(Image taken in November 2001. Author’s own collection.)
A children’s pool sited near the mouth of the Richmond River in residential East Ballina on Shelly Beach (on Ballina Head), just south of the Ballina-Lismore Junior Surf Life Saving Club and north of Ballina’s Lighthouse Beach. This seems to be the northernmost ocean pool on the New South Wales coast.
Shelly Beach Road, East Ballina, NSW, 2478, Australia
(Latitude South 28 degrees 51 minutes 16 seconds, Longitude East 153 degrees 36 minutes 6 seconds)
Even before mixed daylight bathing and surfing was fully accepted on the New South Wales coast, people visited Ballina on Sundays to fish, hire boats and paddle in the waves. Others visited during Christmas holidays or spent their honeymoons there. Some holiday-makers rented houses, while others camped in tents.
Ballina’s grew in popularity as a seaside resort because it offered camping, bathing, surfing, swimming and good oystering, as well as a pleasing set of landscapes. Council had constructed a road across the sand connecting the town of Ballina with East Ballina, where ‘an excellent site for camping-out’ and dressing -sheds had been constructed with volunteer work and a small contribution from council.
The East Ballina beach was considered ‘a splendid bathing facility, shallow for a long distance out and ‘perfectly safe for children, when the waves roll shoreward in lazy languor, surfing may be indulged in with pleasure and absolute safety’.
From early 1990s
Less able swimmers were advised to cool off in the small swimming pool at East Ballina. 2002
Tourism New South Wales considered the Shelly Beach Rock Pool ‘perfect for toddlers’.