Rainbow Road is a dream long in the making.
Rainbow Road is a dream long in the making, a project that has enjoyed strong community support for over 13 years. A partnership between Nimbin Community Centre Inc., Nimbin Chamber of Commerce, Lismore City Council and various government agencies, the vision is for construction of a high standard and regionally significant walking track.
August 2023 project update
It has been a very slow process getting to this point, primarily due to the extensive negotiations that had to be undertaken with affected landowners. These are now finalised. Consequently, we are seeking to change the route of the walking track and negotiations are currently underway with the funding body.
New Section with Improved Access
Due to insurance liability issues for private landholders, the steering committee has decided to investigate removal of the stretch from Cullen Street through to the Headers Sports field, a steep section that required concrete stairs and an expensive bridge across the creek.
We are seeking to replace that section with a new section that will run from Alternative Way through to Peace Park. This will improve access for the less abled. Disability parking spaces will be provided adjoining this section of track and it is anticipated public toilets, a State government pre-election funding commitment, will be constructed in Peace Park serving the park, the pool, and the walking track.
Following extensive engineering and design work, together with costings, and community consultation, a development application, signed by all landholders is currently with Lismore City Council for determination.
Lighting has been removed from the design. It was never favoured by the community and Council planners have now agreed it’s not necessary.
Project completion has been pushed out to June 2024 although we are hoping it will be constructed before that date.
Ross Wallace, a talented local designer, has been engaged to work on the way-finding signage, working up the ideas he originally presented to the community over 10 years ago. Ross is three-quarters of the way through the redesign process and his creative talent is shining through.
The extensive artwork proposed for the track has progressed following an expression of interest opportunity for local artists. The work of a number of local artists was selected for further development and their detailed submissions are now being reviewed by a panel with expertise in the field.
In December 2022 the Nimbin Community Centre organised an open day for the community where we walked the track and collected feedback. It was really well attended and it was a delight to see the enthusiasm for the project from all age groups.
The project is being managed by Martin Soutar, Lismore City Council’s Project Manager – Infrastructure and Open Spaces. He is working alongside a steering group that includes Nimbin community representatives and his dedication to getting the best outcomes for the community have been very much appreciated.
About the Rainbow Road Project
Stage 1 of Rainbow Road is a 1.1 km walking track 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.
In February 2021, 11a Alternative Way, a property which surrounds a section of the Rainbow Road Walking Track, was purchased under the umbrella of Nimbin Community Centre. Its acquisition, financially supported by a consortium of Nimbin community organisations and individuals, in partnership with Rainbow Power Company, will add to the depth of the walking track experience. More information about this Aquarius Park project here.The aftermath of the Black Summer fires (November 2019) presented grant opportunities to finally realise the Rainbow Road Walking Track. In November 2020 Diana Roberts, a founding member of NCCI and long-serving committee member, set about writing a grant for the walking track. In July 2021 Lismore Council received $2.56m funding from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund to complete stage one of Rainbow Road.
The grant will deliver:
1.1km of track 2.5m meter wide in both brushed concrete and recycled plastic – dependent on location. 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.
Inobtrusive solar lighting along the path.
Feature stone seating.
Feature art installations.
A picnic shelter.
A walkway arbour.
Directional and educational signage.
A wishing well for donations.
Application of a social analytics program to evaluate whether the project increases visitor length of stay.