Surfing in Byron Bay - 2023 Edition

Byron bay is the dream place for many surfers in Australia! This little town located almost on the edge of the New South Whale's north border offers everything related to surfing from world-class waves to beginner-friendly spots allowing every surfer to find the best kind of wave based on their skills level!

Surf Spots in Byron Bay

The Wreck - Byron Bay

One of the most iconic surf spots in Byron Bay is the Wreck, taking his name from the SS Wollongba, a shipwreck on the 14th May of 1921. After unsuccessful attempts to re-float it, the decision was clear! The only alternative was to sell the parts of the ship that are still usable. Despite all the efforts, some of the pieces were not functional and can't be reused; That's why The rudder bar and boilers are often visible when the tide goes low, giving the Main beach that iconic and unique look.

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced

Main Beach - Byron Bay

Main Beach is the "Town's Beach" located directly in front of the town. Offers many peaks that make this spot perfect for all types of surfers, from those who starting discovering surfing and the veteran ones! It's preferable to surf this beach with the high tide and South-West winds; the swell direction can vary from North (small waves), East (medium waves) up to East (big waves).

If you need any equipment or rent a surfboard, this is the place to be! All the local shop are across the street, including Byron Bay surf shop and Byron Bay surf rental!

Difficulty: Beginner to Advanced

The Pass - Byron Bay

If a beach can be a superstar, the winning one will be The Pass! The pass has acclaimed the most popular NSW's surf beaches and one of the best surf break for longboard! The wave is a long right that could extend for the entire bay when the swell is big enough. Bear in mind that being one of the most popular beaches is even one of the most crowded!

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

Tallow Beach - Byron Bay

If you are in Byron Bay and want to get tubed, Tallow Beach is the surf spot for you! This break can offer solid right barrel waves when the swell is right! This beach is not suitable for beginners. Always keep an eye out for currents and rips!

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced

Byron bay surfing for beginners

Byron Bay stands out as a beacon of opportunity for those venturing into the exhilarating realm of surfing for the first time. Nestled in a picturesque corner of Australia's coastline, this town is a veritable treasure trove for surfing enthusiasts, more so for the rookies.

At the heart of Byron Bay's appeal are its multifaceted beach breaks. These breaks manifest in various patterns, from gentle undulations to more assertive waves, ensuring that every novice surfer finds their ideal match. Such diversity allows beginners to incrementally challenge themselves, building their confidence on tamer waves before bravely advancing to more challenging waters.

Furthermore, the mellow waves, often synonymous with Byron Bay, are a godsend for newcomers. These waves roll in with soothing predictability, offering ample time for beginners to position themselves, make the paddle, and finally stand up – the crowning moment for every aspiring surfer.

The allure of Byron Bay isn't just in its waves but also in its ambience. As you stand on the shoreline, toes sinking into the soft golden sands, the horizon beckons with its azure embrace. It's not just about learning to surf; it's about immersing oneself in an experience. Here, you're not just getting your feet wet in the literal sense as you paddle into the ocean, but also figuratively, as you dive headfirst into the rich surfing culture and community that Byron Bay is celebrated for.

Beginner-friendly spots in Byron Bay:

There are a vast amount of spot recommended for beginner in the Byron Bay area, always take care of others and be aware of your surfing skills:

Clarkes Beach

Just to the east of Main Beach, Clarkes Beach is a beautiful sandy stretch offering mellow waves suitable for those still finding their balance on the board. With gentle lefts and rights, it's a comfortable spot for newbies. If you’re just starting out, morning sessions are the best to avoid crowds.

Belongil Beach

Located to the west of Main Beach, Belongil Beach offers a long sandy stretch with smaller waves ideal for beginners. Its consistent breaks are perfect for practicing your paddling and catching white water waves.

Wategos Beach

While The Pass may draw in the crowds, just around the corner, Wategos offers smaller, more manageable waves. Especially during smaller swells, it's an excellent location for beginners to practice without too much intimidation.

Tips for Beginners in Byron Bay

Surf Schools

There are several surf schools in Byron Bay that offer beginner courses and one-on-one lessons. Schools like Byron Bay Surf School and Mojo Surf provide all the necessary equipment and professional instruction to get you started.


Always check the conditions and chat with local surfers or lifeguards about potential rips or currents. It's essential to understand the beach's dynamics, especially when you're starting.

Respect the Rules and the Locals

Like every surf spot, there are unwritten rules in the water. Always wait your turn for a wave, don't drop in on someone else's ride, and always apologize if you make a mistake.

Where to sleep in Byron Bay

Can I Sleep in my van in Byron Bay?

Yes, you can sleep in your van in Byron Bay, but there are specific guidelines you must adhere to. If you choose to spend the night in your vehicle, ensure that you're parked within a designated campsite. Parking overnight within city limits outside of these campsites is not only frowned upon but is also strictly illegal. Those caught violating this rule risk incurring on-the-spot fines ranging from $110 to a hefty $2,200 AUD. Always be aware of local regulations and park responsibly.

Where can I camp for free close to Byron Bay?

There are several place where you can camp for FREE (or very cheap) in Byron Bay:

  1. Ballina Rest Area: Located south of Byron Bay, near the town of Ballina, this rest area provides basic amenities and is suitable for short stays.

  2. Black Rocks Campground: Situated in Bundjalung National Park, it's not entirely free, but it's a budget-friendly option with a beautiful natural setting.

  3. Lord William Rest Stop: A basic rest area suitable for short overnight stays, located south of Byron Bay.

  4. Sleepy Hollow Rest Area: Located between Pottsville and Mooball, it's a convenient spot for those traveling along the Pacific Motorway.

  5. Bundjalung Rest Area: Another location within Bundjalung National Park, offering a more natural camping experience at a low cost.

  6. Boonah Bicentennial Park: Located further inland from Byron Bay, it's a peaceful spot suitable for those looking to be surrounded by nature.

It's crucial to note that regulations, availability, and conditions can change over time. Before heading to any of these locations, it's a good idea to check the most recent reviews, local council websites, or contact local tourism offices for the latest information.