Lithofacies in the mid-Permian Nowra Sandstone indicate a middle/upper shoreface to foreshore environment of deposition under the influence of storm-generated waves and north-northeasterly directed longshore currents. Palaeogeographic reconstruction for the Nowra Sandstone portrays a sand-dominated high energy shelf and offshore shoal forming a sequence thickening seaward away from the western shore of the Sydney Basin. The shoal-crest at the outer edge of the shelf trends north-northeast. It is characterized by fine- to mediumgrained sandstone with upper flow regime structures and a high proportion of conglomerate, whereas coarser sandstone with lower energy bedforms occurs along the seaward side of the shoal. In the deeper water to the east, the lower Nowra Sandstone becomes rapidly thinner as it passes seaward, via bioturbated storm redeposited sandstone beds, into the shelf deposits of the Wandrawandian Siltstone. This sequence accumulated during a regressive event and the base of the formation becomes progressively younger eastward. The sand may have been supplied by rivers along the western coast but the major source was south of the study area. The lower Nowra Sandstone is separated from the upper part of the formation by an extensive ravinement surface overlain by the Purnoo Conglomerate Member. In contrast to the lower unit, the upper Nowra Sandstone forms a westward thickening wedge that represents a backstepping nearshore sand facies that accumulated during a transgression. The upper Nowra Sandstone passes vertically and laterally eastward into the Berry Siltstone. Thus both boundaries of the Nowra Sandstone are diachronous, first younging eastward and then westward as a response to a regressive-transgressive episode. © 1994 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.