About Minyon Falls
If you yearn for Jurassic, Middle Earth and primeval forests, then a trip to Minyon Falls in the hinterland of Byron Bay NSW will satisfy on every level. This is the perfect day trip out of Byron Bay. The last 2 million years or so just fall away as you travel from Byron Bay, through the Nightcap National Park and arrive at one of nature’s authentic jewels. This is truly jaw-dropping territory. The subtropical and warm temperate rainforest found around Minyon Falls have links to the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana and the whole area was declared World Heritage in 1986.
Minyon Falls themselves are the result of the water of Repentance Creek flowing over the huge rhyolite cliffs which were once part of the ancient Tweed Volcano. The water flow eroded the underlying basalt to create the 100-metre waterfall. The actual height is in dispute. Some say 104m. Minyon Falls has never been measured accurately which is strangely comforting in this age of statistical overload. Often, low mist is apparent as you walk through this magical and mystical landscape. Meeting a Brachiosaurus does not seem out of the question. As you travel deeper into the forest, you will most likely become quieter as the presence of the forest takes hold and the din of the rainforest and the falls themselves overwhelms your senses.
About 45 minutes out of Byron Bay, the road to Minyon Falls takes you through several historic and quaint hamlets as you venture further into the wilderness. The road leading into the Nightcap National Park and Minyon Falls is dirt, and if raining can be quite muddy, and is best attempted in a four wheel drive. Once inside the Nightcap National Park the walk to the top of Minyon Falls is only a few hundred meters. Marvel at the spectacular view of Minyon Falls in its full beauty, often throwing rainbow light effects. Gaze in awestruck wonder at the natural landscape that surrounds you, the panoramic views of the entire escarpment and the beautiful lake at the base of the falls.
Some of the observable wildlife at the top of the cliffs include the goanna, itself a prehistoric relic, Kookaburra, Bowerbird, Bobuck Possum, Bandicoots and Carpet Pythons. Overhead, the mighty swoop of the Peregrine Falcon and amongst the undergrowth a Satin Bowerbird may catch your eye. However, the full majesty of Minyon Falls is best experienced from below. The Minyon Falls walk down to the base is a 4km round trip. At the bottom of the falls, in the deep Bangalow Palm thronged gorge, you are likely to see many unique birds, creatures and plants. These include Strangler Figs, Stream Lilies and overhead the Eastern Whipbird and Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo. Some, like the Tree Ferns and Staghorn Ferns are incredibly ancient.
Minyon Falls is spectacular at any time of the year and especially after a lot of rain, usually during summer. Especially, if you have been staying in the Byron Bay area and have been taking advantage of its many fabulous beaches, a plunge at the bottom into the crystal, cool, pristine and non-salty waters of Minyon Falls will be a wonderful and refreshing change. The path to the bottom of the gorge is quite steep. Being part of a small group is a great advantage as you will have a local’s inner knowledge of the best walking paths.
Waterfalls are renowned for its powers of refreshment. The Minyon Falls are a natural spa, in fact. Lie out on the hot rocks and remember to conserve some energy for the climb back up. Again, we recommend joining a tour group as this will enable you to achieve the climb to the top with more ease and you will, again, be able to fully enjoy the drive out of the forest. You may even be lucky enough to spot a koala. If you love and are passionate about ancient and natural environments a tour to Minyon Falls is an absolute must. Only 45 mins away from the buzz of Byron Bay, but a million light years away in atmosphere and experience.
Watch this video and be inspired by the stunning Minyon Falls.