Bangalow, a country gem.

Bangalow is one of those country gems: a picturesque, heritage listed village, largely nineteenth-century streetscape of tall verandahed buildings, shady trees and quiet parks.

The Pacific Highway is the major transport route along the central east coast of Australia, with the majority of it being part of Australia’s national route 1, and it used to run right through the centre of town bringing hustle and bustle 24 hours a day. But in the 1990’s in a major upgrade, the road bypassed Bangalow and the town, with a population of just under 2000, regained its peace and quiet. But it didn’t slowly die, as many towns do in those circumstances, instead it became a hub for artists and talented craft people. These artistic people found the tranquillity and beauty of an area where they could settle and create works of art and things of beauty. They displayed their crafts in the old style buildings along the one main street, and word spread. And the visitors came to look and to buy.

It is now a vibrant, bustling community. No empty shops and no big multi-nationals have moved in.

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Bangalow is only 20 kilometres from our housesit, so we drove over to look around and have lunch. It was Monday and I thought it would be a quiet day to visit. Wrong, it is school holidays and the weather was fine. It was crowded and the first challenge was finding a place to park the car. 15 minutes later we are parked and ready to wander around.

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This looked interesting with the Jolly Roger flying and a name like that it invited us in.

It was an Aladdin’s cave of colour and goodies. Then I spotted this sign and to me it says what this town is about.

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I have never, ever seen a shop saying they will pay for breakages. I walked out with a smile on my face.

Then a door, narrow passage way and a sign saying creative glass pointed up some stairs. So up we went and I stopped at the entrance and gazed in awe at the display.

This is how these stunning works of art are described in the web page of Zakay Glass Creations.

“Unique and timeless, these stunning three dimensional art works are resplendent of sparkling gemstones: facets and symmetries shimmer as colours of the rainbow bounce off their bevelled edges when they are touched by natural and artificial light. Adding majesty to any space in which they are displayed, a Zakay keepsake regularly decorates homes, balconies, corporate foyers and hotels around the world. Founding artist Asaf Zakay’s pursuit of creative and aesthetic excellence has resulted in three dimensional glass designs that capture the essence of nature. Using the stained glass technique (a process Asaf studied whilst in his native Israel) each magnificent creation is a sacred symbol, evolving from natural geometric patterns. “

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As well as the glass sculptures these Escher like wood sculptures adorned the walls and other stunning glass vase sculptures were displayed.

Asaf Zakay this talented artisan was in the studio and Jack took his photo. (To see more of his work follow the link.)

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Back on the street I spotted this door. How intriguing, what is behind it?

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Entering the shop, or I should call it a boutique, it had very expensive Italian fashion wear. Leather jackets and boots, fine cotton shirts and very exclusive hats. But the draw card for me was to go out through a side door and find this court-yard.

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Like stepping into a Spanish hacienda.

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Mmm, very tempting Jack. But time to find some lunch. So many to choose from Trip Advisor lists 17.

I chose Town Café. It was awarded a Chef’s Hat for 2012.

I chose a chicken, bacon, mushroom and leek pie. The filling was tasty, but unfortunately the pastry was like leather…

No worries, the salad was fresh and the coffee was good…

Time to browse around a few more shops. An art gallery ticked all the boxes for me. Local artists and world-class paintings. “Windhorse Gallery”

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A book shop called “Poet” with a large choice of philosophical and new age books. A news agent who stocked a large display of art materials and art books. An antique shop full of memorabilia and a junk shop tucked away down the back, behind the pub. What a load of junk it stocked and I couldn’t believe he was serious about the prices. For example an ancient old paint brush, stiff with dried paint $10. This business was for sale and closing down in a weeks time. (I should’ve taken a photo)

Time to go home along the back roads.

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Across a rather rickety old bridge

Across a rather rickety old bridge

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Parking the car we wander around taking photos.

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Passing through the small village of Federal (712 population) with a store and café that seemed to be popular we decided to stop for a coffee.

Finally home by 3-30pm and Mitch was patiently waiting for his 4-30pm walk.

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 Another walk Jo, this is almost the last one. I have one other but it was so overwhelming that I am struggling to sort through the almost 300 photos.

Restless Jo leads a diverse of group of walkers from all over the world. To join them click here.


Categories: Bangalow, Jo's Monday walks, New South Wales, photos | Tags: , , , , | 38 Comments

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38 thoughts on “Bangalow, a country gem.

  1. What a lovely place, Pauline!


  2. Pingback: Thursday Doors : Bangalow | Memories are made of this

  3. Such a fantastic place.. and I so loved the Sign in the shop welcoming children to touch! very cool 🙂 Such a delight! xxx


  4. Joan and Terry

    To think we live sooo close to all of this, another place I MUST go back to, you make it all happen with your photos Pauline.


  5. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Carrapateira | restlessjo

  6. Enjoyed your photos and your post! Thank you for sharing your little piece of the world! 😊


  7. Wonderful glass Magen David that Asaf has made and I like that sign too.


  8. Another charming town – you’ve done well on this house sit! You’re going to miss Mitch though😕


  9. A lovely ramble through a totally pleasant town, with just enough downside to assure its reality! That sign encouraging touching is a treasure. You certainly make the most of every single minute.


  10. A lovely stroll around the town PP. Loved the glass – I would have been very tempted! Also loved the courtyard. You do manage to explore well 🙂


  11. What an utterly charming place and your post makes it so appealing!


  12. Oh I’d love it there, well done Bangalow for keeping the giants away! The glass is gorgeous, were you tempted? I would be but suspect it would be too expensive for me.


  13. What a friendly looking place, Pauline. The glass artwork is stunning. Your lunch sounds nice except for the leather pastry. 🙂


  14. Amazingly, a success story after the loss of through traffic. Most towns do not survive that. I like that towns like this are a kind of step back in time. Bungendore near Canberra is kind of like this.


  15. poppytump

    When the sun shines into that light wonderland it must be a dizzying sight Pauline ! Obviously a thriving little community .. although maybe it’s not quite the place for those of stiff paintbrushes 😉
    Mitch looks a lovely lad . Another 4 legged you’ll miss I’m sure .


    • G’day Poppy, lovely to hear from you. Your artistic soul would love it here. Mitch certainly is a lovely lad, he’s laying at my feet as I check the computer. I will miss him.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Alex Hurst

    That looks like such an exciting and fun day! The shop’s note about breakages made me smile, too! How wonderful! And that wooden sculpture was fantastic.


  17. What an intriguing place. Love the glass.


  18. A gem indeed, Pauline. I must say we are getting some good mileage from your dog-sitting stint.


  19. I was wondering where Mitch was! 🙂 No place for dogs even if they do pay for breakages 🙂 The stained glass is fabulous, Pauline, and I was so happy sitting in the sunbeams in that courtyard. Many thanks again for keeping me company and keeping me entertained.


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