Experience the simplicity, mindfulness and joy of yogic lifestyle
Thank you for enquiring about a volunteer stay at the Krishna Village! On this page we have collected some of the most frequently asked questions that should help you make an informed decision whether the Krishna Village is the right place for you. If you have more questions, please feel free to contact us and ask away….
What kind of people come to the Krishna Village?
The Krishna Village is an eco yoga community, retreat centre and yoga teacher training facility with a vibrant and diverse community of travellers, locals and residents of all ages, who come looking for an inspiring yogic experience on a working organic farm within an established spiritual bhakti yoga community. At any given time, we host about 75 visitors from all over the world: Retreat guests who take a week out of their busy lives to relax, do some yoga and gain a fresh perspective on life; Yoga Teacher Trainees on their path to become fully fledged teachers; and a big bunch of volunteers - Karma Yogis and full time volunteers – who are mostly backpackers who help us run the Krishna Village and our big organic gardens so we can provide and share this wonderful space.
What is expected of me as a volunteer?
We are a retreat centre, not a luxury resort. The kind of luxury we provide for our guests is of a more transcendental nature: beautiful nature, an uplifting atmosphere and a genuine, open-minded, inspiring community. Therefore, we require you to come with a service attitude and the willingness to contribute wholeheartedly to making this an awesome experience for all our guests and yoga students. We are not a 'party youth hostel' kind of place, so we need you to be willing to adhere to a healthy, conscious, yogic standard. To understand what this means, please have a thorough read of our Code of Conduct and our info page on Bhakti Yoga culture so you can decide whether our rules work for you.
For this reason, from July 2018 we will be running 2x mandatory bhakti yoga lifestyle and philosophy classes per week for all volunteers. Given that you will be serving our students and retreat guests (and, in this way, representing Krishna Village values), we need to make sure that you are trained in and committed to yogic standards. We will be covering the Yamas and Niyamas as well as related topics found in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita.
In short, this will be your place if you are coming to experience yoga as a sustainable lifestyle and meet a variety of fascinating people along the way. If you are willing to share your journey and get curious. If you want to fall in love with the beautiful landscape and cuddle a cow. If you enjoy vegetarian food. If you aren't scared to have chat with the devotees at the Hare Krishna temple up the hill, the single mum in the room next door or the Brasilian backpacker who is building a new pizza oven in the community kitchen. If meeting other WWOOFers from 12 different countries and 4 continents and learning from them about their way of life while harvesting tomatoes and weeding the gardens brings a smile to your face. If you love seeing things growing, evolving and changing, vibrantly alive and perfectly imperfect. That's our kind of abundance, the inspiring journey we'd like to share with you ...
What are the work hours?
As a volunteer, you work on Sundays - Fridays for 5hrs:
6.15am - 8.15am, then a 1hr breakfast break, then again 9:15am - 12:15pm.
If you would prefer less work and a room, consider our Karma Yoga option.
Do I need to bring work clothes?
You will want to be prepared to work in any of our volunteering departments (gardening team, kitchen team, cleaning team, temple team, etc) with comfortable and appropriate clothing. Please keep in mind that we are an operating organic farm, so you need to comply with OH&S rules. If you end up working in the garden, you will want to wear proper shoes and have a hat, water bottle and sunscreen on you. Working barefoot or unprotected is not allowed. Please make sure to abide by those rules at all times when working on the farm. If you would like to purchase gumboots, there is a Target shop in Murwillumbah where you can find them for about $20.
How can I receive mail?
To receive mail, please send your items to:
525 Tyalgum Rd.
Eungella, NSW 2484
For letters, there is an “inbox” (literally) at the entry of the temple shop where you can find the letters that have arrived over the last few weeks. If you are expecting a parcel, please look out for an Australian Post notification card – you will have to pick up your parcel at the Murwillumbah Post office once it has arrived.
If you give this address to companies (like mobile phone provider, immigration etc.), please remember to notify them of your new address when you leave – we can’t send your mail after you.
What kind of classes do you offer?
There are two yoga classes offered daily, a sunrise yoga class, and a sunset yoga class, with the exception of Sundays, when only a morning class is available due to our big Sunday Feast in the late afternoon. The classes are mostly Vinyasa style, either facilitated by our head teachers, or by our yoga teacher trainees under the supervision of their trainers. Either way, they are viable for beginners, with options given for more experienced participants.
