when is the australian surf season?

to the ozzies online, who are willing to share…

i would like to know a bit more about surfing in australia

went to some sites, but no hard data yet on when to go, where and how swell gets made…


ozzie season is in our northern summer, from june to september, is this true? for both east and west ozzie coast?

ozzie swells get made from depressions on the respective oceans, indian and pacific,is this true? i read that cyclones apparantly account for some swells too…

thanks for sharing



Hey Wouter

Im on the east coast just south of Sydney

Usually late Autumn through Winter into Spring we get the most low pressure systems creating swell  with offshore winds.


In Victoria we have swell year round - generally a bit bigger and more powerful in winter (June-September).


Winter’s my favourite time because the footy boys are off running around fields and most of the clowns are in front of their fireplaces.  And I get to pull out the pintail.!

But Autumn (March-May) is the best season - sunny, warm water (17 -19 C), light winds and south swells kicking in


Wouter, it all depends. If you are a serious/advanced surfer, who likes powerful waves then the above replies are valid. If you are not specifically hunting those kind of waves, there's pretty much something all year round. Im a little bit more south than ripbowl. I would describe myself as an intermediate surfer ( being keen doesnt make you any better unfortunately haha ), and i surf once or twice a week ( 3 times if im lucky ), pretty much all year round. Im talking knee to head high mostly, but sometimes we are lucky and get head high plus. One thing you do find here is variety. Beaches, rivermouths, reefs, points etc

Hope it helps.


P.S you need to tell us where you are planning to surf. It's a big place!!

hey guys

i dont want to spend 2000 AUS dollar to go surf head high waves… i
want to rock hardwith pintail like boards [sigh!!]

chances are i will go to queensland and new south wales: qld and nsw

nothing certain yet though,

my girl says there is surf all year round in those regions. She wants to go november + december. Is it correct november and december are not good for surfing good waves there?

which months soon after december would be getting serious surf? your autumn, would start march, right?

thanks a lot !

Hey Wout...

I'd be sorry if you did'nt make it to Victoria, but If it were me flying in from OS and wanted the Aussie experience and the best likelihood of waves, I'd be going Sydney then South.

Need I say Aussie Pipe? Ulladulla? Merimbula Bar? 

Be prepared to need anything from shorts to a full steamer, more than one board if you can.



Don’t want to put you off exploring the sth eastern area of N.S.W but the good breaks get really crowded now.  Aussie pipe is worth a look but virtually unsurfable these days if theres any hint of a NE wind.  It’s the kind of break that gets better through the day and it’s not uncommon to have 30-40 people siting on the 10sq meter take off spot in the arvo.  The times I’ve surfed it in the last year I’ve paddled out in the dark, sometimes lucky but if it’s good there’ll be 10 boogieboarders already there. The break-ins are so bad everyboday leaves the cars completly open.  Weekends and school holidays forget about any reef near Ulladulla, it’s only 3 hours from sydney now the highway’s so good.

You’ll get uncrowded beach breaks anywhere you go in oz the place is so big but If your coming in summer I reckon go the north coast of N.S.W for board shorts, girls and Coopers on tap.  Otherwise grow some serrious balls and head to Sth oz, vic or even Tassie. My 2 cents.

I don’t know how your side of the north sea pond have been lately, but right now I’d kill and/or sell my soul for head high clean surf. sigh


One of the world’s longest running pro surf events has been run in The 3rd week of **November **in Victoria for 25 years.  http://www.phillipislandkneeboardclassic.com/

Conditions range from blistering heat, breathless double head high perfection to knee high in freezing gale force southerlies (sometimes both on the same day!). 

Like all travel you need to get lucky.  One guarantee - there will be swell and places to go in different winds.  Not many guys are trunking it at that time - more like 3/2 wetties.  Push too far into December and you can end up with less good swells.


Wouter, if your coming up this way (qld, nsw border) then i would wait a few months. it gets better winds and swell after christmas and after jan is better as school is back then.

If you are serious tho i would pm lennox76 aka steve shearer who does the swellnet forecast for this region. he knows this stuff inside out and could give you a good idea of where to go for the time of year your heading down under.

but if i was after surf that requires a semi or full gun to surf i wouldnt be coming here. i surf a fish or log 90% of the time. like the others have said, go south of sydney or WA. even bali/indo in the off season would be better.





all right guys!

some good stuff gets thrown in here.

thanks for the feedback, helps me define our options better


wout there is nothing to consider;

queensland from march on    one warning you may never want to leave’’

get weather advice from steve    this year the swell just kept coming right up to a week or so back


 from now on no good


**ps board shorts & sunnys

There are no waves south of Sydney to the vicco boarder:).



