Bellengen Music Festival May 2010

This was one of the greatest and entertaining weekends that we have experienced.

We arrived in Bellengen on Friday night after a great trip from Brisbane via the coast road. We set up camp in the Bellengen  Show ground,expecting to be met with a mass of campers for the Festival. This was not to be. Their were only three other campers there.



When we asked the Caretaker why she said that the festival was only for poshies grin. Guess we must be poshies,cause we loved it. The concerts were patronised by better than 50% locals.

IMG_5306 Mavis in her chariot bottom right of picture.

The Festival was held over the weekend of the 8th and 9th of May and was our first experience of the “Camp Creative” organised event and will not be the last for us.

David Helfgott is a patron of this wonderful event and performed on both Saturday night and Sunday afternoon to standing ovations and they were so well deserved,what a legend he is.

                 David Helfgott


If you have not seen the great Aussie movie “Shine” have a gander.It is all about David portrayed by Geoffrey Rush. David  ran onto the stage giving never ending thumbs up and shaking the hands of everyone that he could reach Geoffrey Rush portrayed David to a tee his actions were exactly as we saw David in life. His performance without music in front of him was astounding and completely passionate. His constant chatter while playing was something that we would have loved to hear along with his wonderful performance. Truly was a tear jerker with goose bumps on top.

Mavis has vowed to not wash her hand as David sort her out on both Saturday and Sunday to shake her hand as we were sitting in the front row with Mavis in the wheel chair with a broken ankle.

David’s exit from the stage was as equally wonderful as his entrance. This effervescent little guy again ran around shaking hands and giving thumbs up to all and on Sunday afternoon chose his own encore “the bee” (Flight of the bumble bee) WOW. David’s poor wife Gillian was at the stage exit trying to entice him from the stage,but he was enjoying the experience so much as was the audience that she just had to wait until he was led off by fellow artists.

Must tell you that we are not fans of classical music on the whole,but watching the creative skills of the talented performers here did move us to appreciate the physical and mental talents of them all.

The BYO “Bellengen Youth Orchestra”


Not all of the performances were classical in origin, as their was a wide range of entertaining experiences didgeridoo was just one and played beautifully by William Barton along with Anthony Garcia a great Guitarist. Williams Mum also made an appearance with a traditional indigenous performance.

The BYO no not an alcoholic event but the “Bellengen Youth Orchestra” were fantastic and performed with David Helfgott on Sunday afternoon. Yes they did have “BYO” on their “T” shirts grin.

For us Nick Parnell,the Windchill Five,David Howie pianist was a legend expertly accompanying many of the artists.,Claudia Douglas,  Annalisa Kerrigan, Nick Parnell, William Barton, Anthony Garcia,  Mark Walton magic on wind, Niki Vasilakis violin & Emma Jane Murphy chello  along with David were absolutely fantastic and worth the visit to this magic wonderland. Pianist David Howie was a legend expertly accompanying many of the artists.

Annalisa Kerrigan is the most dynamic little lady that we have ever seen. Not only did she sing superbly buy it was with an absolute love of what she was doing that was felt by the whole audience.

Monday saw us leaving Bellengen heading for Dorrigo also in New South Wales. The trip to Dorrigo was via some of the steepest mountain ranges that we have experienced but was absolutely spectacular. Dorrigo a great little country town where we had smoko in a cafe called Cafe Del Fuego A wonderful cafe with some great motorbike memorabilia. Unfortunately the good tasting coffee was only half a cup topped with froth and the fruit pies were less that average. The eye candy was great for a bike enthusiast.

From Dorrigo we made our way to the “Summerland way” and on towards Casino. We had an over night stop at Whiporie NSW.

Whiporie General store with free camp.


What a great little free camp.The local shop has a small area next door where you can pull up for the night no charge. Or for bigger groups you can stay in the paddock behind the shop so we were told by a fellow traveller in a motor home that camped next to us.

The grounds were beautifully manicured.


Their are tables and chairs with toilet facilities. Mavis was in her element with 3 very friendly goats and a pony in the paddock next to the camp area. A carrot was duly dissected and fed to these little critters.

IMG_5327 IMG_5326

Bread was supplied to the blue faced honey eaters, butcher birds, magpies and pee wees. What a great stop over. Garlic and chilli prawns on the BBQ were fed to those that fed the other little critters. The couple that run the shop and free camp are great people, appreciating the visitors and making you feel most welcome.

Tuesday Morning the run home was commenced in earnest. We spent about 4 hours on the road travelling through some absolutely wonderful country most of which was new to us.

All in all a superb 4 days away. We will most certainly be there next year if we are still in the area.