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Our pick of the best beaches in Byron Bay

Written by The Surf House on .

Calling all ocean lovers, surfers and beach-bums.

If you’re dreaming of spending your summer by the beach with salty hair and the sand between your toes, Byron Bay is the place to be. 

Whether you’re kicking back with the crew, learning to surf, looking for a little slice of paradise to while away the summer days or soaking up those magical East Coast Australia sunsets, there’s no shortage of stunning beaches in Byron. Here’s our pick of the best beaches in Byron Bay…

Belongil Beach  

2km from The Surf House

Best for: Magical Sunsets & Snorkelling

High up on our list of the best beaches in Byron Bay, Belongil Beach ticks a lot of boxes. A favourite amongst locals and surfers, this quiet stretch located just a 15 minute walk from The Surf House is the perfect escape if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of town. 

At the southern end of the beach, close to Main Beach, you’ll find ‘The Wreck’, a popular surf break along the shipwreck of the SS Wollongbar. Just 30m offshore in shallow waters, the old shipwreck makes for a great snorkelling site where you can spot stingrays, turtles and wobbegong sharks (don’t worry, these friendly bottom-dwellers will keep their distance if you keep yours!).

A leisurely stroll up the beach will bring you to Belongil Beach, a beautiful long stretch of sand perfect for sunbaking, beach walks and soaking up the sunset over Mt Warning. We recommend packing a few cold ones and settling in for one dreamy sunset! 

Belongil is also one of the only dog friendly beaches in the area so get ready to hang out with locals and their furry friends!

Surf House crew recommends

After sunset, shake off the sand and head to our local fave, Treehouse on Belongil, for the best wood-fired pizzas in town and delicious cocktails in a boho fairy-lit setting.

Safety

Parts of Belongil Beach are patrolled during the summer months. There can be strong currents so swimming is recommended at the Southern end of the beach, nearest to Byron Bay town, when patrolled.

Main Beach

50m from The Surf House

Best for: Swimming, boho vibes & people watching

Wake up, hit the beach, repeat. If rolling out of bed and stepping straight onto the sand is your idea of heaven, Main Beach will be your go-to beachside paradise. Located right in the middle of town, just 50m from The Surf House, you can’t beat it for convenience.  

Aside from the location, Main Beach is all about the local community vibes, with everything you’ll need for a beach day in the sun on your doorstep and Beach Hotel (one of Byron’s most-loved oceanfront pubs) just over the road. Our go-to people watching spot, it’s easy to spend a day here soaking up Byron’s laid-back atmosphere.

Whilst the water is calm enough for a relaxing arvo dip, the small waves are also perfect for beginner surfers – so make sure to grab a surfboard or boogie board (free for Surf House guests) and head to the beach to catch some of the best beginner waves in Byron Bay.

Surf House crew recommends

 The large grassy area just behind the beach is one of our favourite places to chill, from sun-kissed afternoons to golden hour. We love heading here with a few sundowners to soak up the local community vibes with drum circles and local buskers playing into the evening. Keen to make a day of it? Pack a picnic and set up on the grass or use one of the many (free to use!) BBQ’s dotted along the coastal path. 

Planning your beach day? Make the most of the on-site communal kitchen facilities when you stay at The Surf House.

Check out our top tips for a healthy Byron Bay vacay.

Safety

Main Beach is patrolled every day of the year by the Australian Lifeguard Service on weekdays and volunteers on weekends and public holidays, making it the perfect beach for swimming.

Wategos & Little Wategos Beach

3km from The Surf House

Best for: Catching the sunrise & dolphin spotting

If you’re looking for a picture-perfect setting to while away a sunny day, it doesn’t get much better than Wategos Beach. Dotted with pandanus palms, surrounded by clear ocean blues and protected by the Cape Byron headland, Wategos is one of the prettiest beaches in Byron… if not on earth 😉 Loved by Byron locals, surfers – and a few local pods of dolphins! – Wategos is a must-visit during your Byron Bay getaway. With a grassy picnic area and BBQs, calm waters for swimming, sparkling rock pools to explore and some great beginner waves for surfers, it’s no wonder Wategos is up there in our top recommended beaches in the area.

To get there from town take the coastal walking track from Lawson Street along the coastal boardwalk and down to Wategos. Be sure to take in the beautiful vistas at Clarke’s Beach and The Pass along the way!

Tucked away at the end of the Cape below the lighthouse, Little Wategos Beach is a little hidden paradise. Although only 150m long, Little Wategos is one of the more sheltered beaches in the area and one of our favourite sun-trapped swimming spots.

