While staying down in Northern NSW last week I was excited to be staying close to the beach and to finally have some time to do some photography. I get a bit crazy if I go too long between shoots. I have said many a time in the past that photography is my meditation and it was long overdue. My parents recently moved to Ballina much to my excitement because it means I am only a 5 minute drive to the beach when I stay down there now. Not like the hour drive that it normally takes me from Brisbane to get to the closest beach.

4:30am the alarm went off and Im not the best at getting up early so luckily my husband understands how much I need to get out there and shoot and drags me out of bed. We were in the car and heading towards Shellys Beach, Ballina and could already see the sky lighting up with a pink tinge behind the grey clouds! Hoorah! This is a good sign a hour before sunrise!

We arrived at Shellys Beach and got Otis (silky terrier x) and Ella (toy pomeranian) out of the car and raced down to the beach. The dogs were barking with excitement that Im sure they could feel coming from me. I set up my gear just in front of this gorgeous rock pool and started clicking away. There was nobody else around except us and it felt like we had the whole world to ourselves. I love the feeling of solitude after living such hectic lives the rest of the time.

The sky was turning all shades of pink and purple and the colours just kept getting stronger and stronger but I really loved the colours after they started to calm down and the sun coming up just over the horizon and peaking through the clouds. It was a beautiful shade of pink. Meanwhile the dogs were running all over the rocks and peeking in the rock pools to see what was in there and having an absolute ball. This was my favourite pic from the morning:

Shellys Beach, Ballina, NSW, Australia
Shellys Beach, Ballina, NSW, Australia

By this time a few earlybirds had arrived at the beach. There were a couple of fisherman over on the rocks to the right of me and a few people jogging and few people up behind me snapping away on there point and shoot cameras and I kind of felt like I was in this special club of people that really appreciate what its like to be awake and witnessing this kind of beauty at this ungodly hour of the morning!


Shellys Beach, Ballina NSW, Australia. Park to the right of the surf club and walk down to the rocks directly in front.


Sunrise. Low Tide so that the beautiful moss is exposed.

Camera Settings:

Canon 5D Mark 3. Lens: 17-40mm L Series.

F8 @ 211 seconds

ISO 200


ND Filter and Graduated Filter.

What did you get up to on your Boxing Day? Were you awake this early to see the amazing sunrise in your part of the world? I would love to know, so leave a comment below!

2 thoughts on “Boxing Day Bliss at Shellys Beach, Ballina NSW

  1. stunning shot. love your photography. just think how many magical moments like this happen when most of us are sleeping. Glad you got up to capture it to share it with us !

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment Rigel! Yes, its definitely worth the early rise when you see amazing sunrises like this! 🙂

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