Some tiny days ahead but generally good outlook with days of E swell next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon Apr 1st)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Small/tiny days Tues/Wed with light winds and N’ly in the a’noon
  • Possible late kick in S swell Wed (MNC most likely)
  • Small S swell Thurs with S’ly winds, becoming stronger SE in the a’noon as trough deepens
  • Increasing E/SE-E swells Fri bigger south of the border as trough forms low- winds may swing offshore as low moves S
  • Fun E’ly swells over the weekend witjh light winds
  • Great run of small/medium E swells next week with light winds
  • Possible return S swell later next week
  • Dynamic outlook with revisions likely so check back Wed for latest


Small, clean fun over the Easter weekend with small, pulsey S to S/SE swells both days and some minor E swell holding surf in the 2ft range bigger 2-3ft at S exposed breaks in NENSW with light winds and a’noon sou-easters. Still a few long-lined sets from the S/SE this morning with size to 2-3ft at S swell magnets in NENSW (smaller 1-2ft elsewhere) and dreamy Autumn conditions. 

This week (Apr 1-5)

We have a weak high in the Tasman which has been responsible for light winds and settled conditions over Easter. That will change mid-week as a much more dynamic pattern unfolds. A complex inland trough low tied to tropical sources exits the coast as a strong high moves into the Bight. Following that a coastal trough in the Northern Tasman then deepens, likely into a surface low which may drift southwards bringing  E swells to the entire region, possibly followed by a return S swell as the low gets captured by an approaching front. Details below. 

In the short run we’ve got a couple of weak, tiny days to get through with nothing more than residual E swell and stray S swells to 1-2ft at the best swell magnets in the region, tiny elsewhere. It’ll be clean and great for kids in the morning under light land breezes before light N’lies kick up in the a’noon.

Similar sizes into Wed with early NW winds tending N’ly before a S’ly change works it’s way up the coast, reaching the MNC early morning, Yamba-Byron late morning/lunch and stalling on the QLD border around a trough line which is expected to deepen through the rest of the week. A late kick in S swell is possible for the MNC region after a flush of gales out of Bass Strait Tues but keep expectations pegged low due to unfavourable winds.

S-SE winds Thurs will hamper wave quality but there will be some small S swell in the water to 2-3ft in NENSW, tiny in SEQLD from the low exiting the Tasman (see below),  if you are  keen. Through the a’noon we will see the surface trough off the North Coast and extending NW/SE through the Tasman start to develop with SE-E/SE winds south of the trough line freshening. That may lead to some local windswell increasing in the a’noon but it will be accompanied by strengthening onshore winds- especially in NENSW- so you’ll have to be hardy to have a crack at it. Winds should be lighter S-SE in SEQLD so some small fun beachies could be on the menu.

That onshore E/SE-E flow continues into Fri and as the trough deepens, possibly into a closed surface low, and moves south we’ll see an increase in  swell from the same direction. We’ll see a gradient in size with areas south of the border seeing much more size - up to 4-5ft around Coffs, while SEQLD will see size build to 2-3ft during the day. Winds will depend on the position of the low with an offshore trend likely north from Byron and weak SE-NE breezes in SEQLD. South of the low we’ll see strong onshore winds.

This weekend (Apr 6-7)

Expect revisions on size, timing and most importantly local winds this week so stay tuned but the broad pattern has good model agreement leading to increased confidence.

By Sat morning we should see a surface low hugging the coast and tracking southwards towards the Central/Southern NSW region. A broad infeed across SE and NE quarters of the low will see a range of swells trains incoming over the weekend, with size favouring southern NSW. The sub-tropics will see smaller swells but we’re still looking at good quality 3-4ft surf, bigger on the MNC with light winds. 

Under current modelling Sunday should similar with light winds most of the day (light a’noon seabreezes are possible) as the low continues south or stalls out on the far South Coast somewhere. Expect size to have come off the boil but still holding in the 3ft range, and slowly easing through the day. A wide range of fun surf is likely Sun.

Next week (Apr 8 onwards)

Model divergence kicks in early next week with GFS suggesting a stalled trough line and continuing E’ly infeed across a very broad fetch suggesting a few really fun days of E’ly swell early next week with light winds. 

EC has the E’ly fetch retreating into the South Pacific with smaller, but still fun E swell.

Both models have been favouring an outcome where the low remnants get picked up a cold front and a return S swell is generated later next week. 

With so much dynamism at play, expect revisions through the week.

Check back Wed for the latest.


tiger's picture
tiger's picture
tiger Tuesday, 2 Apr 2024 at 11:17am

I'm really liking the look of the charts for next week. Should be some good windows of punchy E swell, and good conditions.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Tuesday, 2 Apr 2024 at 11:21am

Found some beautiful babyfood this morning with my better half. Absolutely perfect 1-2ft peaks.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Tuesday, 2 Apr 2024 at 1:32pm

Beautiful sunrise in the water. Felt like the first Autumn morning.

dazzler's picture
dazzler's picture
dazzler Tuesday, 2 Apr 2024 at 4:14pm

Heading to Yamba tomorrow to camp for 5 nights. Struggling to find specific rain forecast.

Northern rivers forecast for Thursday/ Friday varies.. hopefully it rains in Murbah & misses Yamba.

Camping in the rain with family is always a blast.

mr mick's picture
mr mick's picture
mr mick Tuesday, 2 Apr 2024 at 7:36pm

Geez Daz,did ya look real hard? anywhere between 5-40 mm over 4-5 days, chance of local flooding ( Yamba floods), 4 sites all say the same, even Gaz on nbn weather.
Doesn’t sound like a great time to camp, hope it holds off you, but ……..

dazzler's picture
dazzler's picture
dazzler Tuesday, 2 Apr 2024 at 9:29pm

Was hoping northern rivers to mean more Bruns than Yamba.. fingers crossed.

Do have a Plan B.. a mates place about 60 mins south of Yamba is looking good.

greg-n.williams's picture
greg-n.williams's picture
greg-n.williams Tuesday, 2 Apr 2024 at 9:35pm

Locked in @ Yamba when the road got cut due to flooding & a certain point was going off for a week @ 4 to 10ft with clean offshores! Good luck Dazzler!

dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope Wednesday, 3 Apr 2024 at 7:49am

Family loves it in the tent when it’s pissing down, and you go for a 4 hour surf :)

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Wednesday, 3 Apr 2024 at 8:14am

hahhahaahha- looks onshore and wet now, as trough stays put on the coast and no surface low to drag clearing air behind it.