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The Australian Town run by Dealers and Thugs

Nimbin is a small sleepy inland town in New South Wales surrounded by lush rainforests and a growing Australian counterculture. Described by the mainstream media as the drug capital of Australia and known by others as a hub for environmental initiatives such as permaculture, and self-sufficiency. Keeping an open mind and knowing that there’s always more to any community I went to find out for myself what Nimbin was all about.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect, the main street was filled with a lot of tourists, backpackers, and there was a police presence outside the local pub. The colorful main street was crammed with coffee shops and handmade craft stores. One of the first things I noticed was that there were people just milling about without any real purpose or direction. The local skatepark was pumping for a mid-Tuesday morning.

I walked down an alley off the main street and was set upon by a group of lads with red eyes who had their faces covered by bandanas. They aggressively demanded to know what I was taking photos of, I pointed to the rooster I had just snapped and said “That chook”. They warned me off taking any more photos of their alley. Outnumbered I knew that I should make a swift exit as they had a larger group of friends about one block away. Later on, I was told that they probably thought I was undercover trying to catch them in the act of dealing.

A small but vocal protest was happening in the park with speakers debating local environmental and political issues. I sat down for a coffee at a cafe across from the park to collect my thoughts and write down my experiences. A friendly local asked what I was writing, he started to tell me some of the town’s rich history. He told me a story about how the locals protested rainforest logging in 1979 which lead to laws being written to protect all of the state’s rainforests.

An hour later, I wanted to leave, so I left for Cradle mountain.



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