Bellingen: THE Promised Land

Saturday October 7th 10:15AM


Following the 1971 Aquarius festival in Nimbin NSW many people decided to not return to the city and that way of life.  Many took the plunge and decided to stay in the vicinity.  The area was beautiful, quiet and cheap.  The dairy industry was in collapse and farms were easy to buy and had plenty of room for everyone.  So began an invasion that was to change to face of country Australia as feral hippies took to the streets confident, cashed up and semi naked.  They wandered the streets stoned and with a moral outlook that challenged generations of country attitudes. 

This is the story of the conflict that followed.


Journalist Peter Geddes and filmmaker Peter Gailey both moved to Bellingen in the mid 70s and watched as the cultural revolution swept  the area.  Peter was a keen amateur cinematographer and for 20 years he recorded the comings and goings of the Bellingen community.  Using contemporary interviews with hippies and townspeople from the 70s plus never before seen archival movie footage Gedes and Gailey have created a warm funny and insightful odyssey as unstoppable cultural change rolls over the land.  The newcomers were so alien to country people that conflict was inevitable.  BELLINGEN - The Promised Land shows the warts and all underbelly of the Aquarius generation and the power struggle with an old Australia nervously facing a future they don’t want.

Followed by Q & A with Director Peter Gailey


Play Video


Peter Gailey & Peter Geddes


The people of Bellingen