Located in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Ballina is a laid-back beach town just a short flight from Melbourne and Sydney and a two hour drive south of Brisbane. It is known for being a prime whale watching spot from June to November, so many whale watchers book flights to Ballina during this period. In general, most people arrive on cheap flights to Ballina during January and February, Easter is also a popular time with families. November and December become very busy due to Schoolies, Christmas celebrations, and the Boxing Day Races. Start booking your flights to Ballina well in advance if you plan to travel at any of these times. Neighbouring Byron Bay is a tourist hot spot and holds many festivals throughout the year. If Byron Bay is busy, then Ballina accommodation will be booked up from the overspill of visitors. Some of the major Byron Bay festivals to note are: the Byron Bay International Film Festival (March), Blues & Roots Festival (April), Splendour in the Grass (July), Writers Festival (August), Sample Food Festival (September), Byron Bay Surf Festival (October), Mullum Music Festival (November).
There’s no bad time to visit Ballina, the town has a humid subtropical climate so it’s warm all year round, but if you prefer less rain then visit between July and December. The months from January to June receive the most rainfall, with March being the wettest month of all. Visitors wanting to do outdoor activities should plant to look for cheap flights to Ballina outside of this month.
If you’re after lower rates for accommodation and cheap flights to Ballina, try booking your flight tickets after the Easter holidays and before the September/October school holidays. October through early December is also a good time to look for the cheapest flights to Ballina.
Flights from Sydney to Ballina – 1 hr 15 mins
Flights from Melbourne to Ballina – 2 hrs 10 mins
Flights from Perth to Ballina – 7 hrs 35 mins
Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Regional Express are the three main airlines that operate flights to Ballina Byron Gateway Airport (BNK). Services operate from Newcastle, Melbourne and Sydney. If flying from Sydney, you can take a Regional Express flight to Lismore Airport (LSY) which is 30 minutes away but offers cheap flights to Byron Bay. Gold Coast Airport (OOL), an hour’s drive away, is also an option for flights to Ballina.
Ballina Byron Gateway Airport (BNK) is 5 km from Ballina CBD. There are airport transfers and shuttles to link the airport with Ballina and other towns in the region. Bus and coach services operate in the Ballina, Lennox Head, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby areas. There are plenty of rental-car companies with desks at the airport if you wish to explore this part of New South Wales.