Road Trip Part 13 – Nan Tien Temple, Wollongong

I’d heard of Wollongong and I often confused it with an old tennis player – Yvonne Goologong, also Australian but with no link. 

Wollongong is a city south of Sydney on the coast of New South Wales. 

While staying in the Chilli Blue hostel in Sydney’s King’s Cross I always noticed prominent road signs for Wollongong.

Two of the German girls I met there, Zina and Laura left to go and “couchsurf” in Wollongong at one point. I always wondered what was there. 

The name itself sounds intriguing.

And my housemate Rebecca Yu always recommended visiting the Chinese Temples there. (In fact one day in January while I was working, my housemates went and did the Temples tour).

So it was time for me to decide on a spot of Chinese culture on my road trip up to Brisbane. I was on the main dual carriage way, doing well for time, planned to clear Sydney by 6pm and head to Newcastle without dwelling in the state capital.

Wollongong really wasnt that far away and just before the city itself a sign read “next exit for Nan Tien Temples” so I was off to re-live the memories of Buddhism and the countrys of China and Taiwan.

I could see the Pagoda of one of the temple’s buildings clearly from the road on the drive in.

Its a lot more modern and “fake” than the ones in Taiwan and China, but thats to be expected, this is Australia!!

Gardens on the way in…

The path to the Main Entrance.

Main temple. Glamorous and modern compared with Taiwan.

From the main entrance, looking back into the New South Wales hills.

The Main Entrance to the Nan Tien Temple.

Front of Temple.

Light the incense.

You weren’t allowed to take photos inside the Nan Tien Temple (or inside any of them). I respected this.

Statue of Buddha.

Nice calm pond between two of the temples.

Second temple.

Forecourt of Main temple.

Paths leading through between the temples.

Locked gates at the back of the Temple.

Temple “offices”.

Another shot looking back towards New South Wales countryside.

A view of the Pagoda.

A drum.

Information on Buddhism.

Pretty Gardens.

Up to the Pagoda. (Pagoda is the name for these “temple towers” something which I learned in Taiwan).

View from the front of the Pagoda.

Path up to the Pagoda.

Gardens at the back of the Pagoda.

There was no one else about and I was alone, so I took this photo of myself on the steps to the Pagoda. 

The Pagoda.

Crackin views of the NSW countryside and hills.

Looking down from the Pagoda entrance.

This is the front gates/road entrance to the Nan Tien Temple area. Once I left there it was getting dark and I wanted to beat rush hour in Sydney and get myself north ASAP. In just 3 days I planned to be reunited with Owen Millar in Brisbane for the launch of the Brisbane NISC.

This meant my only stop in Wollongong was to see the Nan Tien Temples, which was unfortunate as Wollongong has a lot more to offer. It has 23 beaches, a gorgeous seafront with a marina and a lighthouse. It is the third biggest city in New South Wales (after Sydney and Newcastle). But in life you dont always get time to do everything and see everything.

Within an hour, Wollongong was well behind me and I ended up stuck in Rush Hour traffic in Sydney. I didn’t enjoy this part of the road trip, but it was onwards towards Newcastle. Only 1,000 kilometres or so from Brisbane!

Came from – Kiama

Came to – Nan Tien Temple, Wollongong (outskirts)

Going to – Rush Hour in Sydney, then onwards towards Newcastle

Distance travelled – 1,058 kilometres

Number of other people I saw at Nan Tien Temples – 4

Key Song – The Last Plane Out of Sydney’s Wollongong:

Yyonne Goologong playing tennis:


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