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Nimbin is a lush hinterland town located 1 hour and 15 minutes inland from Byron Bay. Known as a hub for counterculture and alternative social activities, Nimbin is a significant and unique town in the Northern Rivers. Nimbin and surrounding localities make up the ‘Rainbow Region’. This term is of great cultural significance to the Traditional Owners of the land, the Bundjalung people.
Almost 100 years after the colonisation of Australia in the 18th Century, loggers were attracted to rich forests of Red Cedar in the Nimbin area. In 1903, with the cedar forests gone, the land was divided and given to dairy and banana farmers.
Nimbin’s dairy industry collapsed due to recession in the 1960s.
In 1973, the Aquarius Festival breathed new life into the struggling town. The festival saw a large number of students, hippies, and other alternative types flock to Nimbin with, for the first time in Australian history, permission from the Traditional Owners of the land.
Many festival-goers stayed in Nimbin, formed communes, and founded Nimbin as a hotspot for alternative culture.
Nimbin made the history books again when, in 1979, the community protested the destruction of a local rainforest. Known as the ‘Battle for Terania Creek’, the movement prompted the world’s first legislation that protected rainforest.
Nimbin is home to the Nimbin Good Times monthly newspaper, and 2NIMFM, an independent radio station.
Today, Nimbin reflects the community spirit and history of the town, with shops and cafes, attractions, festivals, and events celebrating alternative social activities – particularly relating to environmental initiatives and cannabis counter-culture.
Festival & Events in Nimbin
The Nimbin MardiGrass
Since 1993, the annual Nimbin MardiGrass has transformed the town into a colourful celebration. The parade stands to protest drug laws and bring awareness to the many uses of cannabis.
The Nimbin Roots Festival
With over 50 musical acts, a variety of workshops (yoga, permaculture, philosophy, and more), and awe-inspiring art installations, the Nimbin Roots Festival is a jam-packed three-day celebration held annually. Many festival-goers choose to camp onsite.
The Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup
This community sponsored event is held each year in Nimbin, with poets and performers travelling from around the country to share their art and take part in this weekend-long poetry marathon.
The Nimbin Show
Since 1919, the Nimbin Country Show has been held each year in September. With the charm of a traditional agricultural show, the Nimbin Show showcases the very best horses, cattle, crafts, fresh produce, food, and more the region has to offer.
Autumn Arts Extravaganza
Curated by the Nimbin Artist Gallery, this four-week-long annual exhibition celebrates the diversity of local talent. The Autumn Arts Extravaganza also includes daily performance art and recitals.
The Nimbin Weave and Mend Basketry Festival
This three-day festival – hosted by the Wednesday Women Weavers – features food, acoustic music, and weaving workshops. Held at the beautiful Djanbung Gardens, this community event gives all donations to Our Young People's Arts Trust Fund.
The Nimbin Markets
Held on the fourth and fifth Sundays of the month, the Nimbin Markets features over 250 stalls selling arts, crafts, clothing, homewares, beauty, food and more. The markets take place at the Nimbin Community Centre.
The Nimbin Farmers Markets
On Wednesday afternoons from 3pm – 6pm in the Green Bank Carpark, the Nimbin Farmers Market provides a wonderful opportunity to sample local fresh produce, including fruits and veggies, meat, bread, cheese, tofu and more.
Attractions in Nimbin
Nimbin Skate Park
The Nimbin Skate Park features a large snake run, multiple bowls, and long lines. Suitable for all levels, this purpose-built skate park is located in Peace Park.
Nimbin Artists Gallery
Showcasing the artistic talent of creators living in and around Nimbin, the Nimbin Artist Gallery exhibits paintings, drawings, sculpture, jewellery, clothing, ceramics, baskets, and more.
The Djanbung Gardens are the home campus of Permaculture College Australia, a permaculture education centre, and a living, working landscape. Visitors are welcome to take independent or guided tours, as well as participate in a range of workshops.
The Nimbin Candle Factory
The Nimbin Candle Factory has manufactured candles using traditional candle-making methods for over 30 years. This family run business is dedicated to keeping the unique art of candle-making alive.
Facts & Figures
Post Code: 2480
Name Origin: The name Nimbin was given to the area by the local Whiyabul clan. In their Dreamtime, the Nimbinjee spirit people protect the area encompassing modern-day Nimbin.
Nearby Towns: Lismore, The Channon, Kyogle
Distance from Byron Bay: 76.9km (approx. 1 hour 15 minute drive)
- Nimbin Hotel: Weekly raffles, live music
Schools, Preschools, and Day Care Centres: Nimbin Preschool, Nimbin Early Learning Centre, Nimbin Central School, Tuntable Falls Primary School, Rainbow Ridge Steiner School
Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ's
Where are the Nimbin markets?
The Nimbin Markets are held at the Nimbin Community Centre on Cullen Street.
Where is Nimbin NSW?
Nimbin is located in the north east of New South Wales in the Northern Rivers region. Nimbin is a part of the City of Lismore.
Where is Nimbin in Australia?
Nimbin is located just inland of the east coast of Australia in northern New South Wales.
Where to eat in Nimbin?
Head to the Nimbin Hotel for some classic pub grub, try out Nimbin Pizza & Trattoria for some authentic Italian, or head a few minutes out of town to the Phoenix Rising Cafe to sample locally grown organic produce.
What is Nimbin known for?
Nimbin is known for its environmental initiatives, including sustainability and permaculture, cannabis counter-culture, grassroots political initiatives, and the practice of alternative social philosophies. Nimbin is also known for its stunning hinterland backdrop.
What is Nimbin like?
Nimbin is a small, colourful town with limited shops, cafes and eateries. With under 500 residents, the town boasts a village-like vibe. The monthly markets are popular with locals, and attract visitors from far and wide.
What does Nimbin mean?
The name Nimbin refers to spirit people known as Nimbinjee from the local Whiyabul clan’s Dreamtime. The Nimbinjee protected the land surrounding modern-day Nimbin.
What to do in Nimbin?
One of the best ways to experience Nimbin’s alternative community culture is to visit the Nimbin Markets on the fourth and fifth Sundays of each month. Otherwise, get inspired at the Nimbin Candle Factory and Nimbin Artists Gallery, take a tour of Djanbung Gardens, or enjoy a long lunch in the sunshine at the Phoenix Rising Cafe. Visit Nimbin during one of its many festivals and celebrations throughout the year, such as the Nimbin MardiGrass of Nimbin Roots Festival
How far is Nimbin from Brisbane?
Nimbin is 180km from Brisbane, about a 2 hour and 20 minute drive via the M1.
How far is Nimbin from Byron Bay?
Nimbin is 65.5km from Byron Bay, about a 1 hour and 14 minute drive via the B62.
How to pronounce Nimbin?
Regional Towns & Villages
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