08 September 2018 by Gethin Coles
Bellingen is a bohemian inland town right smacked in the middle of Sydney and Brisbane. It may be small, but the list of things to do in Bellingen goes on and on, much like the rolling Teletubby hills and pastures of its lush surrounds.
Here are 10 to get you started.
1. Go cafe-hopping and shopping in Bellingen town
The quaint town of Bellingen is peppered with restaurants, cafes and bars. Soak up the beautiful weather by going alfresco at the Black Bear or grab a high chair atHyde and people-watch over a cup of coffee. Sunny afternoons are also a perfect excuse for a scoop of award-winning ice-cream at Bellingen Gelato Bar
To delve into Bellingen’s artsy side, walk it off at the Old Butter Factory – a shopping arcade with art galleries, leather goods and woodcraft.
2. Spend the night at a
Luxury Chalet in the Promised Land
This 100-acre slice of paradise is just 15 minutes away from Bellingen town, with 3 luxury chalets perfect for romantic getaways and family vacations. Here you’d find an idyllic respite from everyday routine in the mountains, meadows and creeks.
The great outdoors is just minutes away, and you are free explore the 12km loop on our mountain bikes. Still, snuggling up in bed and watching the shadows move over the mountains is perfectly acceptable.
Remember to say hi to our donkeys, Zorro and Albi, and stargaze from your balcony if the night is clear!
3. Dip in one of Bellingen’s many swimming holes
The Bellinger and Never Never River are popular spots for clean river water and the tingling in your skin, but if you desire someplace quieter, the Capararo and Tallowood Bridges are just a stone’s throw away from Promised Land Retreat.
4. Trek through Bellingen’s National Parks
You can make a day trip out to Dorrigo National Park parks.nsw.gov.au/ which is a 40-minute drive away from our retreat, and Cathedral Rock National Park, which is another 45 minutes from Dorrigo.
Dorrigo is suitable for families, and you’ll spot a great deal of plant species and birds in the rainforest. On the contrary, Cathedral Rock feels like uncharted territory with nary a sign or panel, but is a treat for adventurous souls who prefer going off the beaten track.
5. Mark your calendars for Bellingen’s local marketsThe Bellingen Growers Market is held every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month between 8am and 1pm at the Bellingen Showground. For crawling out of bed early, you’ll be rewarded by fresh fruits, vegetables, jams and honey. Grab a quiche and a coffee, and kick back with live music and good vibes.
If your trip falls on the 3rd Saturday of the month, the Bellingen Community Market is a larger and more energetic affair from 8am – 2.30pm with over 200 stalls selling food, drinks, artisan goods, local art and crafts.
6. Drive out to Sawtell for its beaches and cafes
You won’t run out of things to do in Bellingen, but this coastal village is well worth the 25-minute drive out. It’s got some of the most beautiful beaches around if you’re looking to do board-riding, a vibrant cafe scene and bars to unwind after a day of fun.
7. Stroll along the iconic boardwalk in Urunga
Urunga is where the Bellinger and Kalang rivers meet, and it’s known for a kilometre-long boardwalk that will take you through mangroves and river valleys, with the Great Dividing Range in the background, to its beaches.
To Urunga’s south you’d find Hungry Head Beach, where people go to surf and paddleboard, and to its north lies Raleigh Winery.
8. Pack a picnic basket for Mylestom
Rarely is there a picnic spot that lies between an ocean and a river, but the best of both worlds can be found at Mylestom. In the vicinity, you can find tidal pools, fishing points and surf club.
9. Spot migratory wildlife at Coffs harbour
Mutton Bird Island Nature Reserve is a popular spot to spy dolphins, whales, sea turtles and migratory birds with your binoculars. If you’re not having any luck from the headlands, you can charter a boat off Coffs Harbour to the Solitary Islands Marine Park in search of the humpbacks.
10. Get your adrenaline pumping in Bellingen’s nature
If you have a reasonable fitness level, it’s a pity to leave Bellingen without an adventure or two. You can canoe in Fernmount, ride horses in Valery , climb the Woolpack Rocks at Cathedral Rock National Park or embark on a waterfall track at Dorrigo National Park.
With this list of must-do things in Bellingen, you’re ready for the next weekend getaway or family vacation.
The luxury chalets at Promised Land Retreat are a great finishing touch to an all-round wonderful holiday, so be sure to book 1 of the 3 hideouts in advance!