Djanbung Gardens Overview & History

Aerial photos of Djanbung Gardens 1993-2014

Read about how the home of Permaculture College Australia was founded and developed.


Djanbung Gardens:  Vital Statistics and History


Sector Analysis details sun and wind influences on Djanbung Gardens
Sector Analysis details sun and wind influences on Djanbung Gardens

Size:  2.16 Ha (5.4 acres)
Soil: Loamy clay top soil 20-30cm over heavy reactive plastic clay
Previous landuse: dairy farm until 1970, cattle grazing to 1993
Climate: Humid subtropics. Wet season: Jan-June, Dry season: Jul-Dec
Rainfall: Annual average 1575mm; Lowest 680mm; Highest 2572mm
SUMMER: early summer hot & dry with occasional thunderstorms, wet season monsoon & cyclone fronts bring wet season rains Jan-May
AUTUMN: Wet season rains, warm & humid, evenings cool down in May
WINTER: dry season with warm sunny days 18 to 23degC & cold nights with occasional frosts to -4degC
SPRING: dry season with increasing warm to hot days, cool nights, hot dry westerly winds & occasional thunderstorms
Microclimate: being located in the lower Nimbin Valley, Djanbung Gardens is prone to frost in winter (mid June to early August) Lowest temperatures recorded was -8deg C on 8th August 1996, which was exceeded in winter 2007 with -10 degC recorded in Nimbin village July 19.
Generally, frosts are ephemeral and frost-free microclimates have been created for tropical & frost-sensitive subtropical plants. Surrounding topography provides natural protection from severe weather from SW, SE and East.
The climate & microclimate permit cultivation of a wide range of annual & perennial plants from temperate through to tropical

Aerial view of Djanbung Gardens and neighbouring Jarlanbah community in 2007
Aerial view of Djanbung Gardens and neighbouring Jarlanbah community in 2007


Djanbung Gardens is less than 1km from Nimbin village centre.  Part of the property lies within the village zone and ajoins the Aquarius Village project which commenced in 2008.

To the east, Djanbung Gardens neighbours Jarlanbah Permaculture Hamlet, NSW’s first crural community title and permaculture-designed ecovillage project.  Robyn Francis was engaged to design Jarlanbah in 1991 which played a signifiance role in her decision to purchase the neighbouring 5 acre property which became Djanbung Gardens (see History below).

Djanbung Gardens has council approval as a rural tourist facility to operate as a permaculture education centre and complies with public use and vocational training standards.


Djanbung Gardens was designed and founded by Robyn Francis. The design and initial site earthworks commenced in 1993, and in early 1994, when the title deed was released, Robyn moved on site and began serious gardening and building.


1993 – land was acquired, major earthworks for dams & swales, 3 railway carriages moved on site, renovated & essential services installed. First trees planted
1994 – moved into railway carriages, started gardens, first courses conducted
1995 – received Rivercare 2000Award for Composting toilet & greywater system
1996 – began construction of main education centre building
1997 – hosted Australasian Permaculture Convergence
1998 – Main building officially opened
2000-2002 – hosted National Permaculture Gatherings
2003 – launched National Accredited Permaculture Training
2005 – Commenced APT delivery Cert III and Cert IV at Djