Embrace Australia’s idyllic coastal lifestyle in Ballina, where the tranquil Richmond River meets sandy beaches, beachfront parks and exciting surf breaks. Ballina celebrates an array of outdoor activities with numerous wildlife experiences and national parks, but also boasts a range of museums, theatres and shops.
Things to do in Ballina
Experience Ballina’s natural spoils on a cruise or kayaking tour down Richmond River, where you can see migratory birds and fish for bream, mullet and whiting. Prefer to stay on land? See the riverside parks, native trees and waterfront restaurants while you cycle down 25 kilometres of bike paths along the river and coastline.
Interested in the local history? Ballina Naval & Maritime Museum is home to Australia’s largest collection of naval and merchant ships. See historical Ballina river boats and authentic naval uniforms, before watching historic DVDs and purchasing unique keepsakes from the on-site gift shop. While driving around, keep an eye out for the Big Prawn, one of Australia’s iconic “big things”.
A stroll along the Ballina Historic Waterfront Trail grants deeper insight into the town’s rich history through interpretive plaques, while also treating you to picturesque natural landscapes. Don’t forget to visit the Australian Seabird Rescue, which teaches you about protecting the local wildlife and lets you see recovering animals up close, such as turtles and pelicans.
If you’re visiting with kids, drive about 15 minutes to Macadamia Castle to enjoy train rides, playgrounds, mini golf and delicious macadamia-based meals. You can cuddle native animals, including a baby crocodile. Before the holiday’s over, organise a surf lesson and carve some waves on the 32-kilometre stretch of coastline.
Getting around Ballina
You can fly to Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, about five kilometres from town, and use shuttle buses and taxis to get around. Alternatively, drive to Ballina via the Legendary Pacific Coast route. You can also easily walk and cycle around town.