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.


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:

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.
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.

« | »