Totally Wild tourism boost
BALLINA'S tourism industry is about to get a boost, with a popular children's television series filming an episode in the region last week.
A presenter and film crew from Totally Wild spent a few days in the region, focusing on the recovery program for the rare pied oystercatcher, before a spot of horse riding on South Ballina Beach with the team from Tassiriki Ranch.
Lennox Head-based surfers Owen and Tyler Wright were also interviewed for the program.
Chris and Helen Bull from Tassiriki said it was a "fantastic opportunity" for Ballina to continue to promote itself as an important tourism destination.
"Ballina is on the map," Mrs Bull said. "We had a really fun day with Jess (Meares, the Totally Wild presenter) and her crew.
"The horses were really well behaved and we just had a lot of fun down on the beach.
"We had a family with us on the ride and they had a ball. It was wonderful.
"I was interviewed a couple of times for the show and they said to me, 'Oh, you're a natural in front of the camera'.
"But I just love horses - they are my passion.
"This is a job that you do 365 days a year, but that's what life with animals is like. I would never want to just be sitting in an office."
The Gillan family, including Paul, Tina, Jamie and Holly, were on holidays from Sydney at the time and joined the Bulls and the Totally Wild crew for the filmed ride.
They said they loved the area and would "definitely" come back again.
"It is just so beautiful and peaceful here," Mr Gillan said.
"We are having a fantastic time and we've found plenty to do."
Totally Wild also talked with ranger Holly North from the National Parks and Wildlife Service about the strategies in place to protect the pied oystercatcher.
The Totally Wild episode featuring Tassiriki Ranch, the pied oystercatchers and the Wright family is expected to air within the next eight weeks.