Bellingen Island

Mid-North Coast

This little semi-attached island on the Bellinger River (it's only completely cut off when the river is in flood) is home to a huge colony of grey-headed flying foxes. For a closer look, take the ramp down from the Old Caravan Park on Dowle St at the northern end. The best months to visit are October to January, when the babies are being born and nursed. Wear long trousers and use insect repellent to ward off stinging nettles, leeches, ticks and mosquitoes.

At dusk the flying foxes fly out in their thousands to feed, though this impressive sight is best viewed from the bridge in the centre of town.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Mid-North Coast attractions

1. Bellingen Museum

0.39 MILES

Enthusiastic volunteers run this odd collection of local ephemera: old photos, cameras, clothes, tools etc.

2. Dorrigo Rainforest Centre & Skywalk

11.43 MILES

The 119-sq-km Dorrigo National Park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests World Heritage Area and home to a huge diversity of vegetation and more than 120…

3. Dangar Falls

13.81 MILES

Around 2km north from the town centre of Dorrigo is the lovely Dangar Falls, a 30m cascade waterfall with a small viewing platform, a picnic area and a…

4. Main Beach

14.88 MILES

Nambucca Heads' only patrolled beach has life guards on duty during the summer holidays, and on weekends from October to April. Dolphins can sometimes be…

5. Headland Historical Museum

14.94 MILES

Above Main Beach, this little museum has local-history exhibits, including a collection of more than 1000 photos.

6. Beilbys Beach

15.11 MILES

The secluded northern extension of Shelly Beach is wide and sandy, and good for surfing.

7. V-Wall

15.42 MILES

For decades residents and holidaymakers have decorated the rocks of Nambucca's breakwater with vivacious multicoloured artwork, and with notes to lovers,…

8. Shelly Beach

15.44 MILES

To reach the sheltered tide pools of pretty Shelly Beach, head down the road from Captain Cook Lookout.