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Published December 22nd 2019
Camping offers a closer connection to birdlife and locals
Ballina is a highly desirable tourist location and being so close to Lennox Heads and Byron Bay, two other major tourist destinations, it has a good airport and bus service but the nearest trains are in Casino, an hour away.
With plenty of beaches and the Richmond River, the area boasts walk and bikeways to keep fit. Ballina is generally flat and very scenic, with trendy cafes, all the clubs, a lovely gallery and it is always humming. There are also a good range of caravan parks and camping areas. Whale watching from the beach is amazing during the season.
Reflections and Discovery seem to have purchased most of the van parks in this area and installed new luxurious waterfront cabins. Howvever, prices are not for the budget conscious.
North wall is an ideal walk for birdlife and ocean views. It also protects calm beaches.
Evans Head has a very busy tourist caravan park, Reflections Holiday Park, with an easy walk through the dunes to the beach and the town centre. An ideal location and nice setting, well managed. Evans has plenty of stunning beaches, a river, a few cafes and basic amenities but you will need your own vehicle to access most of these.
Sandalwood Park at Wardell is beautifully set out with a good space between neighbours and plenty of trees, birdlife and a small pool. Ideal for a few nights stop when travelling as there is a pie shop, pub, chemist and PO locally. The owners are friendly but firm, so the park is run well.
Broadwater boasts two parks, both front onto the highway, which will be much quieter once the motorway is complete in March. The two garages have shops with one tourist cafe. It is okay for an overnight stay or four wheel driving but not really ideal for much else.
Lismore has four parks with Lismore Centra Tourist Park being right in town, convenient for all the services and facilities. Oddly enough, it doesn't have a website but word of mouth works. Lismore is a large regional centre, so boasts all the facilities, a river through town with scenic walks and amazing street art.
Another is just reopening near the river, which is prone to flooding. The other two are on the southern side of town, close to the airport. These are more long-term residential parks with only a few overnight sites available. They have basic facilities and tend to cater for those with limited budgets or in crisis.