The Bellingen Shire is currently home to 12,893 people (ABS ERP 2016), who come from many different countries and are involved in diverse occupational, cultural, and social activities.
The shire has three distinct geographical areas – ocean, river, and mountains. They incorporate the communities of Mylestom, Repton, Urunga on the coast, Bellingen on the river, and Dorrigo on the plateau. Each is a vibrant and rich community with its own characteristics.
The Local Government Area is made up of many beachside and inland localities, villages, towns and suburbs. These are Urunga, Raleigh, Repton, Mylestom, Fernmount, Bellingen, Gleniffer, Kalang, Darkwood, Orama, Brinerville, Thora, Bostobrick, North Dorrigo, Dorrigo, Cascade, Megan, Brierfield, and Deer Vale.
Situated about half way between Sydney and Brisbane, with a total area of 160,205 hectares, the shire is a lifestyle region with an emphasis on cultural activities and social cohesion.
Agricultural practices have diversified over the years and are now a mix of traditional and non-traditional farming methods.
Many of today’s residents operate small to medium-size enterprises in creative industries involving artists, crafts people, writers, musicians, and horticulturists.
Bellingen Shire has an abundance of natural assets, some 57% of the shire is State Forest or National Parks (21.26% State Forests and 32.36% National Parks). This and our cultural attractions have created a thriving tourism industry with more than 223,000 visitors coming to the shire each year spending a total of $57 million (Destination NSW 2015 Bellingen LOGA local profile).
Numerous festivals, markets and food and wine events, attract distinct audiences, enhancing the social and economic life of the region.