G’day nature lovers,
Are looking to get your kids off their screens and into nature these school holidays? Here are my top 10 nature-based activities for kids around Byron Shire these school holidays. They are in no particular order, some cost money some are free, but they all give your kids an opportunity to explore nature.
1. Cape Byron Lighthouse
The Cape Byron Lighthouse runs 20 minute tours inside the lighthouse daily. The kids will learn interesting facts and figures about Cape Byron, ship wrecks and lighthouse keeping. From the lighthouse you can see whales (June-Oct), dolphins, sharks, rays and turtles. The tours are run by volunteers, from 10am-3pm daily. There is a limit of 12 people per tour, so it’s a good idea to go to the lighthouse and get your ticket straight away as you may have to wait up to an hour, depending on how busy it is.
Ages: Kids have to be 5+
Cost: Gold coin donation
Getting there: you can drive up there, it costs $8 per car and spaces are limited. There are other carparks nearby where you can walk from. Or better yet walk up there, that will use up a lot of that youthful energy.
2. The Farm
The Farm always has things for the kids and during school holidays. They put on a special program to help kids learn more about where their food comes from. The school holiday workshops usually run from 9:30-12:30 and include all sorts of hands on things for the kids to do, while you relax with a nice coffee and cake at the Three Blue Ducks restaurant. The farm is free to get in but the special workshops cost money.
Getting there: Drive to Ewingsdale rd, or catch a public bus
3. Three Sisters Walking Track
Take the kids on a walk on the Three Sisters Walk Track at Broken Head. The walk is a fairly easy 1.6km return along the headland. Stop and have a look at the three sisters and get the kids to read dreamtime story of how it got its name.
Ages: any, some stairs
Getting there: Drive to the end of Broken Head Rd. National Parking fees apply, free if you have a National Parks Pass.
4. Bike ride around Tallow creek lagoon
Tallow creek lagoon, is a part of Arakwal National Park. It is a beautiful tea tree lagoon just behind the dunes on Tallow beach, there are plenty of birds to and a cool bridge to ride over. When you get to Alcorn St Suffolk Park 1.5km, you can turn around and head back or continue on, find one of the pathways to the beach and continue on to Broken Head 2km, 3.5km in total, one way. Hint, if you’re going to ride on the beach make sure you do it at low tide.
Ages: any who can ride
Getting there: Park at Awarkwal National park, car park on Broken Head RD (about 200m past the turnoff for Bangalow RD.) There is a bike path all the way through Byron on Bangalow RD.
5. Night Vision Walk
Teenagers, love putting on the Night Vision Goggles, and going for a guided walk through the rainforest at night, looking for wildlife. They’ve probably done it on their PlayStation’s, this is for real, except, people aren’t shooting at them and they are searching for wildlife. There is no other tour like this in the world.
Ages: Kids have to be 10+
Cost: Adults $125 | Conc (ISIC/pens) $115 | Child (10-17yo) $90 | Family (2Ads/2kids) $350
Getting there: You will be picked up from your accommodation.
Kayak, Cruise and SUP
This is a wonderful way to enjoy kayaking without getting bombarded by the big waves in the Bay. On this tour you will cruise up the beautiful Brunswick River, looking for wildlife, then hop into the kayaks and go up the smaller creeks. Then try Stand up Paddleboarding (SUP). Lunch and refreshments are included.
Ages: Kids have to be 4+ to go in the kayak
Kayak, Cruise and SUP| Adults $95 | Conc (pens) $85 | Child $85
Cruise only, | Adults $50 | Conc (pens) $45 | Child $45
Getting there: Meet at the Brunswick Boat Harbour or return transfers are available for $10pp.
Brunswick Fairy Trail
The Brunswick Fairy Trail is fun for kids of all ages. The Fairy Grandmother, who was sick of her grandkids spending too much time on their screens has created wonderful fairy houses and hidden them in the nooks and crannies around Brunswick Heads. Most of the Fairy Houses are in Fingal st, but the kids can get a map from the Brunswick Visitors Centre on Park St.
Ages: all ages
Getting there: Drive to Brunswick Heads, or catch a public bus
The Crystal Castle in the Byron Hinterland has something for everyone. They have a quest for the kids to follow that takes them through the gardens, crystals and statues. There is an awesome playground with a giant purple dragon and face-painting. And healthy options at the Lotus café.
Ages: all ages
Cost: Adults $28 | Conc (pens) $25 | Child (4-14) $22
Getting there: Drive or Call Vision Walks 0405275743 (there are no public buses that go to Crystal Castle).
Heritage Park Walk – Mullumbimby
Take the kids on a nice walk through the regenerated rainforest at Mullumbimby. All the plants have labels, so it provides them with a good opportunity to learn plants names as they go. The walk itself isn’t too long, 300-400m, but if start at the Mullum Pool car park and follow the signs to the Salty Creek Walk and add the Palm Walk, then the Heritage Park Walk, it will make it about 1.5 km and they’ll see heaps of different habitats along the creek and river.
Getting there: Drive to Mullumbimby, corner of Tyagrah and Brunswick terrace for Heritage Park. For the longer walk start at the Pool on Jubilee Ave.
Looking for Platypus – Bangalow
If you are really quite and patient you may see platypus in Byron Creek at Bangalow. I’ve seen them in a few places, but the best place in the creek behind the sports fields. I can’t emphasise the importance of being quite enough as platypus are really shy. It is possible to see them any time, but the best time to see them is at dawn and dusk.
Getting there: Park at sports fields on Bangalow rd. You can catch a bus to Bangalow.
There you have it, my top 10 nature activities for kids in Byron Shire. What are your nature-based kids Activities?