While in Byron Bay, visiting the Cape Byron Lighthouse is a must. Of course you can drive up, but I chose to walk the Cape Byron Walking Track. A scenic 2.2 mile loop that takes you through rainforest, beach, grassland, and clifftops to the lighthouse.
I began my trek from Belongil Beach about a 2 mile walk before reaching the start of the walking track. Coming out on Bay Street, I just followed the path along Main Beach and picked up the walking track at Clarkes Beach.
The first part of the walk took me along Lighthouse Road through Palm Valley and past The Pass – a popular spot with surfers. After ascending into the forest, I came down to the affluent neighborhood of Wategos Beach. A beautiful little nook of beach, I stopped here for a rest and to cool off with a little swim. Wategos Beach is home to dolphins year round, but I wasn’t lucky enough to spot any during my stop.
About an hour later, I packed up and tackled the steepest portion of the walk up the steps to the most eastern point of mainland Australia. When I say steep steps I am not kidding, and there a lot of them. I was quite winded and reminded that I definitely need to add some hills to my workouts!
This point is definitely a photo-op moment with views all the way down the bay coast. Jutting out from the edge of the cliff, the wind picks up and provides a nice reprieve from the cloudless 85 degree heat.
There’s just one more incline and then a final set of stairs to reach the Cape Byron Lighthouse. Once at the top, I took the opportunity to enjoy the view of the bay and the surrounding bushland to the south. There’s a nice little cafe offering light snacks and beverages – cash only with no ATM so don’t forget your money.
I had read about an alternative track down through the bush – Tallow Ridge Track – that takes you through the rainforest. I wasn’t too sure how well marked it was and didn’t see anyone else taking it, so I opted on the side of caution and retraced my steps back down.
I did take a short loop through Palm Valley at The Pass with only some lizards as my fellow walking companions. The vegetation was so lush on the path, I was sure I was going the wrong way and was heading deep into the forest, but as noted at the start I was only a hundred meters from the park. Now I didn’t feel so bad about forgoing the Tallow Ridge Track.
It’s suggested to give yourself two hours for the walk. I knew I wanted to make a day of it and stop off at a couple of the beaches. That said I got to the start of the walking track about eleven in the morning and was back in town at four in the afternoon. If you’re in a rush, you could do it in an hour, but where’s the fun in that?!
Take your time and enjoy the amazingness of being able to walk along beaches and into the rainforest moments later. No where else except Byron Bay.