Minyon Grass picnic area

Nightcap National Park

Overview

Minyon Grass picnic area, at the base of Minyon Falls in Nightcap National Park, near Lismore, is a beautiful place for lunch, offering a range of rainforest walks.

Type
Picnic areas
Where
Nightcap National Park
Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note
  • The weather in the area can be extreme and unpredictable, so please ensure you’re well-prepared for your visit.
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go bird watching

On the eastern edge of Nightcap National Park, near Lismore, Minyon Grass picnic area has beautiful views of the cascading falls and the surrounding forest. It’s a little quieter than popular Minyon Falls lookout, making it ideal for wildlife and birdwatching enthusiasts.

Take advantage of the free gas barbecues, as well as picnic tables, and enjoy a leisurely lunch on the edge of the rainforest. Look skywards for soaring peregrine falcons, or to the forest floor for brush turkeys and Albert’s lyrebird. Male Albert's lyrebirds have long, ribbon-like tail plumes. You might even hear the call of the threatened Fleay’s barred frog.

If you feel like a walk, head along Minyon Falls walking track and enjoy the invigorating waterfalls close up. The pools at the base of Minyon Falls are a great spot for a refreshing swim on a hot summer day.

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 https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/picnic-areas/minyon-grass-picnic-area/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

  • in Nightcap National Park in the North Coast region
  • Nightcap National Park is open sunrise to sunset but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about the Minyon Grass picnic area.

Getting there and parking

Minyon Grass picnic area is in the eastern precinct of Nightcap National Park. To get there:

From Bangalow

  • Follow Bangalow–Lismore Road to Clunes. Turn right onto James Gibson Road, right onto Mackie Road, and then right onto Rosebank Road.
  • Drive through Rosebank village and follow Repentance Creek Road, turn left onto Upper Coopers Creek Road, and then left onto Minyon Falls Road.
  • Continue on this road until you reach the park entrance and Minyon Grass picnic area is on the left. 

From Lismore

  • Head north on Dunoon Road through the villages of Modanville, Dunoon and Doroughby.
  • Just past Dorroughby Hall, turn left onto Nightcap Range Road and follow through to Whian Whian State Conservation Area entrance.
  • Continue until you reach the Peates Mountain Road intersection, where you’ll pass Minyon Falls picnic area. Minyon Grass picnic area is a further 1.7km. 

From the north

  • Turn right onto Coolamon Scenic Drive, off Pacific Highway. At the village of Federal, continue north along Federal Road then turn left onto Repentance Creek Road.
  • After Coopers Creek crossing, turn right onto Upper Coopers Creek Road then left onto Minyon Falls Road.
  • Continue on this road until you reach the national park entrance. Minyon Grass picnic area is at the top of the hill on the left. 

Road quality

Check the weather before you set out as the road to Minyon Grass picnic area can become boggy when it rains.

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at Minyon Grass picnic area. 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 Nightcap National Park. Here are some of the highlights: Weather in the northern rivers region is generally mild in winter ranging to hot in summer. It can be very wet (the park receives the highest annual rainfall in NSW) and misty so check local weather conditions and pack suitable clothes as well as a hat, sunscreen and insect repellent.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

18°C and 29°C

Highest recorded

40°C

Winter temperature

Average

6°C and 19°C

Lowest recorded

-0.6°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

February

Driest month

September

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

350mm

Facilities

Drinking water is limited or not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.

Amenities

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

  • Gas/electric barbecues (free)

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

This park or attraction is in a remote location, so please ensure you’re well-prepared, bring appropriate clothing and equipment and advise a family member or friend of your travel plans.

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

  • The walking opportunities in this park are suitable for experienced bushwalkers who are comfortable undertaking self-reliant hiking
  • If you’re bushwalking in this park, it’s a good idea to bring a topographic map and compass, or a GPS.

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).

