This is one of my favourite things to do in Ballina. A breakwall is an artificial wall, commonly built of stone, which protects a harbour from lake waves. Ballina's version of this is especially pretty when some of Ballina's 100 strong fishing fleet go out to sea between them. It is quite a sight especially as dusk or dawn sweeps in. The fact that you can walk out onto the wall and feel as if you are in the midst of everything is a fantastic feeling. This feeling is usually compounded when you glance to your left and see the surfers amongst the waves and the sound of water crashing against the rocks. Perfect!
Shaws Bay is a peaceful, waveless salt water beach only a couple of minutes from the city centre. Because of the gentle nature of the water here it is perfect for young children and those who don't enjoy the surf beaches.
There are picnic and barbecue facilities and also the opportunity to rent out paddlers to take out into the bay which is always a little bit of fun. Shaws Bay Caravan Park, Shaws Bay Hotel and a little take-away shop to but fish and chips are situated right at the waters edge. How conveinient! The Ballina breakwall starts from this point and is a beautiful leisurely walk out into the ocean. Mind the occasional burst of wind of course!
The water turns quite serene at times and I snapped this pic of my Mum and baby sister in a pose where they are seemingly contemplating life. Not a bad spot to do it!
From approx. June to November, Whales coming from Antartica, pass along the east coast of Australia.
At Ballina, there is a breakwater where the Richmond River enters the ocean. It is along the top, where a bicycle/walking track leads to the very end.
It was along here, where I saw four Dolphins frolicking in the River head, how-ever, I wasn't lucky enough to see the Whales, even though three different groups of people had seen them from here - just the luck of the draw! I was told, sometimes you need Binoculars and at other times, they are quite close and can be seen easily.
Look for Lizards [Water Dragons] sunning themselves in the early morning on the rocks.
People were fishing too, in a Kayak and off the rocks, didn't see any Fish caught!
Well, the first time that I had that done was in 2001 and it was predominantly red and yellow then, this time it was a different story. Quite painless ........ I didn't have to disrobe or anything like that you just sit and place your hands on a hand shaped devise and hold steady for a moment. Hey presto out comes your aura.
I became interested in auras when the Biologists started talking about the energy radiating from plants and were showing photos of this to support the philosophy many years ago. I often used to wonder about dogs and cats awareness and hearing being more sensitive than ours too. So it wasn't much of a step for me to agree that just because most people don't see some things with the naked eye doesn't necessarily mean that this energy doesn't exist. Read more through the link below.
I had never seen a labrynth up close and personal before and was intrigued to discover what makes it so special to people. The site for reference speaks of a labrynth as being an important aspect of many ancient cultures. I took my lead from Jan, the only other person in my group to actually 'do the walk', but her experience was different to mine. I guess that under other circumstances and with unlimited time I would have completed the circuit in a tai chi meditation walk but with time constraints I just walked it..........slowly. I was about half way through when I became aware of a shift of consciousness if you like.......I almost teetered over but I realise now that there was never any risk of that. It, the feeling was one of being adjusted or rebalanced or attuned, if you like. It was a lovely experience and next time I will take the time to do it properly.
Shelley's Beach is basically main beach in Ballina. It is a surf beach which features some rock pools to the right of the main break as you look out to sea. If you dont feel like going for a swim (and even if you do in fact!) I recommend going for a paddle through the pools and discover beautiful sea life and shells there. It is very safe and the thrill of the occasional big wave splashing against the rocks which sends you scurrying back a few metres is fantastic. And so be it if your clothes get a little damp! If you look at the piccie I have uploaded you will see a beautiful starfish and sea snail sitting side by side that I discovered on my last trip there. It was lovely and my little nephews who were there with me could hardly contain their excitement at being there. Very nice and cheap day out for the whole family and one of the 'small things' in life that are extremely precious.
Like the Navy? Then come to this Museum with its many displays and models of ships!
For me, the most interesting is the display of one of the original three rafts which journeyed from Ecuador to Ballina in 1973.
Other displays include rafts, dugout canoes, paddles, oars, sail, sailing ships, steam and diesel powered engines, uniforms and much more. Excellent models of ships of the Royal Navy, including the HMAS Melbourne whose career ended in 1985, by being towed from Australia to China for scrap metal!.
A sobering moment is the lists of casualties and the diary of ships lost in WW2. Of interest to Australians is the loss of ships due to enemy action in Australian waters, this is shown on maps. The ocean liner, the Aquitania, carried as many as 14000 troops at a time - one of the many models on display.
The Museum has a souvenir and gift shop.
THE MUSEUM IS OPEN 7 DAYS FROM 9 - 4PM
ADMISSION ADULTS $5 children $2
Plenty of FREE PARKING by the Visitor Information centre.
The historic Ballina Court House and what used to be the Post Office, are two of the nicest buildings in Ballina.
The old Post Office, now the Ballina court offices, was built in 1856. Back then, the mail came by Horse-back between Ballina and Casino.
Adjoining this building, is the Court House, built in 1867 and still contains many of its original fixtures and fittings.
We were welcomed at the Ballina Tourist Information centre by a friendly local. Could she help us, no, we were just browsing around, so she left us alone.
The centre was well equipped with plenty of souvenirs, and a couple of display boards with photo's taken around Ballina. These were good!
Nearly all the brochures and pamphlets are free, and at this centre there are some beauties! I think the brochures cover nearly everything making it easy to find your way around town.
