When you visit Byron Bay – and you MUST visit Byron Bay -one of our top recommendations is an early-morning walk to the Byron Bay Lighthouse.
In case you didn’t know, Byron Bay is that legendary beach town on the Sydney to Brisbane road trip. It’s that place on the NSW north coast that attracts thousands every year. Many never leave.
The lighthouse is situated on Cape Byron, an area so naturally beautiful it’s begging you to explore on foot, and the coastal walking track is the best way to take it all in.
Sure you can drive to the top, but you’ll be missing out on the spectacular views of the surrounding beaches, sea cliffs, wildlife, and rainforest.
We love a coastal walk, especially one we can do with our kids, so the minute we woke up to a clear blue sky we packed our day pack with water and snacks, slipped on our hiking sandals, and headed for the Cape.
The coastal walk to Byron Bay Lighthouse
We started our walk just in front of Byron’s famous pub, the Beach Hotel on Bay Street.
You simply follow the path parallel to the beach until it becomes Lighthouse Road and you’ll come to a boardwalk pictured below with this brilliant view back over Main Beach.
Continue on the main path from here, or, we suggest taking a little detour down the access path to the beach and walk up the steps at the very end of the beach to Fishermans Lookout.
From here you can watch the early morning surfers carving up the waves at one of Australia’s most famous surf break, The Pass.
Back on the main path you’ll head up the headland with incredible sea cliff views back over The Pass and Byron Bay before descending to one of our favourite beaches in Australia, Wategos Beach.
Take a break at Wategos and appreciate the beauty.
On a calm day when the water is crystal clear, the waves are cleanly breaking out the back, and the sun is beating down, Wategos is just a magic beach.
We let our kids climb on the rocks whilst we dreamt of that million dollar property across the road.
Leaving Wategos you begin the final ascent up to Cape Byron and the Byron Bay Lighthouse. As you climb the track you get an incredible view back over Wategos Beach.
There are a few steps in this last section and little Savannah got a bit tired so up on Mummy’s shoulders she went as we played the “lets count the number of steps” game.
Just before you reach the lighthouse, you will pass by the most easterly point of Australia’s mainland, Cape Byron, and of course you have to stop for the obligatory photo.
If you time your visit right, Cape Byron Headland is a great spot for watching humpback whales on their annual migration. But typically is a good spot to see dolphins, turtles and surfers.
Once you get to this point, you’re almost there. The lighthouse is just one more flight of stairs, and the reward at the top is worth it.
Byron Bay Lighthouse
Byron Bay Lighthouse has become an icon for Byron Bay. Built from prefabricated concrete blocks it was finished in 1901 and for a century it alerted passing ships to the dangers of the coast.
It’s the most easterly lighthouse in Australia, and one of the most powerful.
The lighthouse attracts more than 500,000 visitors per year and the site includes the head lighthouse keeper’s residence, and two assistant keeper’s cottages which are available for overnight rental.
Once you get to the top spend some time appreciating the beauty all around you and step inside the lighthouse to learn about its history and significance.
The Lighthouse Cafe serves up yummy cakes, brownies and muffins, or maybe your kids will fancy an ice cream. Just make sure you have cash on you as they don’t take cards. And there’s no ATM. We learnt this the hard way on a previous visit.
And this is your coffee view back over Byron Bay. Nice huh!
To head back to town, you can either retrace your steps or we suggest walking down Lighthouse Road (where the cars drive up) and you’ll pass Tallows Beach to the south, another popular surfing spot in the region and the view is incredible.
Keep walking down and enter the bush along a walking track. Follow this track through the rainforest and you will emerge on Lee Lane which then re-connects you with Lighthouse Road at the bottom.
If you’re not up for the walk, the easy option is to simply drive up.
Hot Tip: If you’re planning to drive up to the lighthouse at sunset, park in the first car park before you go through the gates, as they kick the cars out of the main car park right on sunset.
But if you’re willing and able, give the coastal walk a go. Breathe in the fresh coastal air, hear the crashing of the waves, and walk amongst the coastal forests.
Fly into Coolangatta Airport on the Gold Coast and from there it’s a short 45-minute drive.
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