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Pilgrimage to ‘ILLUMIN8’ Festival of Light & Peace, Victoria

Pilgrimage to ‘ILLUMIN8’ Festival of Light & Peace, Victoria

per person

On this short pilgrimage you will be able to experience and partake in the rich and varied cultural practices of Buddhism in Australia. We will take in the Quang Mingh Temple and the Great Stupa, both significant Buddhist structures, as well as the smaller monastery of Newbury in Victoria. We will then participate in the spectacular ‘ILLUMIN8’ Festival of Light & Peace held annually at The Great Stupa.

On arrival in Melbourne, we will visit the Quang Mingh Temple which is supported by a very large Vietnamese population of around 15,000. After our visit we will head to the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, home of the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace. On our second day we will head to Newbury Buddhist Monastery for dana and lunch with local supporters, and return for the start of the Festival.  Day 3 is set aside for a day of the  Festival of Light and Peace at the Great Stupa.

This short pilgrimage has some of the best that Buddhism in Australia has to offer!



14 – 17 MAY 2020

TOUR COST (includes GST)

Cost to be announced

Airfare (not included):

  • Maroochydore – Melbourne Airport –Sydney approximately A$340 return or A$160-$170 one way *based on Jetstar prices, exact prices available at time of booking

Flight details:

  • Depart Maroochydore Airport 9:45am, arrive Melbourne 12.15pm
  • Depart Melbourne 2:30pm, arrive Maroochydore 4:45pm


4 days, 3 nights


  • Visit the beautiful Quang Mingh Vietnamese Buddhist Temple
  • Marvel at the spectacular Great Stupa, home of the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace
  • Attend the annual Festival of Light and Peace at the Great Stupa
  • Visit Newbury Buddhist Monastery for dana & lunch with the nuns


Melbourne – Quang Mingh Temple – The Great Stupa/Bendigo – Newbury Monastery – The Great Stupa/Bendigo – Melbourne




Geshe Tsultrim

Geshe Phuntsok Tsultrim

Geshe Phuntsok Tsultrim was born in Tibet in 1969.  At the age of 14 he became a monk and was admitted to Sera Je monastery, where he was awarded his Geshe degree (the equivalent of a doctorate in Buddhist studies) in 2005.Geshe Tsultrim spent a further two years studying tantra at Gyume Tantric Monastery. Geshe Phuntsok Tsultrim was appointed to the position of teacher of Buddhist philosophy at TCV School, Bylakuppee in 2006 where he spent two years teaching. Before coming to Chenrezig Institute, Geshe Phunktsok Tsultrim also spent some time teaching at Root Institute where he was immensely popular for the warm and approachable way in which he presented the Dharma.





Sharon Thrupp

Sharon Thrupp

Sharon’s life has been consumed by travel. She got her first insider experience travelling in her home country of Australia, and after this taste of life on the road she set off further afield and spent many years living and working in New Zealand, England and Scotland.

Sharon then spent several years volunteering in the Himalayas – both in a rural village in Nepal and in Dharamsala, India; the home of the Dalai Lama. It was in Dharamsala that Sharon started her travel business – she was an insider in India and wanted to share her knowledge and passion with others.

Nowadays Sharon splits her time between India and Australia, and continues to share her vision of life as an insider as the business manager of Ekno Travels. Sharon leads tours in India, Australia and Japan; with a unique focus on Buddhist pilgrimages and walking tours. Sharon currently enjoys volunteering at Chenrezig Buddhist Institute doing what she loves best, facilitating creative writing courses with a unique Buddhist perspective.

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Tour Plan

Day 1
Welcome to Melbourne. Today we will get to experience the strength of Buddhism in Victoria. We will be picked up from Melbourne Airport (please note this is our only pickup point, if arriving early please meet us at the airport at 12.30pm) and driven to Quang Mingh Temple on the outskirts of Melbourne. This area has a large Vietnamese population which supports the beautiful large temple. After some refreshments we will continue to The Great Stupa, located just outside of Bendigo. This is the largest Stupa currently being being built in the Western world. Upon completion it will be 50 metres high and 50 metres square at its base and it is being built to last 1000 years. It is also the home of the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace. We will check into our accommodation in the late afternoon (At either the Atisha Centre or in Bendigo town). The rest of the evening is at your leisure. Overnight: Atisha Centre
Day 2
After breakfast we will leave to visit the Newbury Buddhist Monastery situated in the nearby town of Newbury. It has been operating since 2012 and is supported by the Buddhist Society of Victoria (BSV) We will offer and share lunch with the nuns at the centre. In the early afternoon we will return to Great Stupa in time for the opening of the Festival. Overnight: Atisha Centre
Day 3
Today is set aside to enjoy the Festival of Light & Peace at the Great Stupa. The daily events start at 12pm and finish around 9pm. The festival is now in its 9th year and celebrates peace and harmony, as taught by Buddha. Marvel at the stunning light installations, take part in Buddhist ceremonies, enjoy multicultural performances, explore the Peace Park, browse market stalls, eat delicious vegetarian & vegan food and enjoy being part of this richly diverse Buddhist community. Overnight: Atisha Centre
Day 4
Sunday, 17 May 2020 DEPARTURE
After breakfast, we leave for Daylesford and have a wander around the town and if time permitting a trip to Hepburn Springs. We will transfer you to Melbourne airport for your flight home. If booking to another destination other then Maroocydore Airport, please don't depart earlier than 4pm.


  • Pick up and drop off to Melbourne Airport
  • 3 nights' accommodation and breakfast at the Atisha Centre
  • Day trip to Newbury, Daylesford and Hepburn Springs
  • 2 day entrance fee to the Festival of Peace and Light
  • Donation for Chenrezig Institute
  • Refreshments/Lunch (offering for both Quang Mingh Temple & Newbury Monastery)


  • Return airfares to Melbourne Airport (approximately A$160 each way) – see above
  • All meals unless otherwise stipulated in the itinerary
  • Donations
  • Spending money
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