Rock pools, gentle surf and plenty of space on the golden sand: this coastline of pristine beaches is perfect for every family member to enjoy their favourite Byron Bay activities.
Byron boasts some of the world’s most idyllic beaches, reaching south from the rock wall at Brunswick Heads village to the outcrops of Broken Head.
Whether you’ve got young kids excitedly paddling at the water’s edge, older kids wanting to release their unbounded energy or teenagers who just want to sun bake all day long, you’ll be spoiled for choice in Byron Bay.
Let’s discover six of the best Byron Bay beaches – perfect for the whole family.
1. Torakina Beach at Brunswick Heads
18-minute drive from Elements of Byron
Park at: Along South Beach Road or grab a park in Brunswick Heads village.
Best for: young families and day-long picnics.
Cross the wooden bridge from the picturesque village of Brunswick Heads to find one of the area’s smallest and most family-friendly beaches, perfect for very young children.
Torakina Beach is a small protected sandy beach located north of the break wall at the mouth of the Brunswick River.
Its gentle waters are an ideal spot for young children to learn to swim. But be cautious not to head too far from the shore as the river has a strong current beyond the small rock wall.
For adults, it’s a great place to lie around in the surf or sunbathe on the beach. Behind is some native bushland and a grassy park that’s perfect for picnics or BBQs (there are several available).
The village—known locally as ‘Bruns’—is a hub for surfers and families who populate the various cafes and vintage boutique stores in between dips in the turquoise ocean.
Visit at high tide and you’ll see locals gleefully jumping off the wooden bridge into the gently flowing waters of the tidal river that separates the village from its beaches.
2. Main Beach
11-minute drive from Elements of Byron.
Park at: Main Beach car park Road ($4/hour 9am-6pm daily).
Best for: families wanting to sunbathe, swim and head to the shops.
Byron’s busiest section of golden sand attracts an eclectic mix of locals and tourists soaking up the sun, playing on the sand and swimming in the warm waters of Cape Byron.
Main Beach is the closest beach to Byron’s town centre, so it’s easy to keep the whole family fed and entertained. The beach runs from the seawall at Belongil Beach down to Clarkes Beach and is located directly in front of Byron Bay’s iconic Beach Hotel.
Beyond the beach, the grassy park at the northern end is a great spot to soak up the bohemian vibe with a picnic as the kids enjoy the well-equipped playground. At night, you can enjoy an acoustic soundtrack provided by the ever-present buskers as you enjoy your fish and chips or delicious gelato.
Main Beach is also home to Byron Bay’s Surf Club. Formed in 1907, this club is Australia’s second oldest north of Sydney. Throughout the summer, the club’s surf patrol work hard to keep swimmers and surfers safe.
3. Clarkes Beach
12-minute drive from Elements of Byron.
Park at: Clarkes Beach car park off Lighthouse Road ($4/hour 9am-6pm daily).
Best for: young families, body surfing and a quieter beach experience.
If Main Beach is too crowded, stroll for a few minutes south to discover the altogether more tranquil Clarkes Beach.
With gentle waves breaking close to shore, thanks to its long sandbank, Clarkes Beach is popular with swimmers, snorkelers and young families. It regularly forms shallow tidal pools too, which are perfect for the very youngest of beachgoers.
Clarkes Beach is also a great place for older kids and grown-ups to perfect their body surfing skills.
Access Clarkes Beach via the stairs from the beachfront car park. There you’ll also find Byron’s only beachfront café and restaurant, Beach Byron Bay, great for coffees, beach lunches or evening fine dining with an ocean view.
4. The Pass
15-minute drive from Elements of Byron.
Park at: Large car park located next to The Pass Café, just off Lighthouse Road.
Best for: Variety – families, surfers and anyone interested in history.
A fantastic place for young families, an iconic surf spot and a sacred gathering place for the Arakwal people, the Pass offers an extraordinary range of experiences in just a short stretch of beach.
With waves breaking at right angles to the beach and shallow water along the long sandback, The Pass is great for young kids getting their first experiences of the ocean.
More confident family members can head out towards all the surfers to enjoy the long-lasting waves that are ideal for body surfing.
To get a panoramic view of the Byron coastline, climb the stairs to Fisherman’s Lookout. This wooden platform is a favourite spot of photographers, located on the hill at the eastern end of The Pass.
And to learn about the area’s Indigenous history, visit the midden located to the left of the boat ramp. Animal bones, shells and stone artifacts reveal this site’s use as a gathering place for local indigenous people roughly 1,000 years ago.
5. Wategos Beach
15-minute drive from Elements of Byron.
Park at: Wategos has limited parking spaces; more available at The Pass or Cape Byron Lighthouse car parks.
Best for: BBQs, scenic walks and quiet seclusion.
A secluded haven located just west of the Cape Byron headland, Wategos is the perfect place for a swim, sunbathe and afternoon BBQ.
With less beach area and limited parking, Wategos is best experienced on a week-day when it’s quieter and tends to suit older families and adults. Behind the 600m-long beach are BBQs and a patch of grass where beachgoers can sip a great coffee from the mobile barista regularly parked nearby.
To avoid any parking stress, follow the Cape Byron Walking Track over from The Pass or down from Cape Byron Lighthouse, which both have larger car parks.
This paved path leads over the rocky cliffs to the west of Wategos and continues east up to Australia’s most easterly point and the town’s famous lighthouse. It’s a stunning walk that helps you work up a sweat, making that first dive into the ocean feel all-the-more refreshing.
For complete seclusion, walk to Little Wategos via the turnoff from the walking track as you head up to the Lighthouse. Australia’s most easterly beach is only 150m in length and is a stunning spot to swim and sunbathe in calm conditions.
6. Broken Head Beach
23-minute drive from Elements of Byron.
Park at: The picnic area at the end Broken Head Reserve Road.
Best for: endless space and headland adventures.
Broken Head Beach is one of Byron’s best-kept secrets.
Located just 7km south of Byron, this beach is often uncrowded, even in the middle of summer.
Its protected rock pools are a great option for young families. And with 3.2km of beach to spread out along, even the most energetic family members will have space to play in.
It’s also one of Byron’s most underrated surf spots. The kids will be left in awe as the expert surfers ride the challenging waves that breaking in Broken Head’s surf.
There’s plenty to keep the more adventurous kids satisfied too.
The beach is surrounded by a reserve filled with rainforest-clad ridges and gullies, sandy beaches, rocky coves, grassy headlands and dry sclerophyll forest. Walking tracks weave through the reserve, including the Three Sisters walking track which reveals incredible ocean views at its finale.
And for adults in search of quiet, explore the spectacular and secluded beaches located south of Broken head. Most are accessible only by foot along bush tracks.
Want more inspiration for things to do in Byron Bay? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Byron Bay.