Here’s how Lonely Planet primed us for the town of Nimbin:
Landing in Nimbin can be like entering a social experiment, particularly at noon, when Byron day-trippers arrive en masse and find themselves hectored by dreadlocked, tie-dyed pot dealers on the main street. This is the stereotype, of course (not all pot dealers wear tie-dye), and Nimbin’s residents and culture are actually far more eclectic.
Not like we’re pot-smoking hippie fiends or anything, but after our experiences in Hawaii, we just HAD to see what the scene was like in Nimbin by comparison!
Entering Nimbin we were prepared for a similar town of size and culture to Puna, in Hawaii. Also renowned for its pot culture (so much so that other redeeming qualities can be overlooked), we figured that Pahoa and Nimbin would be sister towns.
And in no less than 15 minutes, we were indeed offered various forms of “ganga/smoke/weed/pot/marijuana/hippie grass”. We were even offered such delicacies as cookies and brownies – but at the asking prices there had to be some special ingredients in there other than just plain sugar, butter, and love.
Nimbin also marked our first foray into staying at a caravan park (aka trailer park in North America). They are very common in Australia, as the preferred way to enjoy Australia is to hire (rent) and drive a camper van or trailer from destination A to B. Given the vastness of the country, it’s a great way to get around.
But as we had figured out, we occasionally need power. After days of driving from campsite to campsite in Springbrook, and only having power to charge our various electronics while we made short drives, we were starting to get a little power-hungry. And Nimbin’s caravan park had our solution at a price less than 2/3 of the cost of pitching a tent at the local hostel. (We are on a budget, after all).
We didn’t know how long we were to stay in Nimbin. Aside from smoking pot and watching the years go by, we didn’t initially see too much to entice somebody to stay longer than a day or so. But in chatting with the owner of a fruit shop, she told us her story of visiting Nimbin over the years, falling in love with it more and more each time, and eventually learning to relax long enough to stay. She said you need at least a few days to get into the groove. And the groove of which she spoke had nothing to do with pot.
What groove did Nimbin hold in store for us? Check out our World Nomads Ambassador Journal to find out!