Crystal Waters Permaculture Village

Conondale, Queensland, Australia

  • Last updated: February 15, 2016 (1 year ago)
  • Listing created on: January 24, 2005

Mission Statement

Providing products, services, employment and facilities (buildings and land) for the social, educational and economic benefit of members and others is the primary activity of the cooperative.

Community Description

Crystal Waters has been designed from inception according to the principles of permaculture by Max Lindegger, Robert Tap, Barry Goodman, and Geoff Young. It is a wildlife sanctuary where dogs and cats are banned and people really do try to live in harmony with nature. Eighty percent of the 640 acres are owned in common, and these are a mix of terrains: the clear waters of the Mary River, serene lakes, open grasslands, timbered hills and gullies, and, increasingly, pockets of rain-forest trees planted as part of the community’s passion for reforestation.
The idea was that people should be able to operate from home, and many businesses operate from here, e.g., foresters, mail-order businesses (books, organic gardening supplies), carpenters, builders, permaculture course providers and consultants, nurseries, caterers, craftspeople, architects, entertainers, a bakery, Village camping area with cabin and bunkhouse accommodations, commercial kitchen, spindle maker, therapists, beekeeper, and ecovillage designer. Crystal Waters won an award in the 1996 World Habitat Awards and was a finalist in the 1998 Best Practices Awards. Many innovative ideas in building, wastewater, water, agriculture, and nature conservation are evident. The model has proved attractive to the relatively mainstream as well as an alternative market. About 250 live now in the village.


  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability)
  • Programs & Activities: School, Educational Institute or Experience, Organization, Resource, or Network, WWOOF’ing, Guest Farming
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 640 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes
  • Current Number of Residences: 83
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Rental
  • Land owned by: Other
  • Additional Comments:

    mix of private and common ownership


  • Adult Members: 250
  • Child Members: 80
  • Percent Women: 61-70%
  • Percent Men: 31-40%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Essential to Write or ring. Don’t bring a dog, or cat please. Visitors are requested to make prior arrangements before visiting.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Additional Comments:



  • Decision Making: Body Corporate and Co-op
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Body Corporate Committee and Coop Directors

    as per Community Titles Act


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Energy sources: Solar


  • Internet Available: Yes, individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: No, it is slow.
  • Cell Phone Service: Not good for most people.
  • Shared meals: 1-3 times per month
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals)
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used often.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:


    smoking not permitted within buildings

  • Education Style(s): Public Schooling

Photo Gallery


Ecovillage, permaculture, sustainability,