GALLERY: Hang on for the king tide ride

The king tides which lapped the Illawarra coast on Thursday brought a reminder of the power of the ocean - and a chance to splash around in it.

As a 2m tide peaked about 9.30am as beachgoers across the region marvelled at the high water, a Christmas-New Year tradition on the Australian coast.

The Abbott family made the trip from nearby Coledale to Austinmer and were there when the tide was high enough to wash over the wall of the ocean pools there.

Simon Abbott, wife Lisette, and daughters Amelie and Alyssa enjoyed the surging water, clinging to the rail as the waves washed around them.

It provided sweet relief from a hot and humid day around Wollongong, with temperatures going past 33.5 degrees at Bellambi and Albion Park shortly after 1pm.

Friday is expected to be cloudy and cooler, with maximum temperatures around 25 degrees. But northeasterly winds will mean the humidity returns today.

Windy and cooler days are forecast for the weekend, with temperatures reaching 25 degrees tomorrow after a windy morning that may see some early showers. Sunday is forecast to be just about the same - windy and cooler early, reaching about 25 degrees later in the day.

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