Mardigrass and home of Aquarius
03.10.2014 26 °C
NOTES ON NIMBIN
Spiritual home of Aquarius
Marijuana growing Capital of Australia
Nimbin is a colourful, vibrant and to some it’s where they live - and a popular little town too just 19km from Lismore and perhaps 80km from Byron Bay.
In the shadow of Mt Warning, the peak that catches the first rays of the rising sun, it is a tourist destination as well as a destination for alternative life-stylers, farmers and dairyfolk.
Wikipedia tells us that “in New South Wales the cultivation, possession and sale of cannabis is punishable by law. In Nimbin, all three activities are part of every day hippie culture. The village has a high tolerance for cannabis (marijuana), with the open buying, selling and consumption of locally grown cannabis on the streets and laneways.
The prevalence of a drug culture in Nimbin since 1973 has been accompanied by a prevalence of collective and public creativity: colourful and spiritually-motivated art (including large paintings above the shop awnings), music, poetry, craft and fashion can all be seen on the main street. The town is also known as a hot-spot for alternative social activities, such as naturalists, mystical and radical social philosophies.”
It also holds an annual MardiGrass (don’t you love that bit!!) festival since 1993. On the first weekend in May, thousands descend on Nimbin for cannabis oriented fun and frivolity. At night, entertainment ranges from the Harvest Ball and Picker's Ball.
Today, Saturday of the October long weekend, we decided we’d take another look at Nimbin, as it’s been many years since we were last here. With Skippy-dog in tow and in the spring sunshine, we walked through the town and enjoyed the bright rainbow painted shops with comical signage, many selling hemp products – but didn’t see any marijuana for sale – just a garbage bin with a painted sign on it “No Dealing”!
Hemp clothing is both popular and attractive, and is a popular selling product in such shops as Hemp Emporium, BringyourBong, Hemping Around, Stoned Fish (with chips). We joined in the ‘spirit’ of it all and had a good laugh too. Then we enjoyed lunch in a café, with buskers and pavements artists nearby.
The Aquarius Festival in May each year, aims to celebrate alternative thinking and sustainable lifestyles. The ten day event was first held here from 12 to 23 May 1973. It is often described as Australia's equivalent to Woodstock and the birthplace for Australia’s hippie movement.
A few things took our interest as we strolled through the village:
Alternative Things ...
Nimbin is famous the world over as the spiritual home of Aquarius. It's a centre for sustainable living, alternative therapies and unconventional lifestyles. It’s the perfect place to rejuvenate mind, body and soul – so you’ll know just where to come if you need to de-stress!!
Living Things ...
It is on the doorstep of some of Australia’s most spectacular World Heritage Rainforests with its rugged mountains, ancient forests & hidden waterfalls which are the backdrop, inspiration & heartbeat for this special Nimbin lifestyle.
Groovy Things ...
I think there is more than you can imagine to Nimbin. With its magical mainstreet, of rainbow colours, it offers a fascinating collection of arts, crafts, merchandise & eateries. With everything from top-hats to tattoos, Nimbin has something to for everyone! I must add that some of the craft and clothing items are certainly not cheap!
… then there's lots of woodwork, ceramics, art and colourful fashion ..
The level of police intervention against drug trafficking has fluctuated over the years. However the State and Federal Police have never been able to stop or even significantly reduce the prevalence of cannabis use in the village.
On the road through Lismore to Nimbin is particularly beautiful, with winding roads past green pastures, dairy cattle, rainforest, escarpments and little places such as Jiggi, Georgica and Coffee Camp to intrigue – and so different to the scenery we have seen over the last few months.
We loved our day out ….. and managed quite well thank you, without any ‘dope’ or even booze …. so far!!
If you get the chance to visit, it’s worth it –