Family Retreat

Family Retreat

Thursday 23 April – Sunday 26 April at Vijayaloka Retreat Centre in Minto Heights

Vijayaloka, our retreat centre, is set in the beautiful Australian bush. This is a wonderful place to connect and create community. Activities will include meditation for children and adults, parents session, drama, sports, craft, stories and songs around the campfire, and exploring the bush, river and the labyrinth.

Important Information: All adults attending overnight must have a Working With Children Check. If you don't have one you can get one quite easily by following the link below. Once you have a receipt number you can book on the retreat. The formal document can take up to 4 weeks but the receipt from Service NSW to show that you have lodged the check will be ok.

Apply for a Working With Children Check

Book Now: $120 / $30

We want everyone to have the opportunity to come on retreat. If you cannot afford the cost even with concessions, we may be able to help. Please contact us to discuss.

Typical Programme

Time Activity
6pm Arrive from 6pm onwards. Feel free to bring a picnic...
7:15pm Welcome
Saturday & Sunday
7am Meditations for adults and children
9am Group activities (bushwalk and labyrinth, sports, story-telling etc)
11am Separate activities for adults and children by age group
12:30pm Lunch and free time
2pm Activities for children and meditation for adults
5pm Games
6pm Dinner
7pm Group activities (story telling, campfire songs, etc)
7am Meditations for adults and children
9am Group activities (bushwalk and labyrinth, sports, story-telling etc)
11am Clear up
11:30am Closing session and depart
More questions? Get in touch

Frequently Asked Questions

What age range is suitable for children?

Any children from pre-school age through to teenagers are welcome.

How many children can come per adult?

Normally we get people coming in groups of 1 adult with 1-2 children or 2 adults with 2-3 children. Please contact us in advance if you are thinking of bringing more children so we can ensure we have a reasonable ratio considering the ages of the children.

If you would like to come alone without children to help support, please contact us in advance.

Can my child bring a friend?

Yes, please ensure you have permission from their parent or guardian. You will need to be responsible for all children that come with you.

Do we need to be Buddhist?

No, the retreat is suitable for all families.

What does the cost include?

The retreat cost covers the full cost of the retreat, including all food.

When does the retreat start and end?

You are welcome to arrive any time from 6pm. Please note dinner is not provided on the first night, so feel free to bring your own picnic.

We will finish on the Monday morning, around 11.30am.

What will the accommodation be like?

Vijayaloka provides simple, but comfortable accommodation. Living communally is an important and enjoyable part of the retreat. You will share a room with your own children, and everyone will eat together communally.

Living communally means caring for each other. The team leading the retreat are volunteers who are on retreat as well and we will ask you to help out with simple chores. Working together is a good way of getting to know each other, and it also helps us keep the cost of the retreat to a minimum.

What will the food be like?

Family retreats are vegetarian (not vegan).

If you or your children have any allergies that aren't listed on the booking form, please contact us before booking to ensure we can cater for you.

What do I need to bring?

Unless you are coming a long distance we ask that you bring all their own sheets and blankets or a sleeping bag (we have plenty of pillows).

It can be surprisingly cold in the early mornings and evenings, and quite hot in the middle of the day, so bring clothes suitable for all weather: we suggest you bring layers as well as a warm jumper or jacket. You'll also need a good sun hat and suitable shoes, especially if you want to walk in the bush. There is a river you can swim in so you may also want to swimwear.

In addition you'll need to bring any toiletries you need including a towel, insect repellent, and sun block. It is also a good idea to bring a torch if you have one.

I don't have a Working With Children Check, can I still come on the retreat?

No - all adults must apply for a Working With Children Check and provide us with the required details.

About Vijayaloka

Our retreats are held at Vijayaloka Retreat Centre which provides simple shared accommodation for approximately 40 people in a beautiful bush setting on the George's River.

Where to Find Us

The retreat is at Vijayaloka Retreat Centre in Minto Heights.


Vijayaloka's address for use in sat-navs is 36 Howard Road, Minto Heights NSW 2566. Travel time from central Sydney is about one hour.

There is a blue sign at Vijayaloka's entrance. Enter there and then park the car park immediately on your right.

If you are able to offer a lift to others travelling from Sydney, please let us know.


Vijayaloka is very each to access by train. The closest train station is Minto which is on the T8 Airport Line towards MacArthur and Campbelltown. Travel time is about 50 minutes from Central.

We can normally arrange for those travelling by train to be picked up from the train station. Please indicate when booking if you need to be picked up and aim to be at Minto around 5:30-6pm. We will contact you shortly before the start of the retreat to confirm. Alternatively you can take a taxi from the bottle shop across the road from the station, or an Uber.

If you are travelling from outside Sydney and don't have an Opal card, you can use any contactless credit/debit card to travel on Sydney Trains.