Experience the best of the Ballina-Byron region.

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Northern Rivers NSW, Connect with nature – 1 minute video.

What to do in Ballina

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.

For information on the dates, venues and activities
Discover Ballina MORE
Ballina Info things to do MORE
Around you - festivals - what's on MORE

Follow us on Facebook and keep up to date with what's happening in Ballina, we often offer special deals to our Facebook friends to attend events.

For entertainment, music & touring acts, see what's on at our clubs MORE

Ballina Markets


  • Ballina - 3rd Sunday
  • Ballina Twilight Market - Thursday 4pm-8pm (daylight savings only)
  • Ballina Farmers Market - Every Sunday

For a complete list of markets in the region click on link below MORE

EXPLORE – fun and adventure

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:

  • Having an International Airport (Gold Coast) an hour away as well as the Ballina-Byron airport just 9 minutes away;
  • Four million people live within 1 to 2 hours drive and a further six million are within a short flight;
  • Has a subtropical climate, but virtually tropical in character and lifestyle;
  • World heritage-listed rainforests;
  • Some of Australia's best beaches and surfing;
  • A diverse, eclectic and original art, craft and music industry; and
  • Includes over 300 villages and localities.

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.

Ballina by Land


Your guide to land based activities including nature walks, horse riding, mountain bike tours, day trips, golf, entertainment for the kids and more

  • Play 9 holes at the Teven Valley Golf Course with its remnant rainforests and meandering creeks, their pro shop hire equipment so can kit you out and afterwards you can stay and enjoy the use of their BBQ facilities, with seating for 30 there's plenty of room for socialising after your game. They are licenced so a cold beer could be in order as well.. http://tevenvalleygolfcourse.com.au (15 kms) Ballina Golf Course 4 kms http://www.ballinagolfclub.com.au Byron Bay golf course (27kms) MORE
  • Bowls, Tennis and Croquet can all be enjoyed at the Cherry Street Sports Club MORE
  • Take in the spectacular coastline from Ballina's extensive cycleways MORE
  • Check out the skate parks at Ballina and Lennox Heads
  • Try Glow Bowling at the Ballina Ten Pin Bowl
  • Horse ride on South Ballina Beach with Tassiriki Ranch MORE
  • Discover the Far North Coast of New South Wales in relaxed air conditioned comfort on a day tour. A different tour each day MORE

Ballina by Sea


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

  • Kool Katz learn to surf school. For the more skilled, perfect barrels roll off North Wall and the world famous right hand break at Lennox Point
  • Kayak through the mangrove forests, or with the dolphins, it is your pick. MORE
  • Ballina Rock and Beach Fishing
  • Sea and River Fishing Charters Ballina and Beyond Fishing Charters 0418 664 941 or 0418 664 941
  • Have a relaxing fun day fishing in a Tinnie, or get some friends together and hire a BBQ boat for a great day picnicking, fishing and swimming. No license needed. MORE
  • (Stand up) Paddle down the serene waters of the Brunswick River whilst taking in the natural beauty of the surrounding area. MORE
  • Sharpes Beach & Shelly Beach are both patrolled beaches
  • 4WD Access Seven Mile Beach. MORE

Ballina by Air


Your guide to air based activities including sky diving, gliding, ballooning and more

  • Skydive over the magnificent Richmond River
  • Hang out over Pat Morton Lookout on a hang glider MORE
  • Witness firsthand the migration of the whales or take a helicopter tour over the hinterland MORE
  • Take a Joy Flight or Charter a plan and take a flight over the tropical hinterland or along the pristine coastline MORE
  • Byron Bay Microlights offers a raw and exhilarating experience MORE

What to see in the Ballina-Byron region

The Serpentine
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


Shelly Beach

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


Shaws Bay

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


Angels Beach

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

Flat Rock
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

Sharpes Beach
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

Iron Peg
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

Boulder Beach
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


Lake Ainsworth

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)