In the Far North Coast
region of New South Wales lies Lismore, a thriving university city at the doorstep of five World Heritage National parks.
Romantically, the town was named by Jane Wilson, wife of the first white settler, Scot William Wilson because the area reminded her of Lismore on the Isle of Loch Linnhe where she and William had honeymooned.
Today, however, a series of astonishing links has led to Lismore taking the name Rainbow Region: the Aborigines believe the land was created by the Rainbow Serpent; the first white explorers sailed down the Richmond River in HMS Rainbow; the celebrated Aquarius Festival of 1973 adopted a rainbow theme; rainbows are a regular phenomenon over the surrounding mountains.
And while the city is acknowledged as a large and important commercial centre serving that lush, fertile country typical of NSW's northern rivers, the influence of the Aquarius Festival lives on in the perception that Lismore remains at the heart of Australia's hippiedom.
These days, however, the alternative lifestyle is driven more by a passionate defence of the sanctity of the remaining rainforest and wilderness areas than psychedelia.
Find out more about the Far North Coast
region of New South Wales.