"Balllina - Boats, Beaches and La Balsa" Ballina by amandamac15

Ballina Travel Guide: 68 reviews and 197 photos


But our final destination was Ballina. And the beach. The waters here are pristine and reminiscent of pre boom Gold and Sunshine coast. Clear blue turquoise waters translucent waves, and clean white sandy beaches. The fish were biting.

Rocks to climb, interesting shells and pebbles to collect, fabulous views and sunset and a bonfire on the beach. NO wonder a couple were getting married when we were there.

We even saw sea anenomes, sea urchins in the rock pools and crabs scurrying and sunbaking on the rocks.

This area was almost completely free of pollution yet home to a city of 40,000 people. Unlike the beaches 45 minutes drive to the North, which tourists flock to. Little do they realize how dirty and unclean the seas and beaches of the Gold Coast really are.

For me, the pressure of people and development mean that the environment suffers the consequences and that this is the price of commercial business development and tourism. Yet it can be done in a way that is not so detrimental to the environment. Environmental education campaigns were very evident in banners along the streets in Ballina and it appears to have been effective. This is something for the busier beach townships to ponder about...

Where to stay and eat in Ballina

We stayed at the Ballina Beach resort which was a moderately priced motel style accomodation within 100 metres walk to North Beach. It is a quiet spot and the accomodation has a nice restaurant with delicious breakfast. Spa, sauna, swimming pool
and tennis court complement the facilities.

The best place to eat on a weekend night is the RSL. You will get a really big feast of pasta, roast, salads, or chicken for under $15.00 with free entertainment, but there are plenty of other fish and chip joints or pizza, chicken fast food places if this is your scene.
Don't bother looking for a Subway fast food restuarant for a healthy fast food option.. there isn't one in Ballina but if you drive to nearby Lennox head, you will find one, must be popular with the surfies that abound in Lennox....

La Balsa Museum - Ballina

For a really inexpensive and interesting look at a unique piece of history, check out the museum, just behind the information tourist centre in the main street ( northern end ). Entry is just $5 and you will find the intriguing story of La Balsa - a raft that sailed from South America to Australia back in the seventies, drifting with the currents, to prove Thor Heyerdahls theory that Polynesia could have been populated with people from South America, drifting along the ocean currents. These small craft crossed the Pacific ocean without any motor and navigational aids. One of the craft made of Balsa logs is housed within the museum. I found this little known piece of history intriguing and think that Ballina undersells it. Go and have a look for yourself. Ballina is not big on tourist attractions so this is a must see for anyone.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Pristine beach, great museum, quiet seaside beach destination, circus school for kids, estuary and fishing. Good food at Ballina RSL
  • Cons:NO subway, prevalence of older people.
  • In a nutshell:A great retirement destination, or peaceful get away. A hidden gem.
  • Last visit to Ballina: Jan 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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