Ballina, on the Far North Coast
of NSW, is the gateway to the surfing beaches and alternative lifestyle of this lush region. With rolling hills behind it, and lush pastures alive with sub-tropical fruit, Ballina makes an ideal base for exploring the river-rich hinterland and 32 kilometres of unspoiled white sandy beaches.
Sitting at the mouth of the Richmond River, Ballina has long been a popular fishing and swimming resort and one of the more leisurely past-times is to take a Richmond Princess river cruise.
A saunter along the Kerry Saxby pathway takes you by the Olympic pool and the Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum, home to the Las Balsas Expedition rafts which sailed from South America in 1973. There’s an Opal and Gem Museum and a chance to sample the local fresh seafood at the Big Prawn while you browse the antique, arts and craft galleries.
In recent years, produce-based theme parks and craft galleries have broadened the town's appeal. There are a couple of macadamia farms which not only offer nuts but entertainment and wildlife displays. There are paragliding adventures and a tea tree oil plantation to tour.
Vantage points on Lighthouse Hill and Shelley Beach offer magnificent views which often include playful dolphins and migrating humpback whales.
The Ballina holiday experience embraces stunning beaches that are targeted by surfers, swimmers, windsurfers, anglers and kayakers. It is only a 10 minute drive to the laid-back coastal town of Lennox Head and its Seven Mile Beach, and 25 minutes to Byron Bay.
Find out more about the Far North Coast region of New South Wales.