Byron Bay is blessed with beautiful beaches and spectacular coastal scenery.
The Lily Pad is only a few minutes drive to the beach. One of our favourite spots to plunge into the water is Clarke’s Beach near the Captain Cook Lookout, which offers a nice edging of shade if you’re lucky to nab one of the prized spots.
Here’s our summary of the key beaches in the immediate Byron Bay area, starting with Belongil Beach in the north through to Broken Head in the south.
When you arrive in Byron Bay town and stand at the park opposite the Beach Hotel, look towards the left and you’ll see Belongil Beach. Scramble down the rocks onto the sand and enjoy a lovely walk at sunset. It’s noteworthy for “the wreck” which can be seen peeping out of the ocean, standing steadfast among the waves. We have picture of the ship wrecked in the bay – the SS Wollongbar – on the walls of the Studio pavilion at The Lily Pad. Belongil is a dog friendly beach and is popular as a dog walking spot in the mornings and late afternoons.
Directly opposite the Beach Hotel and Surf Club, this is the beach closest to town, hence the name Main Beach! There are flags and surf lifesavers here, and often live music and buskers in the park above the beach on balmy afternoons. Grab a spot on the grass and enjoy the sunset here.
Walk towards the lighthouse from Main Beach and you’ll find yourself on a stretch of the bay known as Clarkes Beach. The best spot to orient yourself here is the cafe/ restaurant now known simply as Beach which has a handy takeaway counter where you can pick up a coffee, tea and healthy morsel to nibble on while you sit on the sand. Kids will enjoy playing in the wooden row boat and sandpit out the front, a picture perfect spot for families looking for that bucolic insta-worthy shot.
We also like the stretch of Clarkes Beach accessed via the Captain Cook Lookout, down a set of stairs to the sand and a lovely stretch of water and a smattering of shade along the edge of the dunes. Gaz from Style Surfing (our go-to surf school) is often seen here with small groups of L-plate surfers. It’s a great spot and Gaz is a great instructor.
If you’re looking for adventure on the waves, you’ve got to try sea kayaking with Cape Byron Kayaks (10% discount for Lily Pad guests). You’ll meet them on the grass on Lawson St at their beachside HQ and launch into the water from Clarkes Beach. It’s awesome. Do it!
At the furthest end of the bay, The Pass features a timber lookout constructed on the edge of the water. Climb up here and take in the spectacular views of swimmers and surfers. You might even see a whale from here in winter. The water can be shallow for quite a distance at The Pass and there’s lots of shade, making it popular with families.
Surfers also love it here, so there’s lot of great activity on the water to enjoy watching. The boats launch from here for Julian Rocks, a must if you’re a scuba diver. There’s a cafe here, which is a great pit stop on your lighthouse walk. Electric BBQs, showers, toilets and picnic tables, make it ideal as a picnic spot.
You’ll walk along Wategos Beach while on your pilgrimage to the lighthouse. It’s most likely that you’ll drive here or coast by on a kayak if you take one of the tours offered along Lawson St (10% discount for Lily Pad guests with Cape Byron Kayaks). There are picnic tables, electric BBQs, a shower and toilet block and rows of million dollar houses! It’s a must-visit on your trip to Byron.
Those in the know say that when a northerly blows, head to Cosy Corner. It’s protected at the northern end of Tallows Beach, with access via the National Parks car park off Tallow Beach Road.
This wild, long beach can be choppy and erratic, so while it’s not your first choice for a family swim, it is a great spot for beach fishing and leisurely walks. There’s a stretch of beach that’s dog friendly, so you’ll enjoy watching the antics of our four-legged friends as they chase balls, dive into the waves and gallop along the sand.
A surfer’s paradise that’s also popular with families, especially those staying nearby caravan park. It’s got showers, toilets and BBQs, so a great spot for some bushwalking and picnicking.
Before you head to the beach, you’ll want to familiarise yourself with these useful links which include tips on surf safety:
Style Surfing Beach Safety Guide
Beachsafe Guide to Byron Bay Beaches