Most people today, if they think about it at all, probably identify Australia’s counterculture as something primarily to do with Nimbin’s 1973 Aquarius Festival. That was certainly totally cool. However, there are other north coast New South Wales towns like Mullumbimby that also embraced a counterculture back in the 1970s - but were usually a bit more low-key about it all. And believe it or not - once upon a time - long before Billabong and Quicksilver and Mambo cashed-in on surf-culture big time - a vaguely creative down-at-heel anti-capitalist counterculture grew up in suburban Wollongong. Your mum made your board shorts and, even before modern sunscreen (apart from then totally uncool ‘Pink Zinc’) was invented, whipped up a ‘Grannie Hat” (which you rarely wore and regularly came home with sunburn all over your already badly sunburned face and shoulders) on her very old Singer sewing machine.

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