Ballina Naval & Maritime Museum
Ballina, NSW, 2478
International: +61-2-6681 1002
Open 9am to 4pm daily (some holidays excepted) Admission is by donation.
Situated directly behind the Ballina Library and Tourist Information Centre in the main street, the Ballina Naval & Maritime Museum is on the bank of the Richmond River, adjacent to a large car park with coach parking bays.
The museum is staffed by volunteers and admission is by donation. Children must be accompanied by an adult. There is good wheel chair access and the taking of photographs is permitted.
The main attraction is the La Balsas raft, one of three that made the epic journey from Ecuador to Australia in 1973. This remaining raft is complete, and there are lots of photographs and artefacts relating to the voyage on display.
For those with time to spare, a 50 minute video depicting the construction and the epic crossing to Australia, may be viewed on request.
Full size Las Balsas raft
The museum has a large collection of naval and maritime memorabilia: a replica naval mess deck, complete with hammocks, 21 inch torpedo, mannequins dressed in uniforms, model ships, including one 1:72 scale of H.M. Yacht Britannia, and hundreds of photographs and paintings.
Interesting items like ballast from the H.M.S bark Endeavour and decking from the Krait, a vessel used in the 1943 covert operation Jaywick during WWII, are also on display.
There is a picnic area between the river and the museum building and public toilets and disabled facilities are available. The recently refurbished swimming centre is also adjacent.
Visit the official web site at http://www.ballinamaritimemuseum.org.au/