The Nan Tien Temple is the Southern Hemispheres largest Buddhist Temple and is located in Berkley, Wollongong. With so much offered, the Temple grounds are unlike any you have seen before and a genuine experience where everyone is made to feel welcome. The Temple is located on Dharawal Land.
The peaceful grounds and atmosphere create such a beautiful, meditative location in what is feels ancient but is in fact quite young. With daily meditation and Tai Chi sessions available, traveling to the temple feels like traveling to another world.
Explore all that the grounds and the stunning architecture has to offer. Walking into the grounds you are greeted with layers of green, the smell of incense that led up to the Main Shrine. Everything is authentically designed from a Buddhist perspective; the Main Shrine represents enlightenment and the steps leading up to the temple represent the journey we must all take in order to reach enlightenment. There are over 10,000 Buddhas throughout the Temple which represent how we can all achieve a Buddhist state of mind.
Adjacent to the main shrine is the museum, which houses a selection of historical, cultural, and artistic aspects of Buddhist culture. With a changing selection of exhibitions, visitors will always have something new to see, however, there is a permanent exhibition inclusive of a 1000-year-old wood carving and Sutra writings. Visitors are also able to purchase a keepsake from the gift shop next door.
After building up an appetite, head over to the dining room or the tea house, Dew Drop Inn, for a traditional vegetarian meal and some tea. With renowned chefs, the food available at Nan Tien is second to none and worth the trip out. Explore the culture through the food and explore the food through the culture. Mindful eating is the order of the day, breathe, savour and soak in the atmosphere.
Exploring the grounds will lead you to the eight story Pagoda and is the building Nan Tien is most famously known for. A traditional style or architecture, the Pagoda houses a shrine dedicated to Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva who vowed to help beings reach enlightenment. The Pagoda also has room to house over 7000 cremated ashes of devotees and their relatives. Beyond this the grounds head on up the hillside and through a sculpture park where you will find a large bronze gratitude bell visitors can toll. Its solemn sound you can hear throughout the temple.
The Nan Tien Institute of Higher Education is positioned directly opposite the Nan Tien Temple. Designed by Woods Bagot, the state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly campus provides a space for students and visitors to learn and involve themselves with over 2500 years of wisdom and values. The building itself is worth the visit to gaze upon the architecture as well as the museums and exhibitions held within the space. Exhibitions in this space include international travelling artists of acclaim. The centre is accessed by a green bridge spanning across the main highway and the views back to the temple are some of the best.
The Nan Tien Temple complex combines everything travel, food, and culture all in one location. Every season has something to offer and you can even do a meditation retreat for exclusive views of the sunset from inside the main temple. The complex is easily accessible by car or an easy 20 minute walk from Unanderra Station.