A small town on the eastern coast of New South Wales, Australia, Ballina is ideally located for anyone who wants to spend a break by the beach while within easy reach of the state’s major cities and sights. Ballina is situated by the mouth of the Richmond River, making it an ideal place to go fishing, sailing or even paddling by the banks in the summer months.
Nature lovers could do a lot worse than pay a visit to the town. It is within easy reach of several national parks along the coast and further inland, has restaurants which serve freshly-caught seafood, plenty of places to go walking and even sporting facilities. Sports fans will love Ballina too, whether they enjoy, golf, tennis, sailing or even horseracing.
A small car would be perfect for driving to the beach, something you may be tempted to do in and around Ballina. It would be handy for driving around town as well.
Officially one of Australia’s ‘Big Things’, Ballina is home to the Big Prawn. Officially the world’s largest model of a prawn, it is arguably the most famous landmark in the town. In total, the prawn weighs an astonishing 33 tonnes.
Horseracing is popular here. The Ballina Racecourse regularly hosts many minor meetings throughout the year, but is one of the best places in New South Wales to see what horseracing culture is really like in Australia.
Ballina has two beaches – Lighthouse to the north and Angels to the south. The former is the most popular but is patrolled by lifeguards, making it family-friendly. Angels is less busy but is no less beautiful, being a quintessential Aussie beach.
Despite looking pretty understated, Richmond River Light is one of the area’s more impressive lighthouses. Built in 1866, the tower itself is closed to the public, but the grounds are open for visitors for most of the year.
The Pacific Highway runs alongside the western edge of Ballina, being within nine hours of Sydney and two hours of Brisbane.
Next to the Highway, there is a truck stop. As a result, there are a large number of trucks you might find on the stretch of road near the town.
Traffic heading north towards Gold Coast is likely to be heavier than that going in the opposite direction.
Ballina Byron Gateway Airport is located around half a mile north of the town centre. Acting as a small regional airport, if provides flights to major cities elsewhere in Australia including Sydney and Melbourne. The airport is just off Southern Cross Drive, which goes onto Tamarind Drive. From there, you can drive northbound onto the Pacific Highway or in the other direction to get to Ballina town centre.