Party Capital of Australia

Trip Start Jan 29, 2003
Trip End Feb 01, 2004

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Friday, September 12, 2003

September 9th 2003:

I don't know if I mentioned it but Dan bought himself a digital camera in Sydney, and he turned out to be quite a good little photo snapper. You can see his pics at and I have used some of them on this. Anyway, he bought an extra memory card which went wrong a couple of days ago so this morning we had to drive up to the lighthouse again so he could snap away, but to be honest I wasn't that bothered. Its such dramatic scenery up there that you could go every day and not get bored. We got going and travelled as far as Tweed Heads when we realised that if we were going to go to Nimbin, we would have to go back on ourself. The problem being that Nimbin is right out of the way. What made us go ahead was when Dan said he would be happy to drive both there and back. So we drove an hour through the winding roads to Nimbin - the drug capital of Australia. Nimbin is in the centre of an enormous volcanic crater formed thousands of years ago and if you ask Dan he will tell you that all the oddballs of society were thrown in to keep them out of the way.
We first thought it was a funny little town when we went over the bridges to get there. It looked like all the bolts were put in any order they fancied, upside down and by people who were stoned.
We parked up and before we could open the door, this odd looking woman about 40, very scraggly, walking like she was carrying a ball and chain, carrying a shoulder bag, came up and knocked on the window. I looked at Dan, then opened the window, and she said as fast as ever - 'got some great bush skunk for you here boys, the best in Oz, arrived straight in this morning from Asia, it'll knock your head off and its only $150/ounce.' We both shook our heads open-mouthed, and she shot off just as soon as she had appeared. I looked at Dan, and he shrugged his shoulders, raised his eyebrows and said 'Welcome to Nimbin'.
We got up and went for a walk in the high street, and if you have any pre-conceived ideas of what Nimbin is like it won't disappoint. The street is awash with drug dealers, hippies, and the rest of society that don't fit in anywhere else. It all makes out for a very weird, freaky, intimidating little place that makes you want to leave as soon as you've got there! We went for a cup of tea in a town café and sat next to an old gay bloke who happily passed around his joint and told us about the history of Nimbin. Neither myself or Dan are very hardened smokers so it wasn't long before we were sniggering and I had to cover my face with my hands to avoid laughing. Eventually however, we had to leave and get some weed, which is partly why we came here. We decided to ask someone who looked normal and get out asap. Now, if you ever go to Nimbin, you will find that looking for someone normal is not all that easy, partly because they don't exist. We walked up and down several times before settling on a family who told us to talk to a rough looking bloke who made 'Chopper' look like Mary Poppins. He said a price which I thought was a bit much, and managed to get him down $5, though I wasn't going to argue too much. We handed over the money and he put the stuff on the wall and said we could pick it up? The misconception about Nimbin is that drug dealing is very much illegal, but the loophole in the law says that as long as you're not caught handing over the gear, its ok. Any rate, we grabbed it and got back to the van, and realised we were both well and truly stoned. Like kids listening to farts, we were in stitches about anything, and everything. Dan drove us away from the funny little town and it was good to get out.
We arrived in Surfers, and it was just what the doctor ordered. Described by the LP as a cross between Vegas and Miami Beach, you can see why. It has a great climate, and by the looks of it had a lot of young people up for partying, which was our pure intention for being here.
We pulled up at the camp site and it was already dark, but not late so we gave the Mullet a bell and sure enough, they were at the same site. A box of vino and a few cans later, we headed into town. Starting in a place called O'Malleys, the Mullet set the pace necking his bottle and ensuring we all did the same. We ended up in a place called Shooters, which was the only place which seemed to have loads of people in it. However it was good, and after a few glasses of champagne, we were dancing the night away. Apparently Masher & Mullet decided to go for a swim in the middle of the night, and I believe this is when Mash lost his wallet. Those Irish sure do drink!

