From iconic landmarks to natural wonders and culinary delights, Ballina’s attractions capture the essence of the beautiful NSW north coast in one amazing destination. Find out more about some of the top things to do in Ballina, from visiting the iconic (and quirky) Big Prawn to enjoying culinary delights, seaside markets and amazing local history.
The Big Prawn
Looking for an iconic Aussie experience? Then you can’t go past Australia’s ‘Big Things’. And one of Australia’s most famous and iconic big things is the nine meter tall Big Prawn, which has been standing proud in Ballina since 1989. Celebrate the town’s unique and vibrant personality by snapping a photo beside this giant resident, before enjoying some of the real thing at one of the nearby seafood restaurants.
Che Bon Restaurant
While we’re on the topic of seafood, let’s take a trip to French-inspired fine diner Che Bon. One of the best restaurants in Ballina, this local gem is celebrated for its fine gastronomic experiences and fusion of innovative flavours, from seafood to delectable desserts. Building a solid reputation for their culinary flair in Europe, the owners have since established their skills in Ballina using some of the freshest locally sourced ingredients.
Wharf Bar & Restaurant
Located on the gorgeous Richmond River, the Wharf Bar & Restaurant is the place to enjoy a memorable dining experience with stunning views. Whether you’re enjoying a leisurely lunch or a romantic dinner, the restaurant’s delicious Mediterranean-inspired menu will tantalize the senses – from the fresh seafood to pasta and authentic wood fired pizzas. Enjoy it with a sunset vista that leaves you with lasting memories.
Brunch at Belle General
For a delightful breakfast or brunch experience, head to Belle General. This charming café combines a cozy atmosphere with a diverse menu that caters to all tastes. Take a sip of the aromatic coffee and start the day with one of Belle’s hearty breakfast options such as the Green Bowl (with poached egg, roast pumpkin and sauteed greens), the Big Breakfast (with eggs, bacon and hash browns) or the Breakfast Tacos. A beloved spot for locals and visitors alike.
For some tranquil and tucked away paradise, Killen Falls offer an enchanting attraction. Opening onto a cascading waterfall and crystal-clear rock pool, this hidden oasis is only a short drive from Ballina. Stroll along the Killen Falls Trails viewing platform, which is a 660-metre return walk. The base of the falls is a 1km return walk from the car park area (with some steep sections). Surrounded by ancient rainforest, this serene location will reinvigorate the soul.
Ballina Naval & Maritime Museum
Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about Ballina’s fascinating heritage, the Ballina Naval & Maritime Museum is a trove of incredible local artifacts, exhibits and stories. Take a journey through the town’s naval history and maritime heritage as you explore a collection that includes an original dugout canoe, WW2 maps and detailed models. You’ll also see plenty of items recovered from local shipwrecks.
Ballina Farmers Market
For foodies of any persuasion, the Ballina Farmers Market is a feast for the senses. Held every Sunday, this bustling market is a showcase of the region’s finest produce. Sample artisanal cheeses, freshly baked bread, succulent fruits, and a diverse array of gourmet goodies. The perfect place to savor the flavours of Ballina.
Where to stay
You won’t be left wondering what to do in Ballina when you book in at the Econo Lodge Chaparral Motel Ballina. For one great accommodation in Ballina New South Wales, this hotel has comfortable rooms close to leading attractions such as Ballina Head Lookout and Lighthouse Beach,