Bellingen is a small historic town encounted when traveling the Coffs Harbour to Dorrigo route. Bellingen is on the banks of the picturesque Bellinger River. Bellingen though small has most essential services and is now a wealthy enclave town that had its earlier incarnation during the hippy era.
The name Bellingen was first mentioned by Clement Hodgkinson as the native name for the area, and is believed to come from "Baalijin", the Gumbaynggir name for the Quoll (Native Cat). He refers to the river as the "Bellingen River" in his 1845 book, "Australia From Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay".
Bellingen was originally known as Boat Harbour, changing its name to Bellingen in 1870. From the 1840s onward red cedar attracted more and more settlers. In the 1890s, Bellingen was selected as the government centre of the valley, due to its location at the tidal limit of the Bellinger River and the availability of fresh water. A period of rapid growth ensued.
In 1950, Bellingen came to national fame with the birth of the Sara Quads (Sara family quadruplets). From the 1970s until the present, alternative life-stylers purchased land in the area and built owner-built homes.
Bellingen was one of the filming locations for the 2003 comedy film Danny Deckchair.
Bellingen has a strong affinity with the arts and is home to numerous festivals: