SW’ly winds tending light S-SE in the a’noon.

There’s model divergence over the strength of the next front pushing through Tuesday with EC suggesting a similarly strong front to Sun, and another moderate S’ly swell up in the 3-5ft range likely later Wed into Thurs. GFS has a more modest, zonally oriented front, with a smaller S swell for Wed/Thurs.

Either way we should see settled conditions as high pressure moves over NSW and a weak troughy area moves over SEQLD, with light winds tending N’ly towards the end of the week. 

Further ahead we’ll see another low pressure complex approaching from the Southern Ocean late next week into the weekend, at this stage favouring the Southern states for swell production. By Fri we should have a better idea of how much, if any S swell will be on offer for our region as it passes through our southern swell window.

Check back then for the latest. 


davo3000's picture
davo3000's picture
davo3000 Wednesday, 5 Jul 2023 at 8:14pm

Mad swell this arvo. How did it come about?

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Thursday, 6 Jul 2023 at 1:47pm

Combo swell with S/SE groundy and a pretty handy E/NE swell from winds infeeding into the trough.

Combined with offshore W'ly winds.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Thursday, 6 Jul 2023 at 7:06pm

Solid long period 3-4ft sets here this arvo.
Rockfished an exposed ledge and had to take evasive action every 10-15 minutes when the sets hit.

Rad little top-water greenback tailor bite made it worthwhile.

groovie's picture
groovie's picture
groovie Thursday, 6 Jul 2023 at 7:24pm

Hope ur wearing a lifejacket freeride! Rock fishing is the #1 killer for rec. sports in Aus mate! buttt if u know whats what ur probs all over it! as far as waves go we have had prime conditions buttt no banks to produce GR8 waves here on the Mid Nth Coast. A regional point has been Ok buttt with the schoolies around it has been busy!