February 16, 2023
5 mins Read
The best Byron Bay walks and hikes are those that take in the spectacular scenery. From a dog-friendly beach to a legendary coastal path that squiggles along the craggy coastline to paths through photogenic pockets of rainforest, and a guided tour of a glow-worm tunnel, there are walks and hikes around Byron Bay designed to suit both casual walkers and serious hikers.
We’ve done some of the hard work for you, rounding up some of the best spots to go hiking in Byron Bay.
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Have you even been to Byron if you haven’t snapped a selfie in front of the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse? You will find some of the best of what Byron has to offer along the 3.7-kilometre walk: from sun-drenched beaches to coastal rainforest and soaring views. There are also cafes along the way where you can stop and fuel up on pancakes and piccolos.
You can extend the walk – and burn off those calories – by starting at Clarke’s Beach, walking along the sand to The Pass, joining the Palm Valley track until you go over the cliffs to Wategos Beach before joining the track to the lighthouse. This is not a pram-friendly walk; there are a lot of stairs. While the road from Byron Bay runs right to the back of Wategos Beach, it can get very crowded and parking is extremely limited.
Slather yourself in 50-plus to walk to and fro along Tallow Beach, which curves for about seven kilometres between the Cape Byron Conservation Area and Broken Head Nature Reserve. The beach, just 3.2 kilometres from the heart of Byron Bay, is part of Arawkal National Park and one of the only places that matter when there’s big surf.
In the early mornings, when the birds are singing, and the horizon looks like it’s covered in a layer of gauze you will see the ghostly silhouettes of fishermen casting their lines out to sea. The dog-friendly section of the beach stretches from a point adjacent to Jarman Street to the boundary of the national park.
The starting point for the Three Sisters Walking Track is at the southern end of the picnic area at Broken Head Nature Reserve. The easy 1.6-kilometre walk has gentle hills, and a few steps that will steer you through the emerald-green rainforest with carpets of moss to a lookout over Broken Head and the secluded Kings Beach.
The area is rich in Indigenous history, which you can read about on the clearly signposted walk, which tells the story of the three sisters who were turned into rocky outcrops near the headland. In winter and spring, the walk offers great vantage points to spot whales and watch for white-bellied sea eagles spearing into the sea for food.
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It’s not just the coastal walks that boast epic scenery around Byron Bay. Head to the hinterland and you will find a range of trails – from the tranquil to the well-trodden. The World-Heritage-listed Nightcap National Park is home to the distinctive curved silhouette of the ancient volcano, Wollumbin/Mount Warning, which rises above the landscape. Book a Hinterland Magic and Glow-worm Experience and you will be led to a tunnel lit up by the luminescent beetles. The tour also winds its way to a waterfall for a swim and to a rainforest temple hidden in the hinterland.
Lennox Head is a 30-minute drive away from Byron and worth the detour to enjoy more great views of sky and sea. Do as Lennox Head locals do on the daily and walk to the top of Lennox Point, known locally as ‘The Point’. The path is very prominent as it hugs the coast and follows the shoreline. Head south, past groves of pandanus palms, until you reach Pat Morton Lookout which passes the point break, where you will see talented local surfers all lined up waiting to conquer the next wave.
The views from the Lennox Head lookout span north across Lennox Head and Seven Mile Beach and south to Rocky Point and Boulders Beach and Skennars Head and, if you’re lucky, you might spot the resident dolphins who also like to surf the waves.
Strike out beyond the well-worn tracks along the Byron Bay seafront to enjoy a glorious hinterland adventure along the Minyon Falls Walking Track. The path unfurls through the ancient emerald-green rainforest of Nightcap National Park until it reaches the lookout where you can peer over the top of the cliffs cloaked with Australian eucalyptus trees to see Minyon Falls tumble down into a beautiful natural swimming pool. A bit of rock-hopping is required to reach the base of the waterfall, which is most impressive after heavy rain.
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