Cape Byron Lighthouse
Sitting at the most Easterly point of Australia’s mainland, Cape Byron Lighthouse is one of the most iconic and most visited attractions in the area for several reasons. Some visitors are interested in the history, whilst others flock here for the breathtaking views, or to spot ocean life. For some, it’s more about the scenic walk to the top than the destination itself.
Construction of the lighthouse was completed in 1901, with a goal of reducing the number of shipping hazards along the stretch of coastline below. As the headland is so high above sea level, it didn’t need to be particularly tall, which is why it stands at just 22-metres. The lighthouse was operated by live-in keepers until the final one retired in 1989, and it is now an automated light maintained by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
The original lighthouse keeper’s office has now been turned into the Cape Byron Lighthouse Maritime Museum, allowing visitors to step inside and gain a unique insight into the history and significance of the lighthouse and of Byron Bay. Learn local stories and tales of shipwrecks as you wander through. The museum is open daily from 10am-4pm. You may also opt to embark on a guided volunteer-led 20-minute tour of the lighthouse in exchange for a gold coin donation. Tours run from 10am-3pm every day.
One of the most impressive things about the lighthouse is the incredible view from outside it – think stunning beaches, rolling hinterland, and the spectacular Pacific Ocean. Look out for turtles and dolphins playing in the waves down below, and migrating humpback whales between June-November.
Cape Byron Lighthouse is located just 2KM east of Byron Bay town centre. It can be reached by car although an entry fee applies, however walking is highly recommended. The lighthouse trail takes you on a 3.7KM loop walk with fantastic scenery ranging from lush rainforest to the beautiful coastline, ending up at the lighthouse. Rest your legs at the lighthouse cafe when you reach the top, to enjoy coffee and cake with unrivalled views of Byron Bay and the gorgeous surrounding scenery.