Blessed with 32km of coastal landscapes, plenty of natural attractions and great public facilities you don’t need to blow the budget to make the most of your days in the Ballina Coast and Hinterland. Experience some of the best scenery the Northern Rivers has on offer by immersing yourself in the Ballina Coast and Hinterland's natural wonderland. Below we have complied a list of some of our favourite free and active things to do in and around Ballina.
1. Experience the best the coast has to offer along the Coastal Recreation Path
Connecting Ballina CBD with the coastal township of Lennox Head is the coastal recreation path. The path follows the stunning coastline through East Ballina, to the subtropical rainforests that hug the coastline before taking you to the spectacular cliff tops of Lennox Head. Learn about the region’s cultural heritage on the Aboriginal Cultural Ways along the coastal recreation path between Angels and Sharpes Beach in East Ballina. The well maintained and accessible paths are perfect for walking and cycling; you will even see a few roller-skaters! Kids also love to take their scooters and skateboards to use enroute or at one of the two skate parks in either Ballina or Lennox Head.
Choose just a short section of the path or take on the full 12km day journey, the coastal recreation path is perfect for all ages and fitness levels and is one of Visitor Centre staffs favourite ways to experience Ballina’s diverse and unique coastline and marine life.
To find out more collect a CYCLEWAYS AND SHARED PATHS BROCHURE
2. Get your adrenaline pumping at one the regions many well-known surf breaks
Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned surfer the Ballina Coast boasts some of the region’s most well-known breaks. With 32km of coastline Ballina has no shortage of breaks to choose from, with protected beaches perfect for beginners and kids to waves for the more experienced surfer. The warm subtropical water and consistent swell year-round makes Ballina the perfect place to get in the water.
3. Rejuvenate and restore with a dip in the fresh tea-tree waters of Lake Ainsworth
If you are looking for something slightly slower paced, a refreshing dip in Lake Ainsworth is the perfect way to wind down a few notches. Surrounded by tea-trees, the tannin-soaked waters are said to have healing properties that will leave your hair and skin feeling refreshed. Situated directly across from Lennox Head’s Seven Mile Beach Lake Ainsworth is the perfect spot for a relaxing swim, stand up paddle boarding or kayaking. The surrounding facilities make it ideal for a picnic with BBQ facilities and tables available for public use.
4. Get in touch with your competitive side with a game of disc golf
Ballina is home to one of the regions first disc golf courses and it is free for all to use! Located at the Bicentennial Gardens in Ballina the nine hole, 28 par disc golf course is a great day out with family and friends.
If you don’t have your own frisbees you can hire them from the Ballina Visitor Information Centre.
You can find out more and download score cards here
5. Be amazed by the breathtaking Killen Falls
Killen Falls is one of the regions most loved falls and once you visit you will easily understand why. A short drive from the township of Tintenbar, Killen falls feels like a hidden paradise. Graded at level one, the easy walk through some of the last remaining big scrub rainforest in the area reveals a stunning birds-eye view of the falls from the viewing platform. It is possible to walk to the base of the falls, though the track can be slippery and it graded at level 3, so some hiking experience is recommended.
To find out more click here
6. Take a step back in time with a stroll through Victoria Park Nature Reserve
Victoria Park Nature Reserve is a protected park that contains some of the last surviving remnants of the original rainforest that extended across the Upper Northern Rivers regions. Known as the Big Scrub this beautiful subtropical rainforest is teeming with native flora and fauna, including ancient fig trees and the shy red-legged pademelon. Educational displays explain how the Widjabul people relied on the local plants and animals for food, medicine and ceremonies. The short boardwalk immerses you in the rainforest as you instantly feel the cool tranquility of this ancient wonderland. Remember to bring a picnic as the Victoria Park picnic area is well equipped with BBQs, toilets and picnic tables.
7. Challenge yourself with the Minyon Falls base walk
Located within the Nightcap National Park and about a 50-minute drive from Ballina is the magnificent Minyon Falls. Minyon Falls is a plunge waterfall that descends more than 100 metres over the huge rhyolite cliffs which were once part of the Tweed Volcano. When visiting Minyon Falls we suggest you make a day of it and enjoy the newly upgraded picnic area and range of bush walks on offer. For the avid hiker the Minyon Falls walking track is around 13km return and takes about 3-4 hours and offers the opportunity to experience the rich and diverse forests, creeks and wildlife in the park. For those with less time, or if you are just wanting to walk to the base of the falls the 4km return walk will take about 2 hours, keeping in mind it is quite steep, but undoubtedly worth it!
8. Experience the Northern Rivers unique underwater world
Blessed with diverse coastal marine life and crystal-clear waters Ballina’s coastline is the perfect location to grab your snorkels and explore rich underwater ecosystems. With sheltered bays, unique estuaries and stunning rockpools there is so much discover along Ballina’s coast. Ballina’s waterways are home to so many different species of fish, turtles, dolphins, whales, grey nurse sharks, manta rays and more!
The Ballina Coast and Hinterland has no shortage of things to do for free or on a small budget. The ideas listed above are just the beginning some other activities include kayaking, fishing, bushwalking and much more!
To find more and explore the region go to discoverballina