Nimbin is a centre of alternative lifestyle and culture and is a Sister City to Woodstock, USA. The Aquarius Festival of 1973 revived a dying dairying village first settled by Europeans in 1840s. The new settlers of the 1970s, called Hippies, set up environmentally friendly businesses, cottage arts and crafts and introduced alternative living, including communes. Communes were founded and granted their own title in law, Multiple Occupancy, which was a first in New South Wales. The village is very much open for tourism, especially eco-tourism, and has some shops and cafes that play off the alternative, hippie image.
After visiting the village, though, you may think that it is more about selling marijuana, than exploring alternative lifestyles. You are unlikely to get hassled much though. If you look like you might be in the market, you will get an offer, and if you refuse, you will politely be left alone.
Nimbin is accessible via the Nimbin Road from Lismore or Kyogle Road and Blue Knob Road from Murwillumbah. It is a popular day trip from Byron Bay.
Walk, the environment and atmosphere is best spent walking. Nimbin is not a large community and therefore any other transport is unnecessary.
Alternative lifestyle shops and cafés.
- Hemp Museum. gold coin donation that goes towards the restoration of the town murals.
- Hemp Embassy.
- Nimbin Candle Factory.
- Rainbow Power Company.
- Djanbung Gardens Permaculture Centre.
- Nimbin Bush Theatre.
- Markets - 4th and 5th Sunday of the month.
Nimbin Craft Gallery
Happy High Herbs
- Blue Knob Hall Gallery & Cafe, 719 Blue Knob Rd (Tourist Drive 32), Blue Knob, ☏ .
- The Contented Tummy.
- The Nimbin Hotel & Bistro.
- Grapevine Cafe. Organic Food, a little on the expensive side.
- Capers on Cullen. Can be considered the best coffee in town.
Nimbin Hotel & Backpackers - live music every weekend, restaurant with affordable meals.
Nimbin Bush Theatre - old cinema, wood fired pizzas, beer, wine and spirits.
Farm accommodation, backpackers retreats and bed & breakfast.
There is a YHA there, with views towards Mt Warning. Mt Warning is believed to be the first point on the Australian mainland to see the sun rise each day.
- RainbowStay Nimbin, 1857 Nimbin Rd, Coffee Camp, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. Quiet and peaceful self-contained 2-bedroom Deco farmhouse sleeping up to six people with own large salt-water swimming pool and winter log fire on acreage for holiday lets. $60+.
- Black Sheep Farm.
- Grey Gum Lodge.
- Nimbin Rox YHA.
- Nimbin Tourist Caravan Park.
- Nimbin Backpackers Granny's Farm.
- Anna's Retreat.
- Crofton's Retreat.
- Eternity Springs Art Farm.
- Havan's Eco Retreat.
- Teretre Cabins.
Cannabis may be openly sold and somewhat tolerated in Nimbin however it is illegal under New South Wales law, you may be subjected to penalties if caught by authorities with possession of or public consumption of cannabis. Authorities may set up roadside patrols on traffic routes out of Nimbin. You may be pulled over by police, and it is easy to purchase enough cannibis in Nimbin to get you into trouble if you are caught. You can also be tested at the roadside for driving under the influence of cannabis.
The nature of the town means that it isn't as innocent as many other New South Wales country towns of its size. Tourists have been the victims of assaults in Nimbin. Take care behind the hemp museum (Rainbow Lane).
If you attend the annual "Mardis Gras", there will likely be a high police presence, including lots of drug and alcohol tests on the roads.