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On the south side of Cape Byron Tallows Beach (NSW 16) curves gently to the south for 6.5 km to Broken Head. This beach when viewed from the 100 m high cape is one of the most photographed in the country. It is backed by the Byron Bay Recreation Reserve in the north, then Arakwal National Park which extends to the mouth of Tallow Creek, followed by Suffolk Park township and caravan park in the centre and the Broken Head caravan park and Nature Reserve in the south (Fig. 4.17). The beach is well exposed resulting in a higher energy double bar system, with persistent rips spaced approximately every 250 m and cutting across the inner attached bar, then a continuous longshore trough and rip-prone outer bar. Bathers should swim at the three patrolled areas at Tallows, Suffolk Park and Broken Head. The slightly sheltered Broken Head usually has the lower waves, but even here pulses of sand moving slowly around Broken Head produce a variable beach and surf zone that can at times result in a northerly skewed bar and trough.
Beach Length: 2.5km
General Hazard Rating: 6/10

Patrolled Beach Flag Patrols

There are currently no services provided by Surf Life Saving Australia for this beach. Please take the time to browse the Surf Safety section of this website to learn more about staying safe when swimming at Australian beaches. Click here to visit general surf education information.


Formal parking area
Formal parking area
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Toilets Block M/F



Topographic rips


SLSA provides this information as a guide only. Surf conditions are variable and therefore this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for observation of local conditions and an understanding of your abilities in the surf. SLSA reminds you to always swim between the red and yellow flags and never swim at unpatrolled beaches. SLSA takes all care and responsibility for any translation but it cannot guarantee that all translations will be accurate.