With the path flooded, we retraced our steps up Church Street to the soggy shopping strip (above left) then headed east to Bridge Street (above right). Here, the road drops steeply to cross the Bellinger River via Lavenders Bridge. The full scale of the flood is revealed at close quarters, as is the peak height of nine metres (right). The substantial bridge is down there but doesn’t even cause a ripple in the flow since it is four metres below the surface.
Flood time is social time in Bellingen (left). With the town cut off, residents gather to witness the event, and share a coffee and a chat in the cafes that have managed to open.
Horse riding permitted (below).
The Bellinger River is not the only event in town. A visit to the back streets reveals that tiny Cemetery Creek has become an inland sea, from Ford Street downstream to the High School and beyond.
Ford Street, literally (above).
Prince Street (above) and (below). Note the car.
Mary Street (above).
We followed the creek down to the swimming pool, hoping that it wasn’t full of floodwater since we were supposed to be training for the AIF national swimming championships in March. The pool was OK, but the carpark and access bridge was a sight to behold, as Leanne shows (below).
Then on to Connell Park, where canoeing would have been a better option than archery and soccer (right) and (below).