You can take your dog onto Belongil Beach, which stretches towards Brunswick Heads from Byron Bay.
Turn left onto this beach from the car park at the top end of Jonson Street. Emerging from the sea just here is the wreck of the Wollongbar, which sank in a cyclone many years ago, offering good snorkelling opportunities.
The area north of Belongil Creek is clothes optional.
These three little coves form part of the Broken Head Nature Reserve. It requires a bit of energy to reach them, walking over the headland from the Broken Head caravan park, or parking along a gravel track off Beach Road and walking down to the coves. Swimming must only be attempted on very calm days, as the rocks here are dangerous in rough weather. A word of warning, don’t leave anything valuable in your car if you park off the gravel road, as it is a known area for the light-fingered.
Kings Beach is not officially clothes optional, but is often treated as if it is.
Right in front of the town of Byron Bay is something very special.
It’s a safe, north-facing curve of beach offering a very popular surfing break, as well as soft white sand and a turquoise sea lapping one of the most stunning beaches in Australia. From in front of The Beach Hotel, at the end of Jonson Street, Main Beach extends east, becoming Clarkes Beach and stretching round to The Pass. Main Beach is patrolled in summer and is safe for children.
At the end of Clarkes Beach is The Pass, famous amongst surfers. There’s a surfers’ lookout here from where you can see round to Watego’s and back across the Bay.
South of Broken Head towards Lennox Head stretches Seven Mile Beach, a wide, relatively-deserted, open expanse of ocean beach. Here you can take a horse-riding tour, or go beach fishing for the big ones. At Lennox Head there’s access behind the Surf Life Saving Club to Lake Ainsworth, a freshwater tea-tree lake ideal for messing about in small boats and picnicking under the paperbark trees.
At the end of Tallow Beach Road is the top end of Tallow Beach, which stretches south all the way to Broken Head. Tucked under the south side of Cape Byron is Cosy Corner, which in the right conditions offers a good surf break. Be careful swimming here though, as there are rips and currents. The long, straight expanse of Tallow Beach is popular with dog walkers, who can access the beach at Suffolk Park.
The Byron Bay access is along Tallow Beach Road, through the Arakwal National Park, and dogs cannot be taken to the beach through here.
Exclusive Watego’s is the scene of the longboarders on Sunday mornings.
A safe, sheltered beach ideal for children and families as well as surfers and surfskis, Watego’s also has free barbecues and toilets. A walk over the headland on a wooden walkway will bring you to Little Watego’s, a lovely quiet beach overlooked by the walking track to the lighthouse.