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Nimbin. Freaks Paradise

What do you know about Australia? Kangaroos, Crocodile Dandy, AC/DC and Nicole Kidman, aborigenes and boomerangs. Ok, there is Rainbow Serpent festival and Byron Bay. You read about it, you heard about it. But have you ever seen Australian Psychedelic Circus?
We are sure you did not. If you are not this country native of course. As per our statistics we have only 15 readers of AUS. From 5000.
So , here we go....


Nimbin is a small village in the Australian state of New South Wales about 30 km from Lismore. It is famous for its environmental sustainability, self-sufficiency, for its Aquarius Festival and is basically a gathering of hippies and for being a cannabis counterculture. A counterculture is a subculture that deviates from the generally accepted norms. If allowed to progress unchecked, it culminates in dramatic cultural changes like Romanticism, Bohemianism, and the Hippie Counterculture. Nimbin has been variously described as a social experiment, Australian drug center, and as a fantasy subculture.

 The village is notable for the prominence of its environmental initiatives such as permaculture, sustainability, self-sufficiency as well as the cannabis counterculture. Writer Austin Pick described his initial impressions of the village this way: "It is as if a smoky avenue of Amsterdam has been placed in the middle of the mountains behind frontier-style building facades. ... Nimbin is a strange place indeed."
Nimbin has been described in literature and mainstream media as 'the drug capital of Australia', 'a social experiment' and 'an escapist sub-culture'. Nimbin has become an icon in Australian cultural history with many of the values first introduced there by the counterculture becoming part of modern Australian culture.
Nimbin and surrounding areas are part of what is known as the "Rainbow Region", which is of cultural importance to the Indigenous Bundjalung people. The name Nimbin comes from the local Whiyabul (Widgibal) clan who’s Dreamtime speaks of the Nimbinjee spirit people protecting the area. In recent decades, since 1973, the area has become a haven for Australia's counterculture.

Forests of Red Cedar first attracted loggers to the area in the 1840s, but by the end of the century most of the land had been cleared. With the Cedar forests gone, Nimbin was subdivided in 1903 with the land turned over to dairy farming and growing bananas. In the 1960s, the local dairy industry collapsed due to recession and Nimbin went into serious economic decline until 1973, when the Aquarius Festival, a large gathering of university students, practitioners of alternative lifestyles, 'hippies' and party people, was held in the village. The Festival was the first event in Australia that sought permission for the use of land from the Traditional Owners. After the festival hundreds of participants and festival goers remained in Nimbin to form communes and other multiple occupancy communities, in search of an "alternative lifestyle". Nimbin in fact made legal history for the first ever application of group title ownership of land in Australia. Since the Aquarius Festival, the region has attracted thousands of writers, artists, musicians, actors, environmentalists and permaculture enthusiasts, as well as tourists and young families escaping city life. In 1979, the Nimbin community staged the "Battle for Terania Creek" to protect the remaining local rainforest. As a result the N.S.W. government imposed a "no rainforest logging" policy covering the entire state, the world’s first government legislation to protect rainforest
Nimbin's local economy

Tourism: Usually higher during late summer/spring, Nimbin is a major tourist attraction with organised tours frequenting the town.

Backpackers: As Nimbin is regarded as an international attraction for its eccentricity, colourful people and drug culture; it attracts backpackers from over the world who spend money in the town at its various accommodation houses, retail outlets and New Age healing centres. Workshops held in the surrounding areas on ecology and self-sufficiency contribute to the towns revenue.

Property: In 2004 the region was experiencing a property boom, as many left the cities for an alternative lifestyle or tree-change, and large farms were being subdivided into smaller blocks for sale.

Alternative Energy/Culture/Lifestyle: Many green industries operate in Nimbin include the Rainbow Power Company, Djanbung Permaculture Gardens, Nimbin Environment Centre, Ecosilk Bags and the Nimbin Candle Factory.

Health & Lifestyle: New Age healing is available in almost every form, and the local arts are thriving with many galleries and arts events.

Accommodation and attractions
Nimbin is served by the people for the people; the community works together to promote a peaceful town that welcomes for all people to enjoy.  In Nimbin is a police station, hospital and medical centre, lawyers, real estate, a service station with NRMA accreditation, restaurants, cafes, and a pub. The pub has music and offers beer with an in-house restaurant. A wide variety of accommodation is available for visitors, from camping grounds and youth hostels, to bush cabins and hotels. There are a number of sporting clubs and the Bowling Club maintains licensed premises. The Nimbin Neighbourhood and Information Centre is a valued source of knowledge about local trends to newcomers, activities, the where's where, visitors guides, resources, computers to use the Internet and general help to the community. The NNIC includes a small centre link office, legal advice, nurse practitioner, welfare worker, weekly soup kitchen to the adjacent park, and publishing service for the local paper, all run by local volunteer residents. Local entertainments include the town hall, once a year Madigrass, markets, ,bands, walks to the mountains, and day to day activities from buskers to street stalls.

Over the last few years the whole area has gained the tag of the Green Triangle. These days’ busloads of Yanks, Poms, Japanese and various other tourists are ferried in from Byron to sample the green goodies, eat some cookies and have a look at the so-called freaks. Nimbin was a good idea at the start. But like all socialist experiments, capitalism got the good bits by the balls. There is still a lot of good music and nice people out in the hills. But these days keep hold of your wallet
Read 1128 times Last modified on Wednesday, 11 June 2014 19:57


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