Best Hikes & Walking Trails in the Byron Bay Area
Byron Bay isn’t just about beaches and surfing. If hiking is your thing, or even if you just enjoy great walks, then we’ve got you covered with the following list of the best hiking trails in the Byron Bay area. From hinterland hiking destinations, to mainland great walks, this list will give you plenty of ways to keep your feet moving while on holiday. Many of the walking trails we suggest below offer beautiful views of the area, so be sure to add them to your list of things to do in Byron Bay.
Minyon Falls, part of the World Heritage Nightcap National Park, is a featured part of a walking trail loop that runs 7.5km and is considered a challenging walk due to some steep inclines. However, seeing the 100 metre falls certainly makes it worth the effort.
Guides suggest visitors to this hiking destination admire the stand of old-growth brushbox trees, situated on the western side of Repentance Creek. Also, bring along a picnic and stop to refuel along this or other creeks. Or perhaps save the picnic for when you finish at the top of Minyon Falls. While you’re at the Minyon picnic area, you might even catch a glimpse of peregrine falcons in the sky or brush turkeys on the ground.
You can also do the walk in the opposite way, starting at the top of the falls and follow the loop to the bottom of the falls. Either way, the walk is a grade 3 and will take three to four hours round trip. Also keep in mind that you’ll want to tackle this hike on a good weather day because the trail is located in a rather remote area and bring along your water and snacks.
Boggy Creek Walk
Linked with the nearby Minyon walking loop, this much easier hiking trail (ideal for kids!) – is located within Whian Whian State Conservation Area. The Boggy Creek Walk, a popular one, is much quieter in off seasons (why we suggest it for autumn); you may even have it all to yourself. If the pools near the creek section are still warm, they are great places to take a dip. This 2 km (one way) walk goes through the rainforest between Rummery Park and Minyon Falls, which means either end of the trail is a good spot for a snack or a picnic.
Rous Water Rainforest Reserve
Also located in the Lismore area (same as Nightcap), there are four excellent hiking trails starting from the Rocky Creek Dam picnic area.
- Water Dragon Walk – considered an easy walk, taking about 20 minutes, takes you up to a lookout where you can view the dam’s spillway. Make sure to look for water dragons and whip snakes on the dam wall (but don’t touch them!).
- Platypus Walk – this 30-minute hiking trail, also considered easy, meanders through forest and includes going across the pontoon bridge and along the broadwalk beside the creek.
- Cedar Walk – this longer walk should take about 50 minutes and might even get your feet wet. It travels the edges of the reserve through the forest and into areas where the rainforest is being regenerated by the Rous Water reserve.
- Scrub Turkey Walk – this is the most difficult walk in the area and takes about 1 ½ to 2 hours to complete. During the walk, you’ll be head in the mature Big Scrub rainforest, part of the Nightcap National Park, and go to Catchment Loop Drive and then across the spillway and dam wall.
Also, a note for families, there is a fun Forest Playground, located under the rainforest trees in the picnic area.
Cape Byron Walking Track
This walk features the famous Cape Byron Lighthouse so you’ll certainly want to check this hiking trail out, especially if this is your first trip to Byron Bay. If you want to complete the whole loop, it’s 3.7 km and will take about two hours at a leisurely pace. With all the spectacular views along the way, it is a per way to start off any Byron Bay holiday.
Luckily, you can access the loop in a variety of spots to make the walk whatever length fits you and your family. According to byron4kids.com.au, “You can walk from Lawson Street in town towards the lighthouse until it becomes Lighthouse Road. When you reach the Captain Cook car park you can either take the boardwalk or, across the road is Lee Lane and a signposted entry will direct you to the bushland route. Alternatively, you can park closer at either The Pass or Watego’s beach and pick up the trail from there. And, if your little one is in a stroller, you don’t have to miss out–you can walk up to where the boardwalk ends and then continue on the road, instead of through bushland and navigating steps.”
And not only will you be rewarded with the some amazing 360 views of the area, you also can stop and enjoy a coffee or a snack while you’re at the lighthouse. The Pass Café (right along the coastal walk) and the Lighthouse Café (please note it is cash only, and there’s no ATM so be prepared!), which offers “In the Pink” gelato as well as coffee and snacks, are both excellent places to stop and relax.
Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve – North Head
Enjoy a nice stroll through endangered littoral rainforest to the mouth of the Brunswick River. This short trail normally takes about 30 minutes to complete and is a good spot to do some bird watching. One such bird you might spot is the rainbow bee-eater. These brightly coloured birds are immune to the sting so they really can eat bees! You can normally spot these birds during the warmer time of year. Since the trail is nice and short, it might be fun to pack a picnic and enjoy a meal at the nearby Brunswick River picnic area. This hike is a good one for families!
Considered a must-do of Australian hiking trails, a visit to Protesters Falls is not to be missed. The falls, one of the tallest in Australia, are the highlight of an easy 1.2km walk travelling from Terania Creek picnic area through beautiful bungalow palm forest to the base of the falls. Swimming is not permitted in the area because the endangered Fleay’s barred frog calls it home.
Interesting side note: The falls got its name from a successful anti-logging protest in 1979.
Check out this video of the falls. It gives you a good idea of just how tall these falls are!
About an hour from Broken Head Holiday Park in Wollumbin National Park is the 1,100m high Mt. Warning. Many hikers suggest heading out early in the morning – pre-sunrise, so bring lights – to be among the first to see the sunshine in Australia atop the summit.
It will take you about two hours to get to the top (maybe more in the dark) and the last 250 metres is done by chain assist, but we promise the amazing 360 degree views are well worth sacrificing some sleep.
This hiking destination is also worth coming to at any time during the day. You’ll still enjoy magnificent views of the area that stretch from the Gold Coast to Byron Bay.
Keep in mind a couple of things before you start:
- Toilets are available at the beginning of the hike so make sure to take advantage of them!
- Make sure to carry your own water and snacks.
- Temperatures drop quickly as you climb.
The following video will give you a really good look at what the longer hike looks like and just how amazing the views are from the top. It also gives you a glimpse of the end of the hike where you’ll need to hold onto a chain and climb some challenging rocks to finally reach the summit. It’s a good way to figure out if you can handle the longer hike. Of course, once you see the views, you will probably want to go for it!
Alternatively, there is a shorter hiking trail called The Lyrebird Track, which is only about 300 metre round trip, at the base of the mountain that takes hikers through rainforest across a creek and to a viewing platform. Might be a good idea to pack binoculars if you enjoy bird watching as there is a large variety that call the area home.
Three Sisters walking track
If you stay at Broken Head Holiday Park, you can take in this particular hike anytime during your holiday. Located in the Broken Head Nature Reserve, the 1.6 km return Three Sisters Walking Track will give you amazing views of everything from beach to the rainforest. It’s a great place to watch for migrating whales during the season and doing some bird watching as well. There is a great picnic area if you’d like to include that in your plans for your hike, and you can also hang out on the beach as well.
Make your Base Camp at Broken Head Holiday Park
In between these walks and many others in the area, make Broken Head Holiday Park your base for this hiking holiday to Byron Bay. Take advantage of our powered or non-powered campsites or rent out a beach shack or beach cabin, so you can come back from your hike and enjoy a quiet, relaxing evening without the crowds.