With a name that translates to “Paradise of the South” in Chinese, this Buddhist temple complex is a modern architectural treasure with cultural exhibitions, a lodge and workshops.
Learn, meditate, dine and stay overnight at Nan Tien Temple, a spacious complex presenting Buddhism’s fascinating culture, art and architecture in southern Wollongong. Explore the peaceful halls and sprawling gardens or pick from the program of healthy lifestyle classes and Buddhist festivities. The Southern Hemisphere’s largest Buddhist temple complex provides an unforgettable setting for spiritual and educational experiences.
The traditional meets the modern at this Chinese-style palace. As you approach the main temple, note its magnificent design, which blends ancient architecture with contemporary elegance. Climb the grand staircase and enter the building to find two immense prayer halls, named the Great Compassion Shrine and the Great Hero Hall. These contain a series of sculptures of Buddha and Bodhisattva, as well as the Thousand-Handed Avalokitesvara (or Guan Yin) and the Five Dhyani Buddhas. Explore the museum and the exhibitions, which contain displays about Buddhism and Chinese culture. Guided tours are available to help you navigate the large complex.
Stroll around the courtyards to find beautifully landscaped Japanese-style gardens and grassy lawns. Take in the views of the surrounding hills, the stunning Illawarra escarpment and the peaks of Mount Kembla and Mount Keira. Check out the eight-level pagoda and the Tibetan-style monastic temples.
Sign up for a workshop or a retreat and experience immersive classes in t’ai chi, calligraphy or meditation. Check the temple’s program of exciting events, festivals, performances and seminars. You can stay overnight at the 100-room Pilgrim Lodge, which is situated alongside a tranquil lotus pond. The temple complex contains a restaurant that serves hearty vegetarian food.
Nan Tien Temple is located in Berkeley, a suburb located 10 minutes’ drive south from central Wollongong and its beaches. It is easy to reach by bus and train. Entry to the temple is free; however, many classes and retreats have a fee. Donations and offerings are welcome. The temple is closed on Mondays. Be sure to respect temple etiquette when visiting and wear appropriate attire. It is requested that visitors do not take photographs inside the buildings or bring food into the temple grounds.