When staying in Byron, getting in an early morning walk is a must. I started off around 7 am (admittedly a little late) near the Clarks Beach Park area. Wandering onto the calm, flat beach, you instantly realise how many energetic, early risers there are in Byron. Surfers, swimmers and those just enjoying the young morning sunshine. The air and water are fresh and clear, the atmosphere bringing a revitalising clarity.
Cape Byron Walking Track
A little after the North Coast Holiday Park, coming back in from the beach sees you meeting up with the Cape Byron Walking Track – an elevated, wooden track that provides a convenient outlook over the sandy expanse. It’s worth the slight detour from the beach to experience the feeling of walking along what I can only describe as a treehouse esplanade.
Following the track back down to the beach brings you to Fisherman’s Lookout. You’ll likely encounter bush turkeys on the way, which can be seen madly digging holes and popping their heads up cautiously as you walk by.
Depending on the tide, it’s either an easy stroll or an awkward wade (with camera equipment held high) across the cool inlet of water rushing in between the coast and the lookout, which is about 5-10 metres across.
Climbing the lookout stairway reveals a panoramic view of the vast ocean, a stark contrast to the harshly dramatic cliffs you can also see to your right. Waves pummel the base of the tall cliffs, creating a fine ocean mist, making for some quick lens cleaning.
Walking around the rocky ocean side of the lookout affords you a perfect view of dozens of surfers making the most of the waves. There's plenty of space to relax and take in the beautiful morning before continuing the trek.
With another beach opening up on your left, you can continue along Marine Parade and then onto another track. The elevation climbs quickly and you’ll begin catching glimpses of the lighthouse on your way up to the peak overlooking Cape Byron.
The Most Easterly Point of the Australian Headland
This is really the last steep hike before the lighthouse. Reaching the most eastern point of the Australian mainland essentially brings you to a cliff-face and a plaque. It may sound underwhelming, but it’s hard to describe the feeling that hits you looking out into the seemingly endless expanse of wave after wave, ripple after ripple. It’s almost vertigo overcoming your senses as the sound seems to slip away and the ocean unravels.
The blinding white morning sun rests on the horizon, the sun and sea coalescing. There’s an almost eerie peace and a sudden realisation of your insignificance on this massive earth that we so easily take for granted. If there’s only one activity you do while in Byron, this is my recommendation.
Cape Byron Lighthouse
Just a little further around the point and few more staircases and you’re at the Cape Byron lighthouse. It’s almost the Shetland Pony of lighthouses. Apparently, there was no need for a tall structure, given the headland was a fair height.
You’ll find telescopes to peer out further into the expanse, but moreover, it’s a wonderful, historic structure that complements the natural beauty of the headland.
The Lighthouse Keepers’ Cottages close by can also be rented should you want to have the luxury of driving up to the headland and staying there.
Tallow Ridge Track
It’s time to make the descent, and following the Tallow Ridge Track affords another change of scenery, being more like a bushwalk than anything else. You’ll want to have joggers equipped for the winding track that brings you back down to the start of the Cape Byron Walking Track.
The walk took a little under 3 hours, with plenty of time for photography and stopping to take in the surroundings at each point.
If you're planning a trip to Byron, it's well worth the early rise to get in a beautiful, relaxing and reflective morning trek. There'll also be plenty of places either on the way or at the end of your walk to grab a coffee and a quick breakfast to keep you sustained. Bryon is one place I'll definitely be returning to again.