The Pass - Byron Bay


  • Surfing for all levels (usually crowded)
  • Dive boats launch here
  • Picturesque location
  • Panoramic look out
  • Shady picnic tables & barbecues
  • The Pass Café


General Information

The Pass distinguishes itself from other picturesque beaches along the North Coast by featuring one of the most popular right-hand point-breaks in the world. When it’s pumping it can power incredibly long rides; but on more tranquil days it accommodates all levels of surfing experience. If the waves are small, the Pass is therefore a great place for children to learn how to surf. But once the south-east swell arrives, beginners should leave the action to experienced surfers.

Located between Clarkes Beach and Wategos, The Pass occupies a gap between Fisherman’s Lookout and the headland. In summer it’s patrolled at the dates and times specified in the lifeguard services guide. Boat-loads of scuba-divers depart from the beach throughout the day. So if you happen to be in the water when a loud horn sounds you’ll need to move quickly if you’re in the way of one of them!

The rocky outcrop to the right of the beach is Fisherman’s Lookout. Its timber platform is the best place from which view the magnificent panorama of the bay and beyond. At the base behind the lookout are small rock pools that warm up in the sun. Children love splashing around in them.

Overlooking the famed surf break is The Pass Café, where you can either dine or purchase takeaway food. The amenities at this idyllic location include showers, toilets, and numerous shady picnic tables and barbeques. Not surprisingly, locals as well as tourists frequently gather to watch the sun set over the hinterland.

At low tide The Pass can be accessed by foot from Clarkes Beach or via the Lighthouse Road boardwalk. To get there by car you can go up Lighthouse Road and turn left down Brooke Drive. Follow the road to the end where it ends with the car park and boat ramp. If you have a pram or stroller, the boat ramp makes for easy access down to the beach.

Alternatively, you can park at the Captain Cook Lookout car park (where the boardwalk begins) and walk down the steps to the beach. This route will bring you out at the southern end of Clarkes Beach, which borders The Pass.

Cape Byron State Conservation Area  runs from the edge of Clarkes Beach (the Captain Cook Lookout) around The Pass to Wategos, and includes both the Lighthouse and Cosy Corner.  Because it’s under the jurisdiction of the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service, you’ll have to pay hourly $4 parking fees unless you have the appropriate Single Parks Pass or Country New South Wales Parks Pass which can be obtained online or in person at their local office on Tallow Beach Road.  Please note: as of 1 December 2015 Byron Shire Residents Parking Exemption no longer applies to these areas.