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Exploring Nightcap National Park for a Day Trip

Home > Lismore > Walks | Outdoor | National Parks | Free | Day Trips
by Chloe Doyle (subscribe)
Twenty-six year old girl living in Noosa, QLD. I am in love with nature, music, food and animals so you'll see a lot of that here 🌿 See @chloeoliviad on Instagram for more photos from where I've adventured. 🚐⛰
Published December 10th 2017
A day of epic waterfalls, swimming & the awe of nature
Nightcap National Park, NSW
Nightcap National Park, NSW. Photo by Chloe Doyle (@chloeoliviad)

I'd only seen photos of Nightcap National Park's many impressive waterfalls & gorgeous rainforest landscapes thanks to Instagram! - but it prompted me to plan a day trip to explore exactly what it had to offer. I was staying in Byron Bay at a Balinese-themed resort, Aabi's at Byron, and planned a day trip to see and swim two grand waterfalls just an hours drive away. The World Heritage listed Rainforest is found inland of Byron Bay in the Tweed Valley of the Northern Rivers Region, NSW.

First stop... Protestor Falls in Terania Creek, NSW

Protestor Falls, Nightcap National Park NSW
Always so happy when getting to visit a waterfall, even when you walk out drenched from the spray!

The first stop was an easy choice to say the least. The famed Protestor Falls. Being an incredibly tall waterfall, I thought the walk was going to be unfortunately long. But instead, it is only 1.4 kilometres return and a very easy track. I wasn't able to swim at the large fall itself because of the protected frogs who inhabit the base. But there is a second waterfall if you're willing to go for a swim.

Fun Fact:
Protestor Falls got its name from the Terania Creek protests in the late 70's - a protest urging to protect the patch of pristine rainforest (now known as Nightcap NP) as it's habitat made a massive impact on the threatened frog species known to the area.

Park your car near Terania Creek Picnic Area and entrance to the walk is well signed just after the low bridge on the road. If it starts to rain when you are within the National Park, it is best to be on your way out as soon as is possible. Just as the small bridges that get you to your destination can flood quite quickly.

Protestor Falls, Nightcap National Park NSW
Protestor Falls, Nightcap National Park. Photo by Chloe Doyle (@chloeoliviad)

Second stop was... Whian Whian Falls, Whian Whian Conservation Area NSW.

This one easily goes down as one of my now favourite places to swim. Whian Whian Falls is only an hours drive straight from Byron Bay along Hinterland Way. All you need to look out for on this drive is the sign and car park just past Simes Bridge for the falls. If you type in Whian Whian Falls into Maps it'll take you the most direct route but there are plenty of signs along the way to follow.

Whian Whian Falls, Nightcap National Park NSW
Whian Whian Falls. Photo by Chloe Doyle (@chloeoliviad)

I only spent time at the first fall that makes up all of Whian Whian, but I have to say it was time well spent. It is a very popular swimming spot amongst families, locals and visitors. There aren't any facilities at the Reserve so be sure to keep it nice and clean. Definitely remember a towel, your swimmers, sunscreen & to be careful when entering the water as there are lots of rocks unseen.

112 Whian Road, Dunoon NSW 2480

Whian Whian Falls, Nightcap National Park NSW
Whian Whian Falls, Nightcap National Park NSW. Photo by Chloe Doyle (@chloeoliviad)

If you would like any more information on Nightcap National Park or weather alerts if you'd like to visit yourself, have a look at the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service website.
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Why? Explore a World-Heritage listed Rainforest close to the coast
When: Anytime
Where: Nightcap National Park, NSW
Cost: Entrance to National Park is Free!
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