Discover Minyon Falls in Nightcap National Park

Last updated: May 24, 2024

Minyon Falls is a stunning plunge waterfall that drops more than 100 metres into a deep gorge, located in Nightcap National Park not too far away from Byron Bay.

A beautiful 7.5 km loop walk through subtropical rainforest brings visitors to a natural swimming hole at the base of the waterfall, although you don’t have to do the full loop to reach the base.

How to Get There

If you’re driving in from the south (and also from Mullumbimby), turn into Coopers Creek Rd from Repentance Creek Road. Turn left into Minyon Falls Rd until you get to an intersection.

At this intersection, turn left to visit the Minyon Grass picnic area (see further below), or keep going straight to go to the official Minyon Falls picnic area and lookout.

Otherwise, if you’re driving in from the north, follow Nightcap Range Rd and turn into Minyon Falls Rd which leads to the picnic area.

About Nightcap National Park

Minyon Falls is located within Nightcap National Park, an 8,000-hectares large area characterised by subtropical rainforests, volcanic remnants, ridges, gorges, creeks, and several walking tracks.

Nightcap National Park information board
Nightcap National Park information board

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.

About Minyon Falls

Minyon Falls is an impressive straight plunge waterfall on the Repentance Creek in the Northern Rivers region.

There are several elements to Minyon Falls that make it such a unique and mesmerising natural spectacle.

Its height (100m), the thriving rainforest in the gorge below, the surreal volcanic cliffs, and of course the natural swimming hole at the base.

Minyon Falls
Minyon Falls

The enormous cliffs and the thriving rainforest in the area were once part of the Tweed Volcano, a partially eroded shield volcano with rock formations that are millions of years old.

Two lookouts and a circuit walking track allow visitors to get closer to the waterfall, with great views of the gorge, the rainforest, and the waterfall itself.

There are also several picnic tables with excellent barbecue facilities available, so there is the option to make a full day of it.

Watch this video for some excellent footage of Minyon Falls from above:

Lookouts and Picnic Areas

There are two lookouts from where you can view this beautiful waterfall:

  1. Minyon Grass Picnic Area
  2. Minyon Falls Picnic Area

The main lookout point is located on top of (or rather, next to) the waterfall at the Minyon Falls picnic area.

Minyon Falls lookout platform
Minyon Falls lookout platform

This lookout was redeveloped and reopened in 2021 and the views from the platform are absolutely 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 the rainforest.

It’s worth noting that this lookout now also has wheelchair access.

Top of Minyon Falls
Top of Minyon Falls

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 quite spectacular.

Minyon Grass lookout platform
Minyon Grass lookout platform

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 lead all the way down to the creek and to the base of the waterfall:

  1. Minyon Grass to Base (2 km one-way)
  2. Top of Minyon Falls to Base (4 km one-way)

These two walks combined, plus the 1.5 km stretch of Minyon Falls Rd between the two picnic areas, is the official 7.5 km Minyon Falls loop track.

Signpost with walking tracks to Minyon Falls
Walking tracks to Minyon Falls

The full circuit walk is a fantastic bushwalking experience, and highly recommended if you have the time and the weather is good.

Do keep in mind though that this is a subtropical rainforest area and you will have to share it with local residents such as snakes, spiders and leeches, especially after a period of rainfall.

The below map will give you an idea of the full circuit walk and the two parking and picnic areas:

P1: Minyon Grass Picnic Area
P2: Minyon Falls Picnic Area

1: Minyon Grass to Base (2 km one-way)
2: Top of Minyon Falls to Base (4 km one-way)
3: Minyon Falls Road (1.5 km one-way)

Map of walking tracks to Minyon Falls

1. Minyon Grass to Base (2 km one-way)

If you don’t want to do the full 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.

Starting point of the Minyon Falls Track
Track to the base of Minyon Falls

This relatively easy bushwalk is only 2 km (4 km return) and is very similar to the longer walk in regards to scenery, it’s just shorter.

Closer to the base, once you get to the intersection with the longer walk, you will need to complete another 200m to the base of the waterfall where a beautiful natural swimming hole awaits you.

Base of Minyon Falls
Base of Minyon Falls

This last stretch involves a bit of rock scrambling which can be somewhat challenging, especially for small children, but it’s certainly do-able.

Keep an eye out for the red markers on the trees and boulders for guidance.

2. Top of Minyon Falls to Base (4 km one-way)

Most people who do the full loop start at the lookout platform located right above Minyon Falls.

This track follows the escarpment for about 1.5 km before it descends rapidly into the rainforest in the valley.

Pool at the base of Minyon Falls
Pool at the base of Minyon Falls

After crossing the creek, you will arrive at the junction with the shorter walk, from where it’s another 200 metres to the base.

Once you’ve finished admiring the waterfall from the base, 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.

 

Minyon Falls in Nightcap National Park

 
Leave a comment