We’ve certainly seen our fair share of wet weather here in the Northern Rivers over the last few months and they say there’s more to come. So, what do you do when you’re holidaying in Ballina when it’s raining? It’s the perfect opportunity to discover what the area has to offer away from the sun, sand and surf! Here’s our list of 10 things to do in Ballina when it’s raining.
Soak Up the Vibe at the Crystal Castle
For the quintessential “Byron Bay” experience you must visit one of Australia’s most chilled out places, the Crystal Castle. Located in the Byron hinterland and only 40 minutes from Grandview Apartments Ballina, the Crystal Castle is home to the biggest crystals in the world where you can crawl into an amethyst cave, join daily Crystal Sound Healing sessions, wander around the beautiful Shambhala Gardens and rainforest walk, stroll around the southern hemisphere’s only World Peace Stupa blessed by the Dalai Lama, or sip a chai in the café overlooking spectacular views. There’s also a gorgeous little shop where you can browse for some truly unique gifts and even get a photograph of your aura! The Crystal Castle takes on a whole new magical feel when it’s raining so it’s definitely at the top of our must-visits. Take an umbrella.
Visit a local Brewery or Distillery
The last decade has seen some of our local breweries and distilleries gain national recognition. What better way to keep warm on a rainy day than to sip a Brookies gin or discover where the legendary Stone and Wood beer is made (right here in Ballina!). Another fun one is Wandana Brewing Co where they often have local food trucks serving delicious local food and live music and DJ’s playing tunes to the backdrop of Mt Chincogan and the hinterland. Kid friendly, Wandana is not a bad place to find yourself on a rainy day in the Northern Rivers. Just check it’s open before driving up.
Ten Pin Bowling
This family run business in Ballina is well known for its friendly staff, great tunes playing and fun vibe. They also have a mini putt-putt course and arcade machines. Not just for the kids, get your best socks out and have a bit of friendly competition.
Everyone’s go-to when it’s raining, but watching the latest blockbuster is a guaranteed way to kill a few hours when it’s miserable outside. Playing all the latest movies and with some great flavoured choc tops (salted caramel or boysenberry is this author’s favourites).
The Far North Coast including Byron Bay is home to some amazing designers and artists, some world-renowned. Here are a few of our favourites:
Newrybar Merchants – this retail collective hosts local artisans and designers all under the one room in the quaint little village of Newrybar. Fashion, pottery, homewares and so much more, if you’re looking for gifts to take back home, this is where you’ll find them. Don’t forget to walk across the road to Driftlab – a locally Newrybar is also home to Harvest, an award-winning café and restaurant that we’ve also included in our Food Trail suggestions.
Byron Bay – if you love clothes, it’s worth the scenic 25-minute drive from Ballina to Byron Bay to where you’ll find such designers as Spell Clothing (with a fan base including Isobel Lucas, Alessandra Ambrosio and Vanessa Hudgens), Rowie, Arnhem, Auguste the Label, St Agni, Kivari Boutique, Enzo and Toto and the list goes on.
Bangalow – just down the road from Newrybar is the charming little town of Bangalow. Worth a wander up and down the main street to discover the many unique shops don’t miss Abracadabra, Bisque Traders, Don’t Tell Mama, Island Luxe and Wax Jambu Emporium.
Follow the Food Trail
There’s nothing more comforting on a rainy day than eating some delicious food. The Northern Rivers has some of the best. Using the rain as an excuse to drive around the area searching for your favourite breakfast, lunches and dinners is not a bad way to spend your days. See our Best Restaurants and Cafes in Ballina and Lennox Head blog for more inspiration!