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.

Every Tuesday


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

Every weekend

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

Please read 'Guideline for Visitors'.


Buddhism for HSC Students


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'

The Principal Teachings of Buddhism

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.

Renovation of the Train: Finished.

Monks and volunteers of Sunnataram Forest Monastery have been renovating the 100 year old train since July 2014. The newly refurbished train is for the Men’s accommodation during our meditation retreats. Please see more photos in Gallery / 2015 / Renovation of the Train 2014-2015 

Congratulation !

Thai Missionary Monks: Further Training in Australia

Sunnataram Forest Monastery now establishes a special training program: Thai Missionary Monks: Further Training in Australia, to support Thai Buddhist Missionary monks.

This special program to train these keen Thai monks who want to teach Dhamma outside Thailand began 21 years ago. Apart from the obstacle of language, Thai monks are not well prepared to face different cultural values, and most importantly, what the people in the West want to learn from Buddhism. Most of the Thai monks do best in performing traditional Buddhist ceremonies but may not be so successful in teaching Dhamma.  

We have just completed training two Thai monks who have now returned to Thailand. Phra Maha Chanchai will continue his teaching works in Napier, New Zealand, while Phra Wittaya will be in Colorado, USA.

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 we need it. Please see more detail in Project / Building Karuna Cloister for meditation 2015. and Lists of generous donors.



Activities for February 2015


Fri 6th - Sun 8th Feb 2015

The First Weekend Retreat of 2015: Jump over the moon.

A very beautiful group of people who tried to practise meditation attentively. Thanks for all of your lovely energy and cooperation. Sadhu Please see more photo in Gallery/ 2015/ Feb 6-8 2015 Weekend retreat and Summary for Feb 2015 retreat.

Successful lectures

Wed 11th - 15th Feb 2015

Thanks to all supporters in Australia, Thailand and Singapore who help to make this special teaching trip so successful.

The 52 Thai missionary monks are so inspired by Phra Mana's 4 lectures and they are so keen to study more Buddhist history and willing to adapt their Dhamma knowledges to modern day lifestyle. Many of them would like to come to Australia.

The special lecture in Singapore was so exciting with over 100 people attending all of the 3 sessions. We believe the archaeological history of Buddhism will enhance and deepen their understanding of the Buddha's teachings. Please see more photo and summary in Gallery / 2015 / Teaching trip to Thailand & Singapore Feb 2015

Sat 14th - Sun 15th Feb 2015

Ven Phra Mana gives Dhamma talk to Buddhist friends in Singapore. Please see Event.

Thu 26th Feb 2015

All are welcome.

A wonderful Dhamma session for 20 students of University of Sydney Buddhist Society. We hope they are able to keep on their good Dhamma activities: Dhamma talk and meditation in the university compound to help all students and teachers. Please see photos in Gallery / 2015 / Dhamma talk Unibodhi 26 Feb 2015 and more info at http://metta.unibodhi.org.au/holmebuilding

Activities for March 2015

Fri 6th  - Sun 8th Mar 2015

Weekend Meditation Retreat: Dhamma Apps

The retreat went very well with very beautiful weather and a beautiful vibration from all retreat participants and volunteers. We learnt how to make a cup of coffee, with the four ingradients: Will power, Effort, Focus and Self-Examination. We used the breathing technique as a spoon to stir all the ingredients. Thank you to everyone for your effort and your compassion in the monastery, and thank you to all the volunteers for delicious food to sustain us all. Please see more photos in gallery/2015/March 6th-8th 2015 retreat, and read the summary of teaching in Dhamma teachings/ the Four Qualities for Accomplishment.

Have a nice Dhamma drink! ( and drink mindfully, please.)


