If you want to go on your very own magical mystery tour, then do yourself a favour and visit Crystal Castle Byron Bay.
About 40 minutes from the NSW/QLD border at Tweed Heads (or 20 minutes west of Byron Bay) Crystal Castle is so worthy of spending a day of your holiday here.
We only allowed ourselves two to three hours but we could have easily stayed there the entire day. And we still would not have experienced everything on offer.
What is Crystal Castle?
Crystal Castle was built in 1990 as “The Castle” on a hill.
Once cleared for grazing and bananas, it started operating as a crystal business. But since those early years, it has now become beautiful gardens bestrewn with crystals, sculptures and deities.
For a modest entrance fee you can enjoy a full day’s activities. That is, as long as the sweet, vague, happy and gay serenity personalities of some of the staff doesn’t put you off.
I have encountered similar personalities when visiting the Buddhist Chenrezig Institute in the hills of the Sunshine Coast (and also in friends smoking weed!).
Personally, I find it somewhat challenging to mimic such a serene greeting without appearing insincere.
But I guess if so many healing crystals, Buddha statues and sacred grounds are all in the one place, something must rub off.
The business of wellness
So even though I’m not a strong believer in the commercial business of wellness, auras and crystal healing, we set off to spend a few hours at the Castle to observe and experience.
The Shambhala gardens surrounding Crystal Castle are simply beautiful.
Years of tireless planning and planting in the moon phase have resulted in some of the most stunning relaxing gardens I have ever wandered through.
Paths meander around secluded areas bestrewn with beautiful statues and sculptures, all with a history and symbolic story.
Now well established they are home to much birdlife and wildlife, some of which liked to frequent the Café for a feed as well.
Lord of Success
The statue of Hindu Lord of Success, Ganesh was rather majestic despite losing one tusk while being transported.
But the piece de resistance was the Blessing Buddha, ‘the awakened one’, on his lotus base.
Weighing 14 ton, it was set in an amphitheatre offering a half kilometre walk through terraced gardens with a stunning bamboo staircase at its rear.
Rose and clear quartz crystals are found along the walk, as well as huge monolithic crystals lining the path.
World Peace Stupa
The 8 metre high Buddhist World Peace Stupa is unique to the Southern Hemisphere and only one of seven in the world.
Blessed by the Dalai Lama it has features that protect against negative energies.
You can participate in a clockwise walk around it while spinning the prayer wheels and holding your intention for peace.
A rather stunning water feature was the rotating Brazilian rose quartz wheel at the courtyard entrance to the shops and Lotus Café.
The spinning heart of the Castle, the spherical ball weighs 310kg and rotates on only 0.3mm of water due to two perfectly placed holes in the base, seemingly defying gravity.
Everywhere you walked there were crystals. Even in the children’s playground, a large dragon rested his head and feet on rocks of rose quartz.
A nearby picnic table was similarly constructed. Very impressive. It definitely put our Bunnings version to total shame.
Daily activities at Crystal Castle
We had missed most of the arranged daily activities by the time we arrived in the afternoon.
These had included a Tour of the Grounds, a Crystal Experience, Music of the Plants and a Peace Experience.
You could also be entertained by additional Tarot readings, Aura Photos or Astrology sessions.
But I gave all of those a wide berth as I focussed in on the gift shops.
Everything from crystals, agates, prayer flags, books, music and jewellery was on offer.
In for a penny, in for a pound, I fell in love with a Feng Shui Crystal Suncatcher.
Made from health promoting moonstone and jasper crystals, it apparently balances emotions and promote physical wellbeing and strength (properties I thought possibly useful whilst recovering from recent major joint surgery!).
Finally we relaxed over a nice cappuccino made from organically grown coffee and a homemade brownie with cream, eaten on a notable recycled paper plate.
The terrace view from the Lotus Cafe over the Byron Bay hinterland was rather special.
All in all, a wonderful experience and a very enjoyable one, and we only touched the surface…
Irene Isaacson travelled at her own expense.
Discover New South Wales
Other things to do in the Tweed area are visiting the Madura Tea Estate to learn more about the tea-making process, cruising the Rous River and visiting the Tweed Gallery to see the beautiful art of Margaret Olley and other artists. Oh and there are the juicy delights of Tropical Fruit World too.