Author Archives: Gemma Heggie

Holidaying in Ballina NSW

Ballina is a picturesque coastal town located in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. Positioned alongside the beautiful Richmond River and stunning white sandy beaches, Ballina provides an ideal holiday location.

Iconic Byron Bay is just a 30 minute drive away and World Heritage-listed national parks and rainforests make a great day trip during your stay in Ballina.

With great fishing, surfing, shopping, parks, excellent seafood and more – Ballina will keep the entire family happy.

BBAT provides airport transfers from the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, Gold Coast Airport and Brisbane Airport. We also offer Ballina charter mini bus hire services ideal for transporting groups on day trips and excursions.

This blog post provides highlights on some of our favourite Ballina activities and attractions to help you plan your holiday to this inviting destination.

Pack your sunnies, bathers, some flip flops and a hat and you’re on your way to beautiful Ballina…

Ballina’s Amazing Wildlife

Bird watchers and nature lovers alike will enjoy the many bushwalks, parks as well as beach walks, canals and riverside walks, all ideal locations for observing the natural world in action.

Large pelicans frolic in the water, gulls chatter along the shoreline, white bellied sea eagles and osprey fly overhead. If you’re lucky you might spot a pod of dolphins catching waves or a humpback whale on its migration along the pacific coast.

The diversity of wildlife in Ballina and the Northern Rivers region is sure to impress.

You can download a guide to Bird Watching in and around Ballina here.

A list of walking tracks and cycleways within Ballina can be found here.

Waterfalls and National Parks

The Northern Rivers region is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty. Lush subtropical rainforests, World Heritage Listed National Parks, incredible waterfalls and rare flora and fauna.

Ballina provides an ideal location to base yourself to explore all the region has on offer.

Some of the waterfalls to add to your must visit list include Killen Falls, Protesters Falls and the impressive Minyon Falls which descends more than 100 metres over huge rhyolite cliffs.

Mount Warning is another popular day trip with two walking tracks the Lyrebird track being a short walking route leading to a lookout set in the subtropical rainforest, and the Wollumbin summit track which is a much more challenging hike.

Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes, take bottled drinking water and pack insect repellent just in case. You may also like to consider taking a picnic lunch to make the most out of your adventures with most parks offering picnic areas for this purpose.

SEAFOOD!

Ballina is well known for its fresh and delicious locally caught seafood. The name Ballina itself was adapted from the Aboriginal word ‘Bullenah’, which means a ‘place of many oysters‘.

You will find a number of great fish and chips shops all around Ballina to choose from. Why not get some takeaway and head down the beach to enjoy your lunch with a view. You may attract attention from some of the local seagulls though.

If you would like to cook your own, you will find two popular fresh seafood outlets in West Ballina will satisfy all your fresh seafood needs.

Or if you like to get salty – you can go fishing and catch your own!

Fishing in Ballina

Ballina has many great fishing spots, whether it is beach fishing, river fishing or along the banks of the creeks and canals.

There is a huge variety of fish to catch including bream, whiting, flathead, trevally, tailor and more.

If you need to purchase a fishing licence you can do so from the Ballina Visitor Information Centre (6 River Street), K-Mart (on Kerr Street) or Dolphin Bay in South Ballina.

For a list of fishing hot spots, bait shops and boat ramp locations visit the Discover Ballina website here.

You can find Ballina beach and river tide guides here.

Ballina War Memorial Pool and Waterslide

Feel like making a splash?! Ballina War Memorial Pool and Waterslide will keep the family entertained for hours.

The complex consists of a two sparkling swimming pools, a heated 25m learn to swim pool, a FINA compliant eight lane 50m pool, as well as a splash park for the kids.

There is also an exhilarating waterslide park with two watersides to experience. The green slide provides a shorter slide for a more gentle ride which can also be used as a dual person ride until the kids build up enough confidence to go solo.

The yellow slide provides a longer and much faster ride for the waterslide enthusiast.

The complex also offers undercover seating areas with BBQ facilities available.

When: The pools are open 7 days a week and the Waterslides are open weekends only as well as everyday during the NSW school holiday periods.
Address: 4 River Street, Ballina
More information:  https://sites.google.com/view/bmpw/home

Ballina’s Big Prawn

No visit to Ballina is complete without checking out the iconic Ballina Big Prawn.

