Amanda Fisher of Bellingen’s Belfry Guesthouse has only been a part of our Bellingen Shire community for the past 2 years, but this affable lover of all things Indian couldn’t seem more relaxed at the helm of Bellingen’s former Youth Hostel. Rod chatted with Amanda about the changes that have been made to this iconic Bellingen abode and about life in general.
The Belfry Guesthouse has had a stunning makeover. Do you still see the accommodation as primarily for backpackers?
We have moved away from our old backpacker image to a more family friendly vibe. Refurbishment has meant a complete repaint and all of the rooms have been freshened up. The guesthouse layout has also been changed so that we now only have 2 (4 bed) female & male dorms and 8 family/double rooms. We welcome all the visitors to town, who want to experience wonderful Bellingen and its’ surrounds, but we are especially attracting families and couples.
Could someone rent out the whole place for a special event or wedding?
Yes we are a perfect spot to stay for the family of the bride & groom. We have 40 beds all up.
The view…the view…the view!
Have you retained the famous photo gallery?
As much as we loved it, it was time for a change. It is currently being replaced by a light, white space to fill with Bello artworks.
Any future plans or developments?
Lots of plans…watch this space…
Your best memory of childhood was?
Fishing out the ice from our sheep dip at Cooma in winter and using it for ice skating in our gumboots!
Your best sporting moment was?
Winning the sisters four legged race (3 sisters roped together) at high school…4 years running!!!
What would you like to be remembered for?
Creating a relaxed space for people to enjoy the precious time we have when we take a break.
Friends say that you are?
Kooky, interested in them and loyal.
What do you avoid in life?
Spiders and negative people.
What are you reading right now?
The Radiance Sutras by Lorin Roche
What secret can you share with us?
My cat is 17 years old…which is 84 in human years…
My cat could live forever!
The best lesson your parents taught you?
You have a good life so give back…
The last big belly laugh you had was?
Sitting in the shopfront window of Weave, making malas with Rachel Grisewood, for the Bellingen OUTA festival. Someone came in and asked if Rachel was for sale!
Who inspires you?
My grandma inspired in me a love of baking.
How do you relax?
Making malas, meditation, swimming in the Promised Land and a lovely cool glass of white wine at the end of the day.
Favourite restaurant in Bellingen Every restaurant I visit in Bello has its own signature specialness
Favourite stall at Bellingen Markets?
Anne Reilly’s pottery, the old crystal guys, bottled earth and the antique guys from Coffs.
Best things to do in Bellingen?
Swim in the Promised Land and walking the streets in the early morning…
The previous career you wish you could forget?
Working casually in the shoe section of David Jones…lots of smelly feet!
Your current passion is?
Cooking Gobi Manchurian
Favorite country to visit and why?
India…I have visited 10 times and always feel at home there. The people are the most beautiful I’ve ever met.
Yes or No. Dorrigo National Park?
Yes or No. Camping?
Yes or No. Good luck clothing?
Yes or No. Kissing on first date?
In the Movie Amandagate, who would play you?
Toni Collette- I’m not sure it’s a movie people would want to see!!