But if you do happen to luck in to this area you can surf anything from hawaiian style slabs to point breaks and everything in between.

The well known breaks around here are crowded but nothing compared to the big cities. Where I live 10 people is a crowd.

If the current predictions of el nino are correct give the spring and summer months a miss for the east coast.

WA always has waves and rarely under 2-3ft if you know where to look.

Wouts, don’t come in Nov/Dec unless you want to kiteboard.

From Dec onwards is the summer monsoon with general monsoonal gyres located in the southern coral sea/south pac.

Jan is school hols and your worst nightmare…if you come in Jan I’ll personally track you down and shoot you for pure stupidity.

By Feb regular swell from the SE to ENE is assured along with very warm water.

It is crowded but the sheer consistency and short range nature of the swell generating systems means an incredible amount of waves per hour.

On a good year it is like a machine…ask Roger(proneman) how many waves he rode this year while he was here.

You will surf more good waves between Noosa and Coffs Harbour between Feb and April then almost any location on earth…mostly 3-6ft pointbreaks and beachies.

If you can zig when the crowd zags and have half a brain you’ll surf with light to moderate crowds.

After Easter the focus shift to the southern storm track…thats the time to be heading south of Sydney…others have covered that.

WA is open to the full brunt of the Indian Ocean/roaring 40’s storm track…if you want to ride big waves head there but be prepared…it’s not fcuking tiddlywinks down there and nothing the North Sea can produce is gunna prepare you for the Womb or Tombstones.

I believe Vicco is highly overrated…the Surf Coast is fickle and as crowded as QLD…there aren’t many spots west of the Otways compared to other locations. PI is awesome.

Best bet : fly into Brisbane or Coolangatta in Feb, buy a cheap van and cruise between Noosa and Ballina until March then slowly work your way south…May is traditionally the month for biggest surf on the east coast due to the high probability of intense east coast lows which form off the coast. You’ll need a pintail and some skills to surf the surf these generate…big wave pointbreaks can handle 10-12ft of surf during these events and it ain’t long range long period groundswell with glassy surface conditions like Indo…it’s raw and challenging.

Be friendly, Aussies hate Euro snobs but like people who’ll chat with them…carry around a cold 6 pack and you’ll make friends immediately.

I’m at Lennox and would be stoked to offer any help to you.

"I believe Vicco is highly overrated..."

There's a misconception I can live with!

Oh yes, absolutely...there's no waves bigger than knee high for the whole stretch from Malacoota to Portland. No waves AT ALL...




Hi Lennox

I'm heading out from NZ tomorrow to your neck of the woods. We'll be there 11 days with a car and expect to travel around a bit. I've a new bamboo compsand with only 4 sessions on it so looking forward to testing it out in much warmer water and a few waves. Leaving behind 11* air and 12* water!!

I've been tracking forecasts through this site which is generally on the button for NZ conditions:


Would you have any other recommendations for tracking conditions??



Hey Wouter!


QLD in November / December can be a bit hit and miss. It's the start of summer and the weather is great and the ladies are looking their best. You do get waves all year round up here but the Gold Coast to far Northern NSW will be the places to go at this time. Problem with the gold coast is that this time of year it's supper busy! On saying that, there are plenty of breaks to choose from and heaps of long open beaches where you should be able to find a nice little uncrowded bank...

Jan, Feb and March are the times that the cyclones are due to hit. We haven't had one hit the coast here for nearly 12 years but they do form further north and create some great waves along the east coast. The Sunshine Coast is a little less crowded but won't pick up as much swell as the Goldie or far NSW unless it's a big chunky cyclone swell. CAn't surf much further north then about 200mile north from Noosa. Don't go to far northern QLD and expect waves.

Mate, we have 1000's of KM's of great coast all the ways from West Oz right round SA and up into Vic, NSW and QLD. It's a great place and you will always find a wave somewhere. But like another person says who is on this forum all the time....



take a look at http://www.swellnet.com.au/forecast.php?state_id=1&region_id=17

it looks like you are timing it just right as its been pretty flat for while but we have waves coming tomorrow. just jump in the car and heads outh until you find a wave to yourself. wish i could do the same.