The best camping near Ballina, New South Wales.
Ballina is perfect for families and those that love spending time in the surf, sun and sea
Gateway to the northern rivers region of New South Wales, the seaside city of Ballina tends to get overlooked in the rush to get to the more popular holiday hot spots of Byron Bay and beyond. Those that do take the time to explore this thriving regional city on the mouth of the Richmond River, will find a 32km-long string of beautiful beaches and a maze of waterways flanked byRead more...
Gateway to the northern rivers region of New South Wales, the seaside city of Ballina tends to get overlooked in the rush to get to the more popular holiday hot spots of Byron Bay and beyond. Those that do take the time to explore this thriving regional city on the mouth of the Richmond River, will find a 32km-long string of beautiful beaches and a maze of waterways flanked by World Heritage rainforest. The caravan parks are popular with anglers, paddlers and boaties. It’s also ideal for families, as most of the holiday parks boast resort-style facilities and adventure playgrounds. Many of Ballina’s best attractions are free–take a walk along the South Ballina breakwall and you’re almost guaranteed to see dolphins, and the coastal lookouts and headlands are fantastic spots to see whales.
Bryon Bay and Brunswick Heads
Ballina is just a half hour drive south of Byron Bay, one of the most popular holiday spots in northern NSW. Browse the boutiques and galleries, dine out in one of the many cafes or resturants, and head up to the Cape Byron lighthouse for spectacular views. The lovely seaside village of Brunswick Heads, which has some good-value riverside caravan parks, is just a short drive further north of Byron Bay.
The stretch of coastline that runs south of Ballina to Evans Head and beyond to the Clarence River on the north side of Yamba is one of the least developed in New South Wales. Most of it is protected within Bundjalung National Park, which has some superb beachside camping sites.
Home to some of the best surfing in the NSW–Angourie Point was the first official surfing reserve in the state–and famous for its prawns and seafood, this lovely holiday town at the mouth of the Clarence River makes for an ideal camping getaway. Take a dip in the ocean swimming pools, kayak the river or explore the World Heritage rainforest in Iluka.
Perfectly positioned between the rainforest and the sea, this prosperous riverside city 35km west of Ballina is full of elegant historic architecture and has a lively arts scene.
When to Go
Like the rest of the NSW far north coast and northern rivers region, Ballina gets very busy during summer and Easter school holidays. The best time to go to Ballina is late spring or early Autumn when you’ll find the beaches practically deserted, but the weather is nice and warm. June through to November is the best time to see whales.
Know Before You Go
- The Ballina Byron Gateway Airport is just 5km from the centre of Ballina, and is well serviced by domestic flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Newcastle and Canberra.
- The Ballina Visitor Information Centre is at 6 River St, and has easy parking for large motorhomes and caravans. www.discoverballina.com.au
- There is no free camping in the Ballina Shire.
- Don’t leave Ballina without snapping a selfie at the Big Prawn–it’s nine metres high and weighs 35 tonnes. You’ll find it in the carpark of Bunnings hardware store on River Street.