Beaches in Byron Bay
“An amazing coastline, stunning beaches, a beautiful hinterland, nice people, great food and lifestyle, a tranquil vibe, … a real paradise!” – Unknown
There are many Beaches in Byron Bay. The main beach in town is known, appropriately, as Main Beach. As this curves round in the direction of the lighthouse it become Clark’s Beach which is one of the best places for swimming. At the end of Clark’s Beach, there is a rock formation known as The Pass. You can walk up The Pass to get a good view of Byron Town and the surrounding beaches.
Near The Pass there is the beginning of the Lighthouse walk which takes you around to Wategos Beach (also accessible by car) before leading up towards the Lighthouse and the most easterly point of Australia.
If you are staying in Byron, this walk is a must! The view is spectacular and if you’re lucky there’s a chance of spotting some passing whales.
On the other side of the Lighthouse is Tallow Beach, which stretches out about 7km. To get to Tallow Beach there is a path from town or you can access it from Broken Head Road. Please be warned, Tallow Beach has some strong rip tides and is a dangerous beach to swim at. It is however perfect for long walks and taking time out from everything.
Along Tallow Beach is the Arakwal National Park which has a path running across it and to the beach. From Main Beach, going west in the opposite direction to the Lighthouse is Belongil Beach.
Clarkes to Main Beach
From Tommo’s rock inside the pass all the way to the main car park, this is the best beach for learning to surf and body surfing. The length of the beach means there are usually some uncrowded spots, with varying steepness of takeoff. Near the Surf Life Saving Club the waves are often fast and hollow, but at times are small and spilling – it’s all dependant on the swell size and direction. The sand cover ebbs and flows with storms, so rocks may at times be exposed if the beach has suffered recent erosion.
Surf is best when the wind is from the South East to South West, and picks up from most swells. There is always a Sweep towards Belongil, no matter where you are on Clarkes or Main Beach, so be aware of where you are if taking off near the car park rocky headland or you’ll need to exit on Belongil Beach in front of the Wreck.
The Wreck to Belongil Beach
There are several wrecks near the main beach car park, one directly off from the car park is one of the best snorkelling spots around with the wreck creating an artificial reef. The “wreck” of the wreck surfing spot, is the remains of the Wollongbar which was washed from the old Byron Bay Jetty during the 1920’s, you can still see the remains of it sticking out above the waves.
The break here is caused by several factors. The wreck itself, the fact that the beach turns more easterly here, and the underwater sand bank caused by the rock wall funnelling sand back out into the bay. These combine to make this great wave.
Take care when surfing here as the wreck break can be dangerous. Steep take offs, and hollow dumping waves are common on both left and right break due to the sandbanks caused by all of the above mentioned factors.
Further west down onto Belongil Beach there are waves for both the experienced and the novice surfer with a mix of fast hollow dumping waves and soft spilling waves dependant on the swell and sandbanks.
All swells from the North to the South are seen here, and best wind conditions are West to South West…. but its surfable all the way round to a south east wind.
If there is surf, there will be sweep, and expect fast rips that can take you from 15 metres off shore to 300 metres offshore in less than a minute.
Learning to surf here is only suitable in small surf at high tide, as the waves often break very close to shore.
Lots of Belongil beach is dog friendly so if you are a cat, don’t go here. Keep going West….. and you’ll soon be travelling North as the Bay swings around. Its many miles to Brunswick Heads but it is a doable walk. There is a nude beach along the way so if you do feel to continue past the Belongil houses… don’t forget to pack lots of extra sunscreen.