Located just 45 minutes from Elements of Byron is one of the region’s most jaw-dropping destinations: Minyon Falls. Surrounded by ancient rainforests in Nightcap National Park, the waterfall plunges roughly 100-metres over jarring rhyolite cliffs that were once part of the Tweed Volcano. This hinterland gem is part of Byron Bay’s must-see nature.
You can choose from an easier, two-hour return walk to Minyon Grass picnic area or the longer, hard-grade 4-5-hour Minyon Loop Walking Track. The Minyon Grass option takes you to the base of the Falls while the 7.5-km Minyon Loop Walking Track winds through dense rainforest and fern-flanked creeks before arriving at the iconic plunge falls. Either way: be prepared for a fairly steep climb out!
While the waterfall itself is an impressive sight, especially after a big rain, the panoramic views from the lookout are just as spectacular. Look directly below (if you don’t suffer from vertigo!) as the water cascades down solidified lava into a deep gorge. On a clear day you can see all the way to the coast.
This area was once part of the Big Scrub, which was once he largest area of subtropical lowland rainforest in eastern Australia. Today, less than one percent remains as fragmented remnants scattered across 75,000 hectares between the towns of Byron Bay, Ballina and Lismore. Look out for the old-growth brushbox trees, situated on the western side of Repentance Creek, and you’ll get a glimpse of this ancient ecosystem.
Nightcap National Park receives the highest annual rainfall in NSW, so check local weather conditions and pack suitable clothes, insect repellent, plenty of water, a hat and sunscreen. We also suggest bringing something to take your rubbish away in.
The area is fully wheelchair accessible, including the lookout, picnic area and toilets. The Park is open sunrise to sunset but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
Experience a two-hour guided walk through the rainforest, which includes transport to and from Elements, as well as lunch.
Nightcap National Park, which is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, is the traditional land of the Bundjalung People, in particular the Widjabul People who for thousands of years have called this area home. The Park contains many ancient sites of cultural significance, including ceremonial and sacred sites that are still used by local Aboriginal people today.
HOW TO GET THERE
Driving southwards onto Pacific Highway just south of Byron Bay exit, at the top of the hill, turn right onto Coolamon Scenic Drive. Follow this winding road, which turns into Coorabell Road, past Keys Bridge, before turning right at the tennis courts onto Federal Road. Turn left onto Repentance Creek Road, then head west along this road and across Byangerry Creek crossing.
Continue over Coopers Creek crossing, turn right onto Upper Coopers Creek Road, and then left onto Minyon Falls Road. Continue along this road past Wren’s Nest Cafe, to the entrance of Nightcap National Park, and onto Minyon Drive, where you can follow park signs.
Want more inspiration for things to do in Byron Bay? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Byron Bay.