Summer Surprise Package! Words by Ben Horvath. Clip and photos by Cruz Horvath.
The south coast of NSW boasts approximately 600km of highly surfable terrain following the Tasman Sea all the way to the Victorian border.
The region is a visiting surf explorer’s dream because nearly every town and dirt road leading off the highway has waves with a variety of beach breaks, bombies, reefs, and points catering for for both goofyfooters and naturals in almost any swell and wind direction.
The south coast is way more low key than northern NSW. There’s no real internationally renowned point breaks, so there’s less crowds, less hipsters and therefore more waves to be had. However, it is more fickle and you do require inside knowledge to know where is on. The locals tend to be more hardcore, so do not hunt in packs, respect both the local surfers and environment and keep an eye out for the man in the grey suit.
Summer 17/18 was shaping up to be one of the flattest Summers in a decade or so on the East Coast of Australia.
Queenslanders were going completely insane after months of relentless northerlies and Sydneysiders were barely surviving on a diet of 1 to 2ft wind chop…….that is until everything turned around with the sudden arrival of a Summer Surprise Package courtesy of an unseasonably solid drought breaking ECL episode mid January.
The preceding spring in Sydney and surrounds was above ave wave wise with quite a few solid south swell episodes after what was a pretty average winter.
The quiet Nov/Dec period allowed the sand to slowly re generate after a period of poor banks.
By late Dec /early Jan sand was returning in droves, consequently some fun small wave banks were developing, meaning when there was some fluky wind swell about, there were a couple of brief, fun windows of waves.
I often head south in January.
I find southern NSW to be a more reliable and less crowded option on the East Coast, comparable to other summer wave havens or swell magnets like East Coast Vic, down Sth Vic ,and SW WA.
Yes Southern NSW is better in Autumn or winter, but it is still highly reliable in summer if you know where to go!
Yes there is bound to be a flat day here and there, but not several, and def not weeks on end.
A day or two of fresh NE sea breezes or Sth winds always pushes up a coupla feet of swell minimum. Find a protected corner or beach facing into the swell, then time your arrival when winds shift and kaboom – you’re on, and ahead of the crowds.
The SE swell that hit the East Coast mid month was biggest on the south coast of NSW.
That’s not to say Sydney and surrounds, Newcastle, the north coast and even SE Qld didn’t enjoy the drought breaking swell , it’s just that southern NSW was the epicenter.
Enjoy the line ups and the region if you take a road trip, but do ensure you respect the locals and the environment and do not travel in packs.