Belongil Beach stretches north from the seawall at Main Beach car park up 2.5km to the Belongil Creek mouth. Beyond the Creek mouth is Tyagarah Beach. Belongil is ideal for a long beach walk being less crowded than Main Beach. It is relatively safe for swimming however it is best to swim on the Southern end nearest to Byron Bay and when the beach is patrolled.
Looking north you will see a small part of a shipwreck coming up from the water. This is the rudder bar from the SS Wollongbar and is referred to locally as ‘The Wreck’. Surfers enjoy waves created by the sandbar around The Wreck when the swell is big. Sitting on the seawall indulging in some local fish and chips while watching the surfers at The Wreck is a fun way to spend some time.
Is Belongil Beach Patrolled by Lifesavers?
The area directly in front of the First Sun Caravan Park is patrolled in the summer. Please check the Byron Shire Council website for local surf life saving information or the Beach Safe Website for more details.
There is an off-leash area from Manfred Street Belongil continuing to Main Beach car park that includes the Cavanbah Reserve. For more information please refer to our dog friendly beach map of Byron Bay.
The closest toilets are located at Apex Park near the Surf Club.
Use the northern end of Main Beach car park. This is a paid parking car park (current rates are $4.00 per hour) with a 4 hr parking limit enforced between 9am to 6pm Monday to Sunday including Public Holidays. Free if you have a Byron Shire Residents Parking Exemption. There are also numerous smaller car parks on Border Street, Don Street and Childe Street.
Belongil Beach is a good beach for all levels of ability although children and beginners should surf when the beach is patrolled. Of course it all depends on the size of the swell. The waves are best on a southeasterly swell with an offshore southerly or southwesterly wind.
The area known as The Wreck at the southern end of the beach (look for the piece of ship sticking out of the water) is very popular with locals. It produces hollow waves due to the sandbank that the shipwreck creates and works best in a south east swell with southerly winds.
Belongil Beach is encompassed by Arakwal Country, which extends from Seven Mile Beach in the south then north to the Brunswick River, west to the escarpment and east out into the Tasman Sea. This area and Cavanbah (Byron Bay) itself are very sacred and special places with a rich Aboriginal history.
Cavanbah means ‘meeting place’ highlighting the significance of the area as a home base for the Arakwal people and other tribes from the Bunjalong nation. The home camp was located in what is now the Byron Bay CBD. In 1881 the leader of the 80 strong group living in Cavanbah was ‘King’Bobby. After King Bobby died his son Harry Bray inherited the kingship. There are many sacred Aboriginal sites in and around Byron Bay. Please refer to our Byron Bay History page for more.
The Wollongbar Shipwreck
The Wollongbar was an important link for both industry and passengers between Byron Bay and Sydney between 1911 and 1921. On Saturday the 14th of May 1921 the Wollongbar was tied up to the old jetty. Having unloaded its cargo it awaited crew and passengers in readiness to depart for Sydney at 5pm. Large waves, strong winds and a low tide combined to cause the ship’s keel to begin bumping the seabed.
During the captains attempts to get the ship out to deeper water the moorings were freed and the ship grounded on a sandbar. Despite the noble efforts of the captain and crew the Wollongbar was eventually pushed closer to land and became stranded on Belongil Beach.
Its cargo was off loaded, the furniture and chattels were saved and the wreck was sold for salvage. The abandoned hull, boilers, rudder bar and tiller were all that remained. The rudder bar is still visible above the water today.
Thankfully no lives were lost however the loss of the Wollongbar had severed a vital link between Byron Bay and Sydney. The Wollongbar II was built and set out from Byron Bay on 11 January 1923 however sadly it was sunk by a Japanese torpedo on 29 April 1923.
The Byron Bay swimming pool is a 50 metre public pool in a fantastic in town location at the top of Jonson Street.
The pool is open,
- Monday to Friday 6am to 6pm or 7pm during daylight savings.
- Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays 8am to 5pm or 6pm daylight savings.
- Christmas Day – Closed
- New Years Day – Opens at 12 noon.
- To check opening hours please contact pool management on 02 6685 6011
SS Wollongbar Shipwreck
On Saturday the 14th of May 1921 the Wollongbar ran aground at Belongil Beach. No lives were lost and most of the cargo and furniture were saved, the remainder of the ship being sold for salvage. The abandoned hull, boilers, rudder bar and tiller were all that remained. The rudder is still visible above the water today.
The Belongil Estuary
The Belongil Estuary is home to many beautiful birds and wildlife including the endangered Little Tern. The estuary entrance is a pleasant 2.5km walk north of Byron Bay. For more information about the birdlife in the Belongil Estuary please refer to Byron Bird Buddies.
Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ’s
What do the flags mean on the beach?
The most important flags on the beach are the red and yellow flags. These show the supervised area of the beach and that a lifesaving service is operating. If there are no red and yellow flags, you should not go swimming.
How long is Belongil Beach?
How far is Belongil Beach from town?
The beach starts in town at the top of Jonson Street and sweeps 2.5 km North in the opposite direction to Main Beach.
Is Belongil Beach patrolled by lifesavers?
Patrolled in the summer. Please check the Byron Shire Council website for local surf life saving information for more details.
Is Belongil Beach good for surfing?
It is a good beach for all levels of ability although children and beginners should surf when the beach is patrolled.
Is Belongil Beach good for children?
Yes. The Southern end is excellent for families with children of all ages. Children should always swim only when a lifeguard is on duty.
Are there showers?
You can access the showers at Main Beach from the Southern end of Belongil Beach.
Is Belongil Beach dog friendly?
There is an off-leash area from Manfred Street Belongil continuing to Main Beach car park that includes the Cavanbah Reserve.
Do you have to pay for parking at Belongil Beach?
Yes if you use Main Beach car park. Current rates are $4.00 per hour with a 4 hr parking limit enforced between 9am to 6pm Monday to Sunday including Public Holidays. Free if you have a Byron Shire Residents Parking Exemption. No, if you access the beach from smaller car parks located on Border Street, Don Street and Childe Street.
How long does it take to walk from Belongil Beach to The Pass?
About one hour (4.3km).
Are there toilets at Belongil Beach?
The nearest toilets are at Main Beach.
What is the Beach Hazard Score for Belongil Beach?
6/10 (Moderately Hazardous)