australia's surfing coast

from eden to bondi, to byron bay & beyond


Ballina - // Australia's surfing coast //

Lighthouse Beach, wedged against the north wall at the mouth of the Richmond River, catches swell from almost anywhere and is partly protected from southerly winds, but exposed to anything that blows onshore, making it one of the most consistent breaks at Ballina.

Around the headland to the north lies Shelley Beach, popular with families because it has rock pools for kids to play in and is patrolled by surf lifesavers during school holidays. Heading north from Ballina towards Lennox Head is a break called Flat Rock, a real long-boarder’s favourite. Best conditions for this wave are an east or southeast swell while it’s pretty exposed to wind from almost every direction.

Ballina is one of the larger towns on the New South Wales North Coast and has amenities like major supermarkets and shopping malls. Other attractions of the area include beach fishing, whale watching and Richmond River cruises, and the Victoria Park Nature Reserve. It’s a handy location for accessing all the North Coast towns and beaches (and has an airport) but being a few kilometres inland means even a visit to the lovely local beaches requires a trip by car.

Getting there:
Ballina is 740km north of Sydney, approx 9.5 hours’ drive.
The flight to Ballina Airport from Sydney takes just over one hour. There are also frequent flights to the Gold Coast, which is a drive of about 80 minutes from Ballina.

Learn to surf school:
Summerland Surf School

Things to do and see in Ballina