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Australia’s Only Monastic Town

Australia’s Only Monastic Town

BY Trish Clark . 26 Apr

New Norcia is Australia’s only monastic town, and is situated 130 kilometres north of Perth. A historical and spiritual treasure in the Australia bush, it was established by monks of the Benedictine Order in 1847.

Originally established as an Aboriginal Mission, the monks built a church, flour mills, schools, a hostel, an apiary, a blacksmiths shop, an olive shed and extensive gardens and olive groves surrounding the monastery.

Known as one of the great cultural heritage sites of Australia, twenty seven of its buildings are classified by the National Trust and the town as a whole is registered on the National Estate. Today the town offers a Museum and Art gallery, a grand Hotel and the Monastery Guesthouse.

Set around a courtyard garden in the southern cloister of the Monastery, the Guesthouse provides accommodation and meals away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. In keeping with the rule of St Benedict to “welcome guests as Christ,” the monks invite all guests to join them in their daily round of Mass and prayer.

The monks eat in silence whilst being read to. Guests are welcome  to join them for a meal during their stay. Spiritual direction and reconciliation are available on request.   A programme of organised retreat weekends is offered each year. Group bookings are welcome.

Accommodation includes twin share rooms with en-suite bathrooms and reverse cycle air-conditioning, single rooms with a shared bathroom facilities, A family cottage and for those looking for solitude a hermitage. The monastery guesthouse has limited disabled facilities. There are no stairs to the rooms so they are accessible for wheelchairs.

The tariff is a suggested donation of $80 per person per night, including meals.

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