Rainbow Road is a dream long in the making.
A partnership between the Nimbin Chamber of Commerce, Nimbin Community Centre Inc., Lismore City Council and various government agencies, the vision is for construction of a high standard and regionally significant walking track. Stage 1 of Rainbow Road is a 1.1 km walking track to be built to Australian Walking Track Standards. Its outcomes aim to bolster community resilience in the wake of future disasters by facilitating increased tourism, longer stays and higher revenue opportunities for local businesses. It will provide recreational facilities for local residents while simultaneously delivering a high-quality, nature-based tourism product for the tens-of-thousands of tourists who visit Nimbin each year.
For the past 13 years, Rainbow Road has enjoyed the full support of the community. In February 2021 11a Alternative Way, which surrounds a section of Rainbow Road, was purchased by a consortium of Nimbin community organisations, in partnership with Rainbow Power Company. The community's vision to create a community park (Aquarius Park) at 11a Alternative Way, a park that will surround part of the Rainbow Road, is set to become a reality. The park will serve as a retreat and experience for visitors and locals alike, adding depth to the walking track experience.
The aftermath of the Black Summer fires (November 2019) presented grant opportunities to finally realise the Rainbow Road Walking Track. In July 2021 Lismore Council received $2.56m funding from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund to complete stage one of the track.
Lismore City Council will shortly appoint a project manager to work alongside a community-based reference group.
This is what the funding will deliver:
1.1km of track 2.5m meter wide in both brushed concrete and recycled plastic – dependent on location. The track will run from Cullen Street, through the land where the Hemp Olympix are held, across the creek, along the boundary between the Headers Soccer fields and the caravan park to 11a Alternative Way, the land recently acquired by the Community Centre for a community park. At this point the track will go north to Sibley Street and east to Cecil Street, along the drainage reserve that exists between Alternative Way and the Headers ground. Extensive regeneration has already been organised by John Callanan, the developer of Alternative Way, and its potential to be an amazing walking track becomes obvious. Quite a bit of the walk in this area will be raised due to its traversing wetlands
There is funding to acquire a small portion of land from the Dept. of Housing, not essential but delivering a slightly more attractive route.
3 bridges – one major and two minor.
Weed removal and regeneration of the entire track with associated bush and amenity plantings.
An entry statement adjacent to the Hall on Cullen Street promoting the walk.
3 drinking water stations – locations to be identified. These will require water being brought to those locations.
Solar lighting along the path – not intrusive lighting.
Feature stone seating.
Feature art installations.
An attractive shelter with electricity supplied.
A walkway arbour.
Extensive signage – both directional and educational.
A wishing well for donations.
Digital promotion of the walk.
An evaluation of the project’s success in getting visitors to stay longer using a social analytics program.