High-tech hippie trail

THE vision for a new tourist walk through Nimbin encompasses the concepts of solar power, local anecdotes, historical footage and new technologies.

With more than 100,000 young backpackers visiting Nimbin each year, Lismore City Council is now investigating the feasibility of the Nimbin Walking Track, which will incorporate interactive storytelling to promote the village's colourful history.

"Our young visitors want to learn about communities, see and learn about Nimbin's alternative culture, its innovation, its history and its ethos," Andrew Walker from Nimbin Tourism said. "More and more backpackers access everything via their smartphones. This project presents the perfect opportunity to teach people from all over the world about creativity, community, talent, tolerance and alternative life… Nimbin-style!"

Locals Lois Kelly and Ross Wallace will work with experienced Nimbin planner Malcolm Scott to deliver the feasibility plan, building on a report commissioned by Lismore City Council in 1997.

Lois would like to see the latest technology used to capture the imagination of tech-savvy young travellers.

"We're developing more than just a physical walk," Lois said. "We know visitors like to walk but this will be an opportunity for them to learn about the culture, the history, of Nimbin. And the naughty stuff too...We're about telling all the stories of this community. We'll be creating a website or app which tourists will pay for and which will allow them to access the Nimbin stories.

"We have a good idea of who our visitors are. They want something different - and Nimbin is different. They want to know about this special village. They're keen to know about our communities for instance but they can't see a rural community just by walking around town, but they could see them and learn about them on their smartphones."

Lois envisages Nimbin's sustainable house, ecoCity Farm and Rainbow Power will also feature on the walk.

A community workshop to discuss the project (the 'magical mystery tour' as Lois calls it - with apologies to The Beatles) will be held at the Nimbin Bowling Club on Saturday, August 11, from 2pm to 4pm. All are welcome.

For more information or to be involved in the community workshop, email Lois at nimbinwalk@gmail.com.

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