Accommodation at Gondwana
Entrance to Gondwana Sanctuary
What accommodation is available at Gondwana?
Short-term accommodation is sometimes available at Gondwana's Community House for visitors. In general we try to reserve our accommodation for people who share our inspirations and enthusiasms.
Please note that Gondwana is not able to offer accommodation in exchange for work - please help us by not asking. Also, camping is not permitted on Gondwana property at any time. Note also that we are unable to accommodate young children in the Community House.
The accommodation provided is fairly basic and typical of a shared household. It includes your own room with a double bed, a shared bathroom, and the use of a shared vegetarian kitchen to cook your own meals. Meals in the Community House are not normally communal except for the Gondwana weekly communal meal noted on the home page. There is free WiFi access.
Accommodation in the Community House is normally for a maximum of one month. If you wish to stay longer it is necessary to write a letter of request to the Gondwana members.
Occasionally houses or rooms become available for rent on a Gondwana member's dwelling site. Also, individual Gondwana members may occasionally be open to an exchange of accommodation for work through a cultural organisation such as WWOOF and HelpX.
What shared facilities are available at Gondwana?
Gondwana has a number of facilities shared by all residents, including a TV room, games room, laundry, library, session room, telephone.
There is also a beautiful meditation hall which is the centre for many or most communal Gondwana activities.
What is the cost of accommodation?
Room rates in the Community House start about $50 per night. However cheaper weekly and monthly rates may be available to guests who take on a sharing community work role and participate in working bees. All rent is payable in advance.
What is it like to live at Gondwana?
Gondwana Sanctuary has a quiet meditative energy, and is not an action scene in any way. Residents tend to have their own jobs and individual interests which take most of their attention, so communal activities are not particularly common. But the residents are a friendly bunch, with many interests, and typically enjoy sharing with visitors.
You are more likely to enjoy your stay here if you are a self-starter - able and willing to take the initiative in organising your own life and activities.
If, however, you happen to be a young backpacker looking for an action-packed good time, you may be happier staying at holiday accommodation in Byron Bay, and perhaps visiting Gondwana from time to time.
What is it like living in the Community House?
Normally about six people live in the Community House at any one time. The Community House living room is available for the use of all Gondwana residents. The Community House energy is friendly but often quiet and meditative, but this can vary from time to time. As in any shared household, a certain sensitivity to the needs of others is required.
There is a copy of Gondwana Sanctuary's Neighbourhood Management Statement available in the Community House, which all residents on Gondwana Sanctuary are legally bound by. There is also a copy of the Gondwana Sanctuary Understandings, which contains a more informal discussion of Gondwana's vision and understandings as a community.
Who lives at Gondwana Sanctuary?
The shareholders of Gondwana are the fourteen residents who individually or jointly own houses and blocks on Gondwana Sanctuary (Lots 2 to 9 and 11 and 12), and who collectively own the community facilities and the common property on which Gondwana is located (Lots 1 and 10).
It is now over thirty years since Gondwana Sanctuary was founded, and the average age of Gondwana shareholders is now almost seventy.
In addition to the Gondwana shareholders, there are approximately fifteen guests and long-term residents who tend to be considerably younger, and either live in the Community House or in rental accommodation associated with one of the private houses.
What communal events are held on Gondwana?
We hold occasional meditations, working bees, communal meals, parties and other communal events. However for most Gondwana residents, it is probably true to say that our lives tend to be centred more on our own jobs and homes than on community facilities and events.
The regular communal events are: a weekly communal meal (see home page); a weekly landcare work group; and a monthly land and property working bee followed by a communal morning tea.
The Meditation Hall is available for meditations and other activities. At times there will be meditation classes, yoga classes, communal groups of various kinds, and at other times the hall may be quiet with nothing particular happening.
Beyond the above communal events, residents at Gondwana tend to structure their own lives and work around their particular interests. At times, some of the guests and residents gather in the Community House in the evening, at other times the house can be quiet.
What environmental activities take place at Gondwana?
Gondwana is a wildlife sanctuary, having been restored from cattle pasture to a flourishing natural environment. There has been an extensive program of environmental repair over the life of the community, and the majority of the land area is being progressively regenerated.
More generally, Gondwana residents have an active interest in all things sustainable and ecological. Please ask at the office.
Landcare project 2017
Travelling to and from Gondwana
Gondwana is 10 km from each the nearest towns (Byron Bay, Mullumbimby and Brunswick Heads), so visitors staying at Gondwana find it helps to have their own transport. Sometimes other Gondwana residents may be able to offer guests rides to town and to the local shops. Alternatively there is a bus service four times a day, with the nearest bus stop 1 km away.
It is worth noting that maybe once or twice a year, the access road to Gondwana Sanctuary, Grays Lane, can be flooded and impassable to vehicles. (On these occasions, residents typically just wade through the very slow-moving flood waters as necessary.)
Need more information?
Please contact our Accommodation Manager for all accommodation enquiries.