Monday, 11 June 2012

Crystal Castle, Byron Bay Hinterland

Crystal Castle has certainly grown and evolved since it opened in 1986. Owner, Naren King has spent 25 years travelling the globe searching for unique and rare natural crystals. At one time they had so many rose quartz crystals, they used them to line the pathways. But the place is more than just an amazing crystal shop. It is very peaceful and inspiring and uplifting.

Apart from the main hub, many different theme gardens have been thoughtfully created. My favorite of course, is the Bamboo Grove, which is part of The Buddha Walk. A meandering path takes you past giant statues of Hindu gods and goddesses, such as Ganesh and Lakshmi, down to a 4 meter statue of Shakyamuni Buddha sitting in a real lotus pond. The gardens are full of flowers and verdant abundance. These statues are covered in money offerings which are kindly passed on to needy organisations - $30 000 to build orphanages in East Timor and Kenya, $6000 for Tso Pema Tibetan Kindergarten, monk and nun sponsorships in Bhutan and India, Earth Children Global, Kiva, Flight of the Humpback, Access Nepal, Sea Shepherd, Greenpeace, and Medicins Sans Frontiers.

Other parts of Crystal Castle are the Rainforest Walk with over 5000 hand planted native rainforest species. We enjoyed the Bushtucker Garden with its gorgeous Rainbow Serpent mural. My older daughter kept busy completing the fun and educational "Kid's Quest" - searching for dragons, fairies and magical crystals all around the property. My husband got all contemplative walking the Labyrinth and we plan to return to visit the Kalachakra Stupa for World Peace when it is completed soon.

It took us all day to wander through the different areas, hang out in the playground, have a Tarot reading, buy crystal jewellery and have lunch at Lotus Cafe, overlooking Byron Bay's Hinterland. I was impressed by the changes the property had gone through. To transform an empty cow paddock into a serene forest of tranquility requires a lot of care and dedication. You feel the love in every corner and a visit is good for the soul.

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