Looking for tips for visiting Killen Falls in Byron Bay? If you’re done with relaxing on the amazing Byron Bay beaches and looking for a perfect day trip adventure, look no further.
In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about visiting Killen Falls, including how long the walking track takes, as well as places to visit nearby.
Table of Contents
1. What makes Killen Falls worth visiting?
While there are quite a few wild swimming holes in Byron Bay to check out, Killen Falls is often regarded as one of the most popular waterfalls in the area.
Wondering why? First of all it’s popular on Instagram which is mainly because it’s an impressive waterfall and it won’t take you too much time to get to the bottom of. Sounds good right?
With that in mind, visiting this Byron Bay swimming hole will free up more of your day to visit other waterfalls or towns in the area.
2. Where is Killen Falls?
We simply typed Killen Falls into Google maps which took us right to the entrance. It’s also located 30 minutes from Byron Bay on the Friday Hut Road between the lovely towns of Knockrow and Tintenbar. If you don’t have a car, you can jump on this popular tour from Byron Bay and let a local take you to all of the hidden gems in the area.
3. Killen Falls car park
When you reach the Killen Falls car park, it can fit about 10 cars, so you might have to park on the side of the road. We visited in September around 10am and it was quite busy.
I can only imagine in Summertime it would be jammed here. Fear not, there are so many swimming holes and waterfalls to visit nearby if this is the case. Just read on to find out more about the nearby waterfalls so you won’t have to miss out if you can’t park here.
4. Toilet facilities
There is a toilet at the car park so make sure you go before making your way down to the waterfall. Bear in mind there aren’t any bins here so bring a rubbish bag with you.
5. How long is the Killen Falls walk?
Wondering how long is the Killen Falls walk too? Yep, that’s the first thing we looked up before committing to coming here. It’s actually only 1km return to walk from the car park to the bottom of the falls.
I timed it and it took us under 10 minutes to get to the bottom.
We did zero research about how to find the path and we just found it at the car park. The path is well trodden on and you won’t be wondering if there’s another path to take along the way.
6. Do the Emigrant Creek walk as well
There’s another short walk from the car park which is just 200m long and takes you out to the Emigrant Creek dam. We didn’t actually do it, but just letting you know that it’s an option to do as well if you want to see more of the beautiful river.
7. Stop by the Killen Falls viewing platform on the way to the bottom of the falls
After 600 metres on the Killen Falls walking track, you’ll come to the lookout. Make sure you stop and check it out to get your bearings because when we walked down to the bottom, we had a couple asking us which direction to take. We knew, because the Killen Falls lookout takes you above the falls itself.
8. How to find the Killen Falls swimming hole
When you walk down to the bottom to of the river, you can either walk left or right as you won’t be able to see the falls directly. As I said above, a couple didn’t stop to see the lookout so they had no idea which direction to walk. You want to walk up the stream so turn left.
Just be careful because when you start walking alongside the river, you have to walk over loads of rocks. I was wearing my sandals, and if I had known I would have definitely worn my hiking boots because it’s quite slippery and I really had to watch my steps.
So if you don’t have hiking boots, at least wear trainers when you walk down.
9. Is the walk safe for kids or the elderly?
While the walk is short to get to the bottom of the falls, I wouldn’t advise the elderly to go any further than the Killen Falls viewing platform because walking over loads of rocks is really not wise if you’re unsteady. If you bring kids, they should be fine.
10. Can you swim at Killen Falls?
Killen Falls is a large swimming hole which really is impressive. It’s a beautiful waterfall protected by what feels almost like an amphitheatre. The impressive cave which surrounds the falls is incredible, and that’s coming from two people who have seen a lot of swimming holes in New South Wales and Queensland.
We tested out the water when we visited on a warm morning in September and we were surprised that it wasn’t too cold. If we had brought our swimmers with us, we would have swam here. You can swim right under the falls and you can actually walk behind the falls too which is fun!
11. Can you jump off Killen Falls?
You can’t jump off the top of the falls because there has been accidents here in the past. There’s even a sign up saying not to jump here so please don’t do it as there are loads of rocks in the water.
12. How long to spend at Killen Falls?
We only expected to spend a few minutes at Killen Falls but we actually stayed a while because it’s got such a beautiful energy here. We ended up staying about an hour and we didn’t swim, so next time we would carve out a couple of hours to spend here.
But, in saying that, it would depend on the crowds here because we wouldn’t stay if it was packed. If you prefer to visit waterfalls in New South Wales without crowds, then get here super early.
13. More waterfalls to visit nearby
Tosha Falls is just 15 minutes down the road which is a lesser known waterfall in the area. You might like to make a day of it and head over to Minyon Falls which has a lookout or you can do the 1 hour walk down to the base of the falls.
Whian Whian Falls and Protesters Falls are also fantastic waterfalls in Byron Bay to visit but check if they are open. At the time of writing, Protesters Falls and Minyon Falls walking tracks were closed. There are so many waterfalls in the area, you could spend days visiting them all!
14. Where to eat nearby?
Obviously there’s no cafes near Killen Falls drive, but we’ve got some good options for you. If you’re heading up to Minyon Falls in Nightcap National Park, head over to Clunes General Store or Doma in Federal. We have only driven past Clunes but we’ve heard amazing things about this cafe. Having been to Doma, it’s an amazing fusion of Japanese and Australian food. We went for breakfast and honestly, you won’t be disappointed.
Also nearby is Bangalow so we recommend checking out the Insta worthy Woods cafe for coffee. If you’re by passing Newrybar, head to Harvest for a beautiful lunch here.
If you’re looking for more waterfalls to visit, we recommend checking out our guide for doing the Box Forest Circuit in Lamington National Park in Gold Coast. Trust me, it’s one of the best walks in Australia, full of incredible waterfalls that look like you’ve entered into Jurassic Park!