Northern Rivers NSW, Connect with nature – 1 minute video.
Set on the banks of the Richmond River, Ballina is the commercial & cultural heart of the shire. It's a unique blend of tranquil seaside retreat & vibrant holiday resort. When it comes to life's simple pleasures, it doesn't get much better than this: Ballina and its coast and hinterland villages is a vibrant area with lots of events, entertainment and concerts.
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For entertainment, music & touring acts, see what's on at our clubs MORE
For a complete list of markets in the region click on link below MORE
Ballina is situated at the mouth of the Richmond River on the Far North Coast of New South Wales, and boasts some of the most beautiful surfing beaches and picturesque headlands on the east coast of Australia. It is surrounded by water, bordered by North Creek, The Canal and the beautiful Richmond River making Ballina, in fact, a true Island.
Ballina's name is originally from an aboriginal word meaning "place of many oysters", so it isn't any surprise that there are highly prodcutive oyster leases and commercial fisheries within the estuary of the Richmond River..
The first Europeans to settle on the Richmond River in 1842 were Cedar logging families. As the number of settlers increased Ballina (known as Richmond Heads) serviced the small Cedar settlements along the tributaries of the river. Remnants of these times can be seen in both in Ballina and the surrounding villages and can be explored by taking one of the Heritage Trails - the Norton Street Heritage trail in Ballina or the Alstonville Heritage Trail. You can pick up a copy of both Trail Maps from the Ballina Visitor Information Centre, 6 River Street, Ballina or download a copy from the website MORE
The population of Ballina Shire is around 42,000 with urban Ballina home to around 25,000. It boasts 32 kilometres of white sandy beaches and a glorious hinterland environment, and each year, the Northern Rivers tourism region attracts more tourists than either Tasmania or the Northern Territory. Reasons for its popularity include:
Do as much or as little as you like. Ballina and Byron Bay offer a wide range of activities; all you have to do is decide which one to get out of bed for.
Your guide to land based activities including nature walks, horse riding, mountain bike tours, day trips, golf, entertainment for the kids and more
There are beaches that allow 4WD vehicle access (with a permit) and some that allow dogs and horses. Your guide to sea based activities including scuba diving, surf lessons, snorkelling, kayaking, whale watching, fishing and more
Your guide to air based activities including sky diving, gliding, ballooning and more
This sandy area along the banks of North Creek offers a refreshing swimming area and, with its large areas of shallows, is a favourite family area.
Just 5.1km 8min by car from The Islander
Lighthouse (Main) Beach and North Wall
Known as Main Beach by the locals it is a great surfing and swimming area patrolled by lifeguards and volunteers from September through to Easter. Take a leisurely walk to the North Wall and enjoy the expansive view of the river mouth.
Just 6.1 km 10 min by car from The Islander
Patrolled during the school holidays there's a great wading pool abuilt into the rocks that is perfect for toddlers.
Just 6.8 km 11 min by car from The Islander
A family swimming spot with plenty of shade and picnic facilities. Walk across the North Wall to another great picnic park and swimming cove on the Richmond River.
Just 6.9 km 12 min by car from The Islander
Stretching from Blackhead to Flat Rock it's one of the prettiest beaches on the north coast with a green corridor of native plants and trees.
Just 7.6 km 10 min by car from The Islander
A unique rocky platform inhabited by fascinating and beautiful aquatic creatures. You can speend hours exploring at low tide.
Just 8.9 km 11 min by car from The Islander
Patrolled in the summer holidays it's a favourite local surfing area. Dogs are permitted on beach if leashed.
Just 9.5 km 11 min by car from The Islander
Great scenery and walking tracks with views looking to Boulder Beach. Explore the many rock pools when the tide is out.
Just 10.7 km 13 min by car from The Islander
Takes its name from the boulders and rocks that line its edge this area is well known for surfing. It's grassy southern point provides magnificent views and is a perfect photo spot.
Just 17.6 km 20 min by car from The Islander
Seven Mile Beach
4WD vehicles can access the beach from the northern end to the Byron Shire Boundary. Dogs under effective control are also allowed north of the Lake Ainsworth Reserve.
Just 19.4 km 18 min by car from The Islander
Lennox Head and Lennox Reef
Renowned by surfers for its right hand point break. When 'The Point' is breaking, expect to see the worlds best taking it on. With views for miles the headland is a great photo stop or watch the annual whale migration. The reef is also referred to as the "moat" or the 'boat channel', covering 2.5 hectares and 1.5 km's along Seven Mile Beach contains a vast variety of marine life and is a favourite snorkelling spot.
Just 20 km 18 min by car from The Islander
A fresh water lake with tea tree lined banks, this is favourite shady spot for family swimming and picnics. With easy access to the surf just north of the village of Lennox Head.
Just 20.4 km 20 min by car from The Islander
South Ballina Beach
Located behind the South Wall, sandy beaches and seclusion await with great swimming, fishing and surfing. Fully accessable to 4WD and dogs are also allowed on the beach.
33.3 km 32 min by car from The Islander (Quicker by ferry)
Byron Bay, Cape Byron Lighthouse and Walk
Lovely Pacific Ocean beaches, a vibrant scene of cafés, restaurants, bars, pubs, boutique shopping and galleries make Byron Bay a must visit. While there explore the Lighthouse and the walking track. The walk along the track is easy and the track is well paved, however there are many stairs but the views are well worth it.
Just 36.3 km 29 min by car from The Islander (Following the Coast 36.1 km 40 min)