The clear waters of the Bellinger and Kalang Rivers meander through the green valley of Bellingen, a small country town (pop approx 3000) about half way between Sydney and Brisbane. It's a stunningly beautiful area and was the location for the film Danny Deckchair and the setting for the film Oscar and Lucinda with Cate Blanchett. Bellingen also has strong ties to the arts and they have have four different festivals every year.
The area around Bellingen has had a lot of rain this year. In February, dairy farmers were caught off-guard and had to rush to move cattle to higher ground and in November, the township was cut off when torrential rain lashed the area for two full days, some areas reporting 528 mm in 48 hours. Almost 5,000 residents were stranded in the town of Bellingen and Bowraville.
Bellingen is home to current affairs reporter George Negus, writer Victor Kelleher, pianist David Helfgott (subject of the movie Shine) and author Steve Bidddulph. Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist was born in Bellingen.