Nimbin, no place like Nimbin

Trip Start Jun 24, 2010
Trip End Jul 11, 2010

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Where I stayed
near surfers paradise
Camp ground on the beach

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Sunday, July 4, 2010

Today is Madelyn's Australian B-day!  We all said happy birthday to her and made breakfast, then we headed to Mt Warning National Park. It consists of a road that circumnavigates a very large, ancient crater which encompasses a huge area.  The eastern edge holds the town of Brunswick Head and a dozen other towns as well.  It was once the largest volcano in the Southern hemisphere... or one of the hemispheres.  This was according to a part time volunteer information desk worker, so might want to double-check that factoid later.   Either way, it was a big valley surrounded by crater-edge moutains, with very lush, fertile soil. Then we went to another town called Nimbin even deeper in the mountains. It was also very lush,green and beautiful. As we drove into town, the first building we saw was rainbow colored. Evey piece of siding was a different color of the rainbow. Tyler first words were Wow!  Mike said that this town is like Winthrop on drugs. It was a very interesting town to explore. It is famous for its communes and hippy culture... it sits a a couple hours east of of Byron bay. As we walked down the street there, some lady offered Tyler cookies under her breath (she was a drug dealer).   I'm not sure what was in the cookies, but judging by the smell of smoke in the air there, it probably wasn't legal in most countries. We found a great Thai food place there.  The good thing about hippy culture in Australia is that it results in lots of good organic food and gluten free options that Cody can eat.  At the Thai restaurant, we talked to the owner for a while and she said she had lived here 22 years and raised her 4 kids in Nimbin. Her son was the cook at their restaurant. The food was great. She also shared with us that people in the town run their homes on 12 volt systems with banks of batteries that are charged by a 240 volt line that everyone shares.   The line get some of its power from solar generation. She said she loves living in Nimbin and she that the community is very close knit. She gave us a copy of her local newspaper with great pride and recommend that we go to the Nimbin Museum.   She gestured to a bus of young tourist backpackers and said you have to look past the gawkers and appreciate what the town is really about.  We went to the "museum" and it was unlike any other museum that we had been to before. Every inch of the walls and celling were covered with brightly covered artifacts, art work ranging from 30 egg beaters hanging from the from the celling to parts of Volkswagen vans with slogans painted all over them.   Part of the museum talked about the Aboriginal culture, other parts talked about the hippy movement, etc. Then we went and got home-made goat's milk ice cream fudgesicles and Cody got a watermelon Popsicle. We brought Madelyn a hot pink flower decoration for her room as her birthday present... she was very excited and is eager to get her hands on it and mangle it. What a day!  We headed back down to the beach to Fingal Holiday Park (a.k.a. our campground). It was an awesome camp ground on the beach with a huge open grill and kitchen area next to our spot.  That night Mike made a fabulous dinner with the boys on the open grill. Had fun talking with the locals during the cooking process. We also saw bats hanging from the trees and flying over our heads.
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Jeff Layton on

Thanks so much for sending the daily reports on your trip. You let all of us back home be a part of your great adventure. Please wish Madelyn happy birthday for Meta and I. And say hello to Cody, Tyler and Mike for us too!
Love, Dad
PS - Buddy is fine! He and Mickey get along well.

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