Whether you are searching for depth of connection, the peace of an escape or the thrill of discovery Byron Bay walks, beaches and waterfalls offer the kind of wellness that can only be created by Mother Nature.
We have curated a list of some of our favourite walks, best beaches Byron Bay and most magnificent waterfalls near Byron Bay.
Our Top 3 Byron Bay Walks
The hum of life under the rainforest canopy, the whitewashed lines of the historic Byron Bay Lighthouse walk and ancient rock structures formed in the Dreamtime, what will you discover today?
3.7km loop | 1-3 hours | Medium: many steps but worth it for the views
Park at Captain Cook Look out or the Pass carpark
11 minutes’ drive from Cape Byron Retreat
The famous Byron Bay Lighthouse Walk is a celebration of Byron Bay’s diverse natural habitats. It encompasses rainforests, beaches, grasslands, clifftops and, of course, the romance and history of the beautiful lighthouse itself.
Walk through the shade of the Bangalow palms and ancient burrawangs before the path opens onto kangaroo grasslands.
As the grasslands diminish, your vista opens to an expansive cliff top ocean view. This is the perfect spot to stop for a few minutes and stand hand-in-hand, waiting for the unforgettable moment that you may spot a breaching whale or pod of dolphins.
In fact, in this one walk you will have views of The Pass, Wategos and Tallows – so many of Byron’s iconic beaches on one walk.
Continuing your journey through a favourite Byron Bay national park, you’ll discover the star attraction of the Byron Bay Lighthouse Walk. The clean, white lines and towering height of the 1901-built lighthouse.
Constructed on Australia’s most easterly point, the lighthouse whispers tales of lighthouse keepers from hundreds of years gone by.
TOP TIP: Remember to take a set of binoculars. In addition to whales and dolphins, you’ll also spot turtles and stingrays.
Ballina to Lennox
11.7km | 4 hours | Easy with minimal inclines mostly at the beginning of the walk
Begin at the Ballina Library Carpark
35 minutes drive from Cape Byron Retreat
The Ballina to Lennox walk is one of history and the drama of Mother Nature. There are many access points and the walk can be enjoyed in either direction.
We love starting in Ballina, a 35-minute drive from Byron Bay. Begin by following the broad Richmond River, where you’ll enjoy a ballet of pelicans and diving cormorants.
As the trail continues, you’ll pass the historic Fenwick House. The 135-year-old grand home still stands as a grand reminder of the romance of the past.
You’ll likely hear the pounding of the Richmond River mouth before you see it. Walking along the top of these volcanic red cliffs with churning seas underneath, this dramatic scene is a precursor to your arrival into Lennox Head.
As you climb to the southern side of Lennox Head watch out for hang gliders and surfers.
TOP TIP: Reward yourself with a well-deserved cool drink or hearty meal at any one of Lennox Head’s cafes or restaurants. Our favourite post-walk spots are Shelter or William Street Cafe.
Three Sisters Walk
1.6km | 30-45mins | Easy – gentle hills and occasional steps
Begin at Broken Head Nature Reserve Carpark
17 minutes’ drive from Cape Byron Retreat
Part of the Broken Head Nature Reserve, the Three Sisters walk is a journey of dynamic views and ancient culture.
Begin under the cool canopy of the lush rainforest until your footprints mark your journey to views overlooking Kings Beach. This is the perfect spot to sit and watch white-bellied sea eagles dive for food in a battle of air versus sea.
You may be lucky enough to find yourself walking among fields of wildflowers. Whatever time of year you make the journey, take the time to learn the Aboriginal story behind the three sisters who transformed into the rocky outcrop near the headland during the dreamtime.
If you’d like to learn more about the first people of this region and the ancient magic of Arakwal Bundjalung Country, join a Aboriginal Tour with local Arakwal elder Delta Kay.
TOP TIP: Take a small picnic hamper! Just before the lookout platform, there is a large grassy knoll that is perfect for laying down and spotting pictures in the clouds.
Best Beaches Byron Bay, Wonder Waterfalls and Healing Lakes
There is a certain magic and healing power that is felt almost from the moment one dips their toes into water. Byron Bay’s beaches are world-renowned. It’s cascading waterfalls are hidden in forest sanctuaries. All are waiting for you to discover them.
