Suburb Profiles


European settlement of the area began in the 1830s, with timber logging and farming being the main industries. The town of Bellingen was officially established in 1851, and quickly grew to become an important centre for the timber and dairy industries.

As you drive into the Bellingen you are captured by the mountain vista range, with its historical building facades and overflowing cafes and shops, you know you have arrived somewhere special. Situated on the Bellinger River, this charming town oozes a sense of casual style and chic vibrancy like no place in NSW. Cafes, restaurants, pubs, and fashionable boutiques line the historic main street and side alleys, attracting visitors and locals who love to sit and watch the world go by. Bellingen is a perfect base for exploring the heritage and natural attractions the region has to offer while enjoying a getaway. 

The tranquil river is popular for kayaking and canoeing, and scenic drives wind past World Heritage listed rainforests and dramatic waterfalls. Traditionally held in May the Agricultural Show is a must see and if you happen to be in town on the third Saturday of the month, stop off and buy some local produce and crafts at the community markets. The scenic Bellingen region has been attracting top artists and musicians for many years, creating a vibrant arts scene. With an eclectic community of farmers and artisans, Bellingen celebrates its creativity with bustling markets and festivals. Halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, Bellingen is a five and half-hour drive north of Sydney and a 30-minute drive southwest of Coffs Harbour. Direct flights operate from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Coffs Harbour airport. 

In recent years, Bellingen has become a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful natural surroundings, vibrant arts and music scene, and alternative lifestyle.


Dorrigo, a small town on the Waterfall Way, is located on the Northern Tablelands, in northern New South Wales, Australia. The town is part of the Bellingen local government area. It is approximately 580 kilometers north of the state capital, Sydney via the Pacific Highway, and 64 kilometers west from the coastal city of Coffs Harbour. The town is situated on the Dorrigo Plateau near the New England Escarpment, which is part of the Great Dividing Range. Dorrigo is 731 meters above sea level. Dorrigo is a town in New South Wales, Australia. European settlement of the area followed on from the early timber cutters in the 1860s. Dorrigo is derived from the Aboriginal word, dondorrigo or Dandarrga, meaning “stringy-bark”. About 2 km north of Dorrigo is Danger falls, a 30-meter waterfall and a pleasant place for a picnic. Walk along the trail to the bottom of the fall and take a dip in the large swimming hole.

The town is known for art galleries, cafes, boutiques, vintage wares shops and a corner Pub. It’s annual Folk and Bluegrass Festival, usually held in late October and featuring a weekend of concerts, jamming, dancing and workshops. Traditionally held in November the Agricultural Show is a must see and if you happen to be in town on the first Saturday of the month, stop off in Hickory Street and buy some local produce and crafts at the community markets. Griffiths Lookout, once you reach the plateau and sitting above the northern edge of the Bellinger River National Park it provides a spectacular view.

Dorrigo National Park. Nymboi-Binderay National Park, Cascade National Park, New England National Park, Ebor Falls and Cathedral Rock National Park.

Directly connected to Dorrigo Rainforest Centre, Skywalk lookout offers a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding landscape. Perched right on the edge of the escarpment, the views take in Bellinger Valley to the coast with deep valleys and gorges, blanketed in a rich rainforest. If birdwatching is of interest, look for regent bowerbirds, topknot pigeons and grey goshawks.

Skywalk lookout is a 70m boardwalk that soars over the edge of the escarpment some 21m above the rainforest. Easily accessible, anyone can enjoy the panoramic views of the Rosewood rainforest basin. If you prefer a closer look, stretch your legs along Rosewood Creek walking track.

The view is dominated by the double peak of McGraths Hump, also known as Old Man Dreaming. In Aboriginal Gumbaynggirr legend, it shows the profile of a warrior’s face, Ngali. It was Ngali’s job to protect women who came to give birth in Bellinger Valley. But Ngali fell asleep, and for his punishment he was turned to stone for all eternity.


Pristine little valley on the mid-north coast of NSW, I’m going to describe a half day loop drive from Bellingen around the Promised Land Loop Road through the beautiful Gleniffer Valley, known locally as ‘The Promised Land’. The Gleniffer Valley is around 12 kms northwest of Bellingen on the mid north coast of NSW and was originally settled in 1863. Most people pronounce the name as “Glen–a-far” but some locals prefer the original Scottish pronunciation of “Glen-iffer”.

Within the Gleniffer valley are the locales of Gleniffer, Promised Land, Tallowood Point and Gordonville. The Never Never River has its headwaters in the Dorrigo National Park and cascades hundreds of metres down the escarpment to flow through the valley to the Bellinger River. A beautiful little hall and church stand proudly in the centre of the valley.

