Through my Lens – Dorrigo and Bellingen

After bidding farewell to Coffs Harbout, we headed south for a short time before turning inland toward Bellingen and Dorrigo along the Waterfall Way.
Bellingen is nestled in the Bellinger Valley on the Bellinger River. It is lush and green and the grass looks almost good enough to eat.
The many dairy cows appeared to be well fed and quite content.
The town itself is quite old and the area is home to many artists and creative people. I was instantly in love with the architecture and atmosphere, however we drove straight through in order to reach Dorrigo.
Time enough to explore Bellingen on our way back down.
The Garden Gnome wished to return to Dorrigo to see the Steam Train Museum although the first time we had stumbled across it, we were not aware it was a museum and thought it was a grave yard for old steam trains. It was a cold, wet and dreary day the last time we had visited and the trains were surrounded by lush, green grass growing up through their wheels.
After losing our way, we found the trains and drove around the area. Although this is a museum, it is not yet open to the public and any viewing is to be done from outside the barbed wire fence. We stopped to take photos of the carriages and black locomotives but felt as if we were being watched on this deserted country road. Turning around, we realised that we were.
Staring intently at us was a man dressed in shabby overalls. Sitting at his feet was his dog. I felt that all that was missing was a gun in the crook of his arm.
Nodding at him, we continued photographing before driving up a little further to photograph from a different angle. It was there that we found the gate with the information about the museum and discovered that the locomotives are painted black with oil in order to protect them from rust.
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Stomachs rumbling, weΒ  drove back down the range past a couple of the waterfalls that dot this road. There is no place to pull over to take photos for one waterfall so this was shot through the windscreen. Luckily, we had nothing behind us so we were able to stop for a few short seconds.
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Driving along further, we found a roadside rest area to stop in so that I could photograph the view and the other waterfall we had just passed. Whilst stopped, we were entertained by a roving rooster who appeared to live in the rainforest around us. We have no idea where he came from but he made himself right at home and attempted to hop into the car through the door I had left open.

Arriving in Bellingen, we faced the difficulty of finding a car park. We found one on the outer edge of the little town and walked back in stopping at small shops on the way. I found these cute fellows and just had to photograph them. The GG talked me out of buying one by reminding me that I had nowhere to put it.
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Beside the courthouse is a statue to David Helfgott who is from Bellingen originally. I took lots of photos of this. Some on it’s own and some with the Tween perched on it or pretending to play it.
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We eventually found a lovely Patisserie to eat at and seated ourselves outside in the sunshine under an umbrella.
I hope to return to Bellingen one day and spend more than an hour touring the streets and taking photos of the architecture. I have discovered family connections on both my side of the family and that of the Garden Gnome whilst doing family history research so a further visit is definitely in order one day.

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30 thoughts on “Through my Lens – Dorrigo and Bellingen

  1. Great photos! When I first started going up and down the WW (not called that then) some parts were one lane – you can imagine! – and it’s still not one of myfavourites to drive, but probably still my favourite scenically. I’ve also been down it when rivulets of fire were coming down instead of water. (And one of the characters in my novel-in-progress is about to go over the edge – perfect place for it!)

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    1. It is quite windy with very little room for error that is for sure. We didn’t go past Dorrigo but I think one day we might drive it from Armidale to Bellingen.
      Your story sounds exciting but a pretty scary way to end a life really.

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  2. I was in Dorrigo and Bellingen over 30 years ago. Although the street appears much the same. How amazing is that rooster? I suppose they were rainforest dwellers to begin with. He must be an escapee from a farm flock.

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    1. I think that he must be. Or that someone has left him somewhere and he has found his way to this roadside stop.
      I don’t think much appears to have changed. The shops are still beautiful and old with modern storefronts.

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  3. We seem to share similar tastes in towns Suz. Have you done the Armidale road from Grafton to Armidale, through Nymboida? It’s a beauty. That rooster must have been dumped, probably crowed way too much. πŸ™‚ Great pica again Suz.
    Cheers
    Laurie.

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    1. Thanks Laurie. I confess we haven’t done that trip. We are always looking for weekend/3 day trips we can do in the old V8s with friends of ours. This week we are heading to Kingaroy and Chinchilla and maybe Roma yet.

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  4. Fantastic blog Sue, you tell the story as you go which is a great typical Australian story.
    Great pics and a great all round intro to parts of Australia that not many people get to see, seems everybody wants to travel overseas these days, damned if I know why.
    With your travels and my travels, who knows maybe one day we will meet up in our travels and combine our storys and pics, hehe.
    Keep enjoying our great country Sue, we have a lot to be proud of.
    Emu aka Ian

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    1. I still want to travel overseas Ian to see the beauty that I only see in photographs and capture that beauty through my lens. I also want to see my roots and gain an understanding. However, I love Australia and I love to travel around it. There is still much that I haven’t seen and some that I have seen but need to revisit.
      Thanks for your lovely comment. πŸ™‚

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