Byron Bay’s reputation as one of Australia’s surf hot spots is in large part thanks to The Pass and surfers flock to the beach from all around the globe. Fringed by white sands, rock pools, and the bush-covered headlands of Cape Byron; it’s a scenic spot for strolling, surfing, and snorkeling.
Famous for having one of the world’s best right-hand point breaks, The Pass provides plenty of thrills for experienced surfers. On calmer days, the gentle waves closer to shore provide the ideal turf for beginners and children to cut their teeth, and it’s a popular spot for surf lessons. While not really suitable for swimming, the beach is also the starting point for snorkeling and scuba diving expeditions around the bay. For the most impressive views, follow the coastal walk along the seafront and climb up to Fisherman's Lookout.
Things to know before you go
- Most Byron Bay tours include a visit to The Pass and it’s the starting point of the Cape Byron walking track.
- Byron Beach is patrolled by lifeguards all year round. Only swim and surf in the designated areas between the flags to avoid dangerous riptides and sharks.
- Facilities at Byron Beach include restrooms, showers, and picnic and barbecue areas. The Pass Café serves lunch, drinks, and snacks with a view over the beach.
How to get there
The Pass is located about 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) northeast of Byron Bay, between Clarkes Beach and Wategos Beach. It’s about a 30-minute walk from Main Beach and downtown Byron Bay, or else a 5-minute drive or taxi ride. For those arriving with their own transport, there is paid parking by the beachfront, but it can fill up quickly in summer.
When to get there
Sunny year-round, The Pass is liveliest in the summer months (December to February) and it can get crowded on weekends and holidays. Surfing is possible all year round and you can also spot dolphins and whales along the coast July through December.
Cape Byron Walking Track
The Pass is the starting point of one of Byron Bay’s most rewarding short hikes, the 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) grade 3 Cape Byron walking track. Looping around the coastal cliffs, and along bushland trails and beachside promenades, it’s full of scenic lookout points. The trail takes around three hours to walk and attractions along the way include Wategos Beach, the Captain Cook Lookout, and the Cape Byron Lighthouse.