The Gleniffer School of Arts Hall was built in 1908 on land donated by Nicholas Keough from one of the early settler families. The hall has been maintained over the years by local volunteers and is available for hire. Nearby to Gleniffer is a beautiful little parking area and park (Arthur Keough Park) where you can get out of the car and soak up the atmosphere.

After rambling through forested lanes and vibrant green countryside, you’ll find yourself at the first of the old wooden trestle bridges and Angel Gabriel Caparoro Reserve (Christmas Swimming Holes). It’s a small park and parking area named after a well-known resident of the area in the early 20th century. There are no facilities here but you can park the car, grab the towels and picnic rug, and go laze around on a sunny rock by the crystal clear water.

The original Gleniffer village

The beginnings of community life began in the households of local inhabitants. The first post office, school and church service were all established in John McFadyen’s home. As the valley welcomed more settlers, a village formed in these very lands of the Earl Preston Reserve in the early 1900s. A butter factory was built initially, followed by the opening of a bakery, butchery, general store and post office. The Liberty Hall (which stood just near the current hall) was also a popular destination for local community gatherings, including social events and sporting activities like boxing, cricket and football.

This thriving village continued to flourish until it was hit by two world wars and the Great Depression. However, it was the change of lifestyle in the 1970s that also altered the community, as the timber getting and farming industry declined. 

Earl (or “Doc”, as he was known) Preston arrived in Gleniffer in 1929. He was an active and much-loved member of the community, who generously gave his time and possessions to many aspects of village life.


From here – Gleniffer you can head back the way you came to Bellingen or head up Gordonville Road. This route crosses the Never Never River and follows the northern bank of the Bellinger River over the Rosewood River bridge to Thora. Located 16.6km to Bellingen via Gleniffer or 8km 4WD access across Gordonville crossing to Bellingen. The view is dominated by the double peak of McGraths Hump, also known by locals as ‘old man sleeping’. McGraths Hump is a mountain in Bellingen Shire, New South Wales and has an elevation of 648 metres. McGraths Hump is situated nearby to the villages of Gordonville and Thora.


This route crosses the Never Never River and follows the northern bank of the Bellinger River over the Rosewood River bridge to Thora. Stop at the parking area next to the Rosewood River bridge and check out the healthy and vibrant colours of all the Staghorn ferns high in the trees above the river. Waterfall Way Scenic Drive.

Thora is a small locality around halfway between the towns of Dorrigo and Bellingen on the Waterfall Way in Northern New South Wales, Australia. It is situated on the banks of the Bellinger River, is around 40 kilometres from the coast and is at the very bottom of the climb to the top of Dorrigo Mountain, the bottom of the Great Dividing Range and near the eastern edge of Dorrigo National Park. The Bellinger River is subject to much major flooding, but the township is never really affected by flooding but downstream floodplain becomes affected, including the town of Bellingen. There is a post office and petrol station at its general store.


Nestled beside the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, Darkwood is part of a rich wildlife corridor making it an important addition to the National Reserve System – Australia’s most secure way of protecting native habitat.

The World Heritage Area is a string of more than 50 reserves scattered over 750 kilometres from the Mount Royal National Park in the New South Wales Upper Hunter region to the Goomburra Forest Reserve, part of the Main Range National Park south-west of Brisbane. Darkwood, which has now become part of this important collection, contains many plants and animals that have volved evolved from their ancestors following the break-up of Gondwana after the age of the dinosaurs.

Darkwood also has a long social history. The property is on the country of the Gumbaynggirr people, who have continued a strong spiritual connection to their country. After European occupation, Darkwood was used for small scale, subsistence agriculture.


Kalang River rises within the Great Dividing Range and flows generally east before reaching its mouth at the Tasman Sea of the South Pacific Ocean, east of Urunga. The river descends 353 metres (1,158 ft) over its 77 kilometres course. Community Hall being a hub for the Kalang locals. Pre-school options, school bus service within the valley and multiple occupancy properties. 

Parts of the Kalang River are contained within the Bellinger River National Park. Towards its mouth, the river is transversed by the Pacific Highway, near Urunga.


Connecting you to the bush and beaches with many trails, coastal breezes and Kalang River for boating, fishing or canoeing.

Over the years Brierfield Hall has been a hub of social life for the Brierfield/ Spicketts Creek area; hosting dances, birthdays, play groups, weddings, Christmas parties, performances, concerts, bowls, and more recently, book club and yoga. Warren Weick School bus service for all the families within the valley.

Researching the history of the hall, the committee has found that according to H.J. Hobson in the Historical Society’s publication ‘Pioneering in the Bellinger Valley’, the first public hall in Brierfield was built in 1900 and was destroyed by fire about five years later.

