Groundswell for the weekend, otherwise a little windswelly

James KC

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by James Casey (issued Wednesday 21st April)

Best Days: Saturday, Tuesday 


  • Wednesday brief S change with weak mix of SE swell and S wind swell
  • Thursday 2-3ft waves, strong offshore winds
  • Friday SW winds early 2ft waves
  • Saturday longer period S swell to fill in, 4-5ft waves out of the S (larger Hunter)
  • Sunday easing S swell 3ft but with strengthening SE winds into the afternoon
  • Monday SE windswell with longer period S swell to arrive late Monday/early Tuesday morning up around 3-4ft mark (larger Hunter) at its peak on Tuesday morning
  • Monday to Wednesday SW winds early in the day tending SE by the afternoon


What a great couple of days of waves. Clean conditions under offshore winds persisted for most of the past 48 hours with just Monday afternoon’s NE seabreeze adding any bump to it. Waves have been in that 3-4ft range out of the S with the odd 5ft set. If you knew of a decent bank you would have scored some fun conditions over the past couple of days.

This morning the swell has eased with just 2ft waves on offer and fresh W/SW winds. Today’s swell is a mix of leftover south groundswell and a weak E/SE pulse from the low out in the Tasman. With winds strengthening out of the S it will be bumpier and smaller than what it has been the last few days. 

Into the weekend

Tomorrow will be small again with just some leftover windswell around the 2-3ft mark thanks to this afternoon’s S winds. Offshore winds will clean things up though so there’ll be smoother conditions with waves. Later in the day winds will go a little more SW making S facing beaches a little more ruffled and the windswell will ease to 2ft. 

Friday will see the smaller waves continue again around the 1-2ft mark with a bit of energy out of the S. Winds will start out of the SW but ease to a light and variable seabreeze by the afternoon. 

Late in the day on Friday but more into Saturday we will see a new longer period S swell show up. This is thanks to a burst of winds out of the eastern Bass Strait associated with some frontal activity coming around the SE tip of Tassie. 

At this stage it is looking like we’ll have waves in the 4-5ft range on Saturday, with bigger waves at S swell magnets and smaller waves in southern corners. The Hunter will be bigger with 4-6ft waves. Winds will be out of the W/SW early but will become light and variable onshore later in the day as a weak seabreeze puffs up. 

This S swell will ease into Sunday offering up 3ft waves but with worse conditions as a S change strengthens throughout the day, starting out as a moderate W/SW breeze becoming fresh out of the S/SE by the afternoon. Southern corners will be your cleanest option by the afternoon. 

Next Week

Sunday afternoon’s SE winds will deliver a shorter period wind swell to the region on Monday ahead of a stronger, S groundswell moving in late in the day on Monday/early Tuesday. This pulse of longer period S energy is thanks to yet another strong front pushing up to the east of Tassie. A strengthening region of high pressure over the southeast of the nation will allow for lighter winds too. 

Condition wise, Monday will be the bumpiest as a weak ridge delivers moderate SE winds in the afternoon, earlier looks clean with light SW winds and with 2-3ft of S swell it’ll be OK. The swell will increase throughout the day to 3ft by the afternoon. Tuesday will see light SW winds early before a light SE breeze fills in. Waves will be larger though up around the 3-4ft mark, more like 3-5ft for the Hunter. Expect larger sets expected at S swell magnets, especially in the morning before the swell slowly eases back to 3ft.

Wednesday will see wave heights slowly ease to 2-3ft in the morning down to 2ft by the afternoon. Winds look to continue the trend, light and offshore early before tending light and variable seabreeze in the afternoon. All in all there’ll be windows of opportunity, best in the morning, bumpier in the afternoon.

Updated forecast on Friday so check in then for an update.