Brochures are of... 'Services & Facilities', 'Dining Out Guide', 'Market Days in the District', 'Arts and Crafts', 'Golf on the Far North Coast', 'Parks and Picnic Areas in Ballina', 'Viewing Spots for Dolphins', 'Cycle/Walking Track's ', 'Ballina River Drive' and 'Self Driving Tours'.
They will find accommodation for you and book it, plus are very helpful with local knowledge.
Our friend bought some souvenirs and we picked up brochures to peruse for our days at Ballina.
Look for the blue sign with the yellow "i" when trying to find the centre.
Plenty of FREE PARKING
Open Hours: 9am - 5pm, 7 days a week
A large double storied old house I saw on my way into Ballina, turned out to be Fenwick House.
There is no entry to the house as people live in it, so I had a little read about the inside.
It sounds quite luxurious with Italian marble tiles and fireplaces, an English mahogany staircase, said to cost £900, a ballroom, four metre-high ceilings, chandeliers and more, all still in the house at 120 years old.
Fenwick House was built by Captain Thomas Fenwick in about 1886 for £9000 - a small fortune back then. The architect was the captain's nephew, James, and all materials and labourers were brought to Australia for the work.
And, it does have some GHOST stories!
Apparently you can sometimes smell a woman's perfume wafting from room to room, while others have reported "shadows" flitting across the upstairs hallway. Is it true that there was a tunnel from the basement of the house through to the other side of Missingham Bridge, which Captain Fenwick used to sneak supplies to the house- maybe!
There is a door at the back of the stairs, which opened to a small room. Planks of wood removed from the floor to revealed a deep, dark hole, perhaps the start of a tunnel.
Today it is known as Shaws Bay Hotel and is a prominent landmark.
Of all the times I have been to Ballina, I can never remember seeing this Memorial Park. Set high on a hill, overlooking Missingham Bridge and the Richmond River, is the Pioneer Memorial Park. A wall has been built and the headstones from Ballina's first cemetery have been added. These date back to 1853. I wandered around and read and looked at the headstones, people died differently in those days to today. No car accidents back then, more death through sickness, falling off a horse, etc., quite interesting reading.
If you can call a beach new, then Lighthouse Beach is one, as the beach only came into existence after the construction of the adjacent Richmond River breakwater rock walls in the early 1900s. The construction caused the area to fill with sand, thus building a beach.
I was here several times in a day, and found different activities through-out the day.
Early morning, and it was Surfers here trying to catch some very small waves! Evidently it does have good good breaks on the outer bar and inside the north entrance wall, just not the days I was there!
Later in the day, it was families and children enjoying cooling off in the ocean and sunbakers lapping up the sun. Between the beach and the road is a grassed area and then trees
This beach is patrolled by Surf Life-savers, which is a good thing, as it does have rips and strong currents, resulting in quite a high lot of rescues each year. If you get into trouble while swimming, put you hand high up so a Life saver can see you, then come to your rescue.
Life-guard Patrol 9am-5pm
One Lifeguard Monday to Friday
Volunteers on weekends and public holidays
There were plenty of FREE CAR PARKS and paths to the beach
How lucky are the people of Ballina to have an Olympic pool and a huge Waterslide situated in the town centre!! Fun for everybody and very popular!
There is the 50m Olympic pool-with solar heated water, three pools for toddlers, a learn to swim pool, and even wheel-chair access ramps for the disabled, isn't that great!
Toilets, Ladies & Gents Change rooms, showers, Pool Kiosk, Picnic tables, two shorter waterslides and a longer, faster slide for those who want to scream!
2013/2014 Swimming Season: 16 September 2013 to 27 April 2014
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 6.00am to 6.00pm.
Saturday 8.00am to 6.00pm.
Sunday & Public Holidays 9.00am to 6.00pm.
ENTRY FEES FOR 2013/2014
Waterslide Fee $15.00 (including pool entry fee)
Adult Single Entry $3.80
Spectator Single Entry $2.60
Adult Ten Entry Ticket $35.00
There are many different types of entry fees, so please check the website.
Ballina Manor is a historic building in Ballina. We found it because of the Brown Tourist signs!
There is a quite a story to this building. It all began after WWI, when the Methodist Church purchased land for the erection of a Church and Parsonage. This didn't happen, instead the Reverend decided it was more more important to build a Girls College, this was built in 1924/45. Sadly, it closed in 1930 due to the lack of boarders. The building then became a guesthouse, then later in the 1960’s to flats. In 1999, it was to be demolished, instead it was saved by the former Mayor of Lismore & his wife, who had a dream for the old North Coast Girls College. The Ballina Manor was born!
The Manor was restored by them to its original granduer.
FREE GUIDED TOURS operate 7 Days a week / 10:00am to 5:00pm
It is now used as a Boutique Hotel, where you can enjoy luxury accommodation and fine dining.
Shaws Bay is a pretty lake that was formed when the Ballina Breakwater was constructed.
We were very lucky that our Caravan Park was located on the edge of this lovely lake.
On my early morning walk I found the water to be very calm and I was able to get some reflection photo's.. A few fishermen were about, and a couple were making a few ripples on paddle boards.
Later on, more people came, children paddled, some went out deeper for a swim. The seagrasses in the bay provide a good environment for snorkeling, I did see some people doing this.
I could have sat here for ages just watching the Pelican catching quite a few fish and enjoying life passing by!
Pop Denison Park adjoins the caravan park. Here is a sandy Beach, picnic facilities, BBQ's and Toilets.
Further around, is Shaws Bay Hotel which had a country western band playing. We stopped here for Dinner, which we had at one of the outdoor tables. This was a nice way to end a day!
The inaugural Dragon Boat Regatta was held in Shaws Bay in 2013.