Renowned for it’s laid-back lifestyle, Byron Bay is also famous for its crystal clear water, surf breaks, snorkelling and diving, not to mention the food, nightlife and endless accommodation choices. Since I was born in Byron Bay and I am still lucky enough to call this place home, what better way to start off my first blog post for The Department of Wandering than with a post on Byron Bay’s best beaches!  Home to some of the best beaches in the world, I thought it was only fair to let you know what I think are five of the best beaches in Byron Bay.

The 5 best beaches in Byron Bay according to a local:

Wategos Beach

Wategos Beach has to be my favourite beach in Byron. With views stretching across the bay towards Wollumbin/Mt Warning and the surrounding mountains and out towards Julian Rocks, it’s one of the most picturesque beaches in the area. It’s located just below the Cape Byron Lighthouse and is an easy five minute drive from Byron’s town centre, or a beautiful thirty minute walk along Byron’s famous walking track. It only has limited parking spots (usually taken up by local surfers riding some of Byron’s best longboarding waves), and is just a small stretch of sand with rocky outcrops at each end.

It’s a great spot for exploring rock pools or lazing about on a grassy patch under some trees with picnic benches and BBQs. This is the perfect location for a slow Sunday afternoon spent with family or friends or for curling up in the shade with a book. It’s great for surfing, relaxing, snorkelling and exploring. A short walk up the hill along the Cape Byron walking track will lead you directly to the Byron Bay Lighthouse. Wategos is also one of my favourite sunset spots in Byron (I’ll keep the rest of the locations for another blog post).

The Pass

The Pass is world famous for its surfing. Located between Wategos and town, it has the longest right-hand point break in the bay – great for both long and short boarders. Fisherman’s Lookout is the perfect place to take in the view and to watch for dolphins and turtles, as well as whales during the whale migration season. It’s an easy walk up a set of stairs to one of Byron’s best viewpoints and is one of the most popular photo opportunities in Byron. The Pass is also the takeoff point for local dive boats that take divers and snorkellers out to Julian Rocks – another must add activity for your Byron Bay list. In summer, depending on the tide and the sand movement, a lagoon is sometimes created, perfect for the kids to splash around in.

Captain Cooks

Most people wouldn’t know the name of this little section of beach, located between the Pass and Clarkes Beach. Captain Cooks is generally my daily go-to swim spot, as it’s usually the calmest spot in the bay for a swim. It’s tucked up in the corner between the Pass and Clarkes Beach and you could easily spend a whole day down here lazing under an umbrella, reading a book and dipping in and out of the water. This would be my best recommendation for those with young kids as it’s a little more protected and calmer than some of the others. The sandbank creates a calm, lagoon-like section of beach.

Broken Head

Broken Head Beach and Broken Head Nature Reserve are located about a 10-minute drive south of Byron Bay. There is a campground here along with some lovely, open, green areas with BBQs, perfect for entertaining and relaxing. It has some beautiful, secluded beaches as well as a walking track through littoral rainforest out onto the most stunning headland with views to both the north and south. It’s also a lot quieter than most of the beaches in town as it’s that little bit further to get to – perfect to escape the crowds.

Tallow Beach

Tallow Beach stretches about 6.5km from Cosy Corner in the north (just below the lighthouse) to Broken Head in the south. It’s an unprotected beach and dog-friendly in some areas (perfect for those taking their beloved four legged friends on holidays). The beach can be pretty dangerous for swimming; rips are common along this stretch of beach, so take care when swimming here. Cosy Corner is the best part of Tallow Beach as this is the only section of beach in Byron which is protected from northerly winds.

These are just a few of the many beaches around Byron Bay. It’s hard to take a bad photo of Byron Bay’s beaches and it’s hard to not spend the whole day lazing around – always book an extra day in the bay as you’ll never want to leave!

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What’s your favourite beach in Byron Bay? Let us know in the comments below.