Choose The Right Beach for Your Mood
11 minutes’ drive from Cape Byron Retreat
The Pass – this stretch of famous sand stretches between Clarkes Beach and Wategos Beach. The wide white sands and long clear waves make this an epic surf beach. Whether you’re riding waves or watching the eclectic mix of people passing by, this is the place for some serious people watching.
12 minutes’ drive from Cape Byron Retreat
Wategos Beach – this small arc of beach was named after a pioneering family who settled in the area more than a hundred years before. Friendly surf rolls over a wide sand bar offering perfect waves for learners and a great swimming spot. There is a pathway to the Byron Bay Lighthouse and plenty of BBQs and picnic tables. This is the perfect place to set up for a lazy day in the sunshine. Finish it off with a sneaky afternoon cocktail or fancy snack at Rae’s at Wategos.
17 minutes’ drive from Cape Byron Retreat
Broken Head – if you want to feel like the only people on the beach, Broken Head is just 10 minutes south of Byron Bay, but secluded at the end of a bush road through a rainforest. Broken Head Reserve stretches over the headland. It feels like a little oasis.
8 minutes’ drive from Cape Byron Retreat
Belongil Beach – this 2.5km long beach stretches north from the seawall at Main Beach to the mouth of Belongil Creek. Often less crowded, this beach is perfect for long walks and spotting birds. However, the real treasure is beneath the sea. If you look north you will see the rudder bar of SS Wollongbar, of ‘The Wreck’, popping up to say hello.
13km return trip | 3-4 hours | Medium difficulty with many steps but well worth the walk
Follow Minyon Drive to Minyon Falls picnic area for parking
50 minutes’ drive from Cape Byron Retreat
Byron Bay waterfalls are beautiful and easily accessible. Minyon Falls lies in the sanctuary of Nightcap National Park. Walk through forests and past pristine creeks and follow the sound of the tumbling water.
There are two lookouts from which to view the cascading water, however our tip is to make your way to the base, refresh in the water and gaze up at the 100m high cascade.
If you choose the full track to the bottom of the falls, it can be a long and challenging hike that includes a small amount of climbing over rocks, however the base of the falls offers an incredible vision of the falls from its base.
Don’t forget to take a moment to connect in the old growth brushbox forest on the western side of Repentance Creek.
1km return trip | 1 hour including picnic | Easy – with some natural paths walking over rocks.
Start at the Killen Falls Nature Reserve carpark
31 minutes’ drive from Cape Byron Retreat
As far as waterfalls near Byron Bay are concerned, Killen Falls is a hidden paradise set to the music of crashing water.
Surrounded by one of the last standing remnants of the big scrub rainforest, Killen Falls cascades into a pool that is draped by foliage and soaked in birdsong.
The viewing platform is a must-see. We recommend walking to the upper viewing platform first and then taking the lower path down to the base. From the lookout the base is only a 400m trail, however it is a natural trail so there are some rocks to walk over.
Once you arrive, make sure you explore. You’ll be rewarded by finding the cave that has been eroded behind the waterfall.
The Lake is an easy 1 minute walk from the car park
Begin at the 27 minutes’ drive from Cape Byron Retreat
Lovingly known as Tea Tree Lake, Lake Ainsworth is a freshwater swimming and paddle boarding spot located in Lennox Head.
The 12.4 hectare lake is dyed by the tea tree plants that grow alongside the lake and drip natural oils into the waters to create a natural medical bath.
The local Bundjalung people would crush the tea trees and rub it on bites, grazes and burns and use it as insect repellent and a range of other ailments.
Locals make a pilgrimage to Tea Tree Lake to settle the mind and cure the soul. The natural tea tree properties will leave your skin and hair soft and your body feeling refreshed and revitalised.
We love to lounge the day away on the Lake. Take some snacks, throw a picnic blanket under the trees and paddle around to cool off. Refuel at one of Lennox’s cafes or restaurants.
So Much to Experience
Byron Bay nature is on show. Explore it on the beaches, in the forests, below the sea and under the cascading waterfalls of this incredibly special part of the world.
With so many natural attractions on offer and so many ways to explore them, there is something for everyone. From a romantic day date with a difference to an unforgettable hike you can conquer together, Byron Bay is a natural playground waiting to be explored.
We love our backyard and are proud to share some of our favourite places with you. We ask that you respect the land we belong to and leave each place as you found it.
And after your wellness journey is complete, return home to your Cape Byron Retreat sanctuary to soak in the unforgettable moments of the day.