Just over an hour south of Australia’s largest city is a more tranquil “largest,” the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere, Nan Tien Temple. This spiritual, educational and cultural refuge brings a bit of the east to the western world.
Classic Chinese architecture accents this “Paradise of the South” with symmetrical structures like the tiered seven-level pagoda and ski-slope-roofed shrines including the Great Compassion Hall that features an intricate 16-handed Bodhisattva statue. Stroll the serene landscape to discover the lotus pond, tea garden, vegetarian dining hall and playful statue studded hillsides and to learn more about the Fo Guang Shan sect of Mahayana Buddhism that is practiced on-site.
To end, meditate at the main Great Hero Hall under the powerful yet peaceful presence of five grand Buddha statues set in front of 10,000 miniature ones. Make the most of this moment to reflect and walk out the red doors into the world a more enlightened person.
Tip: For those with time, spend a day or weekend with one of the temple’s retreats for a fully serene experience.