Ballina – one of the best short trips from Sydney



It’s been a turbulent year for travel, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying restrictions and quarantine measures introduced by the government wreaking havoc on most people’s holiday plans. With international travel off the table for the foreseeable future, you may be considering some short holidays in Australia instead. Ballina-Byron Gateway Airport is a short flight from Sydney – just over an hour – and the region is one of Australia’s best all-rounder holiday destinations.

Why visit Ballina?

If you’re brainstorming travel ideas during COVID-19, a weekend getaway to Ballina might be just the thing you’re looking for. The beachside destination located in the Northern Rivers region of NSW is a classic coastal holiday town, boasting spectacular beaches, bushwalking trails in National Parks and a good selection of shops and eateries. The region’s great weather, friendly locals and laid-back lifestyle make it a favourite amongst tourists. It’s also just a short 20-minute drive from the very popular tourist destination of Byron Bay.

What to do in Ballina

If you’re planning a mini-break to Ballina, you could easily fill a weekend just relaxing on some of the town’s magnificent beaches and eating leisurely café lunches before returning to your waterfront accommodation to watch the sun set on the balcony. But if you’re looking to pack a little more into your itinerary, here are some great activities to do in the Ballina region.

Sightseeing bike ride

Hire a bike (or bring you own) and set off on one of Ballina’s many bike paths, taking in the sights and sounds of the town including the mighty Richmond River and the dazzling coastline.

Take a hike

Hop in the car and head half an hour south to Broadwater National Park, a birdwatcher’s paradise which is home to some rare birds including the jabiru – a large stork originally from the Americas. You may also spot swamp wallabies, red-necked wallabies, echidnas, bandicoots, bush rats, blossom bats and ringtail possums on your hike. Many of the trails lead to secluded beaches so you can finish you walk with a picnic on the sand.

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VICTORIA PARK NATURE RESERVE l DALWOOD 📷 @tonybarnett16 #discoverballina

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The weather today turned pretty good for a little surprise beach #bday picnic 🍷🍇☀️🍰

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Absorb some culture

If you love art and history, there’s plenty of galleries and museums to keep you occupied. The Northern Rivers Community Gallery in town is a great place to check out some local artists, or you can take the 10-minute drive to Tintenbar to visit David Lane’s Studio Gallery. You can learn about the region’s colourful maritime history at the Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum or drive out to the neighbouring town of Alstonville to visit Crawford House Museum, a house dating back to 1910 which reflects family life from the turn of the century to the 1960’s.

BALLINA NAVAL AND MARITIME MUSEUM Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum (Source: Discover Ballina)

Explore East Ballina

Just around the corner from the bustling streets of Ballina lies the lesser known, seaside community of East Ballina, a secluded surfer’s hamlet favoured for its legendary waves and waterfront dining venues. Enjoy a swim on one of the three patrolled beaches before sitting down for a meal of freshly-caught local seafood at the Lighthouse Beach Café where you may even catch a glimpse of a whale or two.

Lighthouse Beach Cafe Ballina Lighthouse Beach Cafe Ballina (source: Discover Ballina)

Visit Byron Bay

Of course, no trip to the Northern Rivers is complete without at least a quick trip to the famous town Byron Bay.  You can choose to spend the day browsing the boutique shops and dining in the town’s renowned eateries, or head to the beach, the hinterland rainforest or one of the region’s coastal trails. Or you can visit The Farm at Byron, a working farm where you can experience first-hand where your food comes from before sitting down for a farm-fresh meal at The Three Blue Ducks restaurant on-site.

Cape Byron Lighthouse

There’s no doubt about it – Ballina is one of the best short trips from Sydney and it’s also surprisingly affordable, with low cost flight available and plenty of accommodation options ranging from budget to luxury. If you’re heading off for a long weekend soaking up the sun in Ballina, you’ll want to make sure you can sunbake in peace knowing that your car is parked safely and securely back in Sydney. Park on King is the most affordable option for short-term Sydney Airport parking. It also boasts a lot of unique features like a free, on-demand airport shuttle, 24/7 security monitoring and a great loyalty program for repeat customers.

So if you’re planning a flight soon, grab a free online parking quote and make your booking early to get the best rate.

DID YOU KNOW? When you book your car rental through us, you’ll also be eligible for an exclusive undercover parking flat rate offer.

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