Photo: Gordon Smith, Dorrigo Show Main Pavilion
Two conversations this week that show that tree change is alive and well, and both about the same area.
At drinks to mark the start of the school year I was talking to parents whose daughter is in my youngest's class. Both girls have just entered year 12. Originally English, I had thought of them as sea and city people. I now find that they are planning to move to Bellingen on the NSW Mid North as soon as their girl finishes school.
Bellingen (and here, here and here) lies up the beautiful Bellinger River Valley about 16k (14 minutes) from the mouth of the river at Urunga. Over the last thirty year Bellingen, population around 2,500, has become a significant alternative life style centre.
A little later at school tennis I was talking to a Dad who had just come back from staying at Dorrigo. He, too, was keen to leave Sydney as soon as his daughter had finished school.
Dorrigo, population around 2,600, lies on the top of the escarpment, 29k (26 minutes) along the Waterfall Way from Bellingen. Dorrigo, one of the wettest places in NSW, lies at the edge of the Dorrigo Plateau, another very beautiful area.
Dorrigo, too, has become a lifestyle centre for those wanting peace and beauty but still with easy access to bigger centres. The major coastal centre of Coffs Harbour is only 65k (53 minutes) to the north east, the major educational centre of Armidale 129k (9o minutes) to the west.