Smaller for a few days, then large outta the south

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 1st July)

Best Days: Thurs/Fri: smal clean SE swell, inconsisistent but fun at the swell magnets. Sun/Mon: fun S'ly swell, OK conditions in the morning. Tues/Wed: large S'ly swell. 

Recap: Tuesday saw quality SE swell across Southern NSW, with sets around 3-4ft at most open beaches, a little bigger through the Hunter. Size eased a little today but has maintained 3ft sets for the most part. Conditions have been generally clean with light offshore winds and weak afternoon sea breezes. 

Manly still showing nice lines this afternoon

This week (July 2 - 3)

The fetch responsible for the last few days of great waves has remained active off the west coast of New Zealand since Sunday, though is now slowly weakening and rotating outside of our swell window. 

That being said, we’ve got another small pulse of swell expected to push through on Thursday afternoon that may very well linger into Friday morning. Wave heights will become much less consistent - so expect very long breaks for the bigger waves - but we should see occasional 2ft+ sets through Thursday morning, ahead of a few bigger waves into the afternoon with the new pulse, that’ll probably peak overnight and then ease gradually through Friday. 

The Hunter should pick up slightly bigger surf both days, though sheltered southern ends across all coasts will be smaller, borderline surfable really. And wave heights will become incrementally smaller as you head south from Sydney too (as the fetch was aimed better towards more northern regions). 

So, although the next few days certainly won’t offer anywhere near the same size, strength or consistency as yesterday or today, exposed beaches will pick up some fun waves and conditions will be clean both days with moderate NW winds on Thursday tending W’ly on Friday. You’ll just have to be very patient. 

This weekend (July 4 - 5)

The models are snowing a small uptick in swell periods out of the SE on Saturday. This is sourced from a small sneaky low tucked in SE of New Zealand yesterday, but I don’t think it’ll amount to much as it was a short lived system right on the periphery of the swell window. 

As such I’m expecting Saturday to start off very small, though clean with early offshore winds. A minor S’ly swell may also be in the water, originating from strong W/SW winds exiting eastern Bass Strait on Friday (though this has been downgraded in the latest guidance, so I’m not confident there’ll be much size).

However, this same front will rocket up the Southern NSW coast during the day, bringing gusty SW winds to most regions into the afternoon, maybe even S/SW in parts, along with building short range S’ly windswell through the afternoon that should reach a bumpy 3-4ft+ at south facing beaches right on dark. Expect much smaller surf for most of the day, and anywhere not directly open to the south will remain tiny.  

The fetch trailing the front will broaden through the western Tasman Sea overnight and this will contribute a steady supply of S’ly swell through Sunday, in the 3-5ft range at south facing beaches. Fresh S/SW winds are a risk across exposed locations during the day but there should be a healthy period of early W/SW winds across many coasts.

Southern ends will be much smaller in size, but on the balance there’ll a reasonable offering of OK waves this weekend if you’re keen. 

Next week (July 6 onwards)

Sunday’s S’ly swell will persist through Monday with similar conditions, ahead of a powerful front pushing through the lower Tasman Sea overnight that’ll generate a large S’ly swell for Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday, somewhere in the 6-8ft range at south facing beaches. There’ll be plenty of wind associated with this event though given the likely size, southern ends should have great options on hand.

Strong though easing southerly swells are then expected on Thursday, becoming gradually smaller into the weekend.

More on this in Friday’s update. 


JMC's picture
JMC's picture
JMC commented Wednesday, 1 Jul 2020 at 6:11pm

You mentioned 3-4 ft in the recap on Tuesday but we found an open south coast beach that had easy 6ft sets for most of the day, was unreal. Can’t give location but is semi secret

Montygoesbananas's picture
Montygoesbananas's picture
Montygoesbananas commented Wednesday, 1 Jul 2020 at 6:24pm

Long reef had occasional 5 foot sets Tuesday as well, big waits between them though

joesydney's picture
joesydney's picture
joesydney commented Thursday, 2 Jul 2020 at 4:15pm

‘That being said, we’ve got another small pulse of swell expected to push through on Thursday afternoon that may very well linger into Friday morning“

Looks like it has dropped this arvo, not pulsed

scottishsponger's picture
scottishsponger's picture
scottishsponger commented Thursday, 2 Jul 2020 at 10:33pm


thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 3 Jul 2020 at 6:59am

Buoy data certainly suggests a no-show for this final, minor pulse from what's been a great run of swell from (essentially) a single source. However, there's still some small SE lines in the 2ft range across the Manly stretch this morning. Certainly not a lot of size, consistency or strength (early high tide ain't helping much either) but the open beaches have a few peaks. Wouldn't expect it to last long though.

sean killen's picture
sean killen's picture
sean killen commented Thursday, 2 Jul 2020 at 5:35pm

10-15 mins between set / waves .. had incredible run lately can’t really complain..


redsands's picture
redsands's picture
redsands commented Friday, 3 Jul 2020 at 8:25am

Today is the day I live for. Winter,weekday,all day straight westerly & unfortunately the swell has gone.