4 Culture-Soaked Walks in Byron’s Hinterland, Picked By a Proud Bundjalung Woman

A Byron Bay local and proud Bunjalung woman, Mindy Woods is the person you’d ask for recommendations for walks in the area. She shares them in an episode of SBS series ‘Great Australian Walks’, featuring Cape Byron and airing on Thursday, September 28 and SBS On Demand.

“The Northern Rivers is a place where lush green rainforest and clean, flowing rivers meet the seas,” says Woods. “The region has a rich First Nations’ history, and I love connecting to Country and exploring it by taking regular walks throughout.”

Woods, who appeared on MasterChef season four, placing fourth, also notes the area’s climate, as another perk of its walks. The weather is warm year-round, but with defined seasons that each bring different plant life, wildlife and experiences out on Country.

“From Broken Head Nature Reserve, where you can experience Aboriginal culture, pristine beaches and whale watching, to rainforest walks in ancient Gondwana Rainforests of World Heritage Area, Nightcap National Park, we have it all.”

Ahead, Woods shares her picks for the four best walks in the Byron Hinterland area.

Walgan to Cape Byron Lighthouse

“Cape Byron is the most easterly point of east coast Australia, and capturing a glimpse of the first rays of sunlight hitting our coastline is a must-do experience,” Woods says.

“Walgan, which means ‘shoulder’, is a significant cultural site for the Bundjalung people. I always like to invite people to reimagine the site before settlement. Traditional ceremonies were once held where the lighthouse is now found. For thousands of years, hundreds of First Nations people at a time attended important gatherings and ceremonies. It’s so special.”

Cape Byron Lighthouse
Image: Unsplash

Minyon Falls Walking Track

“A hidden hinterland gem and another significant site for the First Nations people, Minyon Falls was a traditional women’s area and birthing site for the Widjabul Wiabul Bundjalung women and surrounding clans,” says Woods.

“It was recently redeveloped by National Parks and Wildlife, and visitors can now enjoy standing over the 100m falls, taking in the breathtaking views of the ancient big scrum rainforest.”

Norries Head Loop

“If you haven’t heard of Cabarita Beach, where have you been?” says Woods.

“A favourite among Northern Rivers locals, this little coastal town has stunning beaches and lots of quality eateries to enjoy along your trails. It’s a wonderful place to explore on foot. Be sure to head out to Norries Head Loop, where you might spot some whales during their migration.”

Norries Head Loop
Image: Unsplash

Three Sisters Track

“Australia is home to the oldest surviving civilisation in the world,” says Woods.

Three Sisters Track in Broken Head lets you walk in the footsteps of the Bundjalung people. Walking alongside local, well-loved elder Aunty Delta Kay on her Explore Byron Bay tour as she shares stories of her ancestors and details on the native foods they ate along the walk is a wonderful way to connect with this truly special place.”

Related: 7 of the Best Places to Stay After Exploring the Blue Mountains

Related: NSW’s Best Weekend Getaways, Ranked By Someone Who’s Never Home

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