The best Byron Bay beaches
Australia is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world. There are particularly some great beaches in the cool town of Byron Bay! These beaches not only feature crystal clear water, cute coves, and coastal walks but also iconic lighthouses. Whether you’ve got a weekend away for a surf trip, on a family vacation, or you are on an East Coast road trip, you’ll be spoiled for choice in Byron Bay.
Exploring the beaches is easy, with the wonderful lighthouse walk that takes you up the coast to the Byron Bay Lighthouse stopping in at all the coves, beaches and rock pools along the way. Or explore a little further down south to the beaches of Lennox Head and Ballina.
Below are some of the best beaches Byron Bay has to offer.
The best Byron Bay beaches
Main Beach is the closest beach to Byron’s town centre, for this reason, it’s also busiest. The beach runs from the seawall at Belongil Beach down to Clarkes Beach and is located directly in front of Byron Bay’s iconic Beach Hotel.
It is often the first beach tourist flock to because of its proximity to the shops and cafes. And easy to keep the whole family entertained here for hours as the beach is patrolled by lifeguards. Always alive with people enjoying a healthy dose of sun, kids playing in the sand and locals paddle boarding.
Beyond the beach, the grassy park at the northern end is a great spot to soak up the bohemian vibe with a picnic as the kids enjoy the well-equipped playground. At night, you can enjoy an acoustic soundtrack provided by the ever-present buskers whilst you people watch the night away.
+ Family friendly as it is patrolled.
+ Dog-friendly from a point adjacent to Manfred Street, Belongil, extending in an easterly direction to a point on the western side of Main Beach car park.
+ Close to shops, cafes and restaurants.
+ Has a grassy area for picnics as well as a park.
+ Has plenty of parking available.
Wearing: Swimmers from Glassons
The Pass is located at the northern end of town just off Lighthouse road, it is arguably Byron’s most famous surf spot and definitely my favourite beach. The scenic views and calm cove makes this spot not only popular with instagrammers but great for locals, surfers and families.
The Pass is loved by both experienced surfers beginners, with the longest right-hand point break in the bay and plenty of space for all to enjoy. If surfing isnt your cup of tea, the paddle boards also go well here.
Fisherman’s Lookout is the perfect place to take in the panoramic view and to watch for dolphin and whales, it is also a perfect spot for an idyllic photo opportunity of the gorgeous bay below. The Pass is also the main start point for local dive boats that take divers and snorkellers out to Julian Rocks!
The wide beach and gentle surf close to the shore attracts surfers, sunbathers, swimmers and young families. If you’re searching for a beach to spend a whole day at, The Pass is my top pick! It also has a cute little cafe just above the car park if you are feeling a bit peckish or need a retreat from a day of sun.
+Great for families because of its calm cove
+Has parking available
+The Passs Cafe is located just above the carpark and serves a range of salads, burgers, coffees and smoothies.
+Has a great lookout
Located just below the Cape Byron Lighthouse, Wategos beach is oozing with character and charm. Easily one of the most picturesque beaches in the area and just an easy five-minute drive from Byron’s town centre or a thirty-minute walk along Byron’s famous walking track.
The small bay has limited parking but its great for families with its 600m long sheltered beach. sparkling rock pools, grassy patches perfect for picnics and even a couple of benches and barbeques. A short walk up the hill along the Cape Byron walking track will take you directly to the Byron Bay Lighthouse where you could spot a whale or two.
+Limited parking available.
+Sheltered beach perfect for families.
+Picnic benches and barbecues available.
+Rae’s of Wategoes Restaurant close by.
This 7km stretch of beach is located just outside the heart of Byron Bay and is perfect for swimming, birdwatching, whale watching, beach fishing, and just basking in the sun! This beach is unpatrolled and can be prone to rips and strong currents, but in the right conditions can offer a decent surf break.
As you relax on the sand, pied oystercatchers wander past searching for pippis. Avid birdwatchers will find more to see behind the dunes adjacent to residential areas, where many paperbark trees provide plenty of hiding holes for our feathered friends
+ Unpatrolled and can have rips and strong currents
+ Near a national park so perfect place for birdwatching
+ Long stretch of sand out of the heart of Byron Bay
+ Dog friendly from Jarman Street, Suffolk Park, extending in a northerly direction to the boundary of the Arakwal National Park.
Seven Mile Beach
About 25 minutes south of Byron Bay, you’ll find Lennox Head and its open expense of a beach. Lennox Point headland and Seven Mile Beach is a wide and relatively deserted spot that has one of the top ten breaks in Australia. Here you can take a horse-riding tour, beach fish, learn to surf or just relax.
The Boat Channel just off Rutherford Street in Lennox Head is a safe haven for swimming and snorkelling. On a high tide, it is perfectly protected from the waves. Although patrolled the beach is prone to numerous rips so swimming between the flags is a good idea.
Experience the secluded northern end of Seven Mile Beach by 4wd down just be sure to purchase 4wd permit first.
+Wide, sandy, open beach
+Seasonally patrolled in front of Surf Life Saving Club
+Pet friendly from north of Lake Ainsworth (old 4WD access)
Ballina has two beaches patrolled by the same surf life-saving club, Shelly and Lighthouse that sit either side of the Ballina Light House. The beach faces southeast exposing it to the dominant southerly waves. This aspect combined with its fine to medium sand produces a surf dominated by three large rips cutting across the inner bar. The rips, outer bar and headlands provide good surf, but are a hazard for swimmers.
Shelly Beach is the main family beach in Ballina and is popular all year round. Accessible at both ends and by two central car parks parking is a breeze. A stroller-friendly pathway also runs the length of the beach and up over the headland where you can check out Ballina lighthouse or just admire the coastline. When the tide is out a man-made wading pool can be found between the rocks on the southern side of the beach.
This beach is:
+ Wading pool built into the rocks
+ Popular family beach
+ Stroller-friendly path around the beach and headland
+ Nearby cafe The Belle General serves tasty treats
Lighthouse Beach ( or Main Beach as the locals would say) can be found at the southern side of Ballina Head. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards and volunteers from September to the end of the Easter
break. The stunning new surf club dominates the northern entrance to the beach and boasts a fantastic cafe with simply stunning vistas. Numerous parking options are available – from the top car park that looks out over both Shelley and Lighthouse beach and also on the road that runs behind the beach to another car park.
Stroll along walking tracks and view birds (migratory, shore and bush) as they fly, feed and roost. Watch for echidnas, lizards, frogs, wallabies, and humpback whales migrating between June and October, and see dolphins at play offshore. Watch the laid-back lifestyle of the surfers and windsurfers off North Wall. At sunset, experience the magnificent sight of the Trawlers making their way over the Ballina Bar or throw a line off North Wall and you will be in for a delicious seafood feast. Enjoy a meal or snack at the conveniently located kiosk and cafe at the brand new Ballina Lighthouse Surf Club.
+ 700m sandy beach stretches to North Wall
+ Good access from car park
+ Grassy reserve between the road & beach
+ Popular surfing location – beware of rips and strong currents
+ Stunning new beachfront surf club with cafe
Where to stay in Byron Bay
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