Discovering Australia's hidden gems

Crystal Waters Permaculture Village


Today we decided to take a ‘re-tour’ of Crystal Waters – the award-winning Permaculture Village suited in the lush Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Queensland Australia.

I say re-tour because we explored this place five years ago on one of our trips and are keen to see how things have evolved since then.



This is our view as we make the one hour journey through the spectacular Hinterland. These photos show Queensland’s famous Glasshouse Mountains, another magical place to visit in Australia.


Sweeping, breathtaking views like this were a great way to start the day, and reminded me how much I love this part of the world.


The photo doesn’t do it justice, but this creek crossing as we approached the village was gorgeous. The water was so still it looked solid, like a smooth amber pathway meandering through the trees.



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These are the neighbouring cows on the green rolling hills opposite the Crystal Waters Estate. As well as having a guided tour of Crystal Waters today we have come to check out their markets.


This is the view from the carpark! 🙂

DSCN9863eDSCN9860e The village green hosted the monthly market which had a vibrant, buzzing atmosphere. Lots of locals enjoying a social time in the sunshine and catching up on each other’s news over some wholesome food and drinks.

DSCN9858e No pluto pups or hot chips here – homemade chicken and vegetable soup for sale 🙂

DSCN9862eHealthy treats available too – homemade chai and gluten-free, sugar-free chocolate cup cakes. 🙂

DSCN0912ecThe bakery was a highlight, boasting it’s own flour mill upstairs.

Crystal Waters bread is also sold offsite to various stores in the Sunshine Coast region.

DSCN9864e The musical acts were unique and entertaining. This upbeat group hammered out popular boppy tunes on their xylophones!


DSCN9869eThere were only a dozen or so stalls but I think what people really come for is the social interaction and relaxed community vibe that the markets provide. Trading goods and services is just a good excuse for a get together with some live entertainment amongst the glorious trees on a perfect sunny winter’s day.

DSCN0897eI did find a stall which had the cutest little hat just begging me to buy it. I don’t usually buy much at markets, I just like to look and soak up the vibe, but I fell in love with my hat as soon as I saw it and it made me feel silly-happy when I wore it for the rest of the day. It’s the simple things … 🙂


DSCN0909eDSCN0908e After the markets we met up with long-term resident Barry for a two hour tour of the village. He covered the history of the village and an overview of the permacultural design of the property, as well as answering our many questions about permaculture and  communal living.

DSCN0920eDSCN0915eWe also took a drive around to check out the eco-friendly houses and features of the property.




There are a handful of industries that operate within the eco village.


DSCN9805e This bamboo provides one form of income for the community with its succulent bamboo shoots being sold to upmarket restaurants in Sydney.


The Crystal Waters Community Vision Statement provides a nice summation of the community’s values and objectives, and contains a lot of things worth aspiring to.


Well a lot has changed in the past five years. The permaculture gardens are more developed and healthier looking, and the communal facilities have improved and expanded . Most people you talk to about communal living are upfront about its ups and downs. As part of  an individualistic culture, there are many challenges to be faced with communal living, but the benefits must outweigh the difficulties for those who continue to choose this type of lifestyle.

DSCN0884e The social facilities and events have also improved since our last visit. The monthly markets are a catalyst for relaxed and friendly social interaction, and the community also holds regular film nights, yoga classes and live entertainment.


Nestled in a picturesque valley in the spectacular Sunshine Coast Hinterland, a community of people dissatisfied with mainstream suburban living have dreams to create a more Utopian existence. And whilst the theoretical and the practical side of communal, self-sustainable living don’t always match up, there are many joys to be had from following an alternative lifestyle. And Mother Earth breathes a sigh of relief as some choose to tread just a little more lightly upon her.


Comments on: "Crystal Waters Permaculture Village" (2)

  1. What a great blog Suze and beautiful photos. I love your happy hat !!

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