Just down the road from Byron Bay is the relaxed coastal town of Ballina (29km). The town is situated on the Richmond River and is known as the 'Gateway to Byron Bay' - due to its airport (if you want to fly to Byron Bay, the destination airport is Ballina).
Ballina is home to the world's largest prawn (made of concrete and fibreglass). The prawn sits on a stand next to the entrance of the Bunnings Warehouse carpark. The annual Prawn Festival is becoming increasingly popular, with a family fun event in November. Located next to the river, there's rides for the kids, tasting plates and cooking competitions for the adults, local food and produce, entertainment and fireworks.
Things to do in Ballina:
- There's 25km of cycle paths to explore the coastal & river routes
- Go fishing - river on one of the many beaches
- Visit the big prawn
- Enjoy the beaches of Ballina Shire:
- Lighthouse Beach, Lighthouse Parade, East Ballina
- Shelly Beach, Shelly Beach Road, East Ballina
- Angels Beach, The Coast Road, East Ballina
- Flat Rock Beach, Flat Rock Road, East Ballina
- Sharpes Beach, The Coast Road, Skennars Head
- Boulder Beach, The Coast Road, Skennars Head
- Seven Mile Beach, Pacific Parade, Lennox Head - Patrolled September to April
- South Ballina Beach, South Ballina
- Patchs Beach, Sneesbys Lane, South Ballina
- Ballina Farmer's market - every Sunday at next to Missingham Bridge - 6am - 11am
- Enjoy dinner or a drink at The Point (under Ramada) - it's right on the river and you may spot dolphins. Watch the fishing boats head out for the night at sunset.
- There are a number of acitivites to do like fishing tours, scenic helicopter flights, nature tours and more.