We also run Yogic Living classes on Sun-Fri at lunch time, with various topics that can range from philosophy, life coaching and guided meditation to ayurveda, nutrition, and more. These classes always start after lunch at 1:30pm with a 30 minute Kirtan (singing meditation with a variety of mantras), followed by a 1hr class by one of our Krishna Village teachers.
In addition, if you are interested in learning more about the Hare Krishna philosophy and spiritual path of Bhakti Yoga, you are welcome to attend the daily program at the Radha Govardhanadhari temple, 500m uphill from the Krishna Village.
As of Monday 23 July 2018, we will require all volunteers to attend 2x mandatory bhakti yoga lifestyle and philosophy classes per week. Given that in serving our students and retreat guests you will be seen to represent Krishna Village values, we need to make sure that you are trained in and committed to yogic standards. We will be covering the Yamas and Niyamas as well as related topics found in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita.
For details, have a look at our activities overview.
Do I have to be a vegetarian to participate?
The Krishna Village advocates the notion of ahimsa (non violence) as one of the key aspects of yogic living, seeing animals as beings with souls just like humans. Meat, fish and eggs are therefore not allowed onto the grounds of the Krishna Village or ashram. We will, however, provide you with 3 delicious vegetarian meals per day, including a mostly-raw food lunch to support your healthy yogic lifestyle. It is your choice as to how you choose to eat outside of the retreat centre, however many of our guests adopt vegetarianism as they progress in their commitment to yoga and begin to shift their awareness about their interconnectedness with the world.
What’s the food like at Krishna Village?
We follow a vegetarian diet, of mostly Indian-style food. As our retreat centre is catering for 100+ people most meals, they are unable to assist with any special diets such as vegan, gluten-free or sugar-free. We do our best, however, to always offer a variety of options. People with nut allergies are advised to self-cater.
Breakfasts are an offering of porridge, kitchari [a dahl and rice stew with veggies], bread and butter, and fruit salad. Occasionally they have pancakes, and warm drinks like sweet chai. Most of the breakfast dishes are vegan.
Lunch has a lot more raw food, and is all vegan and mostly gluten-free or will have a gluten-free substitute. We have different types of salads, coleslaw, and some vegie/lentil soup or stir-fries, and always smoothies and teas. In previous courses those people who were not able to eat very much raw food would bring their own container to take some kitchari at breakfast, or would cook their own lunch at the camp kitchen.
Dinner is Indian-style, and almost always consists of rice, dahl, veg curries, fried bread, salad and desserts like halava [semolina], sweet rice, and sometimes cake. Quite often the curries have home-made paneer cheese, and may use sugar [mostly in the desserts].
Every 12 days we abstain from eating grains for an entire day [a special day called 'Ekadasi'], but otherwise we eat a very grain-based diet with lots of lentils, chickpeas, oats and rice.
Self-catering is possible if required - in our camp kitchen is a large fridge where you can store food items, and cupboard space for dry goods. Best, bring a sturdy plastic box to store personal items. We usually offer small veggie boxes at our kitchen at an affordable rate, so you can cook your own meals, depending on what’s in season in our gardens at the time. Definitely bring some snacks, coffee & teas, and perhaps some cereal or breakfast things if you do not want to eat a cooked breakfast every day. We also make fresh juices and smoothies to order, from $12/ltr.
I'm spiritually interested and open-minded but not religious. Is that okay?
Sure! That's how many of our guests feel – and we don't have any expectations in that regard. The purpose of the Krishna Village is to provide a space where you can explore the yogic path and your own spirituality in a friendly, encouraging and open minded environment. What we do expect, however, is that you have a genuine curiosity about the spiritual path of Bhakti Yoga and abide by our rules. To find our what that means, please have a look at our Code of Conduct.
How does the Krishna Village relate to the temple and the Hare Krishna philosophy?
The Krishna Farm as a whole belongs to ISKCON, the International Society of Krishna Consciousness - a non for profit organisation that has the purpose of living and teaching Bhakti Yoga, a spiritual path of seeking union with the Divine through loving devotional service to the Divine and our fellow living beings. So the original purpose of the farm is to be a temple community. Hence, devotees going about their daily prayers will be a familiar sight when you come to the prasadam hall (the dining area) near the temple for your breakfasts and dinners. You might hear them sing Grace before eating, but it's completely up to you whether you'd like to join in or not. The only request we have of you is to follow our basic rules (e.g. vegetarian diet and no intoxication) and to dress modestly when coming to the prasadam hall to eat, as it is part of the temple compound. For details, please have a look at our Code of Conduct.
