Byron Bay is a well-known paradise, but just inland there are plenty of breathtaking spots well worth the hike. Jordan shares his five favourite hikes hidden in the Byron Bay Hinterland. 

 

We acknowledge that this adventure is located on Bundjalung Nation, the traditional Country of the Bundjalung people who have occupied and cared for this land and water for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

In Bundjalung Country, close to the bustling town of Byron Bay, there’s no shortage of spectacular hiking trails. Surging waterfalls nestled deep in the forest. Jaw-dropping mountain and hillside views. Off-the-beaten-track feels; Byron Hinterland hikes are a true escape from the crowds.

1. Goonengerry Waterfalls

Skill level: Intermediate
Distance / Duration: 10km loop / 2.5hr
Highlights: Waterfalls, mountain lookouts

Boasting two infinity falls, the Goonengerry Waterfall loop starts in Goonengerry National Park from the Garrong Road car park. We began on the North Boundary Trail in an anti-clockwise direction so that we got all the uphill walking out of the way first, enjoying the epic waterfall views in the second half of the hike.

 

 

Using AllTrails is recommended for this Byron Hinterland hike, as the trail does veer off suddenly when switching from North Boundary onto the track that runs next to Garrong Road. There’s hardly any reception out here so make sure you’ve got your route organised beforehand.

2. Blue Fig Trail

Skill level: Beginner
Distance / Duration: 4.8km out and back / 1hr
Highlights: Waterfalls

If you’re strapped for time and looking for a simple yet beautiful hike in the Byron Hinterland, look no further than Blue Fig in Nightcap National Park.

Accessible on foot via the start of Blue Fig Road, this relatively flat track will take you to a gorgeous set of cascading waterfalls. Due to it being a water catchment area, no swimming is allowed in the creek or falls. However, it’s still a pretty spot for a picnic and photos.

 

5 Hikes Hidden in the Byron Bay Hinterland, Jordan Clayden-Lewis, blue fig trail, waterfall, river, man

 

Please note: Minyon Falls Road, the usual entry road into Nightcap National Park, is closed for upgrades until October 31st, 2021 so you’ll need to access the park via Nightcap Range Road, even if your GPS wants to take you on Minyon Falls Road.

3. Tea Tree Lookout and Dirangah Rocks via Historic Nightcap Track

Skill level: Advanced
Distance/Duration: 14.6km out and back / 5.5 hr
Highlight: Off-the-beaten-track, mountain views

On the Mount Nardi side of Nightcap National Park, we discovered a lesser-known beauty. From Nimbin, drive around 20 minutes towards Mount Nardi Picnic Area.

Please note: The road to the picnic area is currently closed, so you’ll need to park in the spaces to the side of the entrance and walk up the trail to the right of the gate.

A steep hill will lead you up to the picnic area, where you can access the Nightcap Historic Track and Pholis Gap.

This remote adventure along the Nightcap Historic Track will lead you through multiple terrains. The trail is a little overgrown in parts, so long pants and sleeves will be your best friend.

About 6km in, you’ll discover the Dirangah Rocks, which are a set of impressive eroded volcanic vents.

Continuing along another kilometre or so, at the crossroad for Mount Jerusalem, you’ll reach the spectacular Tea Tree Lookout, which sits on a hidden trail that veers off to the left. The lookout offers epic views of Wollumbin (Mount Warning), Doughboy Mountain, and Mount Tarrawyra Mountain, and is a great place to stop for a lunch break, preparing for the tough but rewarding walk back to Mount Nardi.

 

4. Pholis Gap

Skill level: Intermediate
Distance/Duration: 4.3km loop / 1hr
Highlights: Shorter trail with stunning views

An easier trail on the Mount Nardi side of Nightcap, the Pholis Gap walk is short, but a leg-burner nonetheless. The lookout offers a less dramatic view compared to Tea Tree Lookout, but it’s still adequately stunning. You’ll notice a fair bit of fire regeneration and burnt out trees along this track, so just be careful of your step.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

Like the Historic Nightcap Track, you can’t drive to the Mount Nardi Picnic Area as it’s closed, so you’ll need to park next to the gate and trek up the hill to the right.

5. Peates Mountain

Skill level: Intermediate
Distance / Duration: 6km out and back / 1.5hr
Highlight: Moss-covered rainforest

Starting at Rummery Park Campground, the first impression of Peates Mountain trail is a commendable one, taking you through a remarkable rainforest covered in moss. From here, you’ll slowly ascend to the summit. And although the trees at the top block the hinterland views, you’ll get a vista spot just before reaching the top of the mountain.

 

 

Looking for an overnight hike instead? Why not pair Peates Mountain with the Blue Fig Trail and then camp overnight at Rummery Park? A perfect weekend in the Byron hinterland.