Hey there gorgeous people!
Our kids have the BEST time EVER at Ballina Beach Village! Running free, riding bikes, swimming, fishing, or if they feel like it, participating in the FREE organised activities. For us parents, the holiday park is so peaceful, so isolated, it actually feels like you’re on an island.
We’ve visited a couple of times now, and confidently say, Ballina Beach Village is an Awesome Family Holiday.
Where is Ballina Beach Village?
Around an hour and a half south of the Gold Coast you’ll arrive at the boom gate of the Burns Point Ferry for a three minute ride across the Richmond River. On the other side it’s a couple of km’s drive and you’ll arrive at Ballina Beach Village.
The ferry costs $5.50 each way or there’s a weekly pass available so if you think you’ll be heading into town couple of times during your stay the pass is definitely worth it.
If you’re towing a van, or your car is absolutely jam packed with gear like our’s always is, you’re definitely best to board the ferry at high tide, so make sure you check out the Tides Near Me app for tidal info.
Gold Coast QLD – 1 hour 20 minutes
Brisbane QLD – 2.5 hours
Coffs Harbour NSW – 2.5 hours
Sunshine Coast QLD – 3.5 hours
Toowoomba QLD – 3.5 hours
Sydney NSW – 8.5 hours
Things to do at Ballina Beach Village.
If you’re visiting during school holidays the team at the village provide a fantastic School Holiday Activity Program, it’s FREE and it’s AWESOME. We stayed at the village during Christmas and Easter school holidays and my kids loved the Magicians and Circus Training, danced till they dropped at the Disco and created real craft masterpieces at the Kids Club.
One of our favourite FREE activities was a one hour African Drumming class. A professional musician hosted the class and brought along lots of drums and other interesting instruments. All were welcome to join in the class so there we were, young and old, banging away and loving every minute of it.
The team that host the FREE Circus Training session also provide Trapeze Training for a fee. One of our kids was really keen to give it a go and found the experience very rewarding. I’ve got to confess, I was way to scared to try swinging from the trapeze, way up in the air but our son 13, thought it was the best thing ever.
Bike riding is super popular with our kids and when they weren’t riding their bikes for fun, they were riding their bikes to get to the fun. So if you can squeeze the kids bikes into the car, I highly recommend bringing them along.
The Two Swimming Pools are a great way to cool down and are perfectly located right in the middle of all the accommodation. There’s one large pool and a smaller pool for toddlers and all through the day you’ll find a bunch of kids having an absolute blast playing in the pools.
Fishing is a must do on this holiday with the pristine Richmond River flowing alongside the holiday park. We found a great fishing spot around 500 metres from our camp with a wide sandy bank great for kids to fish and swim and at sunset it was the perfect spot to perch up with a cocktail and watch the sunset.
I grew up on the beach and I love Swimming in the Ocean but I’m not a fan of unpatrolled beaches and I find the beach at South Ballina pretty rough. I worry about the kids swimming there, actually I worry about everyone swimming there. My kids are only allowed in if they’re strapped to their body boards, are not allowed out far and we never, ever take our eyes off them, EVER! It’s hard as it is a beautiful beach, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.
The endless white sandy beaches of South Ballina are perfect for 4WD’ing. There are access tracks down to the beach from the village and then 30kms of open beaches all the way to Evans Head. (no 4 wheel drive permit required). If like us you happen to get bogged during your 4WD’ing adventure, the team at the village will send out an SOS to all guests and before you know it you’ll have a bunch of friendly rescuers ready to assist.
When was the last time your kids just relaxed? I get so caught up keeping the kids occupied that sometimes I forget this is their holiday too and that maybe, they just want to chillax (chill and relax combined) It’s interesting what the kids get up to when they have absolutely nothing to do. If there are other families around our kids always make friends. If there’s a communal game of cricket happening, our kids always join in. Our kids always start a game of spotlight as soon as the sun goes down and typically, more and more kids join in the game untill us parents are chasing them down for bed. Uno is a real favourite with our kids and they play it like a pack of card sharks. We now have one big game consisting of three packs of Uno so the game can go on for ages and being the family champion is the ultimate achievement.
Accommodation at Ballina Beach Village
No matter the size of your tribe or your budget there is accommodation to suit every family at Ballina Beach Village. You can choose from Unpowered and Powered Tent and Caravan Sites, Giant Teepees or the fabulous family size Cabins.
The tent and caravan sites are HUGE, we squeezed our Windsor Rapid Caravan, annex, 6x3m gazebo and two, two man tents onto our site and we still had heaps grassy space around us.
