Top 6 Instagram spots on the Ballina Coast

Discover the beauty of the Ballina Coast and create some Instagram magic with friends at the same time. From rainforest waterfalls to clifftop walks, these stunning locations are naturals in front of the camera.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Aug 2023 -
min read

Spot dolphins & whales

The Far North Coast of NSW has way more than its fair share of spectacular coastal views, and the vista from Pat Morton Lookout at Lennox Head is up there with the best. It’s a captivating scene that you could gaze at endlessly: as you stand at the lookout, you’ll see Lennox village down below, the sun glistening on the water, and surfers riding the waves rolling into Seven Mile Beach. You might see hang-gliders taking off from here, pods of dolphins, and even whales breaching from June to October. Walk to the top of the lookout and, over the other side, you can take a stunning clifftop path down to Boulder Beach and beyond.

Where to get the best shot: Grab your mates, pack a picnic and take a seat on the grassy area below the lookout steps. Food and views. It’s like it was made for your social feed.

Pat Morton Lookout, Lennox Head

Pat Morton Lookout, Lennox Head

Walk the clifftops

Take a half-day walk from Ballina to Lennox Head with an Indigenous guide, and you’ll not only get some incredible pics but a feeling of what belonging to Country means, too. With Byron Bay Coastal Walks, you and your crew will start at Ballina’s north wall before making your way to Black Head, where you’ll meet Kris, a local Nyangbal man of the Bundjalung nation, who will share stories, show you how to forage for bush food such as pipis, and cook up a morning tea. The clifftop walk up to Lennox Point Headland and down into Lennox village only adds to the sense of place, with the big blues of sea and sky, and greens and golds of bush and beach, as vibrant now as they would have been to the ancients.  

Where to get the best shot: Liven up your Insta feed with an all-action shot of pipi foraging in Lennox’s crystal clear waters. Be prepared to get your feet – and (waterproof) lens – wet. 

Lennox Head, North Coast

Lennox Head, North Coast

Grab a coffee with a view

Head for the hills to see a different side of Ballina. Just about as soon as you leave town, you’ll be among the verdant folds of the hinterland and, after a 20-minute drive, you’ll pull into Zentvelds Coffee Farm and Roastery. Family-owned and -run, and into regenerative farming practices in a big way, Zentvelds grows, processes and roasts its own coffee beans, and makes a mean brew, too. Join a farm tour, sign up for a barista course or just call in, grab some beans to take away, and enjoy a coffee on the deck. The owners are happy for you to bring your own food, so it’s worth popping into the delightful Harvest Newrybar on your way for a selection of their house-made pastries.

Where to get the best shot: On the deck of Zentvelds, with a coffee, overlooking the plantation. On a clear day – which is thankfully most days – you can see the Insta-friendly spire-like summit of Wollumbin (Mt Warning).

Go chasing waterfalls

There’s nothing like a rainforest waterfall to take your breath away and renew your appreciation of nature, and Killen Falls, just 20 minutes out of Ballina, will do just that. An easy 330m walk from your car takes you to the viewing platform, which gives a dramatic view over the top of the falls. Walk down the steep (and sometimes slippery) track to the base of the falls and you can get a good look back up at the cascading water, too. Keep your eyes peeled for birds, turtles and other wildlife.

Where to get the best shot: A walk into the cave behind the falls will reward you with a unique angle back out to the waterhole, with the falling water and changing light providing quite the focus.

Make a splash

Not many towns offer a choice between lake and ocean swimming, just metres apart. But at Lennox Head, that’s what you get: head to the surf life saving club and you’ll have Seven Mile Beach and the Pacific Ocean to your right and Lake Ainsworth to your left. Can’t decide between the two? Do both. Surrounded by tea trees, the lake is a freshwater lagoon that’s great for swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and canoeing with the rustle of leaves and bird calls as your soundtrack. What’s more, the tannin-soaked waters are said to have healing properties and do wonders for your skin and hair – you’re going to glow in those Insta pics.

Where to get the best shot: Take your phone in a waterproof bag to shoot your friends looking fit on their SUP boards with the incredible shoreline behind you.

Lake Ainsworth - Credit: Ballina Information Centre

Lake Ainsworth - Credit: Ballina Information Centre

Cruise the river at golden hour

Hitting the water at sunset is a stunning way end the day on a high and feel a sense of freedom as you cruise out into the unknown. Join Out of the Blue Adventures on a jaunt up the mighty Richmond River. Armed with a cold beverage and plenty of snacks, you’ll discover just how beautiful this river can be at golden hour – and just how rich with wildlife it is. You might spot dolphins, and almost certainly lots of birds: the Richmond River Nature Reserve is home to 160 different species. If you don’t recognise them, don’t worry: a marine biologist on board your 20-guest eco-vessel will explain everything.

Where to get the best shot: Wait for the right moment and grab a group selfie when the sun sets the river aflame.

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