Thursday, June 4

First light in the East

 Cape Byron is the easternmost point of the Australian continent. The cape sits on a narrow and rocky point less than three kilometres from the popular resort town of Byron Bay. The cape is capped by three hillocks.  Atop the eastern most, and highest, of these peaks sits Cape Byron Lighthouse.  Built in 1901, this dazzling white, 23-metre high, structure is Australia's most powerful lighthouse (A staggering 2.2 million candela).

The light continues to operate.  More than a century later it's still shining a beam that's visible up to 50 kilometres away.  It's also become one of the surrounding region's most popular attractions.  More than half a million people visit it every year. During Summer its popularity peaks as the cape is an ideal location from which to watch whales migrate up the Australian coast.  A local dolphin pad can also seen frolicking around the cape throughout the year.

This morning, shortly after dawn, I was lucky enough to be taken on an hour long trek around the Byron Cape headlands.  As we walked we spotted the local dolphins and plenty enthusiastic surfers.  It was perfect morning to experience the cape for the first time.  The lighthouse was simply dazzling in the morning sunlight, while all around, perfect feathery white surf curled its way along the shoreline.  Even the odd wallaby was taking time out to enjoy the nation's first light for today.