Bellingen Creative Community

The riverside town of Bellingen is nestled in the heart of the green and lush Bellinger Valley between the coast and the Dorrigo Plateau on the scenic Waterfall Way. It is only a 10 kilometre drive from the Pacific Highway and less than 30 minutes from Coffs Harbour.  Home to a large number of people who have moved there to enjoy a laid-back and creative, artistic or alternative lifestyle, Bellingen is buzzing with markets, cafés, galleries, festivals and events.

It is the wonderful combination of Bellingen’s turn-of-the-century ‘main street’ village atmosphere, rich architectural heritage, rural charm, bohemian atmosphere and thriving cosmopolitan culture that seems to capture people’s hearts. Every café and pub you walk into seems to showcase art, music, film nights or other community events and unlike many other smaller towns there always seems to be people about. Other creative hubs can be found 7 days a week around the Old Butter Factory with its galleries and arty shops or every third Saturday at the Bellingen markets.

Bellingen could probably claim to be the festival and events town of the Creative Coast, home to the Bellingen Jazz Festival, Bellingen Writers Festival, Camp Creative, Bellingen River Festival and numerous concerts and show at the Bellingen Memorial Hall. The art deco hall is used for everything from weekly classes to plays, gigs, movies and a wonderful array of touring acts. All of these special features and more have given Bellingen a nationally recognised reputation as a cultural hub, despite it being a small country town.

For more information on visiting Bellingen go to http://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/north-coast/coffs-harbour-area/bellingen


Location

Bellingens Cultural Highlights:

Bellingen Music Festival

Bellingen

The Bellingen Music Festival brings some of Australia’s top classical musicians to the intimate town of Bellingen each September for concerts and workshops.

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The Bellingen Music Festival brings some of Australia’s top classical musicians to the intimate town of Bellingen each September for concerts and workshops.

For more information on Bellingen Music Festival, view their website, http://www.bellingenmusicfestival.com.au

Bellingen Writers Festival

Bellingen, Coffs Harbour

The Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival has become a popular annual cultural event showcasing leading authors and celebrating all things literary. With workshops, talks, forums, book launches, competitions, entertainment and…

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The Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival has become a popular annual cultural event showcasing leading authors and celebrating all things literary. With workshops, talks, forums, book launches, competitions, entertainment and school programs, it’s a diverse and inspiring weekend with something for everyone. Events at the festival take place amidst the magnificent natural environs of the Bellinger Valley, Coffs Coast and Dorrigo National Park.

For more information on Bellingen Writers Festival, view their website, http://www.bellingenwritersfestival.com.au

Bellingen Jazz Festival

Bellingen

The first Bellingen Jazz Festival happened way back in 1990. What started out as an idea formed by a group of friends sharing a few drinks has continued for twenty-five…

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The first Bellingen Jazz Festival happened way back in 1990. What started out as an idea formed by a group of friends sharing a few drinks has continued for twenty-five years and become an enduring festival that is now an important part of the cultural fabric of the Bellinger Valley. The festival has featured the complete range of jazz styles – you name the type and it’s had an outing at the festival. From Ragtime to Free, Blues to Funk, Traditional to Rap, the list goes on. Set in different venues around the township of Bellingen, the festival is a chance to not only immerse yourself in Jazz, but also in the ambiance of this beautiful little town.

For more information on Bellingen Jazz Festival, view their website, http://bellingenjazzfestival.com.au

Camp Creative

Bellingen

Camp Creative is a summer camp for families and individuals to come and learn a new arts-based practice or extend an already developed interest through master classes. The camp runs…

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Camp Creative is a summer camp for families and individuals to come and learn a new arts-based practice or extend an already developed interest through master classes. The camp runs over 60 different courses over 5 days in January each year – with everything from drumming and dancing to writing, digital media, craft and visual arts. The accent is on imagination, innovation and enjoyment with tutors who are leaders in their fields helping participants to grow in their chosen artistic medium.

For more information on Camp Creative, view their website, https://www.campcreative.com.au

Nexus Gallery

Bellingen

Located at the historic Old Butter Factory complex, before you reach the town of Bellingen, the gallery is run by the Bellingen Community Arts Council and offers monthly exhibitions. Staffed…

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  • 6655 9222

Ships of the Way Gallery

Bellingen

The gallery space at the Bellingen Gallery and Framing Studio also hosts ‘the Ships of the Way’ Gallery’.  This gallery features ship sculptures made out of recycled materials which are…

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AWL Leather

Bellingen

Located at the Old Butter Factory complex in Bellingen, the local artists at AWL Leather, make and sells leather goods from their workshop and gallery in the heritage complex. Here…

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  • 6655 2260

Location

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1 Doepel St, Bellingen

Details

Located at the Old Butter Factory complex in Bellingen, the local artists at AWL Leather, make and sells leather goods from their workshop and gallery in the heritage complex. Here you will find leather sandals, handmade footwear, moccasins, medieval shoes, leather art, bags, belts and wallets as well as much more. Open 7 days a week.

For more information on AWL Leather, give them a call on 6655 2260 or view their website, http://www.awlleather.com.au

David Helfgott Sculpture

Bellingen

The Helfgotts often open the wonderful garden at their home for concerts and other events, and are benefactors to many of the talented young people of Bellingen, offering scholarships and…

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Location

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Maam Gaduying Park, 33-39 Hyde St, Bellingen

Details

The Helfgotts often open the wonderful garden at their home for concerts and other events, and are benefactors to many of the talented young people of Bellingen, offering scholarships and mentoring.  In 2009, Camp Creative honoured David with the unveiling of a 2.7 metre sculpture by the internationally recognised sculptor John Van Der Kolk in a park in Bellingen’s main street, in recognition of his “inspirational life” and his contribution to the community.

