Minyon Falls in Nightcap National Park
Located just moments away from Byron Bay in Nightcap National Park, Minyon Falls is a stunning plunge waterfall that drops more than 100 metres into a deep gorge.
A beautiful 7.5 km walking track through subtropical rainforest brings you to a magical swimming hole right under the waterfall.
There are several elements to Minyon Falls that make it such a mesmerising natural spectacle: its height (100m), the thriving rainforest in the gorge below, the surreal volcanic cliffs and the natural swimming hole at the base.
Minyon Falls is an impressive straight plunge waterfall on the Repentance Creek in the Northern Rivers region.
The enormous cliffs and surrounding rainforest area were once part of the Tweed Volcano, a partially eroded shield volcano with rock formations that are now millions of years old.
Watch this video for some excellent footage of Minyon Falls from above:
Two lookouts and a circuit walking track bring you closer to the waterfall with great views of the gorge, rainforest and the waterfall itself. There are also several picnic tables with excellent barbecue facilities available for use.
Nightcap National Park
Minyon Falls is located in Nightcap National Park, an 8,000-hectares large area characterised by subtropical rainforests, volcanic remnants, ridges, gorges, creeks and several walking tracks.
The national park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, a World Heritage listed area of subtropical rainforest.
Nightcap supposedly has the highest rainfall in New South Wales, with high humidity levels, creating perfect conditions for the rainforest to thrive.
Lookout Points and Picnic Areas
There are two lookout points from where you can view this beautiful waterfall. The main lookout point is located on top of (or rather, right next to) the waterfall at the Minyon Falls picnic area.
The views from this lookout platform are amazing. Not only can you see the swimming hole at the bottom of the waterfall, you also get to enjoy panoramic views of the gorge and its rainforest.
The other lookout platform is located at the Minyon Grass picnic area. This lookout is much further away from the waterfall but the views of the surrounding scenery are very enjoyable.
This picnic area with BBQ facilities is also the starting point for the shorter walking track to the base of the waterfall.
Walking Tracks to the Base of Minyon Falls
There are two walking tracks that bring you all the way down to the creek and the base of the waterfall.
The official 7.5 km Minyon Falls loop track consists of these two tracks plus the 1.5 km stretch of dirt road (Minyon Falls Rd) between the two picnic areas.
The image further below gives you an idea of these three sections in the colours blue (4 km), red (2 km) and yellow (1.5 km).
The full circuit walk is an absolutely beautiful bushwalking experience and highly recommended if you have the time and the weather is good.
Keep in mind that this is a subtropical rainforest area and you’ll have to share it with local residents such as snakes, spiders and leeches, especially when it’s humid.
1. Top of Minyon Falls to Base (4 km)
Most people who do the full loop start at the lookout platform right above Minyon Falls. The track follows the escarpment for about 1.5 km before it descends rapidly into the rainforest below.
After crossing the creek, a side track takes you to the base of the waterfall where a beautiful natural swimming hole awaits you.
This 200m track involves a bit of rock hopping and scrambling which can be somewhat challenging, especially for small children, but certainly do-able. Keep an eye out for the red markers on the trees and boulders that guide you to the base.
From here you can follow the track up to Minyon Grass and then back to the Minyon Falls lookout and picnic area to complete the 7.5 km loop.
2. Minyon Grass to Base (2 km)
If you don’t want to do the whole loop but you’re definitely keen to head down to the swimming hole at the base of the waterfall, it’s best to do the track that starts at the Minyon Grass picnic area.
This relatively easy bushwalk (in red in the below image) is only 2 km (4 km return) and is very similar to the first section but shorter.
Minyon Falls Map
Parking is available at both the Minyon Grass and Minyon Falls picnic areas.
The Minyon Grass picnic area is very low key and much quieter then the main picnic area and lookout. It’s also the starting point for the shorter walking track to the base of the waterfall.