National Parks Surrounding Byron Bay
Arakwal National Park
Arakwal national park (183-hectares) stretches from the lighthouse reserve on Australia's most easterly point, south along Tallow Beach for nearly two kilometres. Its creation is the result of the first indigenous land use agreement in Australia to provide for such a park. In the past, the coastal strip of land that is the Park was mined for mineral sands, which means that a great deal of Parks staff time is now devoted to rehabilitation of disturbed lands and destruction of bitou bush, lantana and other pest weeds. Cape Byron Headland stands on the most easterly point of the Australian mainland. A spectacular clifftop walking track offers panoramic views of the ocean and north coast hinterland. An outstanding vantage point for viewing a diverse range of marine life, including turtles, dolphins and the humpback whales on their annual migration between July and October.
Broken Head Nature reserve
Broken Head Nature Reserve (98 hectares), encompasses superb headlands with steep rainforest clad slopes, sweeping down to secluded beaches. Access is via the Seven Mile Beach road, a scenic gravel road which heads southward from Broken Head Village. A signposted walking track through the rainforest leads to Kings Beach from a parking area on this road. This walk some 350 m in length passes through some of the best examples of coastal rainforest in the reserve, terminating at the outstandingly beautiful and peaceful surroundings of a small beach haven. Please note: Kings beach is a clothes optional beach.
Brunswick Heads Nature reserve
Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve (177 hectares) offers all the pleasures of the great outdoors within easy reach of civilisation. Whether you’re into fishing, canoeing, birdwatching or picnicking with a view, come and explore this charming reserve nestled between the townships of Ocean Shores and Brunswick Heads. The waters around Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve are part of Cape Byron Marine Park. Sections of Marshalls Creek are a sanctuary zone, where no fishing is permitted. Familiarise yourself with the Cape Byron Marine Park Zoning Plan before fishing in the marine park.
Wollumbin National Park
Wollumbin, which dramatically rises from World Heritage-listed Wollumbin National Park – formerly known as Mount Warning National Park – to a height of 1,157m above sea level, is a remnant of an ancient volcano. Captain Cook named it Mount Warning, but to the Aboriginal community it is known as Wollumbin. Wollumbin National Park includes the former Mount Warning National Park (both parks were combined in August 2009).
Wollumbin is a sacred place of great significance to the people of the Bundjalung Nation. It is the first place on Australia mainland to be touched by the morning sun. Under Bundjalung law, only certain people can climb Wollumbin, so consider choosing to respect their heritage. The track is a steep nine kilometre return trip, with a challenging rock scramble at the end, but all worth the effort for the spectacular views.