Ballito Beaches



The Ballito area has a range of some of the most beautiful beaches in South Africa and something for every preference! Contrary to popular belief, many unspoilt, pristine beaches where you will not see another soul can easily be found in this area. With options ranging from busy family beaches to quiet secluded bays, exploring the area is well worthwhile. With dramatic views over the ocean, quite rock pools and open sandy beaches, there literally is something for everyone  


Christmas Bay

Christmas Bay, one of the most northerly beaches close to the Ballito area. And it's one of our favourites for many good reasons. it's secluded and a great spot to take a walk and hardly see another soul. 

Why we like it

  • Christmas Bay is secluded and seldom sees a "crowd" 
  • At low tide the area is riddled with great little snorkeling spots
  • The drive out to Christmas Bay is exceptionally pretty. 
  • The long open beaches are great for long morning strolls

Getting To Christmas Bay

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Useful Information

Walk north of the parking area, around the main peninsula / point. This point provides great shelter on windy days. North of the point if the south wester is blowing and south of the point if the north easter is blowing. 

The rock pools directly below the parking area / boardwalk offer excellent snorkeling at very low tides (tides must be lower than a 0.4m tide) 

You can also take a walk north almost all the way to Tinley Manor, it's a beautiful stretch of unspoilt beach where you hardly see a soul. Many great rock pools and open beaches on your way. This walk should take not much more than an hour each way. 

There are no safe surfing spots at Christmas Bay, however north, towards Tinley Manor are some more friendly and less rocky beaches with excellent breaks.

There are no lifeguards or shark nets in this area ....but hey, that's what makes it such a sweet spot. 

Sheffield Beach

Why we like it

Sheffield Beach is a paradise for children and adults (big children) - loads of safe rock pools, secluded coves, no crowds and possibly the best place along the north coast for spotting Dolphins and other marine mammals such as Humpbacked Whales (from June-November) 

Getting to Sheffield 

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Other Information 

There are no lifeguards or sharks nets at Sheffield beach, but this should not be a worry as most swimming areas are well protected by rocks. 

Just next to the large hotel / complex overlooking the sea off Barrier Drive is a parking area with beach access that offers breathtaking views all along the coast. You can clearly see Durban on a clear day. An excellent spot for viewing marine mammals. 

Some of our favourite snorkeling spots are in this area !!

Salt Rock Beach

Salt Rock main beach is a heaven for sun seekers and surfers. It's one of the few long open sandy beaches in the area and well serviced by many B&B's, Campsites and Hotels along the beach. 

Why we like it 

  • Probably the most "friendly" surfing and bathing spot in the area
  • Loads of open sandy beach and not as rocky as other areas 
  • Easy to get to, easy to find parking, convenient 
  • The tidal pool at Salt Rock can have some interesting snorkeling in the right conditions 

Getting To Salt Rock Beach 

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Useful Information

Salt Rock main Beach is a hive of activity over the holiday periods. The beaches have shark nets, life guards, food stalls, curio sellers, you name it. A great spot for families to chill and unwind with friends. Slightly further north up the main beach, opposite the Salt Rock Caravan Park is a huge tidal pool, wonderful spot for children to play and occasionally has some interesting snorkeling after spring high tides.

The surf at salt Rock is very consistent. The sandbars on the rock bottom are always changing giving a variety of peaks going right and left at low and mid tide. Mornings are normally best. The local are friendly and often a more mature crowd. 

Shakas Rock Beach

Why we like it 

Easy to get to, but be careful, parking can be tricky

The GREAT little coffee shop (Cafe Salt) at the beach entrance, great cappuccino and a great beach, what more could you want

Super rock pools and snorkeling 

Fun, friendly family beach 

Getting to Shaka's Rock 

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Useful information

This is one of those beaches that you want to get to early in the holiday season. It can get crowded. 

The tidal pools are full and we mean full of urchins and scorpionfish - be careful 

Fishing in the tidal pools is NOT allowed, no matter how tempting it may look. Please respect the life in these pools. It's a very special spot and the only place we know of where corals grow abundantly so close to shore

Take a walk along the rocks at low tide (south) loads of interesting tucked away little bays. From Shaka's Rock, you can easily walk to Thompson's Bay in a half an hour or so. Be sure to keep an eye on the tide, if you get caught on an incoming tide, you wont be able to get back! 

Be sure to get a tasty snack, pizza or coffee at the very popular Cafe Salt ! 

Thompsons Bay

Thompson's Bay, also known as "hole in the wall" - is tucked between Ballito and Chaka's Rock - possibly one of the most beautiful beaches around! 

Why we like it 

Without question, one of the most beautiful bays in the area. 

Gentle sea, safe bathing and the tidal pool is just great for doing "laps", practicing your stand up paddling or having plain old fun

The "hole in the wall" - just past the Tidal Pool (heading south) leads down to a handful of generally deserted, empty but beautiful beaches

Climbing up on the rocks to the north of the bay offers wonderful views over the ocean and great for whale spotting \

At times Thompson's can produce a super point break for surfing 

Getting to Thompson's Bay

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Useful Information 

During holiday season, the parking at Thompson's is "Paid Parking" - make sure you have some cash on you

Explore explore explore, this is one of those beaches and places where it is sacrilegious to just sit on the beach. The rocky outcrops to the north give you incredible views over the entire area and the trails to the south take you to some of the most beautiful secluded beaches you'll find.

Willards Beach

Willard's Beach, the quintessential Ballito Fun in The Sun Spot 

Why we like it 

Willard's Beach always has a great holiday vibe

Plenty of parking and nearby facilities (including restaurants, take always and similar) 

Superb surfing - it's not the home of the Mr Price Pro for nothing (As the lifeguards get hacked off if you surf near the main beach area, where the best, fun waves are.... go for an early surf! ) 

The boardwalk along the promenade, makes for a very cool beach stroll

Always something on the go at Willard's Beach 

Getting to Willard's Beach 

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Useful information

Willard's beach is always busy, so if busy is not your thing, then avoid it 

The surfing can be really good - there are 4 main spots for surfing (around Willards) 


The take-off is on Lemon Fish Reef and as a result the wave jacks before running along a sand bank in from the rocks. This spot is spectator friendly as you can stand on the rocks as the surfers scream past in the barrel
This is where bathers and bodyboarders unite. Surfing is only allowed when the lifesavers are not on duty.
This area is used for contests and is the most opular venue for surfing. There are numerous rocky patches in the foreshore, which affect the sand banks. It is predominantly a right-hand break but with peaks and left-handers, depending on the tides and swell direction.
This is probably the area best and most well-known spot. When the winter swells move up the coast, Sunrise produces an intense super suck take off. The deeper you take off, the deeper and more intense the barrel. This is the most protected spot when the South West winds blow.