Now is the perfect time to explore our own backyards right? i mean what other option is there? But seriously i know whenever i travel to a new place i get so excited by simple things the country/city has to offer. I go NUTS over a cute cafe, a scenic walk or art gallery. Things like this exist right here in our own country and states. I know i take these things for granted and maybe you do also. So…change your mindset, be the tourist within your own country. Let’s see what our own backyards have to offer. Starting with 2 towns in NSW, Australia.
Bellingen is a cute little town on the Waterfall way, bang smack between Sydney and Brisbane. Bellingen is the perfect destination if you are looking for a relaxed getaway with beautiful scenery, great food and cute, crafty shops + markets.
Highlights of Bellingen
Get amongst nature
Explore the beautiful Dorrigo National park, about 30 minutes from Bellingen. When visiting the park, you MUST check out the skywalk lookout, which has views from the forest to the sea.
Dorrigo National Park has a range of walks where you can be amongst the rainforest, discovering secret waterfalls and seeing a variety of animals and birds.
The Rainforest walks range in difficulty, take a look at the different walks to see what one will suit you.
I scream for ice cream
Bellingen gelato bar is a foodies experience you won’t wanna miss. The bar is retro-themed with a few booths and cool decor. There is a huuuuge range of flavours trust me…. deciding what you are gonna get won’t be easy.
Every Saturday the Bellingen Growers Markets are held at the showground in north Bellingen, with a range of stalls.
Better yet.. If your trips falls on any of these dates you can check out the Bellingen Community Markets.
You can indulge in the multicultural food. See some awesome live music and support buskers throughout the park.
+ Shop ’til you drop at the selection of stalls filled with crafts, hand made and grown goodies, recycled and upcycled goods .
Wollongong is a coastal city, south of Sydney. Wollongong is the perfect holiday for someone looking for a mix of cultural experiences and beautiful coastline whilst still being among city bustle.
Highlights of Wollongong
Nan Tien Temple
Nan Tien Temple has so much to offer! You can simply spend the day exploring the temple, its beautiful architecture and gardens, rich culture and delicious vegetarian food.
However, if you want a little more, you can also take part in a retreat or class.
I did the one day retreat 2 years ago, because i wanted to learn more about meditation and how it can connect you with your inner self. On the retreat I learned about Buddhist practises and how you can implement them into your life even if you aren’t religious. Learnt more about meditation and how to practice it in daily life, visited the temple surrounds and to top it off i had the BEST vegetarian lunch. A sample of what the day consists of below.
Take a look at what other retreats they have to offer and see if one suits you.
Wollongong Light house
Whenever i go on holidays with my mum we like to get up and watch the sunrise at least one of the mornings whilst we are away.
When in Wollongong we went to Wollongong lighthouse and it seriously was SPECTACULAR. If you’re anything like us, you will want to follow an early rise with a good cup of coffee, heres a list of the best cafes around the area.
Kiama is a town with so much to offer, a 30 minute drive from Wollongong.
Here’s a list of Kiamas natural wonders
– The Kiama blow hole
– The Kiama Coastal walk.
– Saddle Back Mountain.
Make sure to stay up to date with Covid-19 restrictions and closures.