Travellers heading up the winding road to Nimbin are greeted by a series of giant rock formations, towering above the lush green hills.

These are the remnants of a giant volcano that towered above the NSW-Queensland border region thousands of years ago.

In more recent millennia the rocks were regarded spiritual places of significance to the local Bunjalung people. Ritual initiation ceremonies were carried out beneath their shadows.


No matter what time of day or year to visit Nimbin, these giant rocks offer a spectacular welcome and herald your arrival in a unique part of Australia.

Taking a casual walk down the quant main street under the shade of the verandas of the historic timber shops, your ears will soon pick up accents and languages from around the globe.

Nimbin is the only Australian country town that is truly on the checklist of international travelers – particularly young people from Europe.


They’re drawn by its fame as one of the few places in the world that gave birth to the counter culture “hippy” movement in the early 1970s.

America had Woodstock, the UK had Glastonbury and Nimbin was changed forever by the Aquarius Festival in 1973.

They came in their thousands in Kombi vans and tie-died clothes. Many stayed on, setting up communes and living a more simple life. Even today Nimbin and the surrounding area is a mecca for people seeking to escape the rat race and enjoy an alternative lifestyle.


The small dairy farming community of the 1950s and 1960s has morphed into an interesting modern herbal blend with many international flavours.

Nimbin is of course also famous for its marijuana with many locals prominent in campaigns for cannabis law reforms. The biggest annual event is the “Mardi Grass” Festival in April/May with a stated mission to bring about change “by the most entertaining means possible”.


The grass is certainly what brings a lot of people to Nimbin including grey nomads seeking out some medicinal relief. It is fairly openly traded at times, but still illegal and police have been known to pounce.

Visit to find out more.

Link: Read the full story in Issue 20 of Time to Roam Australia