Nature conservation

Parks, reserves and protected areas

Cape Byron Preliminary Visitor Master Plan questions and answers

What is a master plan?

A master plan is a detailed document that addresses specific management, design and use issues at a particular site consistent with other planning documentation. It is not a statutory document.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service manages Cape Byron in accordance with the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NPW Act). The objectives of the Act include the conservation of nature and objects, places or features of cultural value within the landscape and the fostering of public appreciation, understanding, enjoyment and use of nature and cultural heritage.

The Cape Byron State Conservation Area plan of management is a statutory document that was prepared in accordance with the Act to provide a 'scheme of operations' for the park. After public consultation the Plan was adopted in October 2002 and was amended in 2010.

What does the Cape Byron masterplan cover?

The master plan project sets out to identify and assess all possible options for improving the visitor experience and for transporting people to the Cape. The master plan outcomes would:

  • make every visit to the lighthouse precinct an enjoyable and pleasurable visit well into the future for locals and tourists, whether they arrive by walking or alternative transport means
  • make every visit to the lighthouse precinct safe by removing the conflict and interactions between walkers and cars and make the Cape Lighthouse Precinct pedestrian friendly
  • bring economic and community benefits to the local community and to the park's stakeholders
  • integrate with the proposals developed in the Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan which emphasises pedestrian priority and an integrated transport hub
  • ensure consistency and incorporate the recommendations of the Cape Byron Lightstation Precinct Conservation Management Plan.

When will the master plan be finalised and approved?

NPWS have consulted with the Arakwal Aboriginal Corporation, Cape Byron Trust, Byron Shire Council and undertaken visitor surveys. Feedback from this and other consultation forums with the community and other organisations was considered in preparing the masterplan for public comment.

Comment is now invited on the Cape Byron Preliminary Visitor Masterplan which will be on exhibition between 13 February and 27 March 2017. Following exhibition, the Cape Byron Trust, NPWS and Office of Environment and Heritage will consider community and stakeholder feedback, and finalise the masterplan. The final plan will be published on the Office of Environment and Heritage website.

How will the environment heritage values of Cape Byron be protected?

The lighthouse precinct is covered by the Cape Byron Lightstation Precinct Conservation Management Plan (PDF 13.1MB).

Any major site works will be subject to rigorous environmental planning procedures in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

How will the draft masterplan affect public access?

Over 1.5 million visitors per annum already come to Cape Byron, this masterplan is being developed for the park to guide further improvements to visitor facilities, to meet growing visitor numbers and expectations, while protecting the park's significant natural and cultural assets. It integrates the Cape Byron Trust's vision for a world class walking track network and the recently released Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan with consideration given to providing a pedestrian friendly experience.

The buildings, structures and landscape values of Cape Byron Lightstation and cottages will be preserved.

Page last updated: 13 February 2017