I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published October 13th 2019
Walk with whales and birds
My bushwalking club planned a walk from Ballina to Lennox Head in NSW. They planned to leave Brisbane around 5.45am, drive down to Lennox Head, do the walk and return the same day. A couple of friends and I decided to go down the day before, camp at Ballina, do the walk, camp another night and then return to Brisbane.
We camped at Flat Rock tent campground in East Ballina. It was a beautiful, quiet bushy camping area right behind Angels Beach with sea views through the trees. We went for a walk after setting up our tents and saw whales breaching offshore from the viewing platform.
There were also lots of sea birds on the basalt outcrop of flat rocks as we explored the area and walked along the long deserted beach to the headland as the sun was setting We went to sleep to the sound of waves.
It was a totally different camping experience than my previous one on the Gold Coast, which was filled with camper vans and caravans and felt more like being in suburbia. That camping area was also a long walk to the beach.
The bus arrived on time, and only cost a few dollars. The path was well marked and very interesting. There were lots of information boards along the route explaining the history of the area, including a sad Aboriginal massacre.
There were memorials to the Bundjalung people who lost their lives at the Black Head massacre of 1853 or 1854 in the East Ballina Area. The Ballina coastline is connected by the Goanna and Snake Dreaming story. The area is important for Aboriginal people today to learn about traditional Aboriginal culture.
We walked beside the Richmond River, over the break wall and north up Angels Beach. We passed our campsite at Flat Rock, then climbed the headland where we saw more whales and dolphins. There were also lots of pelicans, cormorants and some beautiful coloured rainbow bee-eaters. We watched them flying around the sandhills on the coast.
There were lovely views along the way over the Lennox Headland and down into the village. We passed Lighthouse Beach, Angels Beach, Flat Rock, Boulder Beach, Sharpes Beach, Shelleys Beach, Skennars Head, Headlands, Iron Peg and Lookouts. One headland had a fence with lots of locks attached to it.
After we arrived in Lennox Head, we changed into clean, dry clothes and went for lunch at Penny Lane Café. We said farewell to our friends who headed back to Brisbane. We drove back to our campsite in Ballina, had a shower and went for dinner at the RSL. After another relaxing night, we packed up and drove home the next morning.
We had perfect sunny weather and thoroughly enjoyed our coastal walk. Anyone with reasonable fitness could do this interesting, relaxing walk along the Coastal Recreational Path from Ballina to Lennox Head, and I would recommend camping at Flat Rock to really enjoy the experience.