7 Most Beautiful Beaches in Byron Bay

Last updated: May 6, 2024

This guide shares the seven best beaches in the Byron Bay area, suitable for swimming, surfing, snorkelling, sunbathing, and relaxing.

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

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

Below, we share Byron Bay’s best beaches (in a clockwise manner), so you know where to go next time you visit Australia’s most vibrant coastal town!

1. Belongil Beach

Belongil Beach in Byron Bay
Belongil Beach (map)

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.

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

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

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.

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 lifesavers year-round, with their clubhouse 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

Clarkes Beach in Byron Bay
Clarkes Beach (map)

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, excellent facilities, and a large caravan park.

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 snorkelling spot, with some rocky areas close to the shore to discover.

4. The Pass

The Pass in Byron Bay
The Pass (map)

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.

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 rainforests and with excellent views from the outside deck.

5. Wategos Beach

Wategos Beach in Byron Bay
Wategos Beach (map)

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.

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

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

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

Only 150m long, this north-facing beach is suitable for swimming, sunbathing, 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

Tallow Beach in Byron Bay
Tallow Beach (map)

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.

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.

 

7 Best beaches in Byron Bay

 

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AJ Mens

AJ Mens is a digital publisher based in Sydney, Australia, and the editor-in-chief of Sydney Uncovered and Blue Mountains Uncovered.

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5 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, fair 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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