street art

In May 1973, in the lead up to the Aquarius Festival, artist Vernon Treweke came up with the original idea to “paint up” the village of Nimbin. Festival organisers Graeme Dunstan and Johnny Allen assisted in the project and permission was sought from the local shopkeepers.

The Rainbow Cafe was the first place painted by Vernon, featuring rainbow stars and this inspired many other artisans, among them Lindsay Burke and Dick Weight, who spread the “rainbow” theme to neighbouring village buildings.

The RSL was purchased by the Aquarius team, later to become the Media Centre, and was painted with a large Union Jack. The plumber 's shop became the learning exchange with a mural of flying saucers painted by Peter Painter which survived until 1992 when Susukka Trading replaced it with a mural by Colleen Saulwick from Melbourne.

In 1997, Graeme Dunstan as director of the Lismore Festival of Arts, facilitated a mural project, where local artists designed and painted new murals. Rolf Harris was invited and weaved a story mural, at the Nimbin Hall, while the children looked on and gave instructions. The Rolf Harris mural in the Nimbin Hall was removed in 1990 and a section of that mural was on the Nimbin Museum Rainbow Lane wall prior to the fire.

The mural restoration 90's projects saw the Tomato Sauce building  façade become  the Hemp Embassy Mardi Grass billboard. The Tomato Sauce building was converted from a general store to a food co-op during the Aquarius Festival, and was painted by Vernon Treweke with the famed Tomato explosion. Richard Bingham and Bob Hopkins were part of a group who painted the Tomato Sauce building during the period of the Youth Club and Neighbourhood Centre tenancy period. Elspeth Jones painted up the facade to advertise the Hemp Mardi Gras and painted throughout the Nimbin Museum, together with Helen Rodriguez and Burris Jerome.

Dreamtime murals were also painted by the Roberts family, commissioned by the Nimbin School of Arts, to celebrate the International Year of Indigenous people. Alan Barker and Herbie Roberts added bits around town while Burri Jerome, who painted the Nimbin Rocks facade and the interior of the Rainbow Café, also painted a new mural over the former Nimbin Garage (now the Visitor Information Centre).

nimbin murals

The internationally famous village of Nimbin is intriguing and quirky with its unique mural streetscape of indigenous, rainforest and psychedelic facades and colourful local characters.

The colourful shopfront murals along Cullen St create the perfect backdrop for the daily show of unscripted theatre. There are plenty of places to browse, craft shops, galleries, retail outlets, or just sit back, enjoy a meal or coffee and watch the passing parade.

2013 murals project

The Nimbin Murals Restoration Project is a community initiative in partnership with the Nimbin Aquarius Foundation, Nimbin Chamber of Commerce, Rainbow Power Co, Nimbin businesses, Nimbin Neighbourhood Centre and assisted with heritage grant funding from Lismore City Council.

The main objective of the Murals Project is to encourage community and public art and to cultivate the benefits that innovative and creative designs bring to Nimbin and the larger region. 

For the 40th anniversary of the Aquarius Festival three murals have been completed/restored. The "Check Mate" mural above the Trattoria/Nimbin Pizza Shop was painted by original Aquarian mural artist Vernon Treweeke. According to the artist, "the kangaroo represents the freedom of mankind bounding into the future and the emus facing each other represent the union of male and female aspects of ourselves merging into the new, forging a new path to the manifesting age of Aquarius".

The "Endangered Species" mural by Amanda Williamson above the Nimbin Newsagency features daytime animals on the brand new left hand side, and nocturnal animals on the right hand side.

The "Over The Rainbow"  has been restored by the original artist and a team of young artists, thanks to support from Lismore City Council, NNIC, Nimbin Chamber of Commerce, Tuntable Falls Coop and the studio space generously provided at Nimbin Birth and Beyond.

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