Tyagarah Lake is located in Northern New South Wales, Australia, about a 30 drive minutes from well known Byron Bay (and the very popular naturist spot Kings Beach). It is a picturesque small freshwater lake just minutes from the beach. A much larger lake is across the road next it but this is swampy and inaccessible.
Tyagarah Lake is a popular spot for locals and not a known tourist spot, as it’s off the main highway, on a dirt road and not near any towns. But it is still easy to get to: turn off the Pacific Highway onto Greys Lane and follow it as it turns into a dirt road on the way to Tyagarah Nature reserve beach. Before you make it to the beach you will see cars parked on the road.
Look for the Tyagarah Nature reserve signs to find the path in. It’s only a very short 3 min walk in to reach the lake.
While I like it as the main destination for the day it is also a popular stop when driving back from Tyagarah Beach (also a naturist spot!) to rinse off the ocean and sand on the way home. It is such a beautiful peaceful spot.
The water is never too cold and is the perfect temperature to jump right in.
The surrounding trees go right up the waters edge providing many shady resting spots.
The surrounding trees are known as “Tea Trees” or “Paperbarks” (Melaleuca alternifolia).
This is what makes the lake particularly special. At first glance the water looks brown and barely swimmable, but it because when Tea Trees grow beside a lake, their oil drips down into the water making it look like tea.
The water is very fresh and clean and the oil leaves a lovely moisturizing residue on your skin.
Tea Tree oil has been used traditionally by Australian Aboriginal people as an antiseptic on the skin and as an insect repellant. Squeezing the small leaves releases the oil and a refreshing scent.
Tyagarah is named from an Aboriginal word meaning tussocks of sharp bladed grass. There is lots of grass of this description growing in the lake, so it is well named.
Other beautiful sights on the lake are the water lilies and dragonflies.
When it’s time to leave after a last swim and before you put your clothes back on, a short walk can be taken all the way around the lake and reveals and some smaller inlets and swampy areas.