Until another hall was built in 1911, the community’s social events were held in a local barn. Unfortunately, this too burnt down in 1915. It wasn’t until 1923 that construction began on another hall, which opened in 1924 and still stands today.

Brierfield Hall continues to be the hub for the local community.


Located in Fernmount, rural area, coastal breeze, views and close to the beach and Bellingen town centre. The area’s natural beauty can be seen at Bongil Bongil National Park and Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, while Bellingen Museum and Old Butter Factory are cultural highlights. Fishing and swimming offer great chances to get out on the surrounding water.


A stunning little village, just a short drive off the Pacific Highway, perfect spot for a secluded getaway. Nestled between the Ocean and the Bellinger River. North Beach is home to the Bellinger Valley North Beach Surf Club with the Mylestom Cafe and North Beach Recreation and Bowling Club.

The beach extends south to Urunga Heads and north to Sawtell. The picnic areas, tidal pool, playground and fantastic locations for water sports, boating and fishing. Not to mention a quality caravan park with beach access where you can indulge in a spot of glamping in a deluxe beach tent or book a site and enjoy all this beautiful village has to offer.


Seaside location offers visitors the chance to explore uncrowded beaches and tranquil waterways. The highlight of staying or even a day trip to Urunga is the famous boardwalk. Here you can meet locals, stop and chat while talking in the stunning views from the boardwalk to the West to the Great Dividing Range and North to Mylestom over the river and Pacific Ocean. Urunga is situated where the Bellinger and Kalang Rivers meet.

The coastal attractions are usually enjoyed with surfing, fishing and boating being very popular in the area. The lagoon is a family friendly place to swim and kids love jumping from the pontoons into the clear water, with BBQ and picnic areas and a playground there are lots of spots to enjoy or you can head over to the historic Ocean View Hotel for a meal and a refreshing drink.

While the caravan park is in one of the best locations on the lagoon front at Urunga, there are plenty of accommodation options. Even if you don’t stay at Urunga, definitely take a day trip, order some fish and chips or take a picnic and sit at a table by the river and the uninterrupted and magnificent views. This idyllic coastal holiday destination known for its superb fishing and clear waterways, as well as breathtaking variation of landscapes and ecosystems, is an easy five-hour drive north from Sydney, or four-and-a-half hours south from Brisbane. The region features some of the most magnificent countryside on the east coast, and is renowned for its resplendent mountains, pristine beaches and plentiful rivers.


Repton is a small town in New South Wales, Australia, located near the mouth of the Bellinger River. There are pristine beaches, walking tracks and lookout only a few minutes down the road bounded by Bongil Bongil National Park and State Forest. The property’s strategic location placed centrally between the delights of Coffs, Urunga, Bellingen and beyond -leafy Repton is an ideal base for work, socialising, shopping, play and exploration.


Historic and agriculturally rich, backing on the Bellinger River, it is a pretty flat drive past the Raleigh Public School and Norco Dairy Factory, which started in 1895. Raleigh is home to Raleigh Winery and guest house. Go fishing, canoeing, bushwalking or simply kick back and relax and enjoy the local produce and the award-winning wine.


Located only 20 minutes south of Coffs Harbour and 15 minutes north-east of Bellingen, majestic natural surroundings, with valleys, creeks, rivers and rainforest and is surrounded by national parks and state forests. Close by visit other attractions, Raleigh International Raceway, Bonville Golf Resort, Coffs Butterfly House, and many others.

Valla Beach/Valla Rural

Valla Beach lies to the north of Nambucca Heads. This small coastal community is a very popular tourist destination with its cafes, caravan parks, camping and the Valla Beach Tourist Park. There are fantastic markets on the first Sunday of February, April, June, August, October and December.

The beachside village is relatively small in comparison to neighbouring towns Nambucca Heads and Urunga. It has an established community of approximately 800 residents, comprising of a diverse mixture of people. Valla Beach has a few small community focused businesses such as a garden centre, a pre-school, a tavern, a bakery, a pizza shop and café at the headland with the old Valla Hall still standing west of highway.

Vast stretches of picturesque beaches create some of the best waves on the north coast and regularly attract enthusiastic surfers. The waterways and headland are a significant breeding ground for many fish species including the protected Blue Groper. This makes fishing and snorkelling a popular past time in the area. The river systems are spectacular and a must see in a canoe or kayak. Dolphins often cruise, mate and give birth close to shore within easy sight of beachgoers. Valla Beach hosts a variety of yearly events such as the Volkswagen Spectacular, The Hot Rod Tour, The Lions Valla Fair and the Loggerheads Surfing Competition.