Mullumbimby, NSW, a hippie heartland since the 1970s, is one of those places where all the contradictions of rural life bump up against each other in the most incongruous of ways. To get there you pass through Queensland’s sugar-cane belt from the north, or the dairy and cattle farms of the NSW coast from the south. But once you land on the main street, it’s all sugar-free, vegan “raw bliss balls”, in a town where the old bank building has been turned over to an organic grocer and juice bar selling acai berry smoothies, a folk singer busking out the front.