If ever you’re passing through Wollongong (NSW) do stop in at the amazing Nan Tien Buddhist temple just south of the city.
Defiantly built right beside the freeway and towering above the industrial area of Port Kembla, perhaps to heal its surroundings, and facing the distant mountains, this is a beautiful place of terraced gardens and lotus ponds, dotted with statues of cheery bald buddhas, fat but impish baby ones, and scary old men with gargoyle eyes.
The exotic buildings and temples are elaborately decorated and include a teahouse for visitors.
Most people are day visitors, but the lesser-known treasure is the Pilgrims’ Lodge, where for less than youth hostel prices visitors can stay overnight in stylish motel-type accommodation—fluffy white towels, the lot!
There are shared basic kitchen and laundry facilities for guests to use too.
Meals are extra, and I didn’t enjoy the Chinese vegetarian fake-meat type of cuisine much, but you might. I’ll be staying there again, but eating out.