River and lake safety

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

Accessibility

  • Assistance may be required to access this area
  • The picnic tables and toilets are wheelchair-accessible

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 pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

Bangalow (15 km)

Bangalow is a relaxed but stylish village close to Byron Bay. It's set in lush green hills near the coast.

www.visitnsw.com

Byron Bay (22 km)

Byron Bay is Australia's easternmost town and 'style capital' of the North Coast. It's a place of outstanding natural beauty, set against lush volcanic hills.

www.visitnsw.com

Mullumbimby (13 km)

Mullumbimby sits on the Brunswick River and is overshadowed by subtropical hills.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Minyon Grass picnic area is in Nightcap National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Aboriginal heritage

Rainforest creek flowing through Nightcap National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Nightcap National Park is the traditional land of the Bundjalung People, in particular the Widjabul People who have inhabited the area for thousands of years. The park contains many ancient sites of cultural significance, including ceremonial and sacred sites that are still used by local Aboriginal people today. The creeks, plants, animals and landscape of the park feature in the stories, teachings and practices of Aboriginal people that continue to be passed on today.

Ancient rainforest

Minyon Falls, Nightcap National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Nightcap National Park's rainforests are part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, the largest area of subtropical rainforest in the world. They are a living link to the environment of ancient Australia and give us insight into the environment of the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana. This lush and diverse conservation area protects a number of vulnerable and threatened species such as the rufous scrub bird, red goshawk, sooty and masked owls and regent bowerbirds. It is also home to the recently discovered nightcap oak, which can grow up to 40m high.

Frogs galore

Rainforest creek flowing through Nightcap National Park. Photo: John Spencer

The rainforest creeks in Nightcap National Park are home to a number of threatened frogs, including Fleay's barred frog and the pouched frog. You might see Fleay's barred frogs hiding under leaf litter near streams or foraging for food on the rainforest floor, but you're more likely to hear their chorus, a distinctive 'arrrrrrk'. This rare frog feeds mainly on insects and invertebrates, so crickets, moths and beetles make a good meal. Keep your eyes open for this pale brown frog around Terania creek at the base of Protesters Falls.

  • Goorgana walking track Goorgana walking track is ideal for experienced bushwalkers keen to tackle the challenging iconic peaks in Nightcap National Park.
  • Terania Creek picnic area Terania Creek picnic area is a great place for a family picnic or barbecue. Close to the carpark, walking tracks and waterfalls, its home to birds and goannas.

History buffs

Goorgana walking track, Nightcap National Park

Nightcap National Park contains a number of sites of historical interest, including a flying fox on the Googarna track. The flying fox was used to lower logs 500m down to the Kunghur mill during the 1940s and 1950s. The historic Nightcap track provided the first bridle track and telegraph line between the Richmond and Tweed valleys in the 1870s, and today you can explore this track on foot, camping overnight in the bush.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Satin bowerbird. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Satin bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)

    With vibrant blue-violet eyes and curious antics, the satin bowerbird is a favourite for bird watching and easy to spot as it forages for food in open forest. Relatively common across eastern Australia, in NSW they’re found in coastal rainforests and adjacent woodlands and mountain ranges.

  • Australian brush turkey, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    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.

  • Lace monitor, Daleys Point walking track, Bouddi National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    Lace monitor (Varanus varius)

    One of Australia’s largest lizards, the carnivorous tree-dwelling lace monitor, or tree goanna, can grow to 2m in length and is found in forests and coastal tablelands across eastern Australia. These Australian animals are typically dark blue in colour with whitish spots or blotches.

Plants

  • Coachwood flower. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

    Coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum)

    Coachwood trees are Australian native plants that grow in warm temperate rainforests along coastal NSW. Also known as scented satinwood, the mottled grey bark of the coachwood has horizontal markings and a delicate fragrance.

  • Blueberry ash. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Blueberry ash (Elaeocarpus reticulatus)

    The blueberry ash is a rainforest shrub which produces blue olive-shaped berries and spectacular bell-shaped flowers, which often appear on the plant together. It is a tall slender shrub or small tree found in rainforest, tall eucalypt forest and coastal bushland in eastern NSW, south-east Queensland and Victoria.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

Minyon Grass picnic area, Nightcap National Park. Photo: B. McLachlan