The light that shines by night over Cape Byron Marine Park emanates from a tower as famous as the town of Byron Bay itself. Built at the turn of the 19th century to protect ships passing along the coast, Cape Byron Lighthouse stands resolute on the most easterly point of the Australian mainland. Operated by resident keepers until 1989, its now automated light is clearly visible from the Byron Bay Township.
Take a guided tour of the lighthouse, learn more about this iconic white tower and find out about shipwrecks and stories from the sea in the Maritime Museum which is below the lighthouse and the artwork inside is ‘a must see’.
You’ll enjoy some of the best views of the ocean and hinterland including regular sightings of turtles, dolphins. It is the most easterly point of Australia, and one of the best places to see humpback whales as they pass on their annual migration between May and October.
• The Maritime Museum is open 10am to 4pm daily
• Remember to take your binoculars if you want to whale watch
• It can be a busy place on the weekend, so parking might be limited
• Parking fees apply
Enjoy spectacular coastal views along the Cape Byron walking track that takes you on a hike through rainforest, beach, grassland and clifftops to the lighthouse.
State Conservation Area
• It’s a good idea to put sunscreen on before you set out and remember to take a hat and plenty of drinking water
• Keep on the track, keep away from the cliff edges
• Take your swimwear as you may like to have a swim on the way
You’ll need a good two hours to properly experience the walking track – but it’s so rich in delights, don’t be surprised if you reach the end and feel like doing it again. Unwind and enjoy the view as you walk.
The 3.7km loop leads you on a hike through rainforest and across clifftops with stunning views of the ocean and hinterland. En route you’ll wander through the shade of bangalow palms and ancient burrawangs, across kangaroo grasslands, along picturesque beaches and up to Cape Byron Lighthouse.
The four Clarke’s Beach Cottages have direct access to Byron Bay’s main beach and are surrounded by National Park. Staying here is just magnificient, you can wake to ocean views and the sound of crushing surf. Alternatively the two lighthouse cottages where the former keepers used to live have been fully refurbished, heritage listed cottages (circa 1901) makes this a truly unique holiday experience. Be the first to see the sunrise on Australia’s mainland and enjoy watching dolphins, turtles and whales. To enquire about NPWS holiday accommodation in the lighthouse keeper’s cottages or the beach cottages go to www.nationalparks.new.gov.au/stay