Living Food Garden Mural Wall

Bellingen

Outside a wholefood store in Bellingen you will find a food garden with a mural wall behind it, which was created by local youth group Bellingen Eye with the assistance…

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Location

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1 Church Street, Bellingen

Details

Outside a wholefood store in Bellingen you will find a food garden with a mural wall behind it, which was created by local youth group Bellingen Eye with the assistance of artist Marc Renshaw and other local enthusiasts.

Old Butter Factory Sculptures

Bellingen

A large public art sculpture can be found in the grounds of the Old Butter Factory Complex in Bellingen. The life-size camel is made from found objects and visitors are…

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Location

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1 Doepel St, Bellingen

Details

A large public art sculpture can be found in the grounds of the Old Butter Factory Complex in Bellingen. The life-size camel is made from found objects and visitors are asked to see how many of these objects they can identify in their new home – artist is unknown. There is also many smaller pieces of art to be found in the gardens of the complex.

Bellingen Mosaics

Bellingen

Travelling around the Bellingen region there are many places you will find brightened by local mosaic sculptures and mural walls. Many of the local halls and parks and in the…

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Travelling around the Bellingen region there are many places you will find brightened by local mosaic sculptures and mural walls. Many of the local halls and parks and in the region have colourful mosaic murals, including in Dorrigo and Urunga.

Urunga Mosaics

Bellingen

In the quite township of Urunga you can find several mosaics dotted around the landscape, completed by local artist Guy Crosely in conjunction with several local groups and participating artists.

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In the quite township of Urunga you can find several mosaics dotted around the landscape, completed by local artist Guy Crosely in conjunction with several local groups and participating artists.

Old Butter Factory Cafe

Bellingen

This is a great place for coffee and a meal, before exploring the various art and craft shops now housed in this unique heritage complex. These include the Nexus Community…

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  • 6655 2150

Location

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1 Doepel St, Bellingen

Details

This is a great place for coffee and a meal, before exploring the various art and craft shops now housed in this unique heritage complex. These include the Nexus Community Gallery, the Woodcraft Gallery, AW Leather and Mac Art Jewellery. The café is open 7 days a week 8.30am to 4.30pm.

For more information on Old Butter Factory Cafe, give them a call on 6655 2150 or view their website, http://www.theoldbutterfactory.com.au

Lodge 241 Gallery Café

Bellingen

Known around town as the ‘grand old lady of Bellingen’, this Federation architectural gem is steeped in history and has a reputation as the collective meeting spot for many artist…

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  • 6655 2470

No5 Church Street – Bellingen

Bellingen

The philosophy @ No.5 is simple – an open space where people from all walks of life can come together to share an experience - to enjoy being nourished – to…

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  • 02 6655 0155

Location

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5 Church Street, Bellingen

Details

The philosophy @ No.5 is simple – an open space where people from all walks of life can come together to share an experience - to enjoy being nourished – to leave feeling inspired.  We use the best local, organic & bio-dynamic produce available & design our menu based upon the abundance of the season – the way it should be!!

No.5 has established a strong reputation for hosting intimate live performances, with the likes of Mama Kin, Joe Robinson, Jack Carty, Jordie Lane, Deborah Connway, Perch Creek Family Jug band, The Mid North & Katie Noonan all playing memorable sell out shows.

For more information on No5 Church Street – Bellingen, give them a call on 02 6655 0155 or view their website, http://www.5churchstreet.com

Little Red Kitchen

Bellingen

The newly renovated Little Red Kitchen is a beautiful space, ideal for showcasing the work of local artists. Located at the top of town, the Little Red Kitchen is known for…

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Location

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111 Hyde Street, Bellingen

Details

The newly renovated Little Red Kitchen is a beautiful space, ideal for showcasing the work of local artists. Located at the top of town, the Little Red Kitchen is known for its tasty, thin base pizzas, pasta and salads all created fresh when you order.

Enjoy stunning artworks in a relaxed atmosphere and on weekends they have acoustic music highlighting local musicians.

Open Monday to Friday from 5pm, Saturday & Sunday (and holidays) for lunch and dinner.

Bellingen Historical Museum

Bellingen

Much of the Bellingen Historical Society’s collection of artefacts was displayed in the historic Hammond and Wheatley Emporium until 1983, when the new Bellingen Museum was opened. The museum focuses…

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  • 6655 0382

Location

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33 Hyde St, Bellingen

Details

Much of the Bellingen Historical Society’s collection of artefacts was displayed in the historic Hammond and Wheatley Emporium until 1983, when the new Bellingen Museum was opened. The museum focuses on both the Aboriginal and early European history of the area. Open Tuesday 9am to 1pm and Monday, Thursday and Friday 10am to 2pm. The Historical Society also has a small museum in the School of Arts in Urunga.

For more information on Bellingen Historical Museum, give them a call on 6655 0382 or view their website, http://bellingenmuseum.org.au

Bellingen Gallery and Framing Studio

Bellingen

The Bellingen Gallery & Framing Studio rents out exhibition space for artists to hang their work.  The Studio does all the hanging of exhibitions, advertising, etc. Opening Hours: 9.30 –…

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