The Sydney Retreat is not a medical clinic, there are no doctors, nurses or therapists. We provide expert recovery education in a supportive environment.

Essentially, The Retreat has gone back to what works to get people sober. It has returned to the basics, which means focusing on the spiritual principles of recovery; the Twelve Steps. It gives people what they need to recover, and that’s why The Retreat has been so successful. It is first and foremost on my list of centers.
— Diane Alexander, therapist in private practice for over 30 years, Dallas, Texas

Admission requirements

The Sydney Retreat welcomes men and women who are sober, drug-free and able to remain abstinent.

  • 18 years of age or older.

  • Seeking recovery from alcohol or drug dependence.

  • Motivated to participate in the program.

  • Psychologically and medically stable.

  • Aware that The Sydney Retreat is not a substitute for psychotherapy, medical treatment or detoxification.

In some cases it can be dangerous to stop alcohol or drugs suddenly and you should discuss your condition with us when you enrol.

If you are likely to go into withdrawal (develop the shakes or ‘cold turkey’) then you must first undergo a detoxification process. We can refer you to a suitable detox facility if required. When your doctor says you are well enough to be out of hospital then you can stay with us.


Once renovations and extensions are complete The Sydney Retreat will have a 20-bed capacity including full disability accessible rooms and facilities.

Private rooms and ensuite will depend on availability.

Wifi will be unavailable to minimise distractions during your stay.

Delicious healthy meals and snacks will be provided from our purpose built catering kitchen. Provision for food allergies is available upon request.

Parking is not available and we ask guests not to park in the local streets, 223 Trafalgar is a short walk from either Stanmore or Petersham train stations.

Health cover & doctors certificate

The Sydney Retreat is not medical treatment so will not be covered by health insurance or Medicare.

We will not be able to provide a doctor’s certificate to cover the time away from work, however, your GP may regard this as a suitable lifestyle intervention to improve your health and provide you with a doctor’s certificate.


The full-time residential aspect of the program is part of its success, we do not offer places for day guests or off-site overnight arrangements and we ask that you remain within the campus at all times.

While in the program your total concentration and attendance will be needed. Our staff are there to help if you are finding this difficult but you will, of course, be free to check-out at any time if you wish.


The total charge for the 30-day stay will be $5,990. We can discuss various payment options to suit your needs. In future we hope to provide subsidised places for people who can’t afford the full amount.

Code of conduct

The Sydney Retreat guests, both men and women, function as one group living and working together toward a common goal.

Our staff are in attendance 24/7 to support our guest community.

On admission our guests agree to conduct themselves with respect and consideration for others and to refrain from smoking in the building, using mood altering substances, sexual relationships and physical aggression.

Our program’s effectiveness depends on total immersion in recovery-thinking so we ask you to leave your mobile phone and internet devices at home.

We ask that you not engage in any work calls or emails during your stay so you can commit all your attention to working on your recovery.

If you and your partner both want to attend it is generally best for partners to do their recovery separately and so you’ll need to book at separate times.