Welcome to Australia’s alternative-lifestyle capital, a little town set in an impossibly pretty valley that almost drowns under the weight of its own clichés. Once an unremarkable Northern Rivers dairy village, Nimbin was changed forever in May 1973. Thousands of counter-culture kids and back-to-earth-movement types descended on the town for the Aquarius Festival. Many stayed on and created new communities in the beautiful countryside around the town, hoping to continue the ideals expressed during the 10-day celebration.
Today the psychedelic murals of the rainbow-serpent Dreaming and marijuana bliss that line Nimbin's main street are fading, and the dreadlocked, beaded locals are weathered. While genuine remnants of the peace-and-love generation remain, the town has become much darker since the '80s. The brazen weed dealers who make a living from the bus tours that barrel up from Byron are known to also peddle harder drugs, and alcohol-fueled violence is on the rise. See it once, but you'll probably not come back.