Check out the site map on the website for the best accommodation for your family, the right location in a holiday park will make all the difference to your experience. We take our caravan, some of our friends take their tents and some stay in the cabins. We prefer, powered sites S1, S2 and S3 they’re close to a big grassy field and right on the sealed road for all the bike riding and scooter action.
I had a sneaky peak inside some of the cabins and they’re a good size, very clean and every cabin has a big deck with a table and chairs for outdoor dining. We spoke to lots of families staying in the cabins and everyone was super happy with their accommodation.
If you are not taking all your own cooking equipment there’s a fabulous communal kitchen, so all you need to pack are your utensils, plates and food.
The amenities, toilets, showers, laundry are a little dated but are always clean and the water is always hot. They’re in a convenient location and are well lit at night.
Don’t forget your furry family members are welcome too.
Things to do in and around Ballina
The Big Prawn
You can’t visit Ballina without visiting The Big Prawn, it’s big, it’s iconic but it’s in the weirdest location. It almost looks like it’s the mascot for Bunnings Warehouse as it towers over the driveway leading into the hardware giant’s carpark. Do I think it’s a must see, stop, get a photo kind of attraction? Yes! Do I think Ballina Council need to move it to somewhere more appropriate so it’s not so out of place and weird? YES!
Great little lollie shop in the middle of town
I Love Lollies is a great little lollie shop in the middle of town and is now, one of those places my kids ask to go to every time we are there.
Ballina Swimming Pool and Waterslide
We LOVE Ballina Swimming Pool and Waterslide it’s old school and it’s awesome. $15 entry for a 4 hour session and worth every cent. If you’re planning to visit mid week check the website to make sure the slides are open. We had a car full of very disappointed kids one Tuesday in April when we turned up to find the slides closed. The slides also close for Winter so again a quick check of the website is a must.
Great Shopping in Ballina
There’s some great Shopping in Ballina and I love to pop into the town on my own for a little retail therapy.
From the boutiques to the coffee shops and quirky novelty shops the town has really developed into a cool holiday spot and with a population of around 41,000 all the big retailers are here to.
Byron Bay LighthouseEating a kebab at Byron Bay Beach
A Day Trip to Byron Bay is definitely worth it. The 40 minute drive up the coast from Ballina is easy and although the parking at Byron is a nightmare this is a MUST DO destination and one of my favourite places in the world.
Byron Beach is quite an experience, it’s the Bondi of Northern NSW, there are toppless sunbathers everywhere and my boys eyes nearly popped out of their heads. The beach itself is stunning and it’s a really safe beach for swimming, patrolled and very family friendly.
The shopping at Byron, oh the shopping, it’s incredible. If you like different, you’re going to find it here. From fashion and jewellery to gifts and homewares, art and souvenirs, musical instruments, bring your credit card and maybe leave hubby at the beach.
There is so much great coffee in Byron that I was literally on a caffeine high for three days after the last time we visited and the food in Byron is as diverse as it is abundant.
Make sure you visit the iconic Byron Lighthouse and the the look out that is the most eastern point of Australia.
We packed all this into one day trip and although we were exhausted at the end, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
For the Coffee Lovers
There’s no fancy coffee shop at Ballina Beach Village just the girls in the convenience store who do a damn fine cappuccino for $4.00. Other than that, you’re going to have to bring your own special brew.
For the Foodies
My hubby turns into Jamie Oliver when we stay at holiday parks and whips up all sorts of yummy meals. We find this to be the most economical way to holiday, we pack everything from home and if we need supplies we head into town and into a supermarket. Milk and bread is very expensive at the village so if you’re on a tight budget, bring enough to last. But if you don’t feel like cooking and let’s face, it you are on holidays, the village has a cafe/restaurant with a large deck for alfresco dining. The menu varies depending upon what time of year you visit but the food is always good, although a little pricey. One night we ordered hamburgers and they were delish.
What we’re getting up to next time we go:
- Crystal Castle
- Rock Pools at Shelley Beach
- Killen Falls (Tintenbah)
- Shaws Bay
- Ballina Stand Up Paddle Boarding
- Summerland Surf School
- Paintball Skirmish Ballina Byron Bay
- Whale Watching, Deep Sea Fishing
- Tassiriki Ranch Beach Horse Riding
- Kayak Ballina
Best time to visit
If it’s all about your budget then obviously you want to try to visit outside of the peak periods. But in reality difference in pricing between peak and off peak isn’t much and for the amount of FREE activities on offer during school holidays the extra accommodation cost ends up being pretty insignificant.
If you’re chasing great weather then I recommend visiting between September and April. The weather might not always be perfect but during these months the weather is rarely so terrible that you can’t enjoy yourself.