Home to the biggest crystals in the world, the Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens in Byron Bay, Australia has some miraculous geodes and caves on view. There’s so much to see and experience at this place that you’ll leave absolutely buzzing.
One stone, in particular, is especially amazing. First discovered in Uruguay, South America, this 120 million-year-old rock is the largest amethyst cave ever discovered in the world. It’s about 18 feet wide, large enough to sit in, and weighs 20 tonnes.
The owners of the Crystal Castle purchased it from an Uruguayan farmer as a celebration of the Crystal Castle’s 30th year. In order to experience it, you’ll want to book the Enchanted Cave Immersion, an hour-long guided experience for you and up to 3 of your friends to meditate in the belly of this geode.
The castle also has the tallest pair of bookmatched geodes in the world. The 18-foot tall smoky quartz geode was also purchased from the Uruguayan farmer. And in 2012, they added the only Kalachakra Stupa — a stupa (a mound-like structure containing relics used in Buddhism for a place of meditation) whose symbolism isn’t connected to the Buddha’s life but instead is used to protect against negative energies. It’s the rarest kind of stupa, and this project was blessed by the Dalai Lama.
When they first began their venture on their 12-acre property, Naren King, the castle’s “managing dreamer,” was scoffed at as one of the “offbeat hippies out of the back of Byron Bay.” He and his family have since watched the dream come to success. The Shambhala Gardens are world renowned and the castle is considered a significant tourist attraction.
How to get there
The Crystal Castle is 20 minutes driving from Byron Bay and 40 minutes from the Gold Coast Airport.
What to consider
- The Crystal Castle is open every day in the winter from 10am-5pm except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and Good Friday, and from 9:30-5:30pm in the summer (till January 21st).
- Try to time your visit to include the free meditation class. It adds another layer of tranquility.
- You may go to visit the crystals, but be sure to take time for the gardens.
- The Lotus Cafe offers delicious, organic, and international vegetarian meals.
- Much of the seasonal produce is grown in their own organic vegetable garden.
- There’s a playground for children to play while you enjoy your meal — on weekends kids get free face painting!
- No picnics are allowed on the premises.
- Dogs are not allowed.
- There’s so much to do here you could spend an entire day and not see everything.