Growing up in Northern NSW I was always going on little adventures and exploring the area when I wasn’t spending my days at the beach with friends or swimming at the local watering hole. I know this area very well. My parents still live in Ballina and I come back down from Brisbane regularly to visit them. While I’m down there, I always frequent my old favourite hangouts and photograph the amazing scenery that exists in the area. So I thought it was about time that I wrote a list of the 7 best photography spots in Ballina, Lennox Head and Byron Bay so that you can experience the magic of these places too.
7. Main Beach, Ballina
Main Beach, Ballina is where I used to swim all the time as a teenager. Its has copped a bit of bad press lately with the frequent shark attacks last year. This is really unfortunate because its is a such a beautiful beach so don’t let that deter you from enjoying it.
To the left of Main Beach there is an awesome lookout that divides Main Beach and Lighthouse/Shelly’s Beach. To the right of Main Beach there is the North Wall where the river comes out into the ocean. You can walk along the wall all the way to the end which is a really nice walk. While I was down at Ballina over the Christmas break there was some beautiful driftwood that had washed up onto the beach. Someone had made little teepee out of some of it which you can see in the picture above. Driftwood always makes for good foreground interest in pictures.
6. Killen Falls, Tintenbar
Every time I go home to visit my parents I drive out to Killen Falls for a swim. This place used to be a secret spot that only the locals knew about but lately it has become quite well known. The best time to experience these awesome falls is early in the morning before the crowds get there. This is one of my favourite waterfalls in the area and is super easy to get to. Based at the end of Killen Falls Drive, Tintenbar, once you reach the car park, follow the walking track until you get to the creek and then follow the creek upstream until you reach the falls. It’s about a 10 minute walk. You can walk behind this stunning waterfall, swim in the swimming hole below it or just take in the awesome beauty of it!
5. Boulder Beach, Lennox Head
Boulder Beach can be found on The Coast Road, between Ballina and Byron Bay. There is a gorgeous headland where you can sit at sunset and watch the guys catching some waves in the water below. It is an unusual beach as the foreshore is covered in black, smooth boulders, which is an interesting element to add to your photos. At low tide you can explore the rock pools below the headland which also is a great spot for interesting foreground elements in photos. Generally this is a great spot for sunrise but it can be really beautiful at sunset too.
4. Shelly Beach, Ballina
Shelly Beach is located on the left side of the Ballina Lookout from Main Beach, Ballina. This is quite a popular family beach and is great for photography as it has a nice arrangement of flat rocks, rock pools and moss. There is also an ocean pool that you can get some nice reflections off in the right conditions. Best to be photographed at sunrise.
3. Lake Ainsworth, Lennox Head
Lake Ainsworth is located at the end of Pacific Parade and is a tea tree stained freshwater lake. It is a popular spot for caravaners, campers, kayakers or just about everyone wanting to have a bit of fun. As a kid we used to call it the Coca Cola lake because of the colour of the water! The sun sets behind the lake which makes it perfect for sunset shots. Just across the road from the lake is seven mile beach, which is another beautiful beach and great to photograph at sunrise. This was one of my favourite spots to swim as a child.
2. Minyon Falls, Byron Bay
Minyon Falls is a magical place. You can drive to the top for views overlooking the falls, which is a 60 metre drop or you can do the walk to the bottom of the falls. The walk to the base of the falls takes about 40 minutes. I recently did this walk for the first time over the Christmas break and I absolutely loved it! You have to climb over a few rocks and if it has been raining you may get attacked by leeches but once you get to the falls it is all worth it. You can swim in the swimming hole below the falls and there are plenty of massive rocks that you can have a picnic on and enjoy this majestic place.
1. Byron Bay Lighthouse
So I couldn’t wrap this list up without mentioning the iconic Byron Bay Lighthouse situated at the mostly Easterly Point of Australia. This vantage point is probably best to be photographed at sunrise, but you can still get great shots at sunset too. There are a few different spots to photograph the lighthouse from. My favourite composition is from the white fence back near the Lighthouse keepers house.
This place is always a busy no matter what time you are there so doing a long exposure is a good idea to eliminate people in your shots as long as they keep walking! Even if you aren’t photographing the lighthouse, it’s a great spot to hangout at sunset or anytime of the day. My favourite thing to do while I am in Byron is the walk from The Pass all the way up to the lighthouse and back down again. It is amazing for fitness and for stunning views!
Now I know that you may be asking why I haven’t mentioned any Byron Bay beaches in this list but honestly every beach in Byron is amazing. I have already written plenty of blogs about Byron Bay that you can read about here and didn’t want to repeat myself:
So that’s a wrap on the 7 Best photography spots in Ballina, Lennox Head and Byron Bay. I hope you have enjoyed this list and of course if there is anything I have missed or if you enjoyed reading this blog feel free to leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!