Making the most of Byron Bay

Cape Byron Lighthouse

There is nothing more Byron Bay than the Cape Byron Lighthouse. Not only is it a pivotal historical structure but it’s also the most easterly point of the Australian mainland. Free to enter, it remains a top attraction in Byron Bay, drawing over 500,000 eager visitors every year to be the first in Australia to witness the sunrise over the Pacific.

Cape Byron Lighthouse
Image couresty of Visit NSW

A Rich History

Constructed at the dawn of the 20th century, Cape Byron Lighthouse was initially built to safeguard passing ships. Its operation was manned by resident keepers until 1989, after which it became automated. 

The lighthouse, completed over two years with significant effort and expense, has been operational since 1901. The headland’s elevation at 94 metres above sea level meant that a towering lighthouse wasn’t necessary, allowing for a more accessible 22-metre structure with an unmatched view.

What To Know Before You Visit

Just a short 5 minute drive from Jonson Street in Byron Bay, the lighthouse is conveniently accessible with parking available opposite the Cape Byron Information Centre for a $10 entry fee. Luckily for all visitors, the Lighthouse has a whole host of facilities including: 

– The Cape Byron Information Centre 

– A cafe

– Toilets

– Paved walking tracks 

– Car parks 

– Picnic tables

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Cape Byron Museum and Tours

The original lightkeeper’s office now houses the Cape Byron Lighthouse Maritime Museum, which is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm. Additionally, visitors can enjoy a 20-minute tour of the lighthouse itself, available from 10 am to 3 pm daily for just a gold coin donation.

Dolphins in Byron Bay

Local Wildlife

Bring your binoculars for a chance to spot turtles, dolphins, and humpback whales from this iconic point. The headland’s unique position provides a perfect vantage point for nature watching and appreciating the vast ocean.

Cape Byron Lighthouse Cafe

Don’t miss the Cape Byron Lighthouse Cafe, open daily from 9 am to typically 3 pm, however they can occasionally shut sooner. They are open every day of the year, including Christmas Day. Offering locally sourced light refreshments, it’s the perfect spot to relax after exploring the lighthouse and its surroundings.

Explore the Cape Byron Walking Track

Journey along the scenic Cape Byron walking track, a 3.7km loop that offers several entry points including Captain Cook lookout, The Pass, Wategos Beach, and directly at the Lighthouse. 

This track, suitable for most ages and fitness levels, takes approximately 1-3 hours to complete and is well-marked for easy navigation.

Experience a variety of landscapes with short steep hills and numerous steps, making some bushwalking experience beneficial. Please note, that pets and smoking are not permitted on the track, ensuring a pristine experience for all walkers.