Located on the far north coast of NSW, just one hour south of Queensland’s famous Gold Coast lies the hippie surf town of Byron Bay and its many beautiful beaches.
With several kilometres of pristine coastline surrounding Byron Bay, it is home to some of the most picturesque beaches in the whole of NSW!
There’s a beach to suit everyone here, whether you prefer quiet beaches where you can relax in the sand, beaches with great surf, lively beaches with lots of atmosphere on the shore, or sheltered coves where you can go for a gentle paddle.
You’ll find a beach for every occasion in Byron Bay – perhaps you’re after a beach to watch the sunrise, a beach to go horse riding on, a beach to walk your dog on, a beach where you can see dolphins in the waves.
Whatever it is, chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for here.
There are so many great beaches here in Byron Bay it can be difficult to know which beach to hit first, so we’ll touch on all of the best beaches in Byron Bay, and the best things to do at each beach!
Whether you’re visiting Byron as part of an East Coast Australia road trip or you’re splurging and enjoying a holiday in Byron, there’s a beach here with your name on it!
BEST BEACHES IN BYRON BAY
North Belongil Beach
Best thing to do at North Belongil Beach: go horseriding on the beach!
Best accommodation at North Belongil Beach:
A Perfect Stay – Catalinas
Located to the west of the busier Byron Bay beaches, secluded North Belongil Beach definitely makes it into the list of one of the best beaches in Byron Bay as there are just a handful of people here.
Plus this is where you can go horse riding along the beach – an absolutely magical and unique experience, and definitely a bucket-list item to do when heading to Byron Bay.
Zephyr Horses organise the Forest To Beach 2 hour horse rides on weekdays, and they always have a maximum of 8 people so you’ll get a very personal experience!
If you don’t feel comfortable riding a horse but still want to see them walking in the sand, park up on the beach and wait for them to arrive – you can check their timings on Zephyr Horses website.
Best thing to do at Belongil Beach: Snorkel around The Wreck & walk your dog!
The next beach along is Belongil Beach, a lovely sandy beach that can get quite busy!
Belongil Beach stretches 2.5km from Belongil Creek mouth to the sea wall at Main Beach car park.
It is a popular place to go for a walk, especially for dog walkers as the section of Belongil Beach near the Main Beach car park is an off-leash dog area.
Belongil Beach is also known for its famous shipwreck – the passenger steamship SS Wollongbar that got stranded here in 1921. It is located just offshore and can be seen protruding from the water at low tide.
The shipwreck is a great spot for snorkellers, plus when the conditions are right the surf is good here!
The part of the beach closest to Main Beach is also patrolled by lifeguards in the summer, so if you want to go for a swim at Belongil Beach it’s best to do it here between the flags.
If heading to Belongil Beach you can park at the Main Beach car park for $4 per hour (during the weekdays there is a 4 hour limit that you can park here).
Alternatively there is some parking on nearby Childe Street, Border Street and Don Street.
Main Beach Byron Bay
Best thing to do at Main Beach: swimming & soaking up the beach vibes!
East of Belongil Beach is Main Beach – as you guessed it, the main beach in Byron Bay that lies directly in front of the town.
Byron Bay Surf Club (one of the oldest surf clubs in the country!) is located here at Main Beach, and this is the most popular beach in Byron Bay for people to go for a swim.
The waves here are pretty gentle and there are always lifeguards around during the day. It’s a great option for families, and whilst it’s the busiest beach in Byron Bay there is still plenty of space.
Main Beach backs onto Apex Park – a lively grassy lawn for people to hang out, have a barbeque or picnic, play music and have gatherings. It has a great relaxed and social vibe.
There are also toilets and a children’s playground here, plus there are many cafes, shops and restaurants nearby.
Just behind Apex Park is Beach Hotel – a popular drinking hole to watch the sunset and enjoy live music. Stroll onto nearby Jonson Street and Bay Lane when you’re hungry – they are host to many restaurants with a variety of cuisines!
Whether you’re after Thai, Mexican, Japanese, Italian, Australian or Middle Eastern, you’ll find it here in Byron. Byron also has many vegan restaurants – our favourite is No Bones, such yummy food!
Parking at the Main Beach car park and on Bay Street is $4 per hour. There is a 4 hour parking limit on weekdays between 9am-6pm and the car park gets full pretty quickly!
Clarkes Beach lies on the other side of Main Beach, just a few minutes walk from Byron Bay’s main hub. If you are learning to surf then this is one of the best beaches in Byron Bay to go!
The waves here are quite small but pretty consistent, so Clarkes Beach is usually full of surfers from dawn until dusk.
It’s also popular with families, especially those staying at the Holiday Park just behind the beach.
Beach Byron Bay is a lovely cafe/restaurant overlooking Clarkes Beach. If like me you just love watching the surfers, this is the perfect place to sit and watch them!
This is also where you will get to do morning kayaks with the dolphins – a great way to start your morning!
Parking around Clarkes Beach is also $4 per hour, with a 4 hour limit on weekdays during the day.
Parking wardens are always out and about so don’t risk it. Like at Main Beach, it can be pretty tricky to get a parking spot here if you don’t arrive early!
