Fishing boats in the harbour of Ballina - Photo Courtesy Tourism NSW

A short drive from the alternative air of Byron Bay, Ballina has itself emerged as a town with its burgeoning chic, without sacrificing its sunny, down-home appeal.

At the mouth of the Richmond River, among white, sandy beaches and shimmering rivers, lakes and waterways, the island town of Ballina is the commercial and cultural heart of the shire. It's a unique blend of tranquil country hideaways and vibrant seaside resort, where holiday-makers of all ages and from all walks of life are welcomed by an equally diverse local community.

The streets of downtown Ballina are lined with stylish cafes and restaurants, classic country pubs and modern clubs that offer first class dining and entertainment. There are pools, parks and entertainment centres offering loads of fun for the kids, and you can visit museums, galleries, expos and festivals bursting with the vibrant works of local craftspeople. There are antique and curio shops and, for the dedicated shopaholic, a mind-boggling choice of funky boutiques and designer stores.

Ballina's natural attractions are world renowned. You can enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Richmond; explore the wetlands of North Creek by canoe; go bush with a four wheel drive tour; take in Ballina's spectacular coastline from the cycleways or thrill to the migration of the humpbacks form the lighthouse.

The coastline is a beach-lovers dream with sheltered coves, vast ocean beaches and some of the world's finest surf breaks. The beach fishing is legendary and if you wet a line from the North or South Wall, you're in for a treat.

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Ballina Beach - Photo courtesy Tourism NSW

Underwater Recommendations

Diving just off Ballina offers rocky reefs teeming with a mixture of tropical and temperate marine life. Plenty of small things such as nudibranchs, sea stars, cowries, flat worms, butterfly fish and angelfish are abundant. Larger life include Wobbegongs sharks, a variety of rays (including shovelnose rays), trevally and kingfish. Currently we are not aware of a dive shop operational in Ballina.

Getting There

Ballina is about 800 kms North of Sydney and 200 kms South of Brisbane on the pacific Highway. Regional airlines land at Ballina airport. Ballina is also serviced by all major bus companies.

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