Minyon Falls master plan: Public consultation

This master plan will guide the upgrade of visitor infrastructure at Minyon Falls and Minyon Grass picnic area in Nightcap National Park as part of the Tweed Byron Hinterland Trails project.

Public exhibition of this master plan provides an opportunity for members of the community to have a say in relation to this activity proposed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). Opportunities to comment close 25 November 2019.

The Minyon Falls precinct is a popular visitor destination in Nightcap National Park north of Lismore on the New South Wales north coast. Here you can see Minyon Falls plunging 100 metres into a deep pool amid tall forests and spectacular scenery. Minyon Grass picnic area is located to the south of Minyon Falls and offers picnic facilities, views to the falls and a trackhead for the walking track to the base of Minyon Falls.

What is proposed?

The planned visitor infrastructure improvements will increase capacity and enhance visitor access and safety at Minyon Falls lookout and nearby day use area. The works aim to complement the site's natural and cultural values and provide opportunities for a more diverse range of visitors to enjoy our spectacular national parks.

As outlined in the proposed amendments to the plan of management (Tweed Byron Hinterland Trails project), this master plan includes proposals to:

  • provide adequate car parking facilities at Minyon Falls day use area (an increase from 42 to 96 car spaces)
  • provide directional, interpretive and information signs at visitor hubs and access points.

The upgrade will also improve the sense of arrival, access pathways and family gathering spaces at Minyon Falls, including a new viewing platform, picnic shelters and tables.

Why is the work being proposed?

Minyon Falls currently attracts over 250,000 visitors per year and will become one of the access hubs for the multi-day walk proposed as part of the Tweed Byron Hinterland Trails project. While the Minyon Falls lookout platform and walk to the base of the falls are both impressive, existing visitor infrastructure at the day use area does not meet the outstanding appeal of the site. There is a poor sense of arrival in the existing picnic area, timeworn picnic shelters, pathways and outdated signage, and lack of elements to draw visitors to natural features and beyond. There is also lack of clear flow and direction to the walking tracks, and a need to update site interpretation in consultation with the Widjabul Wia-bul people, the Native Title Claimants for the area. Overall, there is a need for an extensive upgrade to improve the presentation of the Minyon Falls Precinct.

The proposed concept intends to deliver an exceptional visitor destination while minimising impact on the natural setting. The main entry picnic area is to be greatly improved, with curved grassed terraces beside a winding access pathway, improving sense of arrival. A storytelling theme is proposed along this pathway to engage the visitor and draw them towards the Minyon Falls lookout. An architecturally designed shelter also offers a flexible gathering space to activate the area close to the lookout, and the viewing platform itself will be upgraded with a new curved structure.

Minyon Grass picnic area will receive a minor upgrade with refreshed picnic facilities, toilets and carpark.

What is a master plan?

A draft master plan illustrates the design concepts developed for the precinct. It includes site plans, diagrams of proposed infrastructure and visual representations of completed designs. It presents a picture of planned visitor infrastructure improvements at the site.

The Minyon Falls master plan is the first of 4 separate master plans for different precincts within the Tweed Byron Hinterland Trails project. Additional master plans will be developed over the next 2 years to provide detailed information on the multi-day walking track route, Unicorn Falls day use area and visitor facilities in Wollumbin National Park.

What happens next?

The master plans will be publicly exhibited and, once finalised, will guide preparation of all environmental impact, cultural heritage, safety, social, financial and engineering assessments. Following public exhibition, the master plans may be adjusted to meet environmental assessment outcomes, consultation and local design issues but must still meet the requirements of the plan of management (and any approved amendments).

Where can I see a printed copy of the master plan?

Hard copies are available for viewing at:

  • NPWS Alstonville office – 494 Bruxner Highway, Alstonville
  • NPWS Byron Bay office – Tallow Beach Road, Byron Bay

How can I comment on the master plan?

The Minyon Falls master plan is on public exhibition until Monday 25 November 2019. You are invited to comment on the masterplan before this date.

While all submissions count, they are most effective when we understand your ideas and the outcomes you want for the precinct. Some suggestions to help you write your submission are:

  • Write clearly and be specific about the issues of concern to you.
  • Note which page of the document your comments relate to.
  • Give reasoning in support of your points - makes it easier for us to consider your ideas and helps avoid misinterpretation.
  • Tell us specifically what you agree/disagree with and why.

Your comments will be used to finalise the master plan before further assessments are undertaken.

Your privacy

Your comments on the master plan may include 'personal information'. The Department complies with the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 which regulates the collection, storage, quality, use and disclosure of personal information. For details see our privacy page. The inclusion of personal information with your submission is voluntary but information that in some way identifies you may be gathered when you use our website or send us an email.

A summary of issues raised in public submissions may be made publicly available. If you wish your identity and personal information in your submission to be treated as confidential you must request your name be treated as confidential, and not include any of your personal information in the main text of the submission or attachments so that it can be easily removed.

If an application to access information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 requests access to your submission, your views about the release will be sought if you have indicated that you object to your submission being made public.

Have your say

Public exhibition is from 25 October 2019 to 25 November 2019.

You can provide your written submission in any of the following ways:

  • Post your written submission to:
    Manager, North Coast Branch
    NPWS, PO Box 1236
    Coffs Harbour NSW 2450
  • Email your submission to: npws.northcoastbranch@environment.nsw.gov.au
  • Make a submission online by using the online form below.