Sun 8th Mar 2015

Funeral service for 'Dumdee' at Sunnataram Forest Monastery. Please see more of 'Dumdee's Monks' in Gallery / Photo / 2015.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Please see more photos of 'Dumdee's Monks' in Gallery / 2015/

Tue 10th Mar 2015

Phra Wittaya returns to Thailand after spending 8 months of special trainning in Sunnataram Forest Monastery. We thank for his Metta to help Phra Mana working and teaching in the monastery, and wish him to have a safe trip back to Thailand and continue his Dhamma work in USA. Sadhu

Tue 24th Mar 2015

We were so pleased to welcome our special guests; Guruji Swami Anubhavanandaje, Swami Paramananda and Swami Radhikanada Mataji and Indian families who visited the monastery and had lunch together. After lunch they viewd our small indoor exhibition because it was a rainy day. Thanks to Kim, William, Janet, PY and Simon for their beautiful lunch.


Wed 25th Mar 2015 Three Chinese nuns and 10 lay people visit Sunnataram Forest Monastery.
Sat 28th & Sun 29th Mar 2015

11 AM  Vegetarian Food offering to monks and lunch for all.

12:30 – 2 PM Dhamma talk & short meditation for all visitors.


Activities for April 2015

Fri 3rd - Mon 6th Apr 2015

Easter Long Weekend Retreat:  LIKE A DROP OF WATER ON A LOTUS LEAF

This retreat will start at 11 AM on Friday 3rd Apr 2015 and finish on Monday 6th Apr 2015 at 2 PM.

Sorry, this retreat is now fully booked. Please apply for the next weekend retreat in June.


Sat 4th & Sun 5th Apr 2015

11 AM  Vegetarian Food offering to monks and lunch for all.

12:30 – 2 PM Dhamma talk & short meditation for all visitors.

 Wed 8th April 2015

 Dhamma Workshop: Dhamma talk and Meditation for students of University of New South Wales (UNIBUDS) at Sunnataram Forest Monastery, Bundanoon.

Sat 11th & Sun 12th Apr 2015

11 AM  Vegetarian Food offering to monks and lunch for all.

12:30 – 2 PM Dhamma talk & short meditation for all visitors.

Sat 18th & Sun 19th Apr 2015

11 AM  Vegetarian Food offering to monks and lunch for all.

12:30 – 2 PM Dhamma talk & short meditation for all visitors.


Sat 18th & Sun 19th Apr 2015

The 8th Assistant Dhamma Teacher Special Training Program for our Thai volunteers.
Sat 25th & Sun 26th Apr 2015

11 AM  Vegetarian Food offering to monks and lunch for all.

12:30 – 2 PM Dhamma talk & short meditation for all visitors.


Tue 28th Apr 2015

11 Am Phra Mana teaches Buddhism to students at the Abbotsleigh Girl School, Wollonga, Sydney.

Activities for May 2015

16th - 23rd May 2015

Special Vesak Retreat: Enlightenment & Liberation

The 7 day Vesak retreat is the most serious and hard work meditation of each year. People will learn the core Buddhist teachings of Enlightenment and Liberation of the mind from unsatisfactoriness in life. In such a continuous development of mindfulness, concentration and Vipassana in this special meditation retreat, people will have more time to experience  transformation of their consciousness: to be active, clear, stable and peaceful. We accept only experienced people who have attended our meditation retreat before. Please send your applicaton form at least 7 days in advance.   

 Sat 30th May 2015  

11 AM  Vegetarian Food offering to monks and lunch for all.

12:30 – 2 PM Dhamma talk & short meditation for all visitors.

Sun 31th May 2015

Celebration of the Enlightenment of the Buddha

11 AM  Vegetarian Food offering to monks and lunch for all.

12:30 – 2 PM Dhamma talk & short meditation for all visitors.


Activities for June 2015

Mon 1st June 2015 Thailand Vesak Day: the Enlightenment of the Buddha

About Us

Sunnataram Forest Monastery is a Theravada Buddhist monastery in the Thai Forest Tradition.

Meditation Retreats

The Buddhist teachings in the retreat will include Pali chanting, breathing technique (Anapanasati), Loving-kindness (Metta), ...

