WELCOME to the peaceful and friendly atmosphere of a Thai forest Buddhist monastery in the Southern Highlands, NSW, Australia. This is a place where you can learn and apply Buddhist teachings to add inner peace in your daily life.


We offer many Dhamma programs and activities for all levels of interest, from serious meditators to students or just curious visitors.


Monks and volunteers have created teaching tools to simplify the complicated Buddhist teachings into modern day language. Plants in the monastery gardens are carefully chosen to link with Buddhist history and add more peaceful and pleasant feelings to both meditators and visitors.  


We constantly carry out in depth research of Buddhist history, by visiting many archaeological sites and museums, and by meeting with experts in many universities around the world. The knowledge that we have acquired from this research helps us to extract the spiritual values of Buddhist teachings from the veil of cultural practises.


Our monthly meditation retreats are highly attended by people from all over Australia. We combine the beautiful rural location, archaeological history of Buddhism, ancient artefacts, stone carvings, visual arts, Buddhist chanting, and yummy Thai vegetarian food, with many outdoor activities i.e. Tai Chi Qi Gong, walking & sitting meditation in the gardens. Many people attend up to 6 retreats per year.


Monks from Sunnataram Forest Monastery have been regularly invited to talk on various topics of Buddhism and teach meditation in many universities, local and Sydney schools, and other countries. The monastery is a favourite place for local school excursions.


Sunday is a very suitable time when individuals, couples or the entire family can enjoy the beautiful view and art work around the monastery. Visitors are welcome to participate in our programs without changing their religion!! Parents and young children can experience offering vegetarian food to monks, listening to Buddhist blessings, short sitting meditation, Dhamma talk, and can feel free to ask questions to the monks. Every Sunday 11am-2pm.

Please read more from the above tabs.




For more enquiries, please contact us by email.


Like to visit the monastery?

We open Tue - Fri 1 -4 PM, Sat & Sun 11 AM - 4 PM. Closed on Monday.

6 - 8 PM Buddhist Chanting, Guided Meditation & Dhamma talk by the monks. All are welcome.

Open Day for all visitors (good for the entire family) between 11 AM - 4 PM.

Please read 'Guideline for Visitors'.

After experiencing teaching Buddhism in many high schools, we have decided to include a section in our website to help those students studying Buddhism in HSC. Read more in 'Dhamma Teachings/Buddhism for Students'

Buddhist teaching is always beneficial and practical for everyone even in this digital age. Once we practise Dhamma righteously, we can achieve inner peace without being involved in religious rituals and supernatural stories. Read more in 'Dhamma Teachings/ The Principal Teachings of Buddhism Part I, II and III by Ven. Ajahn Buddhadasa, Suan Mokh, Thailand.

Teaching Monks: Further Training in Australia

Sunnataram Forest Monastery now establishes a special training program: Teaching Monks: Further Training in Australia, to support international Buddhist monks who want to learn how to teach Buddhism in Australia and the West.

We welcome any non-Thai monk who would like to undertake this program to experience teaching Dhamma and helping Dhamma work in Australian culture for 3 months. Please email us.

Thank you & Sadhu


We would like to thanks to all friends who kindly donate Bunning Gift cards and other gift cards to the monks. We have been using them to purchase many building materials to maintain the monastery and to support our Dhamma teaching programs. May all happiness and wisdom be with all of us. Sadhu

Need to build a new meditation hall.

The Karuna Cloister: the Shrine of Compassion started in 2007 with the concrete slab and timber poles in place. Due to the increase in Dhamma teaching activities, the monks decided to pause the construction of both Karuna and Metta cloisters until the need arised. Now it's the time. Please see more detail in Project / Building Karuna Cloister for meditation 2015. and Lists of generous donors.

Vesak Retreat May 2015

click above for more photos in google drive

June 2015 Retreat

click above for more photos in google drive

Long weekend retreat

Please see some photos in the Gallery / 2015 / June retreat 2015

Activities in July 2015

Fri 3rd - Sun 5th Jul 2015

click above for more photos in google drive

Weekend Meditation Retreat: The Power of Love

Please see some photos in Gallery / 2015 / July retreat 2015

Activities for August 2015

Fri 7th - Sun 9th Aug 2015

click above to google drive for more photos

Weekend Meditation Retreat: Digital Mindfulness

Please see some photos in Gallery / 2015 / August retreat 2015, and more photo from google drive.

Tue 18th Aug 2015

Students and teachers from Chevalier College, Bowral come to study and practise Buddhism.

20th Aug, 2nd & 16th Sept 2015

Click on the picture for more photos.

Students and teachers from Bowral Public School visit the monastery for Dhamma talk and meditation.

Please see some photos in Gallery / 2015 / Bowral Public School.

Activities for September 2015

Fri 4th - Sun 6th Sept 2015

click on the lotus for more photos in google drive

Weekend Meditation Retreat: Heart Blossom

Please see some photos in Gallery / 2015 / September retreat 2015

Activities for October 2015

Fri 2nd -Mon 5th Oct 2015



Long Weekend Retreat: Garden of Enlightenment

Enjoy the practise of sitting & walking meditation in the monastery gardens and experience how the calming power of nature enabled the Buddha to attain Enligtehment 2600 years ago.

Please see some photos in gallery / 2015 / Oct 2-5, 2015 retreat and click here for more photos.


Activities for November 2015

Pray for Paris

May our peace and love be with all victims in Paris.



