Workable options over the weekend with a dynamic looking week ahead

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri 29th Sep)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • N’ly winds this weekend, lightest Sat morning
  • Small but fun beachies Sat AM
  • Stronger S swell Sat PM, holding Sun AM before easing
  • NE windswell Sun 
  • Late S'ly change Sun with onshore S-SE winds Mon, tending E/NE-NE- surfable options for the keen
  • Stronger NE windswell likely Tues PM/Wed/Thurs next week - potentially good/great waves Wed PM and Thurs AM
  • Possible strong S swell next weekend if low forms in Tasman- still early days, check back Mon for updates


Fun, mixed bag swells continue with yesterday seeing surf from the SE and S-S/SE, with sets to 3-4ft widely reported on an a'noon pulse. Clean-ish conditions early under a light morning flow with an a’noon NE breeze. Size has wound back a notch today with a mix of S and E/SE swells to 2ft, bigger 3ft on the Hunter and some fun beachies around under light morning W-NW winds, tending N/NE in the a’noon. 

Hunter tops the scoring again with another really fun day on the beachies

This weekend (Sep30-Oct1)

We’ve got a strong, expansive front passing through the Tasman at present will which supply pulses of S swell over the coming days. High pressure over NSW is moving NE into the Tasman, with a N’ly flow developing. That N'ly flow will really intensify next week with some juicy NE windswell resulting.

Sat morning looks the best conditions of the weekend as a troughy area lingers off the Central NSW coastline, with as light/variable flow for the morning, tending N/NE and freshening in the a’noon. Surf-wise we’re again going to see a blend of swell trains, with small E swell being joined by some shorter period S swell in the morning and longer period swell trains filling in the a’noon. No great size, 2ft through the morning with the occ. 3footer at S facing beaches and a few larger sets in the a’noon at the better swell magnets.

The N’ly fetch adjacent to the Central and lower MNC coast overnight Sat will see some NE windswell join the chat on Sun. O/night N’lies will tend NW quickly through the morning as a trough/front approaches, clocking around W/NW and even W through the a’noon. The front looks to hit the Illawarra right around sunset bringing a S’ly buster, or just after but keep tabs on local winds in case it’s moving ahead of schedule. Should be a fun blend of NE windswell and mid period S swell to 2-3ft, with a few bigger sets likely on the Hunter. 

Next week (Oct2 onwards)

Still looking like a dynamic week ahead. Monday does look a bit of a write-off with the S’ly buster transitioning to a mod S-S/SE flow in the morning and ordinary conditions, before winds shift E/NE-NE and freshen. There will be swell in the water if you can find somewhere clean. Mostly short range S with some fading mid period S in the mix. 

By Tues we’ll start to see a stronger N’ly pattern develop. Not much surf to start, but by close of play we’ll see a building trend in NE windswell which may be up in the 2-3ft range if the fetch winds up like modelled. N’ly winds will be freshening through the day.

That N’ly fetch really winds up o/night Tues with potential for near gales offshore from the NSW Central to MNC (see below). If that comes off, we’ll be looking at some juicy NE windswell up in the 3-5ft range, potentially with more size on the Illawarra and South Coast.

EC is even suggesting gales off the coast by the a’noon (40kt winds!) which does give upside potential for Wed. We’ll revise on Mon. N’ly winds should tilt more NW in the a’noon as a trough approaches potentially cleaning up northern corners. 

The trough is modelled to deepen off the Gippsland coast in the wee hrs of Thurs, bringing fresh W’lies for the early and a morning peak in size to 3-5ft (expect revisions on Mon), easing quite quickly as the fetch is shunted eastwards.

There’s still considerable model divergence last next week as the trough deepens into a surface low off the Gippsland Coast and moves East into the Tasman. 

EC continues to be more bullish, suggesting near gales to gales in the swell window and a fast rising S swell through Fri PM into the weekend, potentially into the 6ft range or bigger.

GFS has a more modest kick Fri before a sizey 4-6ft S swell Sat.

We’re still a week away from this event, so no doubt we’ll have some revisions Mon and further updates through the week- hopefully not downwards. 

Until then, spring mixed bag continues over the weekend.

Have a great weekend!



Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython Friday, 29 Sep 2023 at 10:56am


Panman's picture
Panman's picture
Panman Friday, 29 Sep 2023 at 2:47pm

Just had pretty epic slightly overhead and super consistent waves here today on the coal coast, no wind to speak of and lots of happy people

sean killen's picture
sean killen's picture
sean killen Friday, 29 Sep 2023 at 6:29pm

I praying for an upgrade for the next NE swell and S swell after that to absolutely smash the beach beyond words how shit it is !!!!

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Friday, 29 Sep 2023 at 7:38pm

Yep new long-range S groundswell kicked in this arvo, 3ft+ and strong.

brownie48's picture
brownie48's picture
brownie48 Saturday, 30 Sep 2023 at 11:07am

Very strong this morning and too straight

Is the south swell still going to grow this arvo like sheep says or has it arrived early?

sean killen's picture
sean killen's picture
sean killen Sunday, 1 Oct 2023 at 6:15pm

This forecast is looking really good..