Ballina: Discovering The Hidden Gem of Australia

Despite spending close to a year living in Australia (as an au-pair…for my sins!!) there is SO much of this amazing country that I didn’t get to discover. From the Australia’s red centre to the Great Barrier Reef, I’ll just need to return again to see all the spots I missed!

If you’re a seasoned traveler like me, chances are you prefer going off the beaten path once in a while. One such destination I discovered is Ballina, in New South Wales. Although the coastal town of Ballina is a prominent local destination in Australia, tourists are still beginning to discover its fantastic surfing destinations, pristine waters, picturesque villages, and historical locations.

To make the most out of your trip, book a car hire Ballina airport online ahead of time. Driving lets you navigate the regions much faster or as leisurely as you want. Nothing beats a road trip in Australia!! The best spots to visit are as follows:


  • Ballina. Centered on an island at the mouth of the Richmond River, as the social and commercial hub of the region, Ballina is loved for its laidback location and mixture of both river and surf beaches.
  • Lennox Head. A true haven among surfers for its famous right-hand surf break. On the main street opposite the beach, you’ll find boutiques, restaurants, funky cafes, and just down the road is the tea-stained waters of Lake Ainsworth.
  • South Ballina and Villages. A serene location for bird watching, beach horse riding, fishing sports, beach four-wheel diving and beach walks.
  • Wollongbar. Found just off the Bruxner Highway, this residential suburb is home to a small tavern and shopping complex. The village is connected to many of the hinterland towns as well.
  • Tintenbar. A tiny, historical, rural hamlet with a community hall, French restaurant, and a general store.
  • Knockrow. The home to The Macadamia Castle. Take a breathtaking ride through the views to the Pacific Ocean.
  • Newrybar. A famous historic village that’s filled with nostalgic old world charm, artisan shopping, and great eateries.
  • Wardell. The village of Wardell’s upstream on the Richmond River is an awesome spot to tart a river journey on Tourist Drive 28. It has historic timber buildings, which includes Mayley House built in 1920.
  • Alstonville. A picturesque village town that offers an awesome day out for culture buffs and curio hunters with its historic buildings, antique shops, Australian architecture, cafes, boutique stores, and galleries.


Why you’ll love Ballina (and probably keep coming back)

The Ballina Coast & Hinterland is a haven for surfers, boaties, anglers, eco-adventurers and all beach lovers. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the hinterland is a nature paradise dotted with charming villages, subtropical rainforests, endless streams, 32kms of pristine, sandy beaches, lakes and estuaries, etc. Ballina is truly a natural wonder.

Local tip: Paddling the 9km lap of Ballina Island is considered somewhat of a rite of passage for locals (and tourists). You can launch from any one of Ballina’s many boat ramps and use the connecting estuaries and rivers to circumnavigate the island.

Events happening in December:

    • Boxing Day Races Ballina
    • Carols Night Lennox Head
    • Carols Night Ballina
    • Summerland Series Ballina
    • Tropical Fruits New Year’s Eve Party Lismore
    • New Year’s Eve Family Festival Alstonville
    • The Falls Music & Art Festival Byron Bay


So, interested to travel in this hidden known gem of Australia? Plan your trip now and don’t forget to book a car hire Ballina airport online to compare the lowest rental prices. You can also visit Ballina’s discovery website to know more about Ballina, its regions, and the complete whatnot.

Happy travels!