Nimbin in northern NSW was the site of the famous Aquarius Festival 27 years ago and remains a unique tourist drawcard for its alternative hippie lifestyle. It’s also a popular attraction for riders — and not because they can stock up on illegal weed! In fact, riders are warned that police frequently patrol the area and sometimes conduct NSW/Queensland joint border operations to search vehicles. On one “trip” to Nimbin our riding group was warned from as far as Uki that the “filth” were everywhere! Indeed, there was a host of police road and off-road motorcycles, cars and even helicopters as we approached Nimbin. Hippie culture The town is a throwback to a time when hippie culture was popular. That’s perhaps one reason I and many of my age like it. I started riding in the early ‘70s when hippies and motorcycles were both freedom lovers, law breakers and anti-establishment. It’s kind of kitsch now with many tourist shops selling smoking paraphernalia, joss sticks, greenie-slogan t-shirts, hemp clothing, etc. There are also a lot of great cafes and restaurants with a wide mix of healthy foods and refreshments for the weary rider. But these are not the main reasons riders should visit Nimbin. Nimbin roads Typical of roads around Nimbin The major rider attraction is the roads and the spectacular scenery. Ok, the roads can be broken and potholed like you’ve rarely seen before. In fact, it is so bad the locals sometimes paint rainbow colours around the most dangerous potholes to warn traffic. Lismore City Council is almost negligent in its official warning signs of potential hazards and its backlog of roadworks, probably because of a lack of ratepayer funds from the local citizenry. But if you take things cautiously, the roads can have wonderful sections of twisting tarmac through some spectacular forest and rock formations. There are also some great dirt roads in the area. Most riders whiz past the Nimbin signs on the Kyogle Rd, but they shouldn’t. Take the Nimbin Rd, Stony Chute Rd, Blue Knob Rd or Turntable Falls Rd and enjoy.