Having my English boyfriend fly over and surprise me for New Years and my birthday gave me a good chance to explore my own region, while giving him the grand tour of the Northern Rivers.
That’s how we ended up walking the streets of Nimbin and making the rainforest trek to Protesters Falls one rainy day – and how you are now reading Part 2 of my Northern Rivers series!
Nimbin is a funky little town about 20 minutes from Lismore, NSW, and is often described as a tranquil hippie-dom.
It’s kind of accurate. See, Nimbin, which was one a dairy farming town, began to transform into what it is today in 1973, when the Aquarius Festival was held there.
Free-spirited people from all over began migrating to Nimbin, in search of the alternate lifestyle – “sticking it to the man”, if you will.
Today, Nimbin is the informally known as the ‘weed capital of Australia’.
Basically, everyone knows you go to Nimbin to smoke a spliff, get baked, and enjoy a chilled out experience.
From the Hemp Embassy centred in the main street, the multitude of cannabis-related items you can by in town, and the yearly MardiGrass Festival, a celebration of marijuana with a message of pushing legalisation, it’s clear that weed is a big part of Nimbin.
But there’s more to this gorgeous town than just that.
The view of Nimbin Rocks on the drive towards the town is stunning, a drink and lunch at the Nimbin Hotel is relaxing, and a psychic reading can be insightful and/or entertaining, depending on how you feel about that kind of thing.
Then there’s the food – Head to the Armonica Cafe And Wood Fired Pizza, The Contented Tummy or the Nimbin Bakery to satisfy your tastebuds.
Unfortunately the famed Rainbow Cafe was destroyed in a fire two years ago, along with the town’s museum, which was devastating.
A word of warning – Yes, weed is pretty much an accepted thing in Nimbin, and you will probably get offered it on the streets, but that still doesn’t make it legal.
In fact, in the last 18 months the local police have been making a huge crackdown on drug dealing in the town, and so far, more than 30 people have been arrested in regards to this.
So don’t say I didn’t warn you.
About 35-45 minutes from Nimbin is Protesters Falls, a must-visit if you’re coming to the area.
Protesters Falls is a breathtaking 25-30m waterfall nestled in the World Heritage Nightcap National Park (which you may recognise from my blog post about my hike for medical research).
The name of the falls comes from the fact that it was home to the Terania Creek and Protesters Falls protests – the first successful anti logging protest in 1979.
The easy walk from Terania Creek Picnic Area winds its way through the bangalow palm forest to the base of the falls – don’t worry, the short walk can be done easily in thongs (aka flip flops) just watch for leeches.
Please, please be aware that swimming is not permitted in the area as it is home to the endangered Fleay’s barred frog – it infuriates me every time I visit the falls, only to see people swimming there.
Every time. Without fail. Despite the signs!