Cape Byron State Conservation Area


A scenic 3.6 km loop walk around the cape Byron SCA headland (Image: David Taylor/DECCW)The main walk in the Cape Byron State Conservation Area is the Cape Byron Walking Track, a beautiful 3.7 km walk that includes coastal cliffs, littoral rainforest and world class beaches. The magnificent clifftop walking track winds its way through diverse plant communities, offering panoramic views of the ocean and north coast hinterland. 

The Cape Byron Walking Track provides great viewing locations for watching turtles, dolphins and humpback whales on their annual migration.


Walking tracks

Cape Byron walking track

Wheelchair access: hard

Wheelchairs can access this area with some difficulty

  • The boardwalk from Captain Cook Lookout to Brooke Drive is pram and wheelchair accessible. However, most parts of the track are steep, with many steps.

Tallow Ridge walk includes sections of littoral rainforest (Image: David Taylor/DECCW)You’ll need a good two hours to properly experience the Cape Byron walking track – but it’s so rich in delights, so don’t be surprised if you reach the end and feel like doing it all again. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to spend a couple of hours on the state’s entire coast.

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. Remember to keep an eye out on the water for turtles, dolphins, stingrays and, in season, whales.

If you’d prefer an easier walk, the track can be accessed at numerous points and walked in shorter sections.

Take a virtual tour of Cape Byron walking track on Google Street View.

Directions: you can walk any combination of the sections described below. They describe walking in a clockwise direction, but you can walk the other way, starting at the Captain Cook Lookout, up Tallow Ridge and descending from the Lighthouse to the Lookout. In warmer weather the ascent through the rainforest can be cooler than the coastal climb.

1. Captain Cook to Palm Valley (The Pass) 700 metres, 15 minutes, flat. Stroll along the boardwalk to Palm Valley. At Palm Valley wander through a Bangalow palm forest and visit one of the oldest middens in the region, where the Bundjalung people camped, leaving remains of dugum* (pipis), julum* (fish) and other animals.

The path is wheelchair accessible as far as Brooke Drive. Bicycles can also use this section.

2. Palm Valley to Wategos Beach 500 metres, 10 minutes, some steps. Climb around the headland to Wategos Beach. Watch surfers and bottlenose dolphins ride waves into shore or cool off in the water at this sheltered cove.

3. Wategos Beach to Lighthouse 700 metres, 25 minutes, steep with steps. Enjoy spectacular views while ascending steep cliffs to the Australian mainland’s most easterly point. Look out for dolphins, stingrays, bingihyn* (turtles) and, of course, humpback whales on their annual migration between May and November before climbing to the top of Walgun* (Cape Byron Headland).

4. Lighthouse to Captain Cook car park 1.6 kilometres, 20 minutes, steep sections, unpaved track. Descend through littoral (coastal) rainforest with scattered barwan* (Burrawang palms). In pre-historic times cycads like these dominated the landscape.

*Bundjalung word

Some of the locals gather at Palm Valley picnic area in Cape Byron State Conservation Area (Image: David Taylor/DECCW)Ancient cycads such as the Burrawong are found along the walking track (Image: David Taylor/DECCW)Cape Byron Lighthouse in Cape Byron SCA (Image: M. Van Ewik/DECCW)

Walking: events and activities

Commercial activity

Byron Bay Adventure Tours

Big Day Out - Hinterland TourWhat to do in Byron? There is just so much to do and explore. Byron Bay Adventure Tours conduct Byron tours that showcase this stunning destination including Nightcap National Park, the magnificent Minyon Falls and the glorious Byron Hinterland.

Our Big Day Out Hinterland Tour takes visitors from Byron to the Nightcap National Park and back via Bangalow. Explore the natural wonder of this World Heritage listed national park including a 2 hour guided rainforest walk to the base of the spectacular Minyon Falls. Take a swim in pristine waters, photograph the abundant wildlife or simply relax and enjoy this unique environment. After a complimentary barbecue lunch, we arrive at the famous little town of Bangalow where guests can explore the town's fascinating mix of local shops, galleries and cafes.

In addition to our Big Day Out Hinterland Tour, we visit the Nightcap National Park as part of our Earth to Surf Adventure Tour and Overnight Escape Tour.

All our Byron tours are limited to a maximum of 14 people per group and this highly personalised approach is what makes Byron Bay Adventure Tours a unique Byron Bay Tour experience!

Visit our website to find out more or phone 1300 120 028.

More info: Byron Bay Adventure Tours, Phone: 1300 120 028