7 Great Beaches in Byron Bay

Last updated: September 12, 2021

The coastline of New South Wales is home to some of the world’s prettiest beaches, and some of these beaches are located in and around Byron Bay in the northeastern corner of the state.

Byron Bay is a popular beach-side town that attracts a great amount of travellers each year. Initially making a name for itself as a busy industrial port town, Byron Bay has slowly transitioned into a holiday destination and surfing hot spot since the 1960’s.

In this article, we’re going to have a closer look at Byron Bay’s beaches, so you know where to go next time you visit Australia’s most vibrant coastal town.

Top 7 Byron Bay Beaches

We’re doing the below list of beaches in a clockwise manner, starting at Belongil Beach, located just west of Byron Bay’s city centre.

A good way to get a view of all beaches is by doing the Byron Bay lighthouse walking track, starting and finishing at Byron Bay’s Main Beach.

1. Belongil Beach

Often overlooked by tourists, Belongil Beach is a 2.5km stretch of sand between the mouth of Belongil Creek in the west and the seawall and Byron Bay car park further east.

It’s a much quieter alternative to Byron Bay’s Main Beach (see below), which makes Belongil Beach suitable for families, and also dog owners.

Belongil Beach in Byron Bay
Belongil Beach (map)

In 1921, a 2K ton passenger steamship named Wollongbar stranded in the surf right in front of Belongil Beach. This shipwreck is still visible, and is now a popular snorkelling spot.

Named The Wreck, this section of Belongil Beach, just north of the seawall, is also a popular surfing spot. It’s a sheltered reef break with consistent swells.

2. Main Beach

Stretching from the main car park at the end of Jonson Street all the way to Clarkes Beach and The Pass further east, Byron Bay’s iconic Main Beach is conveniently situated directly in front of the town’s centre. It’s suitable for swimming, with often only mild waves.

A large grassy park area right behind the beach is a popular venue, with excellent facilities such as picnic tables, barbeques, toilet blocks and playgrounds.

Main Beach in Byron Bay
Byron Bay’s Main Beach (map)

This area attracts locals and visitors of all sorts and backgrounds, creating a pleasant and harmonious atmosphere.

Byron Bay’s Main Beach is patrolled by surf life savers year-round, with their club house located in the centre of the beach. Established in 1907, the Byron Bay Surf Club is one of Australia’s oldest surf life saving clubs.

3. Clarkes Beach

Further around the bay towards the east, Byron Bay’s Main Beach flows into Clarkes Beach, a quiet north-facing strip of sand with beachfront parking, great facilities and a large caravan park.

Clarkes Beach in Byron Bay
Clarkes Beach (map)

Clarkes Beach is great for swimming as the waves are relatively small, but big enough to make them suitable for learn-to-surf programs that are often organised there.

It’s also a popular snorkeling spot, with some rocky areas close to the shore to discover.

4. The Pass

Located at the very end of Clarkes Beach towards the Fisherman’s Lookout, The Pass is one of Byron Bay’s surfing hot spots. On days with perfect conditions, surfers can expect to ride waves for hundreds of metres.

The Pass in Byron Bay
The Pass (map)

When visiting The Pass, don’t forget to climb up the Fisherman’s Lookout, which offers lovely views of The Pass, Clarkes Beach and Main Beach.

The Pass Cafe, just behind the beach on Brooke Drive, offers a wide range of breakfast and lunch options, surrounded by lush rainforest and with excellent views from the outside deck.

5. Wategos Beach

By many considered to be the prettiest beach in the Byron Bay area, Wategos Beach is a pleasantly sheltered strip of sand with a relaxed vibe and great facilities. Wategos produces a friendly surf, suitable for learner surfers.

Wategos Beach in Byron Bay
Wategos Beach (map)

Located between Cape Byron and the Fisherman’s Lookout, below the Byron Bay Lighthouse, Wategos Beach can be accessed by foot via the Cape Byron walking track.

Alternatively, there is limited street parking available along Marine Parade just behind the beach.

6. Little Wategos Beach

Next door neighbour is Little Wategos Beach, Australia’s most easterly beach, accessible by foot via a sidetrack from the Byron Bay Lighthouse walk.

Little Wategos Beach in Byron Bay
Little Wategos Beach (map)

Only 150m long, this north facing beach is suitable for swimming, sun bathing and also rock fishing.

If you’re looking for a nicely sheltered and isolated strip of sand, Little Wategos may be the perfect spot for you.

7. Tallow Beach

Located south of Cape Byron in Arakwal National Park, Tallow Beach is a very long stretch of sand that connects with Broken Head further south.

Tallow Beach in Byron Bay
Tallow Beach (map)

Lighthouse Road, which leads to the Byron Bay Lighthouse, provides excellent views of Tallow Beach.

The northern tip of this beach, also known as the Cosy Corner, is another popular surfing hot spot with surf breaks that are protected from the northerly winds.

More resources:
Check out our list of top things to do in and around Byron Bay for more great activities in the area. Also check out our guide to finding accommodation in Byron Bay if you’re still looking for a good place to stay.
 

7 Great beaches in Byron Bay

 
 
4 Comments
  1. I lived in Byron and Broken Head in the sixties and seventies, a beautiful unspoiled happy friendly country town, now 2021 traffic gridlock, overpriced, overpopulation, and no car parks at overcrowded beaches. I say no more development in the Byron Shire.

    Reply
    • Hi Jeff, good point, but I think that trend is visible in so many places in Australia and around the world.

      Reply
  2. Noticed you used an old photo of main beach that now have dunes heavily eroded by king tides leaving many big banksia trees and pandanus laying upended on the beach with remaining trees’ roots hanging on for dear life.

    Please don’t keep promoting Byron Bay it is already well known and needs a break from tourists.

    Reply
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