The Bellingen Shire is located on the Mid North Coast of NSW – just 20mins south of Coffs Harbour. It forms part of the Gumbaynggirr Nation, a proud and sharing community that has had connection to country for over 60,000 years. The Shire offers three distinct experiences. From Urunga and Mylestom on the coast, to Bellingen in the heart of the valley and then up to Dorrigo perched on the plateau.
Dorrigo National Park
Dorrigo National Park, part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, offers stunning scenery that’s been millions of years in the making. The park has a range of forest environments that protect an enormous variety of animals and birds. You might spot red-necked pademelons, the vibrantly coloured wompoo fruit-dove, or the spectacular regent bowerbird.A great day trip from Coffs Harbour, you can go birdwatching, relax at scenic picnic and barbecue spots, explore secret waterfalls and rainforest walks, and be amazed by the views from the elevated walk which looks all the way from the forest to the sea. Be sure to stop in at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre and Canopy Cafe.
Walk through lush rainforest to reach Crystal Shower Falls in Dorrigo National Park near Coffs Harbour. Enjoy spectacular views from the rocky cavern behind the waterfall.The walk to Crystal Shower Falls might be one of the shortest waterfall walks, but it is also one of the most intriguing because you can go behind the waterfall itself. Lush rainforest towers above you on the walk to the falls and you might hear the call of rainforest birds like fruit doves.Once you reach the falls, a suspension bridge leads to a short side track that will take you behind the waterfall into a rocky cavern.To get to Crystal Shower Falls you’ll need to take the first part of the Satinbird stroll and then join the Wonga walk, leaving from The Glade picnic area. If you are feeling energetic and want to explore the rainforest more you can carry on walking the Wonga walk.
Bellingen Brewing Co is a cosy atmospheric microbrewery located in the alternative township of Bellingen.Serving their own craft beers and a selection of Australian organic wines, crafted cocktails, and wood-fired sourdough pizzas.The emphasis of the business is to give people the experience of a comfortable atmosphere for all ages to enjoy.Everything that can possibly be sourced locally and sustainably is used in every aspect of the business.
As one of the oldest, largest and most diverse, Bellingen Community Markets is abuzz every third Saturday of the month in beautiful Bellingen Park, lined with old growth trees and meandering creeks.Focusing on community, culture and diversity, the event showcases a large selection of stalls, consisting of local and afar artisans, crafts people, producers, growers and recyclers, alternative therapies and massage.Tantalise your taste buds with a smorgasbord of delicious gourmet hot and cold food, drinks and coffee.Live music plays all day with spontaneous performances and buskers throughout the park.There is plenty of variety, loads of energy and heaps of great buys for the whole family. It’s a dynamic and friendly day and is certainly worth a visit to beautiful Bellingen and why not stay a while to embrace and enjoy their wonderful, welcoming town.All profits made from Bellingen Markets are donated back to the community.Bellingen Community Markets….not just a marketplace but a great place to be!
Bellingen Canoe Adventures offers canoe trips to all ages, from beginners to the more advanced – flatwater, whitewater, sunset and full moon tours are available.They have single, double or triple canoes and kayaks, and they are comfortable, stable, and flat bottomed, so you won’t fall out! They even have footrests and backrests for your comfort.Bellingen Canoe Adventures is a fantastic way to observe the rich ecosystems and wildlife, flora and fauna and the aquatic culture unique to the Bellinger River. You will learn about the former logging days and the original routes that the Bellinger River took.What makes this a unique business is that you will learn about the indigenous significance and the ceremonies that took place in the Bellingen region – the Gumbaynggirr country.You will be able to see cows rounded up by a cattle dog and watching them migrate from one side of the river to the other, a daily event.They offer visitors sunset tours and once a month full moon tours. They even offer rapid flowing water canoe tours when the water is at the right level.Swimming in clear water is also an option.They are open seven days, including public holidays – rain, hail or shine! Bookings are essential (via phone or email).
By the beautiful Bellinger River, Bellingen is the perfect base for exploring beautiful heritage and natural attractions. The tranquil river is popular for kayaking and canoeing, and scenic drives wind past World Heritage-listed rainforests and dramatic waterfalls.
With a vibrant community of farmer’s and artisans, Bellingen celebrates is creativity with bustling markets and festivals. Time your holiday to Bellingen with one of the many cultural events such as the Bellingen Fine Music Festival; Bello Winter Music Festival and the Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival.
Explore historic Hyde Street with its bohemian vibe, coffee culture and assortment of unique shops.You could happily spend a couple of lazy days soaking up its charms, from sipping coffee and browsing the curated selection of home wares and fashions to perusing the towns popular weekly markets that showcase the creativity of the region.
The starattraction here is the Bellinger River, which cuts a lovely wide swathe through town. One of the best ways to experience it is with Bellingen Canoe Adventures, which offers both canoe hire and guided tours that take in swimming holes and provide plenty of wildlife-spotting opportunities: keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, koalas, egrets, eagles and jumping fish
At Urunga you’ll be blessed with choice if you are a nature lover. This is where the Kalang and Bellinger Rivers meet. The water is a spellbinding azure blue and there’s over 40km of waterways to paddle, swim, fish or kayak. Urunga offers an incredible boardwalk stretching out for over 1km from the town to the beach. The foreshore also includes a wonderful swimming facility in Urunga Lagoon. Make sure you visit Urunga Wetlands while you are in town. Over $10m has been invested at this site to construct a fully accessible boardwalk and protect the environment.