You should be able to catch a wave at one of the eight breaks no matter what the surfing conditions. We have included two other breaks that we feel owe a mention from our sistering towns to make up our top 10 surf spots.
Local knowledge however is important in predicting which beach will provide the best waves at specific times, so here are some tips from the local surfers so you can catch the best Byron Bay surfing.
But before you head out to any of these surfing spots, be sure to check out the Byron Bay surf forecast. You can use the Coastal Watch, where you can get a live look at conditions, or SwellNet, where you’ll get a chance to look ahead with the surf forecast.
1. The Wreck
A unique tidal break is caused by a the shipwrecked SS Wollongbar just off Main Beach in Byron Bay and is a favourite spot for surfers year round. However, it is important to be aware that the wreck can cause rips and tides that could be dangerous for novice surfers.
2. Main Beach
Main Beach, directly in front of the town of Byron Bay, is also blessed with its own shipwreck, Tassie II. The beach and the break are ideal for all types of surfers, from those just learning to surf to lifelong boarders, and is the home to the Byron Bay Surf Club. Surf Lifesavers patrol the beach in the summer months making for a safer surf environment.
3. Clarke’s Beach
The bay in Clarke’s beach is also patrolled by Surf Lifesavers in the summer. This is one of the perfect surfing beaches of Byron Bay almost all year round, except when the North-wind blows causing swells and rips that become dangerous. The Northerlies rarely blow in the summer months so it is probably best to stay away from this beach in the winter.
4. The Pass
The Pass is the most popular of the surf beaches of Byron Bay and has the best break on the North coast. Fisherman’s Lookout is a great place to check out the surf conditions on any given day to see if it is worth catching a wave or moving on to another beach for better options. Dive boats are launched regularly from The Pass, so it is important to keep your wits about you.
5. Watego’s Beach and Little Watego’s
While not as popular as The Pass for surfing, Watego’s Beach is also a perfect surfing beach all year round. Check out the local surf and weather reports before heading out as bad weather can cause choppy waters and hot days could calm the swell drastically. Little Watego’s is a sheltered spot that is rocky with calmer seas and is a great swimming and sunbathing spot but lacks the necessary ingredients to make a good surf spot.
6. Cosy Corner
This secluded beach provides access to some of the best waves in Byron Bay. Locals love this surfing spot, which is part of Arakwal National Park, because here you’ll find decent size waves, even when the Northerlies are blowing through everything else. Located on the south side of the Cape, Cosy Corner is accessible by car from Tallow Beach Road – note it costs $6 to park your car. After you get tired, stay, relax and sunbathe while watching for hang gliders launching off the overhead cliff.
7. Belongil Beach
About a kilometre north of Main Beach, this quieter location provides an excellent spot for those learning to surf when the swells are small. According to Surfnation, “Strong rip currents do occur on bigger surf days, so it’s best to stick to Main Beach or Clarkes Beach when the waves are big.” Just keep in mind when bringing along any young novice surfers as parts of this beach are clothing optional!
8. Tallows Beach
Not far from Byron Bay, this surfing spot offers an alternative to those at the front of town. When the waves are flat there, you’ll often be able to find some great swells here. However, keep in mind, the waves at Tallows Beach often come with strong rips so beginners shouldn’t try out this location unless the waves are very small. Those learning to surf should stick with Main Beach or Clarkes Beach.
9. Lennox Head
About 25 minutes south of Byron Bay you’ll find Lennox Head. A consistent top 10 of Australia’s surf beaches. The right-hand point break isn’t a good place for learning to surf because it is powerful and can be filled with top-notch local surfers. But if this isn’t your first hop on the board, then you may want to take this opportunity to experience the famous waves. Plus, you can check out other areas along what is dubbed the “Magic Miles,” the beaches between Lennox Head and Ballina.
10. Broken Head
This beautiful spot breaks on most NE-SE swells but needs the sand to line up with the rocky headland. When it does, there’s a good chance, if you can get a wave off the long established crew, you will get deep barrels as it spins down the bar. There’s lefts as well and the whole set-up is quite spread out down to Suffolk Park. South to West winds and ideally a bit of North in the swell, making it more of a summer spot when the sand has been given a chance to build up.
The beach is all abilities, but the point proper needs above average skill set. This is where a lot of the original Byron hippies moved to when the masses descended in the ’90s so beware the beardies! There are some beautiful pocket beaches out along the cliffs off Seven Mile Beach Drive worth having a sniff around on small swell days.