Best thing to do at The Pass: go up to the Fisherman’s Lookout to enjoy the views – spot dolphins and whales!
Just east of Clarkes Beach is The Pass – Byron Bay’s most famous surfing spot, and actually one of the most famous surf spots in the whole of Australia! The surf break conditions here are pretty much always perfect!
It’s also a lovely spot for non-surfers to enjoy – you must head up the Fisherman’s Lookout (the tiny craggy island in the picture below) and admire the views!
Watch the surfers, look out for dolphins – or even whales during the cooler months. There’s a fair few steps to get to the top of the viewpoint but it is so worth it.
You can also look out to the Julians Rocks a few kilometres offshore – the best place to go snorkelling in Byron Bay! You can spot lots of leopard sharks, turtles and grey nurse sharks here!
A popular walk is actually to walk from Main Beach all the way to The Pass along the beach. It should take around half an hour strolling each way and is a great way to soak up the atmosphere of beautiful Byron!
You can then stop at the quaint little Pass Cafe afterwards for a delicious breakfast surrounded by scenic views on the patio, or use the nearby barbecues. Public toilets are also located nearby too.
There’s also a car park here at The Pass, again costing $4 per hour with the 4 hour maximum parking during weekday days.
Best thing to do at Wategos Beach: get out on the waves if you’re a longboarder, head to Raes for a sunset drink.
Best accommodation at Wategos Beach:
About 700 metres from The Pass along the Cape Byron Walking Track is Wategos Beach – Byron Bay’s most exclusive beachfront suburb. This is where the rich and famous come to let their hair down, and it’s not hard to see why.
This beach is beautiful! Whether it’s Chris Hemsworth, Zac Efron, Carrie Bickmore or Nicole Kidman – everyone loves Wategos.
Wategos isn’t just for the elite – everyone is welcome at this laid-back magical beach.
Whether it’s longboarders looking to catch a wave, those looking to escape the crowds of Clarkes and Main Beach, those looking for a sheltered beach and calm waters surrounded by rainforest, or those who want to soak up the unbeatable vibes and check out the multi-million dollar properties looking out on to the beach, Wategos Beach is a must visit for anyone coming to Byron Bay.
Make sure to also look out for dolphins as they often make a regular appearance here!
Also stop for a quick drink at Rae’s On Wategos, the iconic hotel here right next to the beach! As the beach is west facing you can get some really nice sunsets here!
There are also barbeques, picnic tables, toilets and showers here.
As with the rest of Byron, parking is $4 per hour here at Wategos, with a 4 hour weekday restriction. It can be very difficult to get a parking spot here, so either arrive early, get an Uber or do the coastal walk!
Little Wategos Beach
Best thing to do at Little Wategos Beach: relax without the crowds, take the short walk up to Cape Byron Lighthouse
300 metres east of Wategos Beach, below Cape Byron Lighthouse is Little Wategos Beach. Little Wategos is the most easterly beach in mainland Australia, plus it can only be accessed on foot so it’s lovely and secluded!
The small beach is just 150 metres long, which makes it one of the smaller beaches in Byron, and it is definitely one of Byron’s most breathtaking hidden gems!
It’s a great little beach to plop yourself down at, away from all the crowds.
The water is sheltered here and generally safe to swim in, but the beach is unpatrolled so let someone know if you’re going in the water, and always pay attention to children.
From Little Wategos Beach follow the trail up to Cape Byron Lighthouse – one of the most Instagrammable places in Byron Bay.
The views from up here are fantastic, and it’s a very popular place for people to visit at sunrise and sunset.
Cape Byron Lighthouse is actually just a short 10 minute walk from Little Wategos Beach, which makes it much easier to get to than if you’ll be coming from the centre of Byron Bay, as parking by the lighthouse is extremely limited.
Best thing to do at Tallow Beach: Surf at Cosy Corner only if you are an experienced surfer, enjoy the views of Cape Byron Lighthouse
If you’re at Cape Byron and walk past The Lighthouse Keepers Cottages to the other side of the headland and face south you’ll see Tallow Beach from above – another stunning beach in Byron Bay.
This is a great place to get an aerial shot of Tallow Beach and see the sand stretching for a few kilometres all the way to Broken Head.
Tallow Beach is a lovely long beach that is the perfect place to sunbathe and get away from the buzz of Byron.
Plus the views of the Cape Byron Lighthouse from here are lovely. There’s also an off-leash dog area in the middle of the beach.
The most northern part of Tallow Beach – called Cosy Corner, is a popular surf spot for experienced surfers ONLY as strong rips occur here and the beach is unpatrolled.
Further south down the beach the waves get even rougher so don’t go in the water.
You can access Tallow Beach at the end of Tallow Beach Road, which comes off Lawson Street (there is no shortcut from the lighthouse, you’ll need to walk along the street).
Tallow Beach Road is less than a kilometre long, so it will take you around 15 minutes to reach Tallow Beach if you are walking from Clarkes Beach, or just a couple of minutes if driving.
There is a car park at the end of the road, and you guessed it, parking is $4 per hour.
Byron Bay Beaches Summary
And so there we go, those are all the beaches in Byron Bay. I hope you found one perfect for you! In truth, they are all stunning and should all be experienced to get the real Byron Bay experience!