Ok. Sorry about the delay on this post. It has been a busy couple of weeks.
Now Bellingen isn’t a place that has any one particular meaning for Peta and myself as a couple. It however has a very big meaning in my life and for the Kethel name. Having said that Peta and I did visit many times.
Belligen is where my family originates and a huge part of the family still reside in the area.
My great great grandfather Alexander Kethel come to Australia from Scotland in approximately 1880. Around 1890 he toke up a selection in the Hydes creek area and after much hard work to clear the land started dairying in 1902. It was then that Alexander planted paspalum to be used as a feed crop. The first to do so, which revolutionised the dairy industry on the north coast.
A butter and bacon factory was built in Bellingen and Alexander was among the first directors and was chairman until his passing in 1917.
The farm was passed down to his son another Alexander Kethel then onto my grandfather you guess it Alexander Kethel.
The farm continues today. My uncle Colin taking over with the passing of my grandfather in 2006.
As you noticed Alexander is a prominent name in the Kethel family. Every first son was called Alexander until my grandparents. Who for some reason did not continue with this tradition. However it is used as a middle name. Alec is named after my grandfather. Peta and I were not trying to continue the tradition. In fact I only realised it went so far back when doing the research for the blog post. Like a lot of my generation family history is not something that I had paid much attention to.
Alec was chosen instead of Alexander for two reasons. Number one, it would only get shortened anyway. And secondly my grandmother always called my grandfather Alec. Emphasising a C sound instead of the more common X sound.
Our first stay in Bellingen we spent catching up with family. So I decided to go back on the way home to do a couple of things that I wanted to do.
Our second stay was more relaxing. We got a couple of bike rides in and had a afternoon relaxing by the river. However the main reason I wanted to do a second stay was to give us time to drive up to Dorrigo.
Dorrigo is a beautiful little town sitting on top the mountain range west of Bellingen. The area is known for it potato’s and dairy farms. It also has a number of national parks and is well worth the visit.
On the way up Alec fell asleep so once at the top I decided to keep driving. What is the golden rule. Never wake a sleeping baby. I came across a tourist drive which did a loop from town and through a number of national parks and state forests. I really enjoyed this drive. We stopped for lunch at a lovely camp and picnic ground located in the Nymboi-Binderay national park. This will have to put on the have to go back list.
After completing the tourist drive we had a look at Danger Falls. But not with out a stopping at the sewage treatment plant on the way. Yes, you read that right the sewage plant. Someone that works at the plant has a sense of humour. I will let the photo’s tell the rest of the story. Funny enough this is a special spot for Peta and myself. We came across this sewage plant many years ago. We both thought it was hilarious. When back home we would get asked about our trip away and of course we would mention the sewage plant. For some reason we got some funny looks.
We also stopped at the skywalk. Which is located in the Dorrigo national park. Peta and I always stopped here. It’s a amazing view and has a nice coffee shop.
Once heading down the range we stop at a water fall that flows under the road. There is stopping bay for the tourist and you get a good view as well.
With Alec second Birthday fast approaching we left Bellingen and made the trip back to Brisbane. The first part of out big trip over.