Cape Byron Lighthouse

Cape Byron State Conservation Area

Overview

Cape Byron Lighthouse sits on Australia’s most easterly point, a shining light over Byron Bay. Take a guided tour, find out about shipwrecks and enjoy spectacular views.

Type
Historic buildings/places
Where
Cape Byron State Conservation Area
Accessibility
Medium
Price
Free
Entry fees

Park entry fees apply at the Cape Byron Lighthouse carpark.

Hire this venue

Cape Byron Lighthouse precinct is available for events and function hire.
The areas surrounding the precinct, including Wategos and Tallow beaches, are also available for hire.

Please note
  • The Maritime Museum is open 10am to 4pm daily
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to whale watch.

The light that shines by night over Cape Byron Marine Park emanates from a tower as famous as the town of Byron Bay itself.

Built at the turn of the 19th century to protect ships passing along the coast, Cape Byron Lighthouse stands resolute on the most easterly point of the Australian mainland. Operated by resident keepers until 1989, its now automated light is clearly visible from Byron Bay township.

Learn more about this iconic white tower and find out about shipwrecks and stories from the sea in the Maritime Museum below.

You’ll enjoy some of the best views of the ocean and hinterland on the entire coast, including regular sightings of turtles, dolphins and humpback whales.

Take a virtual tour of Cape Byron Lighthouse captured with Google Street View Trekker.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/historic-buildings-places/cape-byron-lighthouse/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Cape Byron Lighthouse.

Getting there and parking

Cape Byron Lighthouse is 2km east of the Byron Bay town centre. To get there, take Lawson Street (which becomes Lighthouse Road) and follow it to the lighthouse.

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at Cape Byron Lighthouse. It can be a busy place on the weekend, so parking might be limited.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Cape Byron State Conservation Area. Here are some of the highlights.

Spring

With the weather being a bit cooler, it's the perfect time of year for walking, barbecues and picnics on the beach.

Summer

Summer holidays beckon you – enjoy swimming, snorkelling, surfing, building sandcastles, or relaxing in the shade.

Winter

Cape Byron is a great spot to watch for whales on their annual migration - remember to take binoculars.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

22°C and 27°C

Highest recorded

35.1°C

Winter temperature

Average

15°C and 21°C

Lowest recorded

3.3°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

March

Driest month

September

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

350.4mm

Facilities

Toilets

  • Flush toilets

Carpark

Drinking water

Maps and downloads

Fees and passes

Park entry fees: 

Lighthouse precinct carpark: $8 per vehicle per day, $4 per motorbike. 

Coach entry based on seat capacity: $22 (less than 30 seats); $44 (31-43 seats); $73 (more than 44 seats). 

Lower carpark: $4 per hour.

Safety messages

Beach safety

Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents. These beach safety tips will help you and your family stay safe in the water.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Accessibility

Disability access level - medium

Assistance may be required to access this area

  • Cape Byron Lighthouse is not accessible, however the area outside the lighthouse is flat

Prohibited

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the OEH pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Visitor centre

Learn more

Cape Byron Lighthouse is in Cape Byron State Conservation Area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Cape Byron Lighthouse

Cape Byron Lighthouse, Cape Byron State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

Perched high above Byron Bay's glorious coastline, historic Cape Byron lighthouse was constructed on this rugged headland in 1901. Its landmark 22m high white tower houses the light that still illuminates the bay of an evening. To find out more about the lighthouse take a tour with an expert guide and be sure to check out the Maritime Museum. In days gone by, lighthouse keepers were responsible for igniting the lighthouse's light of an evening. The keepers have long been replaced by automated light systems; however the Victorian Georgian style cottages in which they lived remain as heritage listed buildings. Today they operate as holiday accommodation, having been carefully restored to offer modern convenience while retaining their historical charm and an insight into the life of a lighthouse keeper.

  • Bound For Cape Byron: Walk and lighthouse tour Put on your seafaring cap and walking boots, and join an NPWS guide on an informative 2-hour, 1km guided tour around stunning and iconic Cape Byron, Cape Byron State Conservation Area.
  • Byron Bay historic private lighthouse tour Immerse yourself in the history of Cape Byron Lighthouse. Imagine yourself in a lighthouse keeper's shoes on this private guided tour of iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse.
  • Lighthouse Keepers Lunch Join a National Parks guide to explore the popular children’s book 'The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch' at the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse. You'll learn all about the world’s tallest, oldest and most colourful lighthouse on this school excursion for Early Stage 1 (Kindergarten) students.
  • Lighthouse Keepers Lunch Join a National Parks guide to explore the popular children’s book 'The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch' at the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse. You'll learn all about the world’s tallest, oldest and most colourful lighthouse on this school excursion for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students focusing on HSIE.
  • Walgun walk and cultural experience Walgun walk and cultural experience is a school excursion in Cape Byron State Conservation Area focusing on Stage 6 Aboriginal Studies, Community Study (Years 11-12). Join traditional custodians to learn about Arakwal Bundjalung People's ongoing connection to Country.
  • Walgun walk and cultural experience Walgun walk and cultural experience is a school excursion in Cape Byron State Conservation Area focusing on Stage 5 History (Years 9-10). Join traditional custodians to learn about Arakwal Bundjalung People’s ongoing connection to Country.
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Keepers of Country

The Pass, Cape Byron State  Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

Walgun, as Cape Byron is known by its traditional custodians, maintains spiritual, cultural and historical importance for the Bundjalung of Byron Bay (Arakwal) Aboriginal People. The pipi midden (shell mound) at The Pass is one of the largest and oldest in far north NSW.

