Ballina does have traffic jams! Well, kind of...
IF YOU'RE going to Byron Bay, most people expect to be delayed by traffic jams. It's almost part of the whole Byron experience.
The popular beachside town is notorious for its traffic issues, and many people plan their journey to factor in extra travel time (or just whinge about it later on Facebook).
But traffic jams in Ballina?
That's almost unheard of.
That is, unless one of these situations is unfolding as you drive through town:
1. Cheap petrol
When the Metro Petroleum service station on River St advertises petrol for less than $1 a litre, news spreads quickly. Bargain hunters line up for hundreds of metres along the road (awkwardly, sometimes right past a rival servo) to fill up their cars with cheap fuel. It can cause some confusion as other drivers pass by, wondering what they're missing out on.
2. Delicious seafood
Especially on weekends, traffic often banks up near Northern Rivers Seafood and the Ballina Fishermen's Co-op, both located at West Ballina. Why? Prawns! Fresh fish! Need we say more? We love a good seafood meal, and it seems like we're prepared to wait a long time to get our fix.
3. Good surf
No-one can resist a picture-perfect day on the Ballina coast. When the waves are good, people flock to the beachside carparks to assess the best place for a surf or a swim. Add in a spot of whale watching or dolphin-spotting, and it can start getting a little bit crowded. Popular spots are the Lighthouse Beach lookout, Black Head carpark at East Ballina, Boulder Beach, Pat Morton lookout and the surfers' carpark on The Coast Road at Lennox Head.