For a true escape from the everyday, try a journey to New Norcia - Australia's only monastic town.
This unique hamlet is about 130 km northeast of Perth and everyone, regardless of their beliefs, will find themselves stilled by the soul of this tranquil community. Here Benedictine monks move quietly amongst historical buildings on their way to pray together seven times daily.
But it’s not just the monks' dedication to peace that makes New Norcia so special. It's also the town's eclectic monastic, Aboriginal and European heritage which the monks invite all visitors to discover.
Explore New Norcia
New Norcia was established in 1847 as a mission for the local Aboriginal people by Spanish Benedictine monk Bishop Rosendo Salvado. 160 years later New Norcia is still home to Benedictine monks and the monastery is one of the 27 heritage buildings listed on the National Estate.
Two talented monk artists were responsible for the stunning hand-painted frescoes and pressed metal ceilings which adorn the chapels and restful places of worship. You can enjoy these national treasures located within the buildings on a guided town tour departing from the Museum and Art Gallery at 11 am and 1.30 pm daily.
No visit to New Norcia is complete without a visit to the museum which provides a fascinating insight into the monastery’s history and showcases a selection of Aboriginal artefacts. The art galleries are just as appealing with works ranging from traditional European religious art to funky Australian contemporary pieces.
Each day there is a practical expression of monastic hospitality when one of the monks welcomes visitors and provides an insight into monastic life. You can also join the monks at prayer in their private chapel within the monastery.
Make the most of your visit by booking into the atmospheric New Norcia Hotel. While the accommodation is simple, the Latin word Salve - Welcome - on the threshold, tells you this is no ordinary country pub. The Guesthouse also offers an opportunity to quietly share in the rhythms of monastic life.