  • Dolphin Dreaming Dolphin Dreaming is a Stage 1 (Years 1-2) school excursion in Cape Byron State Conservation Area, focusing on HSIE. Through story, dance and creative expression, Arakwal Aboriginal guides present the life and culture of Byron Bay's Aboriginal people.
  • Dolphin Dreaming Dolphin Dreaming is an Early Stage 1 (Kindergarten) school excursion in Cape Byron State Conservation Area, focusing on HSIE. Through story, dance and creative expression, Arakwal Aboriginal guides present the life and culture of Byron Bay's Aboriginal people.
  • Dolphin Dreaming Dolphin Dreaming is a Stage 2 (Years 3-4) school excursion in Cape Byron State Conservation Area, focusing on HSIE Geography outcomes. Through story, dance and creative expression, Arakwal Aboriginal guides present the life and culture of Byron Bay's Aboriginal people.
  • Dolphin Dreaming Dolphin Dreaming is a Stage 3 (Years 5-6) school excursion in Cape Byron State Conservation Area, focusing on HSIE Geography outcomes. Through story, dance and creative expression, Arakwal Aboriginal guides present the life and culture of Byron Bay's Aboriginal people.
  • Palm Valley Palm Valley, or ‘The Pass,’ offers well-equipped picnic areas right by the beach, plus a popular café, several walking tracks, and access to the Fishermans lookout.
  • Walgun walk and cultural experience Walgun walk and cultural experience is a school excursion in Cape Byron State Conservation Area focusing on Stage 6 Aboriginal Studies, Community Study (Years 11-12). Join traditional custodians to learn about Arakwal Bundjalung People's ongoing connection to Country.
  • Walgun walk and cultural experience Walgun walk and cultural experience is a school excursion in Cape Byron State Conservation Area focusing on Stage 5 History (Years 9-10). Join traditional custodians to learn about Arakwal Bundjalung People’s ongoing connection to Country.
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View from the top

Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Photo: Wayne G Reynolds

Cape Byron State Conservation Area is part of a significant north-to-south regional corridor for migratory animals, including the fruit dove and cuckoo shrike. Locals you might be lucky enough to spot while touring the area include threatened wallabies and sea eagles. A peaceful walk through the area’s serene littoral rainforest, with plant life; such as laurel trees, white lace flowers and basket ferns, to admire along the way, is sure to further enrich your experience of the Cape Byron area.

  • Cape Byron walking track Enjoy spectacular coastal views along the Cape Byron walking track that takes you on a hike through rainforest, beach, grassland and clifftops to the lighthouse.
  • Lighthouse Keepers Lunch Join a National Parks guide to explore the popular children’s book 'The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch' at the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse. You'll learn all about the world’s tallest, oldest and most colourful lighthouse on this school excursion for Early Stage 1 (Kindergarten) students.
  • Lighthouse Keepers Lunch Join a National Parks guide to explore the popular children’s book 'The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch' at the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse. You'll learn all about the world’s tallest, oldest and most colourful lighthouse on this school excursion for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students focusing on HSIE.
  • Wategos Beach Located just north west of Cape Byron and the lighthouse, Wategos Beach is one of Byron’s best places to picnic, paddle and play.
  • Whale secrets Whale secrets is a school excursion in Cape Byron State Conservation Area for Early Stage 1 (Kindergarten) students focusing on HSIE. Discover the secrets of whales through a playful mix of drama, games, story and ocean discovery.
  • Whale Secrets Whale secrets is a school excursion in Cape Byron State Conservation Area for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students focusing on Science and Technology. Discover the secrets of whales through a playful mix of drama, games, story and ocean discovery.
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Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Australian pelican. Photo: Rob Cleary

    Australian pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus)

    The curious pelican is Australia’s largest flying bird and has the longest bill of any bird in the world. These Australian birds are found throughout Australian waterways and the pelican uses its throat pouch to trawl for fish. Pelicans breed all year round, congregating in large colonies on secluded beaches and islands.

  • Australian brush turkey, Sea Acres National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Australian brush turkey (Alectura lathami)

    The Australian brush turkey, also known as bush or scrub turkey, can be found in rainforests along eastern NSW. With a striking red head, blue-black plumage and booming call, these distinctive Australian birds are easy to spot while bird watching in several NSW national parks.

  • Superb fairy wren. Photo: Ingo Oeland

    Superb fairy wren (Malurus cyaneus)

    The striking blue and black plumage of the adult male superb fairy wren makes for colourful bird watching across south-eastern Australia. The sociable superb fairy wrens, or blue wrens, are Australian birds living in groups consisting of a dominant male, mouse-brown female ‘jenny wrens’ and several tawny-brown juveniles.

Plants

  • Wonga Wonga vine. Photo: Barry Collier

    Wonga wonga vine (Pandorea pandorana)

    The wonga wonga vine is a widespread vigorous climber usually found along eastern Australia. A variation of the plant occurs in the central desert, where it resembles a sprawling shrub. One of the more common Australian native plants, the wonga wonga vine produces bell-shaped white or yellow flowers in the spring, followed by a large oblong-shaped seed pod.

  • Cabbage tree palm, Budderoo National Park. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    Cabbage palm (Livistona australis)

    With glossy green leaves spanning 3-4m in length and a trunk reaching a height of up to 30m, the cabbage tree palm, or fan palm, is one of the tallest Australian native plants. Thriving in rainforest margins along the east coast of NSW, in summer this giant palm produces striking spikes of cream flowers which resemble cabbages.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

School excursions (15)

Spiral staircase inside the lighthouse. Photo: John Spencer