The Krishna Village started off in 2011 as a volunteer project to help maintain the large organic gardens and grow veggies for the community. It is located about 500m from the temple area, on the same property. In 2013/14 we started to develop it into a retreat centre, which now has a big yoga hall, several massage rooms, a reading room, community area with pizza oven and camp fire, and offers a variety of daily yoga classes and talks. Here, we usually host about 75 retreat guests, yoga teacher trainees and volunteers. Within this beautiful setting, we are aiming to allow our guests to dip their little toe into our culture and experience a blue print of what life could look like if you lived it by spiritual principles. You can participate in a variety of elements (vegetarian diet, yoga, kirtan, japan bead meditation,...) and pick and choose which of those might have some relevance for your own life.
At the Krishna Village, we teach a lifestyle that's in alignment with our Bhakti yoga philosophy, but purposefully limit the amount of Hare Krishna specific content, so that our guests can choose whether or not to participate. Our practice of kirtan (mantra singing) is a daily habit - for 30 mins before our Yogic Living classes (a variety of beautiful mantras and bhajans in Sanskrit and English) and daily at the prasadam hall and the temple. If you are keen to delve deeper into the devotional side of things, you are most welcome to visit the temple regularly - we will be happy to show you around and answer your questions.
On Mondays at 11am we run a Weekly Welcome Tour for all new guests to introduce the farm, the history and our offers in much more detail, and answer any questions you might have.
I know that cigarettes, alcohol etc. are forbidden - can I smoke/drink outside somewhere?
The Krishna Farm simultaneously functions as a pure ashram environment for devotees and a retreat centre for visiting guests and volunteers. Many of our guests come for the purpose of giving up unhealthy habits like cigarettes, alcohol or drugs. Seeing a packet of cigarettes or smelling alcohol breath makes it harder for them to let go and simultaneously undermines the atmosphere of purity, health and spirituality. Therefore you should only come if you are happy to completely abstain from intoxication on and off the property during your stay.
Please note that in this regard we have a zero tolerance policy in order to keep things fair and unmistakable. If people are going out on weekends to drink or get intoxicated that’s completely fine and none of our business, but in that case they cannot continue their stay with us.
Do you accommodate specific dietary requirements?
The lunches we serve at the Krishna Village community kitchen (Sun-Fri, 12:30pm) are mostly raw and cater for vegan as well as gluten-intolerant guests. There are also nut free options available every day.
The daily breakfasts and dinners, as well as Saturday lunches, are served at the prasadam hall near the temple and usually consist of a variety of traditional Indian style vegetarian dishes. Meals usually include vegan options, but we can’t make any guarantees, as the Indian kitchen can include ghee (cleared butter).
So if you have severe food intolerances or strict dietary needs, please let us know about them upfront and – if required – bring your own food in addition to what’s provided. The Krishna Village community kitchen is equipped with fridges, a stove, a pizza oven and plenty of pots and pans, so you can self-cater if required.
Can you pick me up from the Gold Coast airport?
We are happy to pick up and drop off people in Murwillumbah if required. If you arrive in the morning, we can take you to the farm at 8:30am (Mon-Fri). Otherwise we can arrange for a pickup later in the day (+$15, 9am–12:30pm), or you can get a taxi (about $30-35 from Murwillumbah to the farm). To get to Murwillumbah from the Gold Coast or Byron Bay, please have a look at our “How to get here” guide – there are regular bus connections to & from all major towns/cities in the area.
Is there anything I need to bring?
Just a couple of things might prove handy:
Sunscreen and a hat
Proper work shoes or gum boots that will suit you in the garden
A water bottle to keep yourself hydrated
A torch to walk around safely at night
Snacks / chocolates / tea or whatever else you need. Murwillumbah, the closest town, is about a 10mins drive away, so it’s handy to have the most important things with you. We are selling yummy vegan treats though...
Laundry powder – we also sell individual wash packets for $1
If you are camping, a warm sleeping bag – we are in the subtropics, but nights can still get chilly. And a tarp to cover your tent would be a good idea. When it rains, it can get heavy, and a bit of extra protection can make a big difference!!
Is there free time to relax?
Yes, plenty!! You work only during the mornings and then are free from midday onwards. Obviously we encourage you to come to the classes but it's up to you how much you want to participate. Make sure to explore the beautiful surrounds, head to massage rocks or the beach for a swim, hike up Mt Warning to see the sun rise, or read a book in a hammock.