Surf House crew recommends

If you’re an early bird, you’ll love Wategos at sunrise. We love to start the day with a walk up to Cape Byron Lighthouse, just a short trail up from the beach, at the most Easterly point of Australia. The views from the top are well worth the climb; enjoy spectacular views over the bay and remember to keep an eye out for dolphins (year-round) and whales migrating North (between May and October).

Keen for a post-walk swim? Head on down to Wategos for a refreshing swim and a coffee. Our go-to is Soul Kitchen Cafe at Raes on Wategos.

Safety

Swimming is recommended only when the beach is patrolled (during summer) and it is recommended to swim close to the shore. Little Wategos is accessible via a pathway from Wategos Beach or from the lighthouse precinct, so keep an eye on the tide when visiting and if swimming, look out for rips.

Whites Beach

11km from The Surf House

Best for: A little adventure & Getting off the beaten track

Get ready for some serious tropical vibes!

Hidden in a protected bay, just out of Broken Head (about a 20 minute drive from Byron), Whites Beach is arguably one of Byron’s most idyllic and secluded beaches. Very much a local’s nook, Whites Beach is off the beaten track, accessible only by dirt track and surrounded by subtropical rainforest within Broken Head Nature reserve. Bordered by palm-covered cliffs, lush rainforest and crystal blue waters of the South Pacific, Whites Beach feels like a hidden tropical paradise.

Surf House crew recommends

When the tide is low, be sure to explore the rock pools and caves at the south side of the beach. And don’t forget to soak up the views from the top – simply stunning.

Safety

Make sure to visit during low and mid-tide. At high tide the water washes right up over the beach. The beach is unpatrolled so keep an eye on the swell and only swim if you’re confident. Making a day of it? Remember to bring a beach umbrella for shade.

Clarkes Beach

1.7km from The Surf House

Best for: Swimming & Snorkelling

We don’t have to think twice about including Clarkes Beach, with it’s calm clear water and gentle waves, to our favourites list! Nestled between Main Beach and The Pass, Clarkes is within easy walking distance to town yet far away enough from the crowds to feel like you’ve found yourself a beautiful hidden gem that’ll give you all the relaxing vacay feels!

With a long sandbank breaking up the waves, Clarkes boasts some great swimming and body surfing conditions and when the tide is right, perfect ‘learn to surf’ waves. Whether you’re catching waves, floating in the ocean or watching the world go by, Clarkes Beach is a must-visit!

Surf House crew recommends

Clarkes Beach is a great beach for dolphin-spotting. We recommend hopping on a sea-kayaking tour from here to spot dolphins, whales and turtles in the wild. Keen to stay beach-side? Grab a snorkel and explore the rocky areas close to shore to catch a glimpse of some of the area’s interesting marine life.

Safety

Clarkes Beach is not usually patrolled. However nearby beaches, The Pass and Main Beach, are. We recommend swimming only when the waves are small.

Tallow Beach and Cosy Corner

1.7km from The Surf House

Best for: A little adventure & Getting off the beaten track

If you’re looking for a quiet beach spot away from the crowds look no further than Tallow Beach, a beautiful and wild stretch between the Cape Byron Conservation Area and Broken Head Nature Reserve. Popular with locals and surfers this beautiful 6.5km beach has so much to offer. Whether you fancy an evening stroll, a spot of nature and bird watching or a blissful beach day, you can do it here.

Protected by the headland, Cosy Corner, at the north end of the beach is a great place to catch some rays on windy days and watch the surfers. The swell along Tallow and Cosy Corner is impressive, so unless you ride waves like a pro, it’s best left to the locals.

Surf House crew recommends

 There’s something wild and free about Tallow that’s hard not to fall in love with. Whilst the waves are big (keep an eye out for rips as they can be strong!), Tallow is our go-to for a refreshing swim and a quiet lazy afternoon in the sun.

Safety

Tallow Beach is unpatrolled and often has strong rips. It is recommended to swim only when the beach is patrolled.


Whether you’re visiting Byron Bay for a weekend, a little longer or planning to spend your entire summer at some of the sun-kissed beaches on this list, you’re in for a whole lot of beachy fun, guaranteed beauty and some pretty special Byron Bay sunsets!

Keen for more? Check out our 3 day Byron Bay itinerary inspo to make the most of your getaway from beach to bar and everything in between!

The Surf House offers boutique-style accommodation in the heart of Byron Bay suited to solo travellers, couples, friends and those looking for group shared accommodation in Byron Bay. Take a look at the perks of a stay at The Surf House and check out our rooms today.


The Surf House

23 Lawson Street
Byron Bay, NSW 2481
+61 2 66 858750

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23 Lawson Street
Byron Bay, NSW 2481
+61 2 6685 8750

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