|We heard about Bellingen from some people we were speaking with previously. We decided to head out there as it was supposed to be a pretty chilled out place with lots of hippies.
It's a small town in the countryside with a pub (Tavern), a few cafes and a smattering of crafty type shops. It's set on a river which is suitable for swimming and canoeing.
We stayed at the Youth Hostel (YH) which was a huge converted colonial type house. The hostel was pretty cool and had a large deck out the back overlooking the river which was a really goo place to sit and chat with other travellers, read the paper, have a beer or two and watch the thousands of bats making their daily twilight journey from across the river to scrump all the local fruit farms!
We spent a couple of days chilling out and looking round the shops and decided to stay an extra couple of days because it was so nice. We went cycling to a swimming hole about 10 kms away which was supposed to be superb. Well, it was superb when we got there and boy did we need it because it was 10 kms virtually all uphill - in 34 degree heat! At least the ride back was easier because it was mostly downhill, but the damage had already been done!
That night we spent in the pub, still suffering from the ride and drinking well to compensate. Unfortunately for the locals, a Karaoke was on that night and we'd hooked up awith a few other people from the hostel for a Karaoke challenge! We each had to do a solobefore the night was out. Needless to say we were all excellent, and to prove it we all had a few extra goes each, including a couple of duets!
Having utterly destroyed our reputation in the village it was time to leave and we grudgingly moved on. If anyone is in the area, be sure to check out Bellingen, but stay in the YH which is excellent.