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Ballina is a coastal town, just south of Byron Bay and Lennox Head in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • 1 Ballina Airport (BNK IATA), Southern Cross Drive (around 5km from the centre of Ballina). Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Rex fly direct from Sydney. Jetstar flies direct from Melbourne. It does see some low cost flights, but if your purpose of going to Ballina is to get to Byron Bay and towns northward, also check flights in the Gold Coast. Ballina Byron Gateway Airport (Q17443) on Wikidata Ballina Byron Gateway Airport on Wikipedia

Avis, Hertz, Thrify, Budget and Europcar all operate from the terminal building.

Blanches Bus Company operate a scheduled service to the airport, travelling as far as Byron Bay for $3.60 to Ballina downtown, $9.40 to Byron.

Airport shuttles to nearby Lennox Head and Byron Bay are readily available [1][dead link][2].

Taxis operate from outside the terminal building, but a taxi to Byron Bay is expensive.

By car[edit]

Ballina is on the Pacific Highway, around 9 hours drive north of Sydney or just over 2 hours south from Brisbane.

Get around[edit]

Map of Ballina (New South Wales)

There is a local public bus service in Ballina, that operates every day of the week. Services can be infrequent, most useful is probably the weekday shuttle that runs between Tamar St and Ballina Fair about every hour or so.

Taxis are available, as are hire cars from the major operators.

There is a shared path running along the waterfront connecting the two sides of town, suitable for walking and cycling.


Prawn sculpture, several metres high
The Big Prawn, 2022
  • 1 The Big Prawn, 507 River St, +61 2 6618 5600. 24 hours. Ballina is home to the world's largest prawn sculpture, and can be seen alongside the road when travelling east towards the beach from the freeway. Free.


  • Swim at local beaches and in the inland waterways:
    • 1 North Creek sandbars (Parking on The Serpentine and Serpentine Place). This very shallow area at the outlet of North Creek just upstream from the Hill St bridge is often used for fishing and wading, calmer than beaches and may be fun for small children, but unpatrolled.
    • 2 Lighthhouse Beach. Southern-most of the ocean beaches off East Ballina, patrolled between September and April.
    • 3 Shelly Beach. Middle of the ocean beaches off East Ballina, patrolled between September and April.
    • 4 Angel's Beach. Longer northern beach off East Ballina, patrolled at the north (Flat Rocks) end in the peak summer season.
    • 5 Sharpe's Beach (Park at north end near Headlands Dr). Beach to the north of Ballina at Skennars Head, patrolled in the peak summer season.
  • 6 Flat Rock, Flat Rock Rd. Flat Rock headland has marine pools to explore at low tide and a popular surf break.
  • 7 Ballina War Memorial Pool, 4 River St, +61 2 6686 3771, . M-F 5:30AM-7PM, Sa 7AM-6PM, Su 8AM-5PM. 50m and 25m swimming pools. $5.80 adults, $4.80 children and concession.
    • 8 Ballina Waterslides, 4 River St (Inside Ballina War Memorial Pool), . Open weekends and NSW school holidays from Sep to Apr: 10AM-4PM. Two enclosed tower waterslides, a gentler shorter one and a more adventurous one with a steep drop at the start. $16 for unlimited rides per session, pool entry also required.


Ballina has two shopping areas. One is the main street, called River Street and the side streets around it, such as Tamar Street, which runs parallel to River Street. The other location is at the end of Kerr Street, where there is Ballina Fair on one side of the road and Ballina Central on the other. There is a fairly good cross section of shops between the two shopping centers, as well as Coles, Woolworths, K Mart and Big W. There are also Red Rooster, KFC and Hungry Jacks fast food outlets in the area.

There are also smaller shopping centres at East and West Ballina however these are only of interest to anybody who would be staying nearby, being mainly groceries and other services.




There are several cheap but comfortable motels on the Pacific Highway at West Ballina starting from $60 a night through to just over $100. There are also some located on Cherry Street in the middle of town-these are slightly, but not that much more upmarket.


Go next[edit]

Byron Bay is the most well known beachside destination in the region, but the Gold Coast and theme parks are also a possible day trip from here. Lennox Head, between Byron Bay and Ballina is also close by.

Routes via Ballina (New South Wales)
BrisbaneGold CoastBangalow N M1 S  Evans HeadCoffs Harbour

This city travel guide to Ballina is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.