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Ballina Local History

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Ballina is a beautiful coastal town situated on the northern coast of New South Wales, Australia. The town is known for its gorgeous beaches, stunning river, and vibrant culture. But behind its idyllic exterior, Ballina has a rich history that has shaped its present and future.

Indigenous History

For thousands of years before European settlement, the lands around Ballina were occupied by the Bundjalung people. The Bundjalung people were skilled hunters and gatherers, with a deep connection to the land and sea. Evidence of their culture can still be found in the area, including rock art, middens, and burial sites.

European Settlement

The first European to visit the Ballina area was Captain James Cook in 1770. However, it wasn't until the 1840s that Europeans began to settle in the area. Squatters took up land along the Richmond River, and in 1846, a township was surveyed and named Ballina.

During the 1850s, Ballina became an important port for the region's sugar and timber industries. The town grew rapidly, and by 1880, it had a population of over 1,000 people. In 1885, the railway arrived in Ballina, further boosting the town's economy and population.

World War II

During World War II, Ballina played an important role in Australia's defense. The town was home to a large US Army Air Force base, which was used to train pilots and crew members for the Pacific Theatre. The base was also a stopover for aircraft flying from the United States to Australia.

Pastoral and Fishing Industries

After World War II, Ballina's economy shifted towards the pastoral and fishing industries. The town's lush hinterland was ideal for raising cattle and dairy farming, while the nearby ocean provided a wealth of seafood, including prawns, crabs, and fish.


In the 1960s, Ballina's tourism industry began to grow, thanks to the town's stunning beaches and river. Today, tourism is a major part of Ballina's economy, with visitors coming from all over the world to enjoy the town's natural beauty and cultural attractions.

History of in Ballina

Ballina's history is a fascinating journey that spans thousands of years. From the ancient culture of the Bundjalung people to the bustling port town of the 1850s, to the US Army Air Force base of World War II, to the modern-day tourism industry, Ballina has experienced a myriad of changes. Today, Ballina is a thriving town that offers visitors an opportunity to experience its rich history and dynamic culture.

Is the above information accurate? Please help us. We welcome Local Historical Groups in Ballina to post your historical photos and list your organisation in Ballina Community Directory Historical Societies For Local Community Groups, Clubs, No Profit Community Associations, Basic Directory Listings here are Free, and that includes posting your promotional videos and content onto BALLINA.TOWN So what is the catch? None at all. Upgrading your account to "Community Leader" that then sends our visitors to your organisation and switches on heaps of promotional features is just $2 per month and you can list in multiple towns and cities and if that is still just too much to pay to support us and what our family has built here for you let us know we will make it FREE. How? Simply click LOGIN