Admire picturesque heritage streetscapes in Bellingen by the beautiful Bellinger River, in the Coffs Coast hinterland. The charming town is on the Waterfall Way, a lovely driving route that winds past UNESCO World Heritage-listed rainforest, dramatic waterfalls, sweeping valleys and granite peaks.
The tranquil river is popular for kayaking and canoeing. Dairy and other farms thrive in the fertile Bellinger Valley soil around the town, which is nicknamed Bello by locals. You’ll find places to stay dotted along the riverbank and in the verdant countryside surrounded by enchanting bushland.
Halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, and 30 minutes' drive southwest of Coffs Harbour, Bellingen is perfect for a relaxing getaway and a great base for exploring. Stroll along main Hyde and Church streets for heritage buildings, with timber verandah posts adorned with decorative corner brackets.
Stop for refreshments at the Federal Hotel, a beautifully renovated two-storey pub and bistro on Hyde Street that first opened in 1901. Another tempting delight on Hyde Street is the Tuckshop Bellingen, a fish and chip shop that serves fresh seafood caught by Coffs Harbour fishing boats.
An enticing jewel on Church Street is the Cedar Bar and Kitchen, in a lovingly renovated old timber church built in the 1900s.The Bellingen Brewery & Co. is in a carefully converted old factory in a Church Street laneway. Enjoy a fine selection of locally brewed craft ales and delicious food.
With a vibrant community of artisans, artists and farmers, Bellingen celebrates its creativity with bustling markets, an agricultural show and festivals. The Bellingen Community Markets is held on the third Saturday of the month in pretty Bellingen Park. There are over 260 market stalls to browse.
Want to time your holiday on the mid NSW North Coast with enthralling events? The Bellingen Fine Music Festival is a classical music gala in September. The eclectic Bello Winter Music Festival is in July. Book lovers can rejoice, too - the popular Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival is in June.
The heritage town is an excellent base for travelling to the natural attractions. The World Heritage-listed Dorrigo National Park is only half an hour away. You can discover the native wildlife of the Bellinger River with Bellingen Canoe Adventures, which also offers thrilling whitewater experiences.