The village of Nimbin is located in Northern New South Wales in the Northern corner of the Lismore Local Government Area. However, the actual catchment area of Nimbin cuts across the Tweed and Kyogle Local Government Areas and extends to Kyogle in the South West, Uki to the North, Goolmangar to the South, The Channon to the South East and encompassing Barkersvale, Bishops Creek, Blue Knob, Cawongla, Coffee Camp, Goolmangar, Jiggi, Koonorigan, Keerong, Lillian Rock, Mountain Top, Stoney Chute, Tuntable Falls, Wadeville and Billen Cliffs.
The population of the Nimbin district as defined by the Lismore LGA is around 2000 people. But data from NNIC, the Hospital and the Nimbin GP clinic show client numbers as being around double that number. Subsequently the population of the catchment area is estimated to be between 4000 and 5000 people.
Nimbin is one of the Northern Rivers’ main tourist attractions, with around 160,000 visitors coming to Nimbin each year.
Nimbin is well known for its alternative culture, and the Aquarius Festival held in 1973 which attracted a community of alternate life-stylers to the village who went on to settle the area and eventually spread across the Northern Rivers region. 2013 was the 40th Anniversary of the Aquarius festival. Click here for an account of the festival published in the lead-up to the 40th Anniversary celebrations in the NR Echo. And here for a story in the Northern Star - Aquarius Legacy Lives on.
May 2023 was the 50th Anniversary of the Aquarius Festival well done to all the organisers for an action-packed three weeks in May 2023, beginning with Mardi Grass and followed by 10 days of Aquarius festivities.
Fifty years ago, a group of students and young creative thinkers from around the country converged on the quietly fading village of Nimbin for the Aquarius Festival. The Festival changed the face of Nimbin and indeed the Northern Rivers region forever, as many of the participants and many more like them decided to make their home here, enriching the area with their ideas, art, music, interest in ‘alternate’ ways of living and youthful energy and optimism.
The following years of DIY community-based culture resulted in the development of strong community relationships, significant community ownership and control of many community assets in Nimbin and an overall commitment to self-sufficiency and sustainable and culturally-rich lifestyles that continues to this day.
The young people from the Aquarius Festival are now our community elders and the baton must inevitably pass to the new young people of our community, to bring their own fresh minds and ideas and energy to the awesome ongoing story of Nimbin.
The Aquarian Digital Archive - launched 2nd December 2015. This archive has been created to ensure that the history of the Aquarian legacy is never lost. The archive is designed for research purposes and can take a bit to learn how to navigate around it. You can find the archive here.
Cullen Street sometime even earlier....pic courtesy of Phyllis Williams
The community has been committed to sustainable living from the outset and has 40 years' experience in embracing alternate lifestyles. The Nimbin community has, over the years, installed many solar power systems, hand-built their own homes from local and alternate building materials (including mud brick, bamboo, sand/sawdust/cement, and now most recently hemp fibre), promoted and grown organic food, developed permaculture techniques and is the home of the world renowned Djambung Gardens Permaculture Institute, the Rainbow Power Company and Nimbin Hemp.
Other Great stuff about Nimbin:
The amazingness that is Nimbin is not easy to see at a glance, but the spirit and energy of the community is always visible in the artworks which can be found in almost every nook and cranny of the village, the most striking of these being of course the famous Nimbin Murals. The artworks of Nimbin move and shift with the times and are an ongoing work-in-progress. Pretty much like Nimbin really! Click here for images of some of our street art. And click here for the Nimbin Web, which has a directory of Nimbin Businesses and Services and also lots more images from around Nimbin.
The August 2014 Fires - Nimbin Rising from the ashes. On Wednesday 13th August 2014, two of Nimbin's most iconic buildings, the Rainbow Cafe and the Nimbin Museum, accidentally burned to the ground in the niddle of the night. A tragic loss of history for our community. Thankfully no people, or chooks were harmed (but Vale to the old possum who lived in the roof of the Museum), and our excellent firies worked for many hours to contain the blaze and protect the rest of our main street. Since then, the affacted businesses have all been accommodated at new locations around the village, the Museum site has been bought by Nimbin-friendly developers and the owners of the Rainbow Cafe, Tuntable Falls Coop, have commenced work on new designs for the site. You can't keep a good town down!
Nimbin Monthly Arts and Crafts etc Markets - every 4th and 5th Sunday at the Community Centre grounds on Cullen Street.
Nimbin Farmers' Twighlight Markets - every Wednesday 3pm-5pm next door to the Green Bank.
Blue Knob Farmers' Markets - every Saturday 8.30am to 12midday at the Blue Knob Hall on Blue Knob Road, Nimbin.
The story of Nimbin Sk8 Park
It was a long journey with a fair few hiccups along the way, but finally, after many years of hard work and committment from the Nimbin Community Centre and Lismore Council in particular, the fabulous Nimbin Sk8 park was opened on 11 August 2011, by Federal MP for Richmond, Justine Elliot, Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell, Connor and Aunty Viv Laurie.
A year later Nimbinites celebrated the 1st birthday of the Sk8 Park.
The Nimbin Sk8 Park is unique in that it is located in the heart of the village and has become a central focus of activities for families and kids (and even 'old' skaters!) in the community. The Sk8 park is maintained by community members and the park users, and in particular by Neil. The philosophy of Nimbin Sk8 Park is a safe space for all kids no matter their age or Sk8 ability and all visitors are made very welcome and included by the local Sk8ters.
The Nimbin Sk8 Park is a drug and alcohol free zone.