'Beauty and drama': Photographer John Wilson captures images of huge swell at Fingal Beach

John Wilson's plan for the weekend just gone had been snorkeling in Fingal Bay.

But the NSW Bureau of Meteorology's warning for dangerous surf and swell along the Hunter, Sydney, Illawarra, Batemans, Eden and Macquarie coastlines took that plan firmly off the agenda.

Instead, Mr Wilson picked up his camera and hit Fingal Beach on Sunday to capture some images of the huge swell which ranged from 8 to 12 foot (2.4 to 3.6 metres) between 12am and 3am, 7 to 12ft (2.1-2.6m) between 6am and 3pm and 6 and 10ft (1.8-3m) between 6pm and 9pm.

"[It] is the biggest surf I've seen here. And to think that just a few days ago we were watching a pod of dolphins cruising the bay," Mr Wilson said. "I love the way Fingal completely changes day to day."

Mr Wilson lives between Sydney and Fingal Bay.

The avid photographer is a travel blogger. He features his photos from his many travel destinations, overseas and in Australia, on his blog photoblog.com/johnw.

Mr Wilson said he has a "soft spot" for Fingal Bay and that there are many posts on his blog of Port Stephens.

"There are lots of posts about Fingal and Port Stephens, especially since we can't travel overseas," he said.

"I think we are extremely fortunate at Fingal to be surrounded by such a natural wonderland. I'm not sure if everyone appreciates just how much the environment here would be envy of the world if it was known.

"The beauty and drama of this environment matches anything I've seen, anywhere. There's always something that surprises you, such as that huge surf on the weekend. This place never ceases to amaze."

Fingal Beach, which typically does not produce big waves due to its sheltered location, last had the public in awe at the huge waves it produced in January 2018 when it recorded a swell of four to five metres.

A strong wind warning remained in place for the Hunter coast on Monday.

Port Stephens was due to be hit by a severe thunderstorm on Monday afternoon.

Safety Advice

  • People should consider staying out of the water and avoid walking near surf-exposed areas.
  • Rock fishers should avoid coastal rock platforms exposed to the ocean and seek a safe location that is sheltered from the surf.
  • Boaters planning to cross shallow water and ocean bars should consider changing or delaying their voyage.
  • Boaters already on the water should carry the appropriate safety equipment and wear a lifejacket.
  • Boaters should remember to log on with their local Marine Rescue radio base, via VHF Radio or the Marine Rescue APP, and consider their safety management plan.

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