Bellingen Things to Do

  • Some pretty scenery en route
    Some pretty scenery en route
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    You're bound to see cows somewhere...
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Most Recent Things to Do in Bellingen

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    Summervilles Road

    by iandsmith Written Jun 28, 2014
    Some pretty scenery en route
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    This road runs more or less parallel to the main road to Dorrigo for about 15 kms before they meet up at Thora. Though there is some dirt (about 3 kms) and it's narrow, it is also scenic with little traffic and makes a nice loop drive from Bellingen.
    At the eastern end there's a river crossing just before Gleniffer and there's a significant fig tree there (see pic 4) that is often mentioned as a highlight.

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    WATERFALL WAY TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE

    by balhannah Updated Nov 6, 2013

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    As usual, the first place we stop is at the Tourist Information Centre. The Bellingen one was easy to find, as it's signposted and located in the middle of the main street.
    We really did have to call in as we couldn't find the Caravan Park! The kind lady told us the only one was at the Showgrounds, that was ok with us. She rang to see if sites were available, there were, so then she marked a Bellingen map so we could find our way.
    I picked up some excellent walking tour pamphlets and tourist drives, all FREE.
    I noticed some mugs and trays with Australian birds, a nice gift if you wanted one. As I like Owls, I bought the Barn Owl Mug, only $10 for a fine bone china mug!

    OPEN. 9 - 5PM DAILY

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    THE BELLINGER RIVER

    by balhannah Written Nov 6, 2013

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    Bellinger River in Bellingen

    The pretty Bellinger River rises in the Great Dividing Range, and travels 109 kms to empty into the Tasman Sea of the South Pacific Ocean, east of Urunga.
    The River runs through the Bellinger River National Park and the New England National Park, and through the town of Bellingen.
    Even though when I was looking at this sedate river, where children were jumping into, were swimming, kayaking and generally having fun, I knew this wasn't always the case. This River is in a high rainfall area, and has flooded Bellingen many times, hard to imagine when you can see just how high the water rises!

    A rare Australian turtle known as Emydura macquarii or the common name of Bellinger River freshwater turtle, is found in the upper Bellinger River above Thora.

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    LOVELY MOSAICS

    by balhannah Written Nov 6, 2013

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    It was wow! when I set eyes on the side of the Toilet block, for there on the wall was a lovely large mosaic. It even had the Ladies and Gents done in mosaic. After taking some photo's, I walked further along to find several picnic tables and benches covered with mosaics.
    I loved them!

    If you wish to see these, then head to the Bellingen showgrounds. The gates are always open.

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    CENTENNIAL PLACE

    by balhannah Written Nov 6, 2013

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    Centennial Place is probably the most modern part of the town. At the start, is a bronze map of the area to commemorate the towns centenary between 1863 - 1963. After viewing this, I walked further on and found lots of outdoor seating and Public Toilets.
    It was across the road where I found Kombu whole foods, a shop that sold organic food.
    A pity I was here late afternoon as the Swiss patisserie was cleaning their shelves and were about to close. I really would have liked to tried something from there! Outside were more tables and chairs for people to enjoy their pastries with a cup of tea or coffee.

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    MORE HISTORIC BUILDINGS

    by balhannah Updated Nov 6, 2013

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    These are all located in Hyde street.

    The best building in the whole street, and one NOT TO BE MISSED, is Hammond & Wheatley Emporium.
    The brochure describes the building as 'An innovative enterprise with locally manufactured concrete blocks and techniques and materials ahead of contemporary country practice."
    The building is lovely inside and out. Outside, within the iron lacework are the department names. Still there are the original brass shop front framings with engraved brass sills. Do step inside to see the mezzanine floor, the grand staircase and the original decorated ceiling, it's like stepping back in time, but for sale is modern mens & womens clothing.

    This building is beautiful inside, so do go and have a look. It still has the original old style ceiling, and under the verandah the pressed metal still exists. Originally an old cottage was the store, then in 1909, a new building was constructed over the existing store.

