Nimbin, a strange name and a place known for it's alternative way of life. They say alternative but for many it is the only way of life and for many backpackers the main draw to Nimbin is a special brand of cookies. You know the kind, the cookies that taste delicious and make you smile. The Grasshoppers Nimbin Tour starts quite considerately late in the day at 10am, giving you enough time to grab a coffee and wake up before jumping on the old school bus.
It's well worth attempting to cure your hangover before jumping on the bus as the makers of this fine piece of machinery did not build a suspension with hungover backpackers in mind.
The first hour and a half is trip through the countryside with the windows open and the tunes turned up high. You may be surprised at the scenery which on occasion resembles that of Australia's famous friend New Zealand, green, fresh and not a beach in sight.
Explore the shops of funky jewellry and headbands and don't forget to stop by and meet Lucky, a guy who hand-makes some excellent bracelets. He can be found outside the Rainbow Cafe which reportedly offers the best coffee in Nimbin. In fairness you could probably do the rounds of all the cafes and decide for yourself.
"The resident lizard will make you giggle also, if you aren't already."
It's not all shops and baked goods in Nimbin, the museum is crammed full of memorabilia for the freedom of choice movement that originally placed Nimbin on the map. The Nimbin Arts Gallery is also surprisingly good and the funky postcards are pretty cheap also. It's back on the bus to head to an old Aussie pub, The Channon Tavern, to make good use of their bottle shop and make our way towards the rainforest for a BBQ lunch. The lunch stop is right next to a dam with water that reflects the surrounding trees like a mirror. The resident lizard will make you giggle also, if you aren't already.
Full to the brim, there are more snags than humanly possible to eat (vegetarian options available), we delve further into the rainforest for a swim*. By swim, I mean, jump off a waterfall into a freezing cold pool of water, over and over again. It's quite amazing just how much fun this is.
By the time you crawl back onto the bus, it's time to head back to Byron Bay with some chillout tunes before having a quick shower and heading back out to dabble in some of Byron Bay's excellent nightlife.
So for an alternative day away from the beach complete with food, drink and great sights give the Grasshoppers Nimbin Tour a try.
*entry into the Nightcap National Forest is weather permitting