If you’ve been to Australia and you haven’t been to Byron Bay, then you really don’t know what you’re missing out on.
I rekindled my love affair with Byron in September 2015, after a beautiful wedding inland the night before. It took one lazy Sunday spent on Wategos Beach, watching dolphins and whales playing in the glittering water, finished with a picture perfect sunset and I was hooked. For those who need their memories jogged, see below.
It’s superb – Main Beach is perfect, the iconic surf break The Pass is packed daily and Wategos Beach is just as legendary for a lazy day and whale and dolphin watching. There’s also the community itself, packed with beautiful bohemian souls, cafes, restaurants, storefronts touting achingly cool clothing, art and homewares and a truckload of accommodation options.
The one problem is that everyone in Australia and across the world knows how amazing Byron is. On a sunny day the traffic from the north snakes into the township for kilometres.
What all these people don’t know is just down the road is the spectacular Whites Beach. In 2013, Australian Traveller lifted the lid on this place, naming in #1 in its list of Australia’s 100 Incredible Travel Secrets, but apparently you
fools people missed the memo, because we visited just this week and it was close to deserted.
It’s been a while since a beach took my breath away, but Whites Beach truly did just that. The beautiful pathway cut into the headland leading to the beach; the dramatic, prehistoric looking black rocks covered in pale pink shellfish jutting out of the white sand, the thriving pandanus palms dotting the landscape – it is seriously spectacular. If you want to feel like you have washed up on a deserted tropic island in the middle of the Pacific, then Whites Beach is where you need to be.
But here’s the thing… it’s a little hard to locate. Shock horror, that’s where I come in. I’ve done the legwork for you, so if you’ve heard whispers of Whites Beach before, or I’ve managed to suitably whet your appetite above for a road trip, then read on for directions. One thing to note is there is limited parking – so if there’s nowhere to park… better luck next time!
- The location to put in Google Maps is Broken Head Reserve Road (off Broken Head Road). If you’re coming from Byron way it will be a left-hand turn, if coming from the south, a right-hand one.
- Follow Broken Head Reserve Road to Seven Mile Beach Road on the right, marked with a street sign as well as National Park wooden signing for Broken Head Nature Reserve. Turn right to drive down Seven Mile Beach Road.
- You’ll pass another sign at one point saying “Broken Head Nature Reserve”. Keep driving.
- Look out for a small parking bay area, with a small sign labelled “Whites Beach Walking Track”. Please note, this is not obviously signed so you may have to slow right down to check.
- As far as I’m concerned, the hard part is over! The track to the beach (about a 10-minute walk down) is beautifully maintained and just about as picturesque as the beach itself. There is a section of quite steep stairs, so please note this isn’t entirely appropriate for anyone with mobility issues as they not only have to get down but back up again.
- Welcome, you’ve arrived! Take a walk around, check out everything the beach has to offer from the sea caves on the right, to the mossy rockpools, to the waters themselves. Disclaimer: This beach is not patrolled and there is a wild surf warning at the top of the track. Swim here at your own risk and never go out past where you can’t touch as there is a drop-off.
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, something caught our eye.
That ‘something’ led us to this. FYI, yes we did float in this rockpool, totally uninterrupted, for the entire afternoon.
I hope I’ll see you there.