Guideline for Visitors

Visitors are welcome to the monastery between 1- 4 pm Mon-Fri, and 11 am - 4 pm on weekends...

Meditation retreats for the year 2015 start from 6pm on the first day, and finish at 2pm on the last day. Please apply online at least 7 days in advance, and see Meditation Retreat Rules and Guidelines for more information.

Retreat Dates 2015 

Feb 6th -8th

Mar 6th - 8th 

Apr 3rd - 6th (Easter Retreat. Arrival time on Fri 3rd Apr at 11.00 AM lunch offering for monks and all)

May 16th -23rd (Vesak - the Buddha Enlightenment Day)

Jun 5th - 8th (Long weekend Queen's Birthday)

Jul 3rd - 5th

Aug 7th - 9th

Sept 4th - 6th 

Oct 2nd - 5th  (Long weekend labour day)

Nov 27th - 29th

Dec 26th -1st Jan 2016 (Boxing day & New Year Retreat)


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 24 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

Research Books: we are looking for sponsors for the very rare set of two books 'Gandhara Art vol.I & II'. These books contained rare photos of over thousands of selected Gandharan sculptures from 1st Cent CE, which are now displayed in many countries around the world. The books will greatly help Phra Mana's research and lectures to many people because Phra Mana, as a Buddhist monk, may not be safe to visit the ancient archaeological sites in Afghanistan or Pakistan in the present time. Due to the limitted edition, we have already purchased the two books and will have them shipped to Bundanoon soon. Any person who would like to sponsor these rare books, please make donation to the monastery account and email us. Sadhu 

Building Materials: 

Mineral turpentine oil

Clear silicone for glass and windows

Decking timber, hard wood, any sizes & length.

Or just Bunning Gift Cards  or Home Hardware Gift cards and post to the monastery.

Thank you very much.

Things not to bring to the monastery

-Bags of rice , bags of sugar, dry noodles (we have too much and hard to store them and rat & mouse problems)

-Bath towels, toothpaste, tooth brush, soap, monk's robe, socks, shoes and medicine (we have no store room and they always expire)


- ข้าวสารถุง, น้ำตาลถุง, เส้นหมี่แห้ง(เพราะมีมากจนไม่มีที่จะเก็บ มีปัญหาเรื่องหนูตามมา)

- ผ้าเช็ดตัว, ยาสีฟัน, แปรงสีฟัน, สบู่, จีวรพระ, ถุงเท้า, รองเท้า, ยารักษาโรคชนิดต่างๆ (ไม่มีที่จะเก็บ และหมดอายุเร็ว)


กรุณาดูจากรายการข้างบน สาธุ ขออนุโมทนา


- สุภาพสตรี กรุณานุ่งห่มผ้าให้เรียบร้อย ยาวปิดข้อศอกและยาวปิดหัวเข่า ห้ามนุ่งกระโปรงหรือกางเกงขาสั้นจนเปิดถึงต้นขา ห้ามใส่เสื้อรัดตัว หรือคอกว้างลึก หรือ เปิดแผ่นหลัง

- ประตูวัดเปิดบ่าย 1 โมง และปิดบ่าย 4 โมง ระหว่างวันอังคาร -วันศุกร์   หากจะถวายเพล เวลา 11 โมงเช้า ระหว่างวันอังคารถึงศุกร์ กรุณาช่วยโทร หรือ อีเมล์แจ้งก่อนล่วงหน้า เพราะบางวัน พระต้องไปสอนธรรมนอกวัด

- ปิดวัดทุกวันจันทร์ เพราะพระต้องเข้ากรรมฐานปฏิบัติธรรมตัวเอง

- เสาร์อาทิตย์เปิดตั้งแต่ 11 โมงเช้า ถึงบ่าย 4 โมง

- ขออภัยในความไม่สะดวก และขออนุโมทนาในบุญกุศลเมตตาของทุกท่าน