One of our favourite do-it-yourself day hikes during our trip, the Lighthouse Walk is a must if you visit the lazy surf town of Byron Bay. The trek is just under 4km and can easily be accomplished in 1.5 hours, but take your time and set aside 3-4 hours to enjoy the sights, side trails, and secluded beaches along the way. No need for intense hiking shoes, we were fine in flip flops.
Starting from town (we started from Aquarius Backpackers which you can see in the bottom left of the map above) we headed east down Lawson Rd. We arrived at an intersection where Lawson Rd. turned into Lighthouse Rd. We continued straight down Lighthouse Rd. and saw signs for Captain Cook Lookout. It’s about a 10 min walk out of town to this point. We headed down to Clark’s Beach and walked along the shore (not shown on the map, but it’s more fun) to The Pass. This less busy beach is where a ton of surfers hang out, and watching them catch some waves was pretty fun. We walked along the water on sand and rocks until we spotted Fisherman’s Lookout (seen on map), a large rock separated from shore with a set of stairs to get you to the top. It provides some good views, but don’t stop here there are much better ones to come!
We headed back down to the shore and up a driveway leading away from the beach to Palm Valley, where the marked Lighthouse Walk starts. It’s also where The Pass Cafe (seen on map) resides, which has some awesome and relatively cheap meals. Grab one before you tackle the rest of the trail, there’s nowhere else to eat the rest of the way. While we were eating we were visited by our first of many lizard friends, a large Eastern Water Dragon. They’re harmless, and this one was just catching some sun on a bench beside us, but be warned you’ll see lots! So prepare yourself if you’re not the most comfortable around lizards.
Once we were fed, we headed up the trail which led us along the top of oceanside cliffs. The views along the way are spectacular! We were lucky enough to spot a pod of 6-7 dolphins playing in the waves, and stopped to watch them for 20 mins or so. A little while longer we descended down the other side of the cliffs onto Wategos Beach (shown on map). A basic public beach, no need to spend much time here. Head down the boardwalk which joins back up with a trail that will lead you to Little Wategos Beach. When we got here it was completely empty, we had the whole place to ourselves. It was our little slice of paradise. On the east side are some rocks you can climb to see some massive waves crashing. We hung out here for a while and soaked up some sun while reading a book.
After we had a good rest we headed back up the path for some great cliffside views, and to see the eastern most point of the Australian mainland. Just past that is the structure from which the walk was named; the Cape Byron Lighthouse (shown on map). This stark white castle-like lighthouse is the brightest in all of Australia, and makes for a great picture. From the lighthouse platform you are treated to views of Byron Bay in the distance.
Once we took a ton of pictures and had our fill of the awesome sights we started back towards the start of the loop. Walk down the side of the road heading towards town, and in about 2 mins on the left there is a sign for Tallow Ridge, which is a nice walk through a forest. Apparently you can sometimes see swamp wallabies here, but we didn’t spot any. The forest itself is a nice change of scenery though. We emerged out of the trees on Lee Ln., a small road just off of Lighthouse Rd. We walked straight and we were right back at Captain Cook Lookout.
A very fun, not immensely challenging walk with tons to see. Take your time with it, and take lots of pictures! This was definitely the highlight of our stay in Byron Bay.