    Second is the double storied building with a lovely lacework verandah. This was built in 1904 and is the Newsagency
    The next building is the Federal Hotel, named in honour of Federation. It was built in 1901 and was restored in 2006.

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    41 - 59 HYDE STREET, BELLINGEN

    by balhannah Written Nov 6, 2013

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    Between these numbers, there was a collection of Government buildings, some built from brick, and others like the Post Office from 1909, was built out of wood. The Court house and the Police station were built in 1910 out of concrete bricks which were made in a brick-making machine imported from the USA.
    If you haven't picked up the detailed brochure, don't worry, as there is an information board infront of these buildings.

    I thought this was rather funny.
    In 2011, some marijuana plants were found growing at the entrance of Bellingen court house!

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    CHURCHES IN BELLINGEN

    by balhannah Written Nov 6, 2013

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    St. Andrew's Uniting Church
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    A few steps away from the Memorial Hall, I admire the St. Andrew's Uniting Church. What a strong looking Church, one that would look at home in an old walled city!

    The next Church I come across, is St. Margaret's Anglican Church, a much older looking Church. I notice a plaque at the entrance to the church grounds refers to St Margaret of Scotland. This is not the original Church built in 1896, but a newer one built in 1935.

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    BELLINGEN MEMORIAL HALL

    by balhannah Written Nov 6, 2013

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    Memorial Hall

    The first building I notice is the Memorial Hall. I happened to hear a band member saying they couldn't practice there because of an event. I looked at the events to be held and found there are plenty to the end of the year. It seems like the Hall has been a popular place for a long time, from the olden days when Balls were held, then Rock Concerts, and now everything from public meetings and weekly classes to plays, gigs, movies, auctions, school events and more.

    Built in 1929, the Hall features 1920s architecture.

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    GREATEST ONE DAY CRICKETER

    by balhannah Written Nov 6, 2013

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    Another find in Meeting Place Park!

    There he was, the sculptured head of ADAM GILCHRIST, AUSTRALIAS GREATEST ONE DAY CRICKETER, and guess where he was born........Bellingen of course!

    Adam Craig Gilchrist was born 14 November 1971 in the Bellingen Hosptial. He was nicknamed "Gilly" or "Churchy." He was a left-handed batsman, a record-breaking wicket-keeper, an aggressive batter, and one of the greatest wicket-keeper–batsmen in the history of the game. He holds the world record for the most dismissals by a wicket keeper in One Day International cricket and the most by an Australian in Test cricket.

    Gilly has many accolades to his name.

    # One of five Wisden Cricketers of the Year for 2002
    # Australia's One-day International Player of the Year in 2003 and 2004.
    # Received the Allan Border Medal in 2003
    # The only Australian cricketer who was a current player at the time to have been named in "Richie Benaud's Greatest XI" in 2004.
    # Voted "World's Scariest Batsman" in a poll of international bowlers.
    # Named as wicket-keeper and opening batsman in Australia's "greatest ever One day international team"

    No wonder Bellingen is proud of him!

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    THE PIANO SCULPTURE

    by balhannah Written Nov 5, 2013

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    David Helfgott Sculpture

    Located in Meeting Place Park is an interesting sculpture of a Piano. Upon reading the inscription, I found it was for the quite famous concert pianist, David Helfgott.
    Helfgott was born in Melbourne to Polish-Jewish parents, and was a child prodigy at the age of 5 years. During his life, his first marriage broke down, and Helfgott suffered mental problems.

    He is probably best known for the 1996 Oscar winning film "Shine," which dealt with the pianist's formative years and struggle with mental illness. Actor, Geoffrey Rush played his part in the film.

    Now, Helfgott and his second wife, Gillian, live in The Promised Land near Bellingen.

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    Visit the Yellow Shed in Bellingen

    by unravelau Updated Apr 18, 2010

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    The Yellow Shed

    The Yellow Shed is right in the main street of Bellingen and keeps a variety of locally crafted goods and tends a native nursery.

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