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Unleash your inner bohemian in Bellingen

Bellingen Canoe Adventures, FernmountCREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying a tour with Bellingen Canoe Adventures along the Bellingen River, Fernmount.

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Unleash your inner
bohemian in Bellingen

Bellingen Canoe Adventures, Fernmount CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying a tour with Bellingen Canoe Adventures along the Bellingen River, Fernmount.

#feelnsw

Hashtags #feelnsw

Seek respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in historic Bellingen, a 30-minute drive south of Coffs Harbour. Surrounded by re-energising subtropical rainforests, this free-spirited Mid North town is the perfect destination to slow down and ease into a relaxed small-town vibe. 

Connect with history, culture and community  

Be charmed by the heritage-listed buildings in Bellingen’s compact town centre, including the Hammond and Wheatley building on Hyde Street. This building dates from 1909 and is now home to the fashion and homewares store Emporium Bellingen and the eclectic Dervish Gallery. Indulge in more retail therapy at the Bellingen Community Markets held on the third Saturday of the month. Connect to the local community as you browse more than 200 stalls with a focus on handmade, recycled and upcycled wares.  

Be re-energised by your surroundings 

Feed your soul with a taste of Bellingen’s rainforests by driving 9km up the winding Waterfall Way to the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre in Dorrigo National Park. Drink in the superb views from the Skywalk, then be awed by the magnificent 600-year-old trees on Wonga Walk. Walk behind Crystal Shower Falls and let waterfall’s clouds of mist cool your face during this 6.6km loop. And identify the rainforest songbirds that call out along the trail when you download the free NPWS self-guided tours app.  

Marvel at the beauty of nature as you paddle down the Bellinger River with Bellingen Canoe Adventures, perhaps spotting a koala or two, or take an exhilarating dip in one of the river’s swimming holes. Get fresh air pumping in your lungs as you explore local mountain bike trails or lace up your boots for a bushwalk. Let your competitive instincts flow as you and your companions scan for the abundant local wildlife on one of the many self-guided walks in the area, or come away with insights into the region’s spectacular natural landscapes by taking a tour with local ecologist Mark Graham of Bellingen Nature Tours

Set your inner hippie free by taking your seat in a colourful vintage VW for a Bellingen Kombi Tour. Watch the lush hinterland scenery whiz by as you take a ride to a local winery in one of the company’s two 1970s-era Kombi vans painted by local artist Ian Moule, or pave your own hippie trail on a customised tour.  

Dorrigo Skywalk, Dorrigo CREDIT: Destination NSW

Aerial overlooking the Dorrigo Skywalk attraction in Dorrigo National Park.

#feelnew #feelnsw

Dorrigo Skywalk, Dorrigo CREDIT: Destination NSW

Aerial overlooking the Dorrigo Skywalk attraction in Dorrigo National Park.

#feelnew #feelnsw

Dangar Falls, Dorrigo CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying a walk to the bottom of Dangar Falls, Dorrigo.

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Dangar Falls, Dorrigo CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying a walk to the bottom of Dangar Falls, Dorrigo.

#feelnew #feelnsw

Uncover a vibrant local dining scene 

Rediscover the joy of café-hopping in town, where you’ll never feel hurried. Café by day and live music venue by night, 5 Church Street’s focus on local organic and biodynamic produce guarantees a nourishing meal. Around the corner at Hyde Bellingen, take pleasure in sipping your morning brew as you browse the multifaceted business’s thoughtfully curated selection of clothing, homewares and wellness products. And soak up the century-old building’s history at at the Old Butter Factory Cafe as you devour a plate of fluffy ricotta pancakes.  

Surrender to the romance of the beautifully restored church, complete with original stained glass windows, that serves as the setting of Cedar Bar & Kitchen, where you’re equally welcome to pop in for a craft drink or a grazing-style dinner. Or imagine you’re in a rustic Italian trattoria at a newer addition to the local dining scene, Charlie’s at Church, where the homemade pastas and pizzas are so authentic you’ll fall in amore (love) all over again.  

You can also expand your palate with Middle Eastern street food at Za’atar (try the malawach rolls, a traditional Yemeni pastry), or embrace the fusion of Japanese and Australian traditions at Qudo, where the sashimi salmon nigiri will leave you wanting seconds.  

When it’s time for a beer, lean into the opportunity to mingle with locals at Bellingen Brewery & Co. The intimate artisan brewery serves its own beers, ciders and ginger beers along with a selection of Australian organic, biodynamic and preservative-free wines, best paired a Napoli-style pizza.  

If you prefer to cook, schedule your grocery shop at the Bellingen Farmers and Producers Market held on Wednesdays, where you’ll be inspired by the stallholders’ passion for sustainable produce as you fill your basket with everything from microgreens to fermented foods. 

Retreat to a memorable stay 

Revel in the sense of exclusivity at Hermitage Estate, a decadent escape on the beautiful Never Never River. The ultra-luxe three-bedroom villa only accepts one booking at a time, so you can imagine you’re lord or lady of the manor. Breathe in the tranquillity of its lush location as you sink into the outdoor spa under a canopy of stars.  

Nearby, Promised Land Retreat invites you to take advantage of the serene hinterland setting of its three modern and bright chalets any way you like. Work up a sweat on the tennis court, test your skills on the ping-pong table, get your legs burning on the mountain bikes, or take a bushwalk along the crystal-clear Never Never River before taking a dip that will leave you feeling more refreshed than ever. 

For something different, immerse yourself in organic farm life at the Dairy Bales at Moo River Farm, a one-bedroom cabin with mountain views. Halfway between Bellingen and Dorrigo, the farm produces garlic, macadamias and finger limes; if they’re not in season when you go there you can always sample the sweet honey from the beehive and enjoy the simple farm-to-table pleasure of cooking your own farm-to-plate breakfast with eggs from the chickens.  

Closer to town, start the morning with a smile on your face as you wake up to uninterrupted mountain views at 30-room The Lodge Bellingen. And that’s just a taste of the atmospheric accommodation options in the region.  

Bellingen Brewery, Bellingen CREDIT: Destination NSW

Exterior view of the Bellingen Brewery.

#feelnew #feelnsw

Bellingen Brewery, Bellingen CREDIT: Destination NSW

Exterior view of the Bellingen Brewery.

#feelnew #feelnsw

Bellingen River, Fernmount CREDIT: Destination NSW

Scenic aerial overlooking the Bellingen River on the Mid North Coast.

#feelnew #feelnsw

Bellingen River, Fernmount CREDIT: Destination NSW

Scenic aerial overlooking the Bellingen River on the Mid North Coast.

#feelnew #feelnsw

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