We don’t often associate Byron Bay with waterfalls. Byron Bay is an iconic destination on Australia’s East Coast, mainly famous for being one of the best surf destinations and having fantastic scuba diving sites.
But if you’re staying in Byron Bay for a while, you may be interested in escaping from the coast. So how about exploring waterfalls? You’re at the right place. Here’s the list of my favourite Byron Bay waterfalls. You’ll find a map of the waterfalls near Byron Bay at the end of the article.
The best time to visit waterfalls near Byron Bay is during the wet season in the first quarter of the year.
Responsible travel tip: Many waterfalls are home to endangered species and support a very fragile ecosystem. Before you jump in, make sure you research if swimming there is allowed. And always avoid wearing sunscreen, insect repellent or any chemical product that could pollute the water.
My favourite Byron Bay waterfalls
1. Protesters Falls (1.5 hours from Byron Bay)
The easy short walk to Protesters Falls takes you in a beautiful rainforest, along a lovely creek. It’s very relaxing, and I wished it took longer to reach the end of the track, where Protester Falls awaits.
I already loved the place before even reaching the falls. But when I arrived in front of it, I could not believe how beautiful Protesters Falls was. I had never heard of Nightcap National Park and Protesters Falls before. It’s not on the usual tourist tracks, and not even always mentioned in the Byron Bay waterfalls list. Hence, I didn’t have high expectations.
We were exploring the Byron Bay Hinterland to try to spot a platypus and visit Nimbin. Protesters Falls was initially just a stop on our itinerary and a digestive walk after our picnic at Terania Creek.
Protesters Falls ended up being the highlight of our day and my favourite Byron Bay Waterfalls.
We visited it at midday, which was perfect to have the sun hitting the 25-metre plunge. It created a lovely rainbow at the base that I could not stop watching.
Unfortunately, it is not allowed to swim in the waterfall as it is home to one of Australia’s rarest frogs, the endangered Fleay’s barred frog.
2. Minyon Falls (1 hour from Byron Bay)
Minyon Falls are the most famous waterfalls near Byron Bay. From there, you’ll see the start of the falls that plunge in a gorge more than 100 meters below. The first time we visited, there was no water flowing. Still, the view of the beautiful cliffs was worth it. But if you want to see a waterfall there, make sure it has rained before.
It’s quite an effort to reach the bottom of Minyon Falls (4km one-way). Be equipped with water and food for a 4-hour hike. It’s a beautiful walk that takes you through the forest and along creeks. The nice rock pool at the bottom of the falls is perfect for cooling down after walking. I love the shapes of the rocks at Minyon Falls. They’re like pipe organs, and their originality makes it worth the effort to walk down there.
A bit further on the road, at Minyon Grass picnic area, you can reach another lookout to view the falls from a different angle.
If you don’t have a car, you can join a guided tour to Minyon Falls. Click here for more info*
3. Killen Falls (30 minutes from Byron Bay)
The 10-meter waterfall is a lot less impressive than the other Byron Bay waterfalls on this list. Still, it’s a charming place surrounded by lush nature. If you don’t have much time or don’t feel like driving, Killen Falls will be your best option to explore a waterfall near Byron Bay.
It’s only a 5-minute walk from the car park to reach the lookout platform to view the top of the falls. You can then follow the short track down to the falls. It can be slippery, and some rocks are sharp, so it’s better to wear enclosed shoes.
Get there early to avoid the crowds on a hot day and during weekends. You can walk to a cave behind the waterfall without getting wet – which is always fun. It’s a popular place for swimming but there are many submerged rocks, so be careful!
4. Natural Bridge (1h20 hours from Byron Bay)
Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park is a Gold Coast waterfall more than a Byron Bay waterfall. Because it’s only 1h20 from Byron Bay, it still deserves a spot on the list.
Although it’s in Queensland, Natural Bridge is one of my favourite waterfalls in the region, so I believe Byron Bay visitors would be interested in checking it out.
A short walk will take you to a cave with a waterfall plunging on a trunk. It’s splendid. If you’re visiting during a hot summer day, stay after the sunset so you can see the glow worms in the cave. It’s magic.
5. Mount Tamborine Waterfalls (1h40 from Byron Bay)
Mount Tamborine waterfalls are in Queensland too and, again, closer to the Gold Coast than to Byron Bay. A 1h40 is still decent for a day trip. Hence, I decided to include Curtis Falls on the list in case some waterfall addicts weren’t satisfied with just a short list of waterfalls to explore near Byron Bay.
I wouldn’t drive all the way from Byron Bay to Mount Tamborine just to check out waterfalls. But if you’re looking for something different than the coast, exploring Tamborine Mountain with a stop at these falls would make an interesting day trip from Byron Bay. With wineries, a scenic drive and the unusual glow worm cave and skywalk, I find Mount Tamborine region more fun to explore than the Byron Bay Hinterland.
Curtis Falls is an easy 1.5km return walk. The walks to Cedar Creek Falls, Cameron Falls and Witches falls are slightly longer but not difficult (respectively 3km, 2.6km and 3.5km return).
Byron Bay: Waterfalls on private properties
You sometimes see the following waterfalls on the list of Byron Bay waterfalls: Dalwood Falls, Marom Creek Falls, Hanging Rock Falls, Tosha Falls and Tehuti Falls.
I haven’t been to these Byron Bay Waterfalls, and I won’t go there unless they welcome the public again.
I always find it sad to see everybody banned because some visitors didn’t respect the place. The last update I had was that you had to jump over a fence with a sign indicating that the access was restricted. Not only would you risk prosecution by trespassing, but you would also risk a lot more as they often closed the access after accidents happened. It’s also highly disrespectful and annoying for the locals to have visitors in a place with no adequate infrastructures organised. Plus, it can negatively impact the local environment.
You may want to check if a management plan has been finalised for these places and if they are open to the public. Hopefully, the district will take measures to seize the opportunity to build up tourism in these areas rather than blocking the access and fighting prosecutors. And I’d be delighted to update my Byron Bay Waterfalls list!
For ethical reasons, I decided not to include the Byron Bay waterfalls that I believe are closed to the public on my map. If you’re a person I trust and want to make a detour to check out if the situation has changed there, please contact me, and I will share the location with you.
Have you visited waterfalls near Byron Bay? Share your experience in the comments below!
Where are these Byron Bay Waterfalls?
Byron Bay is located in the north of New South Wales, in Australia. This list of Byron Bay waterfalls features waterfalls on the East Coast of Australia that can be visited on a day trip from Byron Bay.
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