Two hour drive from the Gold Coast very easy, many beaches to choose from, lots of cafes. A short drive to surrounding attractions, Macadamian Castle, Ballina golf course, main street offers fashion shops,coffee shops, everything for the traveller.
They have a fence at Lighthouse Beach where my husband and I left an engraved padlock. It is all the rage in France on bridges, where couples leave a padlock and throw away the key, so their love is forever.
Ballina is an old family weekend for me when I was a child. Dad would drop Mum and the seven kids at Shaws Bay and he would go play golf and then pick us up after and we would go to South Ballina and fish on the beach until it got dark and then home to Lismore. We left the padlock on Mum's birthday. She would have been 85. Ballina is heaven on earth.
Its a country town on the coast that feels like it never emerged from the 60's/70's. There's a blandness about the place I find quite claustrophobic.
The RSL seems to dominate the social scene reinforcing the baby boomer culture.