A unique culture with a country town vibe
One of the prettiest towns of New South Wales is also one of its most creative. Bello is renowned for its natural beauty, festivals and vibrant arts and music scene.
For information on everything that is happening in the Bellingen Shire go to i Love Bello Shire
Famous for its eclectic mix of boutique shops, galleries and string of great restaurants, cafés, and bars, Bellingen – ‘Bello’ to locals – was once a dairy village. Retaining its country charm, this historic town is now home to a dynamic community of artists and creatives and is the host of a number of annual creative arts and music festivals.
Imagine an idyllic stay, just fifteen minutes from the coast, surrounded by lush green rolling hills. Relax and unwind against the backdrop of the beautiful Bellinger River and blue hazed mountains. The river runs through the town, perfect for swimming and canoeing.
There are plenty of opportunities to experience Bellingen’s wonderful natural setting – from paddling a canoe on the meandering Bellinger River to watching the majestic sight of thousands of flying foxes taking flight as they head down the river at dusk.
Eating & drinking
Bellingen is famous for its restaurants and cafes which line the main street and leafy laneways. You'll find many full of local art and often hosting live music.
There is a huge variety of food on offer from fine dining to family-friendly bistros, organic cafes to takeaway pizzas.
Church Street is home to a number of cafes and restaurants and a great place to sit and watch the world go by. Head up the main street and explore more amazing eateries and coffee shops, with handmade gelato at the famous Gelato Bar and organic treats a perfect afternoon destination for the family.
If you fancy a drink with your meal, drop into the pub or head down Church Street for a visit to the Cedar Bar. A visit to Bellingen is not complete without sampling some locally made beers and bar snacks at the Bellingen Brewery.
Bellingen has been transformed over the years into an alternative hub. Known for its colourful monthly market, its produce and artisan markets feature organic locally grown produce, gourmet foods and handmade wares. Combining laid-back charm, with a passion for sustainable living, the Bello lifestyle is quite different to the urban norm.
Stay or visit the coast: Urunga
A fifteen minute drive from Bellingen will have you at the long white beaches of Urunga, a seaside town that's a drawcard for summer holiday visitors. It's a great spot to enjoy the coast after your creative course has finished for the day. A peaceful town on a picturesque coastal strip, Urunga is popular with boaters, picnickers, swimmers and anglers. The village has a relaxed sea-side atmosphere. The Urunga boardwalk offers an opportunity to see some of the extraordinary birdlife and wildlife of this unique coastal region, with dolphins swimming in the rivers a common sight for walkers.
Stay or visit the mountains: Dorrigo
Dorrigo lays claim to the ‘World Heritage listed’ Gondwana rainforests of Dorrigo National Park, with stunning lookouts, scenic walking trails, waterfalls, birds and wildlife. The Dorrigo township offers a mix of traditional rural Australian stores with chic cafes, boutiques, galleries and gorgeous organic produce.
Mylestom is the place for a quiet waterside retreat, nestled between the ocean and the Bellinger River. Its incredible rolling surf beach has kilometres of unspoilt sand and is patrolled adjacent to the surf club during the surf season. North Beach is a kids holiday haven. The river has a netted tidal pool offering a protected swimming area, with a great shady picnic area on the riverbank.