Ball milling of ammonothermally synthesized GaN powders was performed in an ethanol solution for a variety of durations, resulting in average particle sizes of nanometer. The ball milled powders showed an obviously brightened color and improved dispersability, indicating reduced levels of aggregation. X-ray diffraction (XRD) peaks of the ball milled GaN powders were significantly broadened compared to those of the as-synthesized powders. The broadening of the XRD peaks was partially attributed to the reduction in the average particle size, which was confirmed through SEM analyses. On the other hand, rare earth doping of commercial GaN powders was also achieved through a ball mill assisted solid state reaction process. Rare earth salts were mixed with GaN powder by ball milling. The as-milled powders were heat treated under different conditions to facilitate the dopant diffusion. Luminescence properties of the rare earth doped GaN powders at near infrared range were investigated and the results were discussed.