Ballina - Our home Port
Reviewed Jan 2017
Our home port - The biggest hurdle at Ballina is crossing the bar, after which there are tons of safe spots to drop you hook, plus a river that can be navigated as far as Broadwater, 20 miles upstream. And, if you can lower your mast, as far as Lismore 40 miles upstream.
Just off the town there are two floating pontoons providing short stays with restaurants, grocery and variety stores a short walk away. Stay longer if the pontoons are not in demand.
If anchoring is your preference, as it is with Jack and Jude, a good place is just upstream of the sailing club that is next to the outdoor swimming pool evident by the massive water slide. Take care, there are unmarked shoals downstream. Or further upstream, a popular stop is outside the trawler harbour. Or pretty much anywhere, but all anchorages are stream effected. There is also a well protected pond of water on the south side called Mobbs Bay. It's shallow but Ok for up to 2 m draft in a small area. It's rather isolated from town, best access being across the river by dinghy. If a longer stay is planned, contact the Ballina Slipway and inquire about a mooring or alongside up Emigrant Creek, which is entered just upstream of the Burns Point Ferry. A good tide is needed by keelboats with the shallowest bit at the red buoys marking the first turn.
CROSSING RIVER BAR -
Crossing the river bar can be dangerous so do take care. Never enter in an outgoing tide with any sort of swell outside. Also, afternoon sea breezes whip up the sea on the bar, so we nearly always cross at early light, with at least half tide rising. Stay on the leads, or favor the north a bit. Do not get anywhere near the south wall - there have been boats lost attempting that shallow area. Of course, get the latest advice from the Marine Rescue Tower and know where the several sets of leads are before entering.
Hope that helps.
Plenty of shopping close to river - heaps of anchorages.
Easy to be secluded.
Crossing the river bar can be dangerous so do take care