September 10th 2003:

The van has been playing up again, but no more than normal, so we'll avoid taking it to a garage for a while yet. When we were in a good enough state to face the public (which took a lot of footy and apologies for hitting other peoples cars and tents), Daniel & I headed into Surfers as we hadn't seen it in daylight, and it is a really, really good looking town centre. We went to Ripley's believe it or not museum, which was great fun, full of unnecessary stupid facts about people, such as the fastest a man has ran backward, and the most cigarettes in one persons mouth. Though there was some truly excellent stuff in there, like the tallest man in the world. Dan got freaked out a few times, and fired a few fucks into the air, but all in all it was a good laugh. We then went for a game of 10-pin bowling, with me beating Dan and enforcing him to treat me to a nice Italian meal. You will notice that I only mention our sporting battles when I win for obvious reasons.
After dinner, we went back to camp-site, got ready, met Masher & Mullet, got ourselves through another case of cheap wine, then headed into town. We did a few more bars tonight including the Venue, and Cocktails 'n' Dreams but we decided to head back to Shooters as we knew there would be loads of backpackers and sure enough there were! We chatted to many including a couple of girls from Northern Ireland who were a good laugh, namely Shellie & Nicola.

September 11th 2003:

Normally I wake up in the morning and groan, though this morning I nearly pissed myself laughing when I looked outside the van. Dan & Masher must have come back and decided to smoke a load of grass (which we were supposed to be saving for Ayers Rock), and well the picture will tell the rest of the story. They were both unconscious, and lying face down with all their clothes on in the sweltering heat. But the funniest bit for me was watching other peoples reactions. Obviously, it being a caravan site, you get a lot of old people coming away for a week on the Gold Coast. They would walk up the promenade hand in hand, smiling and nodding to fellow old people, all aware that they would all be dead soon, yet seemingly happy about it nonetheless. Then as soon as they came near our van, they would spot the 2 unsightly youths and quickly change their facial expressions like they had just walked in dog shite, and cross to the other side of the road asap, like when you see a domestic in the street you always subconsciously walk as far away as possible from the scene. No matter how many times I saw this I couldn't stop laughing. When they had awoken from their slumber, we all went down the beach in the afternoon. Dan & I hired out a bodyboard and realised how powerful the surf is here. It really knocks off you from your feet at waist level!
After a BBQ in the evening, we went out (predictably) and managed to drag Shellie out with us. We got the bus into town and headed to a place recommended by Shellie - Melbas, which was a good laugh, especially with Dan swapping shirts with some large skinheads.
The problem with Melbas was they only sold drinks in pot sizes which is smaller than a Schooner and lasts about 4 sips. Unsurprisingly though, the more you have the lighter you feel, and they work just as good as pints! Dan & Masher had another smoke this evening and once again led outside like a couple of bums till lunch.

September 12th 2003:

The Mullet picked up Masher this morning as they were off to Brisbane. Dan & I decided that we were enjoying Surfers so we should stay one more night. When the Irish boys had done the offs, we went to see Shellie & Nicola. They wanted to go to Dreamworld, and in our inebriated state of mind, we thought this was a good idea, and decided to drive there. It was $58 to get in, so in hindsight we should have got there a lot earlier but we had a craic anyway. As soon as we got in there, we were told we were going on a roller coaster, and it seemed a great idea until we were on it and turning this way then another, with my stomach churning at every movement.
For a chance to let our tummies settle down, we went for a walk and headed to the Australian Big Brother set, and then to the unforgettable 'Tower of Terror'. Very simply you are strapped in a horizontal line, and hoisted into the air over 160 metres, then you just drop. I have never been on a ride quite like it. Absolutely exhilarating yet shit scary at the same time. Then on to the log flume, when Shellie thought it a good idea to get everyone soaking, so we were drenched before we even went down the flume. I needed a break after this and whilst Dan & Nic went on to go for some more thrill-seeking rides, Shellie & I went in the zoo bit where there were wild wallabies, and loads of dingos, koalas, snakes, possums, Tasmanian Devils & many others.
When we all met up again, Nic wanted to do the Tower of Terror again. I had sobered up by now, so we did it again, and I think it was even more terrifying the second time. Yet when we got down as there was no-one else left, we got another go straight away! Unbelievable! I could hardly walk after.
When we got back to the site, I was having a nap in the deckchair when I was woken by a torch in my eyes. It was the site warden, who told me we would be kicked off if we were caught playing football at 5am again, after 4 complaints. I knew nothing of this but no prizes for guessing who did.
Went out for a meal and a few beers tonight with the girls, but nothing crazy. Because tomorrow we're off to Noosa!
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