Australia, known for its stunning landscapes and diverse culture, is also home to some great hippie towns. These communities offer a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Here are seven hippie towns better than Byron.
Nestled amid the stunning landscapes of Tasmania, the town of Sheffield stands out as a must-visit destination for travellers seeking a unique blend of art, culture and natural beauty.
Sheffield’s claim to fame is its incredible outdoor art gallery, the town’s streets are adorned with more than 200 vibrant murals. Each mural tells a story of Sheffield’s rich history, natural surroundings, and the creativity of its residents.
One of the most endearing aspects of Sheffield is the warmth and friendliness of its residents. Visitors often find themselves struck by the strong sense of community and the genuine hospitality of the locals. Whether you’re seeking travel advice, chatting with artists or simply enjoying a friendly conversation with a shopkeeper, Sheffield’s community spirit adds an extra layer of charm to your visit.
Nimbin, New South Wales
Historically Nimbin was a sleepy town in the middle of a dairy and timber district. It was isolated, not on any main roads, and far removed from the major coastal centre of Byron Bay. In 1973, the Australian Union of Students organised an Aquarius Festival in the town and overnight it became a hippie cultural hub.
Now, Nimbin proudly wears its colourful, alternative spirit on its sleeve. The art and music scene is vibrant, with murals adorning the streets and festivals taking place every summer.
What sets Nimbin apart is its commitment to sustainable living. Here, you’ll find organic food co-ops, permaculture farms and residents who passionately embrace eco-friendly practices. The Nimbin Hemp Embassy, a community-driven organisation, promotes cannabis law reform by educating the community. and encourages the use of hemp for various eco-friendly purposes.
Mullumbimby, New South Wales
Known as ‘the biggest little town in Australia’, Mullumbimby is small in population but big in personality. Tucked away in the lush hinterland of Byron Bay, it has the ambience of a true hippie town. Here, vintage boutiques, holistic wellness centres and cute cafes line the streets.
One of the main attractions close to Mullum (as the locals call it) is Crystal Castle. Here you can see some of the world’s largest crystals and stroll through beautiful gardens adorned with giant crystal formations and sculptures.
The quaint town of Eumundi, nestled inland from the Sunshine Coast, is famous for its large outdoor market. Established in 1979, with a focus on handmade products, it has since become Australia’s premier artisan market. The market, with more than 600 stalls, is a treasure trove of handcrafted goods, delicious local produce and unique souvenirs. Live musicians dotted throughout create a lively atmosphere to shop and sample goods.
Beyond the markets, Eumundi’s streets boast eclectic boutiques, art galleries and cafes. This town embodies a welcoming community spirit, making it an ideal destination for travellers looking to immerse themselves in the local culture.
Kuranda is nestled amidst the lush rainforests of Queensland and is renowned for its vibrant arts and crafts scene. The Original Markets sell beautiful local artworks and other products – it’s the place to shop if you’re looking for Indigenous artwork, handmade jewellery, woodwork and gemstones. The Heritage Markets sell souvenirs, food and drink, and have live entertainment.
While there, journey through the dense rainforest on the Kuranda Scenic Railway. This famous railway winds its way from Cairns to Kuranda. Or, to add a touch of adventure to your visit, ride the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
Margaret River, Western Australia
The Margaret River Region is the most awarded fine wine region in Australia. It’s home to pristine beaches, tall timber karri forests, renowned surf breaks and hiking trails. It also has an extremely long whale-watching season of six months (June to November). An estimated 35,000 whales migrate from the Antarctic to the warmer waters in southwest Australia. Tours are inexpensive, and some companies will offer another tour if you do not spot any whales the first time.
The region is also home to more than 100 natural caves, four of which are open to the public where you can join semi-guided tours to explore deep underground.
Nestled in the heart of Victoria’s spa country, Daylesford is home to the largest concentration of mineral springs in Australia. Rich in magnesium, calcium and silica, among other minerals, these springs are believed to cure all sorts of afflictions. After spoiling yourself at a spa, enjoy a walk around the wonderful historical gardens.
Like all good country towns, Daylesford has a few markets up its sleeve. On the fourth Saturday of each month, Daylesford Primary School plays host to the town’s farmers’ market, where you’ll find fresh local produce and ready-to-eat food, plus coffee, wine, and arts and crafts. And every Sunday, you’ll find the Daylesford Sunday Market, which holds up to 110 stalls.
How many of these hippie towns have you visited? Are there any others you’d add to the list? Let us know in the comments section below.
Also read: The most scenic small towns in Australia