Peter and Caroline's Most Excellent Adventure!!!
Well we wanted to experience different ways of living and meet unusual people whose lives are very different to our own. We wanted a cultural experience and.......WE GOT ONE!!! I have tried to describe the town to others and the best anology I can come up with is the Harry Potter and think Diaganon Alley and you have the picture!! Every shop was owned by a stereotypical New Ager who had taken up residence in the once down trodden Nimbin following a huge festival called the Aquarius festival back in 1973. Apparently they all had such a deep and moving experience at this festival that many of its patrons just decided to stay and set up residence here. Talking to some of the locals you can well believe that they have never left the place since 1973 either. Here is definitely the place to buy any alternative stuff your heart ever desired e.g. crystals, books on psychic vampires, herbs and spell books - whatever your new age heart desires!! Everyone wears beatnik clothing and smokes huge amounts of marujhana so they actually think they look good and smell nice too!! Yours and my concept of reality was so alien to them that the hippy philosophies they all (attempted) to rave on about went out of the window because xenophobia had clearly crept in. They looked so different to the tourists and the tourists had such very different lives to them (despite the fact that many were Australians themselves and some only from an hour away in Byron) that there was a fear of outsiders. Paradoxical really when you think that what the hippies stated they wanted was radical change to the way people lived. I think that they had achieved this for themselves but that they had also achieved a high degree of cultural isolation too. If you just go to Nimbin and look at the town and shops then you can be done in 2 hours but if you stay and get to know people then you see the events and things going on in the area. If you immerse yourself in the culture you are welcomed and there's always something going on. If you are ever here make sure you check out the Bush Theater, it's a coffee shop on the creek with Platypus to see if you're lucky (we were). At night it's a cinema or a rave or any number of things, just read the chalk messages on the floor. The goings on at Nimbin are certainly different to most Australian destinations. For example whereas the typical Australian tour operators' bill borads sell surfing lessons, sky dives and sailing tours the Nimbiners just write in chalk on the side walk to advertise Awareness Workshops and Art Camp followed by Poetry competitions. You get the picture!! Basically if you want an experience then Nimbin is FAR OUT THERE amongst the best. Forget aboriginal tribal gatherings - this is far more interesting!! (However it is worthy of note that we did hear about one tribal gathering, that the Australian police had recently sanctioned, where a long running tribal feud was going to be settled by a fist fight - even though no one could remember what had started it - marvellous!!) Anyway back to Byron for some normalcy me thinks.........