Built in 1989, with a restoration in 2012 to add a tail, the Big Prawn stands 9 meters high and weighs an impresive 35 tonne.

Don’t forget to take a photo and add the Big Prawn to your list of Australia’s iconic “big” things.

When: The giant crustacean is available for public viewing (and photos) at all hours of the day and night.
Address:
Situated adjacent to Bunnings Warehouse, 507 River St, West Ballina NSW 2478 – you can’t miss it!

Flying in to Ballina

The Ballina Byron Gateway Airport is located just 5 minutes from Ballina CBD.

The second closest airport to Ballina is the Gold Coast Airport which is a scenic 1 hour drive.  If flying in to Brisbane Airport, the drive to Ballina is just over 2 hours.

Ballina Byron Airport Transfers (BBAT) provide low cost private airport transfers from the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, Gold Coast and Brisbane airports. Ideal for transporting the family and groups on time to/from the airport with door to door service and you get the bus to yourselves!

Book your Ballina Byron Airport transfer online.

Byron Bay Festivals

Byron Bay offers an abundance of entertaining, colourful and quirky festivals all year round.

No matter your interests, Byron Bay has a festival that is sure to get you excited. From the famous Byron Bay Bluesfest that will get you tapping your toes and swinging your hips, the Splendour in the Grass festival that will get you rocking it out in the fields, the Byron Writers Festival for those who speak through the written word, an International Film Festival showcasing outstanding independent films and so much more!

You will find an overview of some of Byron’s greatest festivals below to get you planning your annual calendar.

 

BBAT – Transporting you to and from Byron Bay festivals

BBAT provides a safe and reliable Byron Bay shuttle bus transport service, to get you and your group to any of the festivals and home again. With excellent value fares and you get the bus to yourselves!

Byron Bay Bluesfest

2019 celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Byron Bay Bluesfest with a line-up that is sure to impress those who love everything blues, roots, folk and soul. With over 200 artist performances from around the world, playing over 60 hours of incredible live music.

The Byron Bay Bluesfest is held annually on the Easter long weekend and attracts an impressive audience of over 100,000. With multiple stages of live performance, 5 licensed bars, over 100 food and market stalls, food courts, beer gardens, and children’s entertainment. Byron Bay Bluesfest is renowned for being a fun, safe and family-friendly event.

Consider wearing your gumboots though as it can get muddy!

When: Thursday 18th April 2019 to Monday 22nd April 2019

Where: Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm – Byron Bay

To book your tickets and to view the line-up visit: https://www.bluesfest.com.au/

Splendour in the Grass

An Indie rock, hip hop, electronic and alternative music extravaganza.

Considered to be Australia’s biggest winter music festival, Splendour in the Grass boasts 3 days of awesome music and great festival vibes.

Get your squad organised and head to the fields for a blockbuster line-up!

When: Friday 19th July – Sunday 21st July 2019

Where: North Byron Parklands at Yelgun

To buy tickets and view the line-up visit: https://splendourinthegrass.com/

Splendour in the Grass Shuttle Bus Transport

Need transport to and from Splendour in the Grass for you and your pals? BBAT Shuttle Bus service provides a safe and reliable, home-to-festival-to-home transport for each day of the festival or to and from your camp site – great value fares and your group gets the bus to yourselves – how splendorous is that!

Byron Writers Festival

The annual Byron Writers Festival is Australia’s largest and leading regional celebration of storytelling, literature and ideas.

An engaging three day festival where writers and thinkers get together in a relaxed, open-air beachside location to share their stories, inspirations and insights.

The full program has been announced and all tickets including 3-Day passes, 1-Day passes, Feature Events and Workshops are now on sale.

When: 2nd – 4th August 2019

To purchase your tickets and to view the festival line-up visit: https://byronwritersfestival.com

Byron Bay International Film Festival (BBFF)

The BBFF showcases outstanding independent film talent from around the world.

Held across multiple venues in Byron Bay;  BBFF offers a rich and diverse program of unique, entertaining and thought provoking films.

Get your tickets to a world of artistry, education and innovation that is enhanced by the power and storytelling of film.

When: Friday 18th October – Sunday 27th October 2019

For more information visit: http://www.bbff.com.au/

The Falls Music & Art Festival – Byron Bay

Falls Festival is held annually on New Year’s Eve and its surrounding dates.