Fri 27th - Sun 29th Nov 2015

The Last Meditation Retreat for Beginners: The Gift of Love and Peace

We will spend this precious weekend to learn gentle exercise of Qi gong breathing, sitting & walking meditation in the monastery garden to gain calmness and relaxation.Then we will practice Vipassana meditation to let go of negative thoughts and emotions in the mind. Eventually, we will be able to create our own love and peace as a gift for ourselves and our beloved ones. 

 Please see some photos at Gallery/2015/ Nov 2015 retreat


Sun 29th Nov 2015

11 AM Lunch offering to monks and lunch for all.

12.30 - 2 PM Short meditation and Dhamma talk. All are welcome.

Activities for December 2015

Fri 4th - Sun 6th Dec 2015

Special Retreat for Braidwood Meditation Group at Sunnataram Forest Monastery

Sun 6th Dec 2015

11 AM Lunch offering to monks and lunch for all.

12.30 - 2 PM Short meditation and Dhamma talk. All are welcome.

Sun 13th Dec 2015

11 AM Lunch offering to monks and lunch for all.

12.30 - 2 PM Short meditation and Dhamma talk. All are welcome.

Sun 20th Dec 2015

11 AM Lunch offering to monks and lunch for all.

12.30 - 2 PM Short meditation and Dhamma talk. All are welcome.

Sun 27th Dec 2015

11 AM Lunch offering to monks and lunch for all.

12.30 - 2 PM Short meditation and Dhamma talk. All are welcome.

Sat 26th Dec 2015 - Fri 1st Jan 2016


This special retreat is only for people who have done some meditation retreats in this monastery before. It is a great opportunity for experienced people to continue their serious practise in the nurturing environment of the monastery. In this seven days retreat, people will be able to enrich their Dhamma wisdom by deepening their realization of the Twelve links of Dependent Origination. Vipassana meditation will be the major theme of this retreat. 

Sorry, this retreat is not for beginners.

Please be aware that you must finish the whole retreat so that you can get maximum benefit. Leaving the retreat early is considered to be unfair to both our volunteers' preparation and other people who are not able to join the retreat because the bed is occupied by your booking. The retreat will start on Sat 26th  Dec 15 at 11 AM. and will finish on Fri 1st Jan 2016 at 2 PM.

Please email your application form at least 7 days in advance


Special Event May 2016 


Gratitude to the Triple Gem


A festival of friendship, gratitude and joy with all of our friends; monks and lay people who have contributed time, fund and energy to construct the Gratitude Pagoda since Nov 2003. We also will celebrate the Enligthenment Day of the Buddha with international monks from the three main schools of Buddhism. There will be Buddhist chanting, short guided meditation, cultural performances, food and outdoor exhibition. 

A reunion of old friends.

All are welcome.




Retreat Dates


Dec 26th, 2015  -1st Jan 2016 (Boxing day & New Year Retreat): we accept only people who have done some of our meditation retreats in this monastery before - not for beginners.


Retreat dates for 2016 

Fri 19th – Sun 21st February

Fri 4th - Sun 6th March

Thur 24th – Mon 28th March : Easter Long Weekend Retreat for only experienced meditators who have been in our previous retreats.

Fri 22nd – Mon 25th April : Anzac Long Weekend Retreat

Sun 22nd - Sat 28th May: Vesak Special Retreat for only experienced meditators who have been in our previous retreats.

Fri 10th – Mon 13th June: Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend Retreat

Fri 15th  - Sun 17th July

Fri 19th – Sun 21st August

Fri 9th – Sun 11th September

Fri 30th Sept – Mon 3rd October : Labour Day Long Weekend Retreat

Fri 11th – Sun 13th November: Last Weekend Retreat for Beginners

Mon 26th Dec 2016– Sun 1st January 2017: Boxing Day & New Year Retreat for only experienced meditators who have been in our previous retreats.



All enquiries email: [email protected] 

Thank you.

All retreats run by donation. We recommend a donation of $50 per night to cover monastery expenses.  The monastery makes no profit from your kind donation. If you wish to donate more, your generosity is greatly appreciated, and will ensure the retreat programs continue to help many more people.

Things We Need

We are grateful for your kind support to the monks, but in the past 25 years the monks have received too many unnecessary things, and they have a ‘big’ problem to store them. We feel responsible for your good Kamma and the waste of your money. For example, many kinds of food expire before the monks can eat, too many towels, toothpaste, soaps and monk’s robes are eaten by mice etc.

While other necessary things that the monks use more often, but not included in the ‘traditional monk gifts’, are not known by supporters. 

Since 2008, monks of the Sunnataram Forest Monastery, realizing people’s need for peacefulness of mind, focus their mind and dedicate their energy on teaching Dhamma and conducting monthly and special meditation retreats, for both youth and adults. The result is wonderful, inspiring  and brings much rejoicing. There is so much positive feedback that will gladden your heart, so please read the feedback and messages from our website.

To continue these worthy activities, we need many other necessary items which can be used either for the Dhamma study program or to maintain the monastery.

To support fulfilment of your wishes, to value your kind gifts to the monks, and to help other people learn Buddhism we would humbly like to suggest the following items:


Gardens:  the following plants- Waratahs, Rhododendrons, Pieris Temple Bells, Hellebores, Euphorbia. Chicken Wire, Garden Stakes, and bags of potting mix.

Office: Epson 82 printing ink: all colours

Building Materials: 

Mineral turpentine oil

Decking timber, hard wood, any sizes & length.

Or just Bunning Gift Cards, and post it to the monastery.