Nimbin: The Land of Peace, Love & Other Drugs

take the happy coach to Nimbin Australia’s hippie haven and cannibis capital Nimbin is the perfect spot for anyone looking to get happy in New South Wales.

Nimbin has been described in many ways, including  ‘an escapist sub-culture‘ and ‘a social experiment‘. It’s also recently become a famous little drugged up teddy bear’s favorite spot. No no, Winnie the Pooh hasn’t suddenly got a splif on. Instead, Ted (whilst advertising his new film, Ted 2) took to the streets of Nimbin as its new number one fan.

Finding Your Inner Bohemian

I was staying in the hugely popular, Byron Bay when I first heard about Nimbin. It’s just an hour or so inland from the Byron surf and I’m telling you now, it’s worth making time to visit.

If you’re thinking, I’ve heard of Nimbin and visiting the cannabis capital of Oz isn’t on my list, then think again. Ignore the cannabis and the pot-heads and consider all the other things Nimbin has to offer. The beautiful lush countryside. The colourful town and its chilled, laid back community. The bohemian spirit and the vast contrast to anywhere else in the whole continent.

Haven’t sold it to you yet? Let me try a little harder…….

In Pursuit of Happiness

Let’s start at Byron Bay. This is the easiest place to hop on a bus that can take you to Nimbin and it’s not just any bus. Oh no, you’re travelling to Nimbin after all and the fun starts here! You’ll be riding the Happy Coach.

Happy Coach

All aboard the happy coach! Next stop… the 60’s!

The Happy Coach runs regular 6-7 hour trips to Nimbin on a daily basis and this happy trip will set you back just $40 AUS (around £20).

The coach will collect you from your accommodation in Byron (around 10am) before heading out to Killen Falls and Nimbin Rocks (the ceremonial ground for many of the lands traditional owners, the Bundjalung). On to Nimbin and a free lunch of gourmet Aussie burgers. You guessed it, cooked on the barbie. Beauty! You’ll then get a few hours to explore the town before the coach heads back to Byron.

Alternatively, why not stay in Nimbin overnight and meet up with the Happy Coach the next day before departure.

I originally planned to just visit Nimbin for the day but the accommodation I found persuaded me otherwise. The Nimbin YHA has a number of dorms and private rooms but it also has a teepee. What better way to release your inner hippy than to stay in a teepee,under the stars with Nimbin just over the hill. Booked and paid for (just $23 AUS), I packed my bag, hopped aboard the Happy Coach and off in pursuit of happiness.

Nimbin

Along the way your driver will give you a little background history of Nimbin, need to knows, what to see and things to do. We stopped off at Nimbin Rocks to hug a few trees…. oh and you think I’m joking.

Getting Lucky

I also made a new mate on my way to Nimbin, his name was Lucky. No, he wasn’t the eighth dwarf escort to a pale brunette with little princess syndrome. He was however, a free spirit who gave conventional society the finger and went to live in the forest with other like minded hippies and naturalists.

Lucky didn’t wear shoes and hadn’t washed for days….and boy did we know it! He had another name but he had recently given that up too when he was officially inducted into his new community and anointed the name, Lucky.

I chatted with him for a while whilst he shredded reeds and grass with his teeth and braided a bracelet with it. Before he hopped off the bus and disappeared into the trees, he handed me and a friend the bracelets he had just made. He said, by wearing them, you’re becoming one with nature, embracing it and appreciating it. He’s quite right, I did appreciate it and not only that, but I appreciated the sentiment behind it. If you happen to pick up a WiFi signal and are reading this Lucky, then thank you, keep safe out there and….. I still have your bracelet. What a legend!

I’m gutted that I haven’t a photo of Lucky for you. I can give you an idea however. Google Brad Pitt, 12 Years a Slave. He looked very much like Brad, sporting long hair and a mid length beard. Lucky was much skinnier but this will give you a general idea. 

After checking in at the Nimbin YHA, I took to the teepee. It was every bit what hoped it would be. Instead of waffling on about how and why, I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Becoming One With Nimbin

On stepping foot into town, I was slapped in the face by a bombardment of colour, the sound of reggae and the aroma of incense. Already I felt like I’d been transported to another land; the age of Aquarius?… or maybe this was the 60’s? I always wished I could have experienced the 60’s. Perhaps this was the closest I’d get.

Nimbin

As I made my way down the highstreet, exploring, Happy High Herbs, The Emporium and The Stoned Fish, I bumped into a very local looking bloke. This guy was the epitome of Nimbin and was called Alice. Alice was selling…..’local produce’ so to speak and although I wasn’t buying, he was up for a quick chat. He told me to check out the Hemp Museum and if he told me to come back to Nimbin once, he told me a thousand times. Maybe Alice is Nimbin’s friendly PR guy but I like to think he could be Mayor.

Nimbin

Everyone, meet Alice. I know what you’re thinking, he looks like an Alice, right.

Along with the high population of hippies comes a stream of bikers. I was suddenly transported from the 60’s and thrown into a scene straight out of Son’s of Anarchy as an army of fully leathered, long haired, bushy bearded, tattooed Harley Davidson riders growled down the road. What beauties they were….. Beautifully cared for, finally tuned shiny stallions. I’m chatting about the bikes here, not the bikers – just to clarify!

Nimbin

That afternoon was very hot so after a typical Aussie lunch cooked up on the communal park BBQ, it was back to the YHA to crack open a frosty James Boags lager, chill out in the hammock under the tree by my teepee and take in the beautiful view.

Nimbin Teepee

Nimbin

Nimbin is a perfect addition for anyone travelling along Australia’s Gold Coast. Not only is it completely unique but it’s somewhere you can get away from the busy tourist hot spots, forget your stresses, not worry about other people’s misconceptions of you and completely chill out.

As a drug-free backpacker, I was a little skeptical of Nimbin at first. However, since visiting, cannabis is the last thing on my mind when I think of this amazing little town. It’s teaming with character, oozing peace and love and crammed full of eccentric, free-spirited and non judgmental people.

With so much stress and anguish in the world, this is somewhere we should all visit at least once. Not only visit but explore. The true heart of Nimbin isn’t on its highstreet but tucked away behind its rolling, emerald hills.

I vote Nimbin for the next G8 Summit! Who’s with me?

 

  • http://travellousworld.com Maaike – travellousworld.com

    Such a unique place indeed! The tree hugging bit had me laughing to bits! 😉 Would love to see this place and meet these interesting people. (And just to clarify: no, not all Dutchies use drugs. Far from it really. So I won’t be trying anything there either, lol!)

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hey Maaike.
      Thanks for reading 🙂
      Haha. Hope you manage to make it there and enjoy all the non-cannabis highlights.

  • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

    Thanks, Lindsey.
    It’s a very cool place. Check it out someday 🙂

  • http://www.thecommonwanderer.com The Common Wanderer

    haha good old Nimbin! Such an awesome, colourful place. The locals are super interesting to chat to too… Did you encounter the old lady dressed all in pink by any chance?!

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Colourful places and characters but sadly I didn’t encounter the old lady in pink…. was she a must see? 🙂
      Cheers for reading!