Falls is a multi day camping event; kicking off  in Lorne, Victoria + Marion Bay, Tasmania + Byron Bay, New South Wales. The festival hosts contemporary music performances, dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret, and other art forms.

The festival organisers are yet to reveal the 2019/2020 lineup… but we have no doubts it will be massive!

When: TBC for 2019/2020.

Where: North Byron Parklands at Yelgun

For more information visit: https://fallsfestival.com.au/byron-bay

Byron Bay Festival Shuttle Bus Transport

Need transport for you and your group to and from a Byron Bay festival?

Whether you’re heading to the Bluesfest, Splendour in the Grass, The Falls Music Festival, or any other festival or event in Byron Bay, we have you covered for all your transport needs.

BBAT offers a private shuttle bus service with excellent value fares to get your group to and from the festival.

Our shuttle bus service provides a safe and reliable transport option, you can enjoy yourself at the festival, and not have to worry about driving home or having to find festival parking!

Booking our Byron Bay shuttle bus hire service is easy – just visit our booking enquiry page, fill out the form with your details and we’ll be in touch to confirm your booking.

Gold Coast Airport transport to and from Byron Bay & surrounds

Heading to or from the Gold Coast Airport and need transport?

Perhaps you’re taking the kids on a ski trip in New Zealand? Have a business conference in Singapore? Going on a surfing holiday to Bali with your mates and taking your boards with you? Or perhaps you’re heading to Japan for the Spring cherry blossom festival?… Or maybe you’re flying in to the Gold Coast for a holiday in beautiful Byron Bay, Ballina or another local destination.

If you’re flying in or out of the Gold Coast Airport, BBAT Ballina Byron Airport Transfers offer a direct express airport transfer service with best value fares to transport you and your group to and from the Gold Coast Airport.

Our airport transfers are private and convenient – you get the bus to yourselves!

We can pick you up with door-to-door service anywhere in Byron, Ballina or surrounding suburbs and get you to and from the Gold Coast Airport on time, with friendly and professional service. We also have plenty of storage space for your suitcases, skis and boards – just let us know what you’ll be bringing when you make your booking.

Traveling between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay

The drive to/from Gold Coast Airport to Byron Bay takes about 45 minutes – you can just sit back in the air-conditioned comfort of our bus and enjoy the view.

The drive takes you past ever-changing scenery from lush green rolling hills and hinterland, sugar cane fields, stunning rivers and pristine coastline.

Keep an eye out for Mount Warning – also known as ‘Wollumbin’ meaning ‘cloud catcher’, by the Bundjalung people who lived in the region before European settlement. Named Mount Warning by Captain Cook to warn future mariners of the offshore reefs he encountered in 1770.

If you turn your head to the side you might make out the profile of a face, complete with a crooked nose, mouth and chin.

What do I need to know when I get to the Gold Coast Airport?

All domestic and international flights operate from the same terminal. Check in for domestic and international flights is located at the northern end of the terminal building.

After checking in, you can proceed to the central security screening point and onto the lounge area and your boarding gate. For domestic flights, make sure you are in the vicinity of your boarding gate at least 30 minutes prior to your departure time. You will find Flight Information Display Screens located throughout the terminal for up-to-date flight information.

The Gold Coast Airport has a range of shops selling books, magazines, fashion, gifts and snacks for last minute shopping.

You will also find a range of cafés and fast food outlets if you’re feeling peckish before your flight.

For more information on the Gold Coast airport visit: https://www.goldcoastairport.com.au/

What do I need to know when I get picked up from Gold Coast Airport?

At Gold Coast Airport we pick up from The Transit Centre bus rotunda at the most northern end of the terminal building. The driver will call you and pick you up from there once all passengers are present with their luggage.

BBAT Gold Coast Airport Pickup Area

Going on a holiday to Byron Bay?

If you’re flying in to the Gold Coast Airport and heading to Byron Bay for a holiday, check out our guide on the Top 10 things to experience in Byron Bay to help you plan our your days. Our drivers can also provide you with local information and recommendations during the drive.

 

To book your Gold Coast Airport transfer to or from Byron Bay, Ballina and surrounds, visit our online booking page. We look forward to getting you and your group to and from the airport on time!