From the rugged coastline to the hidden hinterland we have curated a list of the best (and secret) walking trails and swimming holes in Byron Bay and beyond. If you happen to be in the area over the holiday period why not avoid the crowds and explore the pristine beauty the region has to offer. Soak up the sun, embrace the rain and leave only footprints behind.
1. Hell Hole falls, Mullumbimby
Hell Hole falls is a hidden delight of serene and deep fresh water plunge pools and valley views. A beautiful walk too.
How to get there — From the back of Mullumbimby take the turn onto Main Arm rd then turn right onto Hughs Trail rd and continue until you reach the carpark. Begin the hike on Middle Ridge trail.
2. Three Sisters walking track, Broken Head
Explore the secluded beaches and coastal rainforests in Broken head just outside of Byron Bay.
How to get there — From Broken Head beach, walk up the grassy hill to your left and take the track that leads you through coastal rainforest before emerging to coastal views of Byron Bay.
3. Flat Rock, Lennox head
Flat rock is a unique platform of rock which can be explored during low tide and is teeming with unique marine life. At high tide it has great surf and is an awesome spot to fish. A place to unwind and spend time with family and friends.
How to get there — Situated between Ballina and Lennox Head. Roughly a 5 minute drive from each.
4. Goonengerry Waterfall, Goonengerry National Park
If you are someone who appreciates a beautiful vista - Goonengerry is the place for you. The view overlooks a gorge with a pristine waterfall that plunges into Coopers Creek. A beautiful place to watch the sunset.
How to get there — From Mullumbimby continue onto Coolamon Scenic drive until you reach a right hand turn onto Goonengerry rd. Drive straight for 6km then turn right onto Goonengerry Mill rd. The carpark is on your left. Take the Southbound Trail to the waterfall.
5. Arakwal National Park, Byron Bay
Arakwal National Park highlights the beautiful coastal rainforest of Byron Bay. The secluded beach, short coastal bush walks, ocean and whale watching opportunity make the national park a lovely place to spend the day.
How to get there — From Byron main street drive south towards Suffolk Park and turn right onto Old Bangalow rd, at the next roundabout take the first exit onto Browning st. Continue on Beachcomber drive until you reach the entrance of the national park.
6. Rocky Creek Dam, Dunoon
For the patient (and lucky) observer Rocky Creek dam offers the opportunity to see native platypus. The man-made dam spans over 29 square kilometres supplying water to the local region featuring a platypus viewing platform, a boardwalk and a pontoon bridge.
How to get there — From Dunoon continue straight on until you reach a left hand turn onto Rocky Creek dam. Drive on for 2.4kms until you have reached the Rocky creek dam car park.
7. Lake Ainsworth, Lennox Head
A beautiful swimming spot located just out of Byron Bay. This Ti-tree lake is known as a place of rejuvenation as the oil from the plants surrounding the lakes revitalises your skin and hair. The Bundjalung People have been using the lake the surrounding foliage around it for it's medicinal properties for many years.
How to get there — From Lennox Head main street continue onto Pacific Parade and turn into Camp Drew.
8. Peates Mountain loop, Minyon Falls
Peates Mountain is a hiking track in the sub-tropical forest of Whian Whian. Running creeks, red cedar trees and variations of wildlife make for a beautiful walk and adventure.
How to get there — From Mullumbimby drive up Coolamon Scenic drive then turn right into Repentance Creek rd. Drive until you see a right hand turn off onto Minyon Falls rd.
9. Killen falls, Newrybar
Killen falls is a hidden gem just outside of Newrybar village. One of the last remaining areas of big scrub rainforest. Big scrub rainforest once covered most of the Northern rivers before it was cleared by cedar-logging. There is a platform to view the waterfall and a walking track that takes you down the bottom of the falls with a beautiful swimming hole.
How to get there — From Newrybar head onto Hinterland way and then at the roundabout take the third exit onto Tamarind drive. Turn right onto Tintenbar rd and then take the next right onto Friday Hut rd. Continue straight for a few kilometres and then take the next right onto Killen Falls rd.
10. Little Wategoes beach, Byron Bay
Byron Bay is renowned for its pristine beaches and clear blue water however it tends to be very busy and crowded during the warmer months. Nestled between the lighthouse and Wategoes beach lays Little Wategoes. Sheltered from the crowds and a great place to snorkel and explore rock pools.
How to get there — From Wategoes main beach take the stairs that lead up to the lighthouse. After a few hundred metres you will see a sign on the left to Little Wategoes. During low tide you are also able to walk around the rocks to Wategoes beach.
We would like to acknowledge and pay our respects
to the Arakwal people of the Bunjalung Nations,
the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.
We pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging.