“I go to the temple more often than going to the church.” J said quietly in the car on the way to Nantien Temple. He is a Catholic. Visiting Nantien Temple has become our yearly routine.
No, I’m not trying to pretend to be a Buddhist. But you don’t need to be a Buddhist to visit the temple regularly (if once a year can be classified as “regularly”):).
Nantien temple is located in a tranquil, friendly environment, overlooking peaceful mountains. Situated in Berkeley, 10 minutes south of Wollongong and famous beaches, it’s only a bit over 1 hour’s drive from Sydney, a perfect get away place from increasingly busy Sydney.
Featuring two sizable shrines, a beautiful pagoda, rose gardens, museum auditorium and lots of accommodation, Nantien Temple is a wonderful place to visit. There’s a tea house inside the temple where you can get delightful vegetarian dishes and Chinese tea.
The official name is Fo Guang Shan Nan Tien Buddhist temple. It is the biggest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere. We normally joke about the term “ biggest … in the southern hemisphere”, because really, there’s not much competition in southern hemisphere:). But Nantien Temple truly lives up to its name – it is fairly grand. Don’t expect an old historical Buddhist temple like the ones you’ve seen in Asia… It’s looking almost brand new. Since the opening in Oct 1995, Nantien temple has become an important cultural center bridging eastern and western culture differences.
Just found a few photos from Nantien temple we took a while ago. It was busy day at the temple. By the way, Nan Tien is a Chinese term, which literately means: Southern Heaven.
First time seeing the big drum in action. Captivating sound & terrific experience.
One and only photo with a Buddhist monk.
An evil eyed lizard in Nantien Temple:
How to get there from Sydney.
Drive along Princes Highway to Wollongong. Then follow the road sign to Nan Tien Temple. It is situated in Berkeley, south of Wollongong.
Catch the train from the Sydney Central Station to Wollongong and then take a bus to the Nan Tien Temple.
Berkeley Rd, Berkeley. NSW 2506 Australia
Ph : 61 2 4272 0600
Tuesday to Sunday 9 AM – 5 PM (Open Mondays on Public Holiday Only).