So I’ve been in Byron for a while now – and I’m getting to know it pretty intimately, so I thought I’d share my knowledge and bosh out this beach guide for you.
Its mainly from a surfer perspective but it also breaks down the various beaches and sub beaches Byron has to offer.
The name says it all really, this is the main beach in Byron. Located directly in behind the main shops it stretches right from the base of the headland down to the groyne.
It’s well patrolled by lifeguards and a pretty safe spot to swim and learn to surf and is a very family based beach, with BBQ’s along the front. Surf wise though its mainly for beginners and it has a smaller and more sheltered beach break wave, but when there’s a good swell coming in there’s a nice sandbar a moderate paddle out.
To the left, more northernly part of Main beach lies Belongil. Again this is nice sandy stretch, although it tends to be used less by families and contains a lot more topless sunbathers.
For those of you who want to tan even more skin at the far north of this beach is Belongil Creek, and the section on the north side is a nudist one, if that takes your fancy!
Surf wise Belongil has two main spots (besides the vast amounts of beach break). The main one is “The Wreck” a dredging, steep wave which breaks around the shipwreck on most stages of the tide. On a good swell this wave produces a hollow left – but be warned it extremely shallow and even a small wave can pound you into the sandbar. I’ve seen a good handful of people being removed by the lifeguards on a spinal board. This still doesn’t determine the crowds though and the limited take of spot means its best left to advanced surfers when it’s firing.
The second wave is just off the rocks, below the car park. Much the same as the Wreck, but less dramatic and therefore less crowded, and more forgiving.
Along the headland on the right hand side of Main bech through to the lookout point at Julian Rocks is “The Pass” – my personal favourite. This shady beach is great for watching the surfers or soaking up the sun with a little less crowd.
This right hand break is a favourite for longboarders with its long rides and several sections. But be warned this break gets crowded even in a small swell and tensions can run rather high. On the upside it’s a smooth ride, with a sandy bottom – making it great for intermidates and learners on the latter sections. On a bigger swell Julian Rocks is the main take of section, and if you work it right on a big swell you can ride right down to Main Beach. On low tide there’s also a hollow right which breaks onto the rocks – perfect for spongers or suicidal shortboarders!
You can either walk to the Pass from main beach, or there is limited car parking in the National Park (but its almost always full!)
Around the corner from the Pass is “Wategos”. This is a great beach if you want somewhere quieter. Good BBQ facilities on the North end and a reasonable amount of parking. Surf wise it’s a nice mellow wave and fairly uncrowded. There are a few sections a bit further out if you really want to have it to yourself.
A short hike up and around the hill from Wategos lies “Little Wategos”. Only a sandy beach at low tide (the foreshore is large pebbles) this is a very intimate beach with barely anyone around.
Good fishing and snorkelling to be had around the rocks. Some waves around here on the turn of low – high tide, but I haven’t seen it at its best yet.
If you want miles of open sandy beaches with dispersed pockets of people then “Tallow” is for you. It’s sheer size means your unlikely to be met with a crowd. This is true in the water – the amount of take of points along this beach break mean only the far corner (know as “Cosy Corner” gets significant crowds). The angle of the beach means that it soaks up a lot of swell, and if The Pass isn’t firing there’s almost certainly a small wave to be had here.
At the southern end of Tallows lies “Broken Head”. This is the most remote of the Byron beaches – a short drive away from the town towards Ballina. Again its vast size means there are pockets of people not crowds, and an excellent spot for beach fishing. Towards the north side lies another nudist beach, but it’s quite a walk so don’t be deterred!