Journey to the heart of Byron will teach you to relax
BYRON Bay is known worldwide as a place to recharge your energy and maybe even do a bit of navel gazing.
If you're simply looking for a beautiful spot for a walk, a romantic outing or contemplation, there's plenty of wonderful places in and around the Shire it to re-energise.
Bangalow resident and author Courtney Prosser runs retreats in the area, as well as teaching wellness programs.
Her new book, Buried Treasure in Our Byron Backyard, is "a guide to discovering the secret power spots of Byron Bay and Its Surrounds to Transform Your Life".
Courtney believes in the power of nature and her guide is brimming with bushwalking, wellness, adventure, animals, Aboriginal culture, photography, meditation and inspiration.
It's the perfect antidote to our busy lives and the day-to-day worries that weigh us down.
We asked Courtney to share five of her favourite spots and tell us how she chose them.
She explains: "Living here, I tend to drive around and look at the land, how it is formed and how the energy flows through it.
"I'm often drawn to little spots, as are other people, because of their physical beauty."
Buried Treasure in Our Byron Backyard features 20 places to explore and, well, indulge in some of that navel gazing.
Just a 30-minute drive from Byron Bay is the stunning Killen Falls in Brooklet.
From the car park, follow the Boodgeragah Walk about 500m as it takes you downstream through regenerating rainforest along Emigrant Creek.
When you reach the top of the falls, straddle the wire part of the fence to follow a steep and narrow path that winds down to the base of the falls.
This is a special place and has one of the remaining strands of intact Big Scrub rainforest.
There are caves at the base of the falls that are home to many bats and an abundance of turtles live in the creek.
Difficulty level: Moderate. A short walk but steep final climb to the base.
Practice: Learning to slow down and be present.
These are part of a 5km walk called the Caves Circuit in Lamington National Park.
The walking circuit starts beside the car park near the Binna Burra Information Centre on Binna Burra Rd.
The track winds through eucalypt forest, woodland and rainforest gullies and rock.
Koalas are sometimes seen and there are spectacular views along the Coomera Valley.
The track passes through caves (be careful as there is crumbling rock so it is easy to slip) and climbs through rainforest back to the summit of Mt Roberts.
You can then walk 1km back down the narrow winding roadside to your starting point.
Difficulty level: Moderate. A 40-minute circuit walk with slight undulations.
Try: Reflecting on making improvements to your diet and health
As its name suggests, this is a spectacular, naturally formed rock arch reaching over Cave Creek, which is a tributary of the Nerang River.
The bridge is in the territory of the local Kombumerri Aboriginal people.
The cave is home to a colony of glow worms and can be reached via a short walk from the carpark of the Springbrook National Park.
Difficulty level: Easy 20-minute walk.
Learn to: Bring light to your inner darkness.
Woolly Mammoth Headlands
Its round, grassy headland looks like a giant, furry rump and is a great spot for dolphin and whale spotting.
Just above Snapper Rocks, the grassy headland separates Brays and Whites beaches.
The headland is accessed via a dirt road, Seven Mile Beach Rd, that heads south from Broken Head.
The Brays Beach car park is 3km along this road.
The path heading north from the car park winds down to Brays Beach and the south-leading path arrives at Woolly Mammoth Headland.
Difficulty level: Easy 20-minute walk. Not signposted.
Contemplate: Developing more authenticity.
Pinnacle Border Ranges
The Pinnacle is believed to be a secondary vent and dyke from the Mt Warning volcano.
The incredible view from the Pinnacle in the Border Ranges National Park shows the distinct western rim of the caldera.
From the summit of Mt Warning, the Pinnacle is seen as a tall, thin, triangle-shaped rock, where the tip creates the lookout right on the edge of the caldera rim.
Difficulty level: Easy 20-minute walk but a two-hour drive from Byron Bay.
Awaken: To the source of who you are.