40 kilometres along the Waterfall Way is the delightful small town of Bellingen. Surrounded by mountains and nestled on the banks of the Bellingen River it has the romance of a place loved by artists of all kinds. What attracts artistic people to a certain place? Is it the beauty and peaceful atmosphere? Is it a few artists settle here and suddenly a commune of artists develops? Whatever the reason in the 1970’s Bellingen became one of those places.
“From the 1970s until the present, alternative life-stylers purchased land in the area and built owner-built homes. Numerous intentional communities were established, many of which are still in existence. The rural lifestyle of Bellingen and surrounds has consequently diverged and is now a mix of traditional and non-traditional farming. Many of today’s residents, such as artists, craftspeople, writers, musicians and horticulturalists, have established home-based activities.” (information from Wikipedia)
The old Bellingen Butter Factory is now a collection of art and craft shops, paintings, glass work, leather work, wood gallery, fashion emporium, antiques of all kinds. We spent a pleasant hour pottering around through all the outlets.
This old corrugated iron shed had been transformed into a fashion boutique but with a difference.
Can you see it? The trunk of the tree has been allowed to stay and the shed has been formed around it.
The shops were all clustered around a landscaped court-yard.
Huge, spacious area packed with fascinating stuff.
Just look at that beautiful window in the leather shop. Dawn runs a “lingering look at windows” each week and invites us to share windows we see, so here is a gallery of windows I captured around this interesting place.
Of course there is a restaurant/café and a jazz band was entertaining the diners with very good Dixie land jazz. So time out for a coffee and light lunch and sit soaking up the atmosphere.
Before going back to the car we walked down to the river.
Another 2 kilometres along the road and we stopped in the main street of Bellingen.
I think this may be one of the alternative type locals. What do you think?
A group of locals are having a liquid lunch while the dog waits patiently for it’s master.
Next to the pub is this old style “Emporium” going inside is like entering a time capsule and going back almost 100 years.
The shop assistants were giving us side ways looks as we oh’d and ah’d our way around taking photos.
Next door this grocery shop had a definite old-time feel about it too.
The bank is a splendid example of Art Deco. But then most old towns have very impressive bank buildings, I guess they had the money to make a statement in style.
Just look at the size of these trees.
Floating down the street came the happy, chirpy sound of an Irish jig and we stood a while tapping our feet to the rhythm. 2 dogs wait for their owners here.
Just to finish our wander around this charming old town I couldn’t resist another gallery of windows.