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Byron Bay is a tourist Mecca – there’s no doubt about it. On your next day trip though, you should take an adventure via foot – there’s even more to see!

What better way to spend a summer’s day than exploring the Australian bushland on foot? Byron Bay offers a variety of walking trails perfect for families and is the perfect family day trip destination these holidays.

New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service’s Discovery coordinator Lee Middleton grew up in the Byron Bay area and has worked in National Parks for more than 20 years. She believes the local bushwalks are definitely a great family activity for all ages.

byron-lighthouse-photo-tessa-di-lulloLee says one of the most popular bushwalks is the Cape Byron Walking Track – a 3.7km loop from Captain Cook Lookout and back again. The track offers spectacular coastal views as it travels across numerous paths including the boardwalk, rainforest, beach, grassland and even the clifftops that lead up to the famous Cape Bryon lighthouse.

“The walk can be done in stages to help families with young children enjoy the journey as they explore the wonders of Byron Bay,” Lee says. “I suggest walking early in the day or later in the afternoon when it is cooler, particularly in summer. It is also less busy and you’re also less likely to work up a sweat.”

Byron Bay is home to an array of wildlife on land, sea and in the air, including turtles, dolphins, kangaroos, birds, whales and much more. For those thinking of exploring the lush bushland of Byron, Lee recommends coming prepared with the bushwalking essentials.

“It is important to bring a water bottle, a hat and enough sunscreen to last the day. Binoculars can also come in handy, especially for the kids, because at times you’re 100 metres above sea level and you may need them to see the sea life that inhabits the area,” Lee says.

The Cape Byron Walking Track can take between two and three hours to explore, especially if you plan on admiring the animals you meet along the way. You should definitely put some additional time aside for the lighthouse precinct. Built in 1901, the lighthouse now houses a café, visitor’s centre, souvenir shop and museum.

When you’ve finished your bushwalk it might be time to head to the beach for a swim or find somewhere shady to relax and cool down before trekking home.

Visit www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au

BYRON BAY BUSHWALKING CHECKLIST

Appropriate shoes and clothing
Water, water and more water
A wide-brimmed hat
Enough sunscreen to last the day
A pair of binoculars to get a closer look at the wildlife
A fully charged mobile phone or camera to capture your memories

Words: Nicholas Grech

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haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.