There is something about bike riding on holidays that makes the holiday so much more fun. That's why my husband and I always try to find bike rentals at where we are going and it's also a great way to check out the area while getting a bit of exercise.
Ballina was no exception. We found a bike rental place in town and rented bikes for $15 a day each. The bikes were awesome and they even arranged to pick up the bikes after we'd left from the motel we stayed at. Great customer service!
Off-road shared path
So after we got our snazzy bikes we pedalled to the information centre to get the cycle way map and off we went. The Ballina loop was around 11.5km with mainly off-road shared paths. We did turn down a few streets that we weren't supposed to, but managed to find our way around quite easily. As I am not a fan of cycling on the road with cars zipping by, this was the perfect bike path.
We cycled along various beaches - Lighthouse Beach, Shelly Beach and Angels Beach where we saw many people fishing, kids playing on the beach, and lots of people enjoying the great outdoors with a picnic. Unlike many of the beaches we've been to, none of them were overly crowded. As well as the beaches, we rode past Chickiba Lake, Prospect Lake, Shaws Bay and North Creek with some of them having picnic tables, BBQ facilities, and playgrounds. We even stopped at one of the playgrounds and had a go. I was giggling and squealing madly as my husband pushed me higher and higher on one of the swings. I felt like a kid again!
We also rode over two bridges, Missingham Bridge, which looked out on the magnificent RIchmond River on one side and North Creek on the other; and Prospect Bridge, which was equally stunning. What's more, the lookout at Ballina Head was absolutely spectacular. I just wished I'd packed a picnic and spent the day chilling out here.
All in all, bike riding is a must-do when you're in Ballina. The loop took us about two hours (which included various stops) and most of it was flat. The map is extremely easy to follow and if you don't feel like riding for 11.5 kilometres, there are other paths you can follow. On the contrary, if you are a cycling fanatic, there are also longer rides available.
The Ballina Visitor Information Centre is located on 6 River Street and the staff there is very friendly helpful. Click here for more information.