Few small days ahead with another round of fun combination swells on the radar next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 25th Apr)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Clean leftovers Tues, with reinforcing S swell arriving late PM
  • Last day of S'ly groundswell Wed, with light N winds
  • Surf becoming small/tiny Thurs/Fri with minor NE windswell
  • Small NE windswell Sat
  • S’ly swell spikes Sun PM with fresh SSW winds
  • Fun S swell Mon, with winds easing
  • Fun looking E/NE swell Tues/Wed next week with light winds


Great long weekend of waves with light winds and swells from a variety of sources. Most days saw surf in the 3-4ft range, with bigger long period S swell pulses Sat PM, Sun and Mon. Size has settled back down a notch into the 3-4ft range, with light winds again and good conditions. Plenty of waves for everyone over the ANZAC weekend. 

Lots of great surf over the ANZAC weekend

This week (Apr 25-29)

The dominant high which has been slow moving is inching into the Tasman Sea, with winds set to take a N’ly turn as it drifts eastwards and we get the flow off the western flank of the high. This slow moving high will essentially block the Southern swell window but we have one more pulse of long period S swell due this ‘noon, easing into tomorrow with some 3ft sets on offer, 3-4ft at the Hunter.

This pulse will be on offer tomorrow with light N’lies winds, tending NE and freshening through the day. 

This N’ly pattern then sets the tone for the rest of the week. Thurs is expected to be small, with only minor 1-2ft NE windswell kicking up in the a’noon.

Blocking high in the Tasman with a few small days ahead

We should see a slight kick in NE windswell, with a bit of standard short period E’ly swell in the mix through Friday. Nothing amazing but up into the 2ft range with continuing N’ly winds, lightest inshore early and tending NW through the early morning. Not a great week but considering the run we’ve had a good opportunity to rest up or fix a few dings.

This weekend (Apr 30 - May1)

Saturday looks small with continuing N’ly winds. Not much size on offer, more small mixed swell from the NE and E/NE in the 2ft range. If the small surf and N’ly conditions have been suiting you (or kids/beginners) then get in Saturday because an approaching trough will bring a S’ly change Sunday.

That trough elongates and generates a stiff fetch of SSW to S winds extending from South of Tasmania up to the Central/Mid North Coast. This should bring fresh SSW to S winds and a steep rising S swell through Sun. Size should start small but build quickly through the a’noon up into the 3-4ft range, bigger 4-5ft on the Hunter. 

Next week (May 2 onwards)

S swell peaks Mon in the 3-4ft range with bigger 4-5ft surf at S swell magnets and the Hunter. Winds should settle down quickly as the trough moves East and a new high moves in through interior NSW. 

This high should see light winds become established through most of next week.

A persistent tradewind fetch and embedded sub-tropical low will have been chugging away through the end of this week and into the weekend, mostly aimed at sub-tropical targets but temperate NSW will see some nice E/NE swell start through Mon, into Tues with sets in the 2-3ft range Tues, bigger 3ft on Wed.

This looks like providing some nice, peaky options for the beachies.

Further ahead and N’ly winds and swell from the E/NE should pad out the rest of next week, supplying a nice summer feel to the start of May.

Check back tomorrow for a full update and analysis.