4th January, 2016
Today was one of my favourites of our Summer East Coast Road Trip so far. We really got to explore the natural beauty of Byron and the surrounding towns.
Item number on the agenda this morning, and probably the thing we’ve wanted to do most since arriving in Byron, is the incredible Cape Byron Light House walk. The weather has been a little dismal since arriving here which has been the reason for our lack of beach days on this East Coast Road Trip. Although we hear the surf has been up while we were too busy festivaling, so too has the number of shark sightings – one each at Tallows and Broken Head. Think I’ll leave my surfboard in the car a few days longer until we get a little more north!
We parked outside the lovely Top Shop and met Amanda’s friend Chole. The girls grabbed their morning coffees and we headed for the most easterly point of the Australian mainland, the Cape Byron Lighthouse. It costs $4 an hour to park near Wategos Beach or $8 an hour to park right at the lighthouse itself but there are limited spaces. Most of the walk is pathed or made from timber boardwalk. Wearing a pair of runners and taking water is definitely recommended as the walk takes a good two hours to complete if you wish to stop, take photographs and admire all of the scenery. The walk itself is approximately a 4km loop, or a little longer if you wish to continue from the lighthouse to Tallows Beach like we did. We walked through rainforest, grasslands and clifftops as we wound our way around the Byron coast. It’s even possible to see down to Lennox Head and across the Bay to Mt Warning on a clear day. And if it’s the right season, May to October, you will surely spot the whales cruising past.
I couldn’t help but feel the healthy endorphins flowing through my body after this incredible morning out and about in nature. Returning to Top Shop I ate the yummiest walnut, feta, tomato and pumpkin salad sitting on the grass in the sunshine. This was the little health kick I needed after the past week of indulging!
Ready to keep enjoying today’s fab weather, we decided over our salads that we would continue our adventuring south-west a little, to Killen Falls. Swimming in natural waterfalls is one of my favourite adventure activities.
Killen Falls offers a beautiful swimming hole set amongst rocky terrain on Emigrant Creek. The main feature is of course the 10m waterfall at the end. Getting into the water was slightly tricky as it was quite shallow around the edges of the swimming hole and lots of large submerge boulders. Once more towards the centre, there are deep sections and it’s easier to swim. At the end a cave has been formed and we were able to get behind the waterfall itself to view this amazing spot from behind the falling water, without even getting wet.
The walk down from the carpark takes around 10 minutes although because of the large amount of recent rainfall, the path was completely muddy and it was impossible not to slip over. We even clung to trees at some points and ditched our thongs as the mud eventually got the better of us, especially on the one steep downhill muddy section. It made for a good laugh. I recommend taking minimal items with you as most of the rocks here where everyone leaves there belongings are damp. Killen Falls is free to enter and there is no charge for car parking.
We drove about five minutes back to the funky little town of Newrybar. The girls grabbed another coffee from the beautiful ‘Harvest Cafe’ (a definite must if you are a foodie! Tip: wear something a little nice if you wish to stay and dine.) Across the road was probably to best shop I have been, to to find quirky bits and bobs, Newrybar Merchants. From home and living supplies, to the cutest wanderlust journals, occasion cards and artworks I could have spent hours wandering in here, not to mention lots of money!!
Tonight on the East Coast Road Trip, dinner was at Miss Margarita Mexican in Byron Bay. The squid entree was absolutely divine and the nachos up there with the best. Night after night we have wanted to get in here but the line up is ridiculous as it is extremely popular and the restaurant takes no bookings. We braved the crowds tonight and waiting the 45 minutes was well worth this yummy Mexican feed and fun cocktails!