27 October 2017 by Wendy Tanner
If you head east from Bellingen, along Waterfall Way, you’ll soon hit the coast, and there you can find the sleepy little seaside town of Urunga. There are several nice cafes there, but the best attraction is the beautiful river and coastal scenery. In fact, two rivers come together here, the Bellinger and the Kalang, and it is a favoured fishing spot. Picnicking is also possible on the grassy, shaded banks, which provide the location for a large annual Sculpture Event.
The timber Urunga Boardwalk has been a drawcard for many years, and a walk along it provides a lovely view of the river mouth and you can look back at the distant hills of the Bellingen hinterland.
At the end of the boardwalk is a wild, deserted beach where you can walk beside the crashing waves and let the wind blow away all those cobwebs.
However, the newest attraction, part natural, part man-made, is the Urunga Wetland, a former sand mining site that has been rehabilitated with funding by the NSW Government. If you go on a sunny day, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful reflections, a forest of soft paperbarks and water lilies that Monet would be happy to paint.
There is a also an elegantly curved walkway through the wetlands and the sign at its start proudly announces its high eco-creditials.
The recycled “Enduroplank” decking was made with plastic waste collected throughout the community, equivalent to 2,490,000 plastic bags that were diverted from landfill.
If you are a birdwatcher, there is a plethora of birds to spot. On the Coffs Coast Urunga Birdwatching Site, they list 18 different species which can be found around Urunga, including the Pied & Sooty Oystercatcher, Crested Tern, Common Tern, Bar-tailed Godwit, Pied Cormorant and Little Black Cormorant.
Another addition to the town was initially a pop-up gallery called The Art Space. Long before that it was a butcher shop, but the latest reincarnation is a wonderful light and airy space, in the centre of town, where local artists display and sell their art. At a recent Council Meeting, the gallery was given the go-ahead to remain for another 8 months. The story about the reprieve can be found in the local paper. Workshops are also planned.
The exhibiting artists man the gallery and can often be seen at work. One such artist is Brentyn Lugan, a local Gumbunggir man, who also is part of a big exhibition called “Dreaming Trails” at the Lismore Regional Gallery.