Ballina, the heart of the Northern Rivers, is a perfect spot to start your tour of this beautifully scenic area. It’s a beach and riverside town with cute cafés, exciting activities and pristine sandy beaches. It is also home to Horizon Motorhomes, which are designed, manufactured and sold in Ballina through BCMC (Ballina Campervan & Motorhome Centre). Clayton Kearney, owner of BCMC and Horizon Motorhomes, has chosen the spot wisely: Ballina and the greater Northern Rivers region is just made for RV touring.
Ballina is populated with award-winning cafés where you can grab a morning coffee or relax over lunch in the calm rhythm of the town. Enjoy a sunny day riding on a beach with Tassiriki stable horses or rent a barbeque boat and unwind on the beautiful Richmond River. For more adventurous souls Ballina offers skydiving over the Richmond River and scenic flights along the picturesque coastline.
A 10 minute coastal drive takes you to the neighboring village of Lennox Head, famous with surfers for its right hand point break. The Pat Morton headland offers thrills for surfers and hang gliders and a perfect lookout to spot whales from June to November. If you’re not up for heights, you can relax on Seven Mile Beach or try kayaking or paddleboarding on Lake Ainsworth, a freshwater lake tannin-stained from the surrounding tea trees. Lake Ainsworth Caravan Park is a premium motorhome location with easy access to the lake and the beach. There are plenty of barbeques dotted around the Caravan Park and lake, alternatively there is a wide range of delicious food on offer in the many stylish restaurants.
After Ballina and Lennox Head make sure you take a tour into the hinterland. There is no other part of Australia quite like the Ballina hinterland, with three major river valleys traversing the region connecting over three hundred cities, towns, villages and small communities; each with its own distinctive style and character. It’s a region characterized by great bio-diversity, wide variations in climate, altitude, landforms and geology, various World Heritage Site listed National Parks and many of Australia’s rare plants and animals.
The hinterland is punctuated with many villages where you’ll find wonderful parks, gardens, tea rooms, boutique cafés, country pubs, galleries and shops filled with local arts, crafts and fresh produce. There is an abundant supply of caravan parks to suit everyone, from the very basic to luxurious.
There are many routes you can take in the region to best suit your interest, be it scenic, food or historic. A recommended trip is from Ballina to Newrybar, where you can grab breakfast at Harvest Café, carry on to the mighty Minyon Falls for an exciting waterfall walk, drive to Eltham to enjoy a top notch lunch at the Eltham Hotel, perhaps buy a souvenir or hand crafted jewellery from the Eltham Gallery next door, and then carry on to Alstonville to admire the historic buildings.
If you are visiting or just passing through Ballina, be sure to stop and say “hi” we’re at 299 River Street.