Crossing the Richmond River marks the end of the fishing villages and the beginning of the tourist-driven economy. Ballina is a sign of the times, basing its appeal around family holidays and nature activities. Although it likes to tout itself as a quiet alternative to Byron, Ballina is fast developing along the riverfront.
The Pacific Hwy approaches from the north and turns into River St, the main drag. A bypass due for completion by 2012 will whack off the Pacific Hwy’s clogged route through Ballina to the benefit of the town and drivers.