What are the accommodation options?
All our volunteers come as camping (or glamping) guests. We have space for plenty of tents and a few powered sites for vans. Shared toilet and bathroom facilities service all guests, plus laundry facilities and a newly renovated well-stocked community kitchen with campfire and pizza oven. You can eat at the temple and enjoy our raw food offerings, or cook your own food.
If you bring a tent, we recommend bringing a tarp as well, to give you additional protection from the rain. In the subtropics it can rain heavily, so a tarp might make a big difference...
If you would prefer to stay in a Single, Double or Twin Share room, please look at the Karma Yoga stay - a blend of volunteering and retreat that offers affordable accommodation.
Is there any additional cost involved?
Pretty much all cost is covered with your retreat fee: accommodation, food, and access to the classes. But a few extras can arise:
Additional food: We offer freshly made Jeeva Juice, sweet treats from the kitchen etc. and for those, we charge separately
Washing machine & dryer: $5/use (BYO laundry powder)
Internet access: $5/week or $10/month for a 5GB WiFi code
Gift shop: We sell a range of beautiful jewellery, yoga apparel, clothes, essential oils and books
"SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS PLACE!!!"
I stayed on is farm 3 years ago and it still remains one of the best experiences of my life so far. With the original intention to just pass through, I ended up staying for 3 months, gaining the best friendships I could ever imagine, learning about organic farming and the food industry, spirituality, delicious Krishna feasts, completely surrounded by nature and other like-minded travellers from all over the world!! I have only happy memories from this beautiful farm!!
- Elisabeth C., tripadvisor
I visited Krishna Village for a week and attended a Balinese massage course. Both my stay and the course were amazing. The village and surrounding nature is so peaceful, I felt an enormous calmness as soon as I stepped out of my car. The organization and the people who live there make you feel at home straight away.
The massage course by Dee and Caren was one of a kind; they are wonderful people and teachers and gave the participants the confidence to massage with their heart. The results were amazing.
The Krishna devotees at the Temple are very friendly and open to tell you about Hare Krishna, without judging you if you have other viewpoints. (And they know how to cook delicious food!)
All in all I had a unforgettable time and would love to visit this special place in the (near) future. - Florian Rath, tripadvisor
The three months I spent at Krishna Village was the most enriching experience of my life. I attribute my new found outlook on life to the time I spent here. Tucked away in a truly idyllic setting, this community has an amazing energy. I learnt so much whilst I was there: amazing yoga classes, inspiring life coaching sessions, connecting with nature and the earth. Krishna Village is a place where you can unwind and connect with yourself, reprioritise and re-energise.
Such an incredible space inevitably attracts equally incredible individuals and the relationships I made here are some of the strongest I have made in life. Everyone in the community from staff to visitors were so welcoming and warm throughout my stay, I considered us all as an amazing family. It is difficult to articulate how much I cherish the experience I had here, I will most certainly be back! - Barney Conway, tripadvisor
I stayed at the Krishna Eco Village for around four months and I can truly say it was a highlight of my two years in Australia. There's a real feeling of home away from home as soon as you drive down from the main road and across the bridge. The surrounding nature envelops the community and Mount Warning glows as it peaks over the hill. Community life is a real joy and everyone soon becomes a real family. The work is a pleasure to do and there is plenty of time to relax and soak up the tranqil joy that emanates the place. Each day the journey up the hill to the temple is always a pleasure as the scenery seems to increase in beauty the higher you climb. And what a gift awaits as you sit with your silver plate looking at the banana trees and the majestic peacock. The food comes out and there is a real tribal connectedness as we all sit together and eat the heavenly delicious food. I would recommend participating in the Kirtan, Yoga, Hare Nam and the classes. Allow your mind, heart and soul to open and expand. I would whole heartedly recommend the Krishna Eco Village. A truly nourishing, uplifting experience.
- Matthias P., tripadvisor
5:00am - Sunrise Yoga
6:15am - Work start shift 1
8:15am - Breakfast break
9:15am - Work start shift 2
12:30pm - Lunch
1:30pm - Kirtan
2:00pm - Yogic Living class
4:00pm - Sunset Yoga
6:00pm - Dinner
7:45pm - Camp fire
9:00pm - Quiet time
We are Yoga Alliance Accredited!
Meet the Teachers
Michael - Yoga Philosophy Teacher
Damodar - General Manager