Archive for September, 2007

Where to live: Bellingen?

Monday, September 24th, 2007

We’re planning on leaving Sydney in the next year or so, due to starting a family and needing a 4-bedroom house. But where to move to? The choice is overwhelming. In this series of posts, I explore a plethora of possible places – many of which we’ve visited – in an attempt to reach some sort of conclusion. First up – Bellingen.

Bellingen is a vibrant country town nestled in the middle of the Bellinger Valley, south-west of Coffs Harbour, NSW. We first heard of it through some friends of ours; their son lives in an intentional community just outside Bellingen proper.

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For such a small town – population: 3,000 – Bellingen is a truly happening place. It has a famous jazz festival; lots of great cafes and restaurants; two good pubs; a very strong community feel; and a bit of an “alternative” culture (think Glastonbury in the UK, or Sydney’s Newtown). It also has a bit of history, with some lovely heritage buildings in the town, and the scenery is simply stunning. Just the kind of place we’re after, in fact.

Cafe dining, Bellingen

It’s also nice and close to Coffs Harbour, which – while nothing special – does at least have decent-size shops and facilities, and is a pleasant enough seaside town. Some of the other smaller seaside places near Bellingen are lovely too. (more…)

Moving from Sydney: What we’re after

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

We’re planning on leaving Sydney in the next year or so, and we’re looking around for places to live. Here’s our list of requirements:

  • A four-bedroom house, or at least a three-bed-plus-study, so that I can continue to work from home while we house our ever-expanding family
  • Price range: somewhere around AUD $400k-430k at the moment
  • Somewhere with a real sense of community and identity (which rules out most of suburbia!)
  • Ideally somewhere fairly rural – but not too rural, and not full of rednecks 😉
  • As close as possible to a major city – ideally Sydney, as that’s where most of our friends and business contacts live

We’re currently scouring the country for suitable places; so far we must have checked out over 50 villages, towns and cities up and down the east coast. I’ll be talking about each of these places, including their pros and cons, over the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, if you have any suggestions for places that would meet the above criteria, I’d love to hear them! 🙂