We support people who know they have an addiction by providing focussed time-out from daily distractions and practical solutions for long-lasting sobriety.

You’re going to learn more about yourself than you ever have before
— Steve Townsend, Company Secretary, The Sydney Retreat

Environment & atmosphere

The Sydney Retreat expects guests to become part of the supportive learning environment central to recovery.

Evidence shows a strong correlation between recovery success and spiritual endeavour. The Sydney Retreat encourages you to explore your own ‘spiritual’ meaning to life and we offer some ‘spiritual’ practices but it is about as religious as yoga.

The AA program addresses the three-fold nature of alcoholism: physical, mental and spiritual. The spiritual part of the program is often confused with religion but it is quite different and is appropriate for atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians…everyone.


Delicious healthy meals and snacks will be provided by our cook who is also a member of our successful recovery community. Meals are eaten in our shared communal spaces; the dining room or the outside terrace. On Sundays you’ll share a BBQ on the lawn with family and friends.


Guests may have visitors on Sunday from noon till 5 pm when we have a family BBQ and visiting speakers from Al Anon for family and friends of alcoholics and addicts.

Daily routine

The full-immersion aspect of the program is part of its success so attending all components of the program and applying your total concentration is recommended. At the same time we do respect that adults make their own decisions about their lives, however, if you are not making any use of the program The Sydney Retreat will talk seriously to you about how to better attain your goals.

A typical day’s program

7:15 Meditation practice

7:30 Breakfast

8:00 A study group on the AA ‘Big Book’

10:00 Living sober study group

11:00 Lecture presentation

12:00 Lunch

1:00 Community meeting, meditation,

4th/10th Step

2:00 Big Book worksheets group

3:00 Personal time

6:00 Dinner

7:00 In-house or outside AA meeting

9:00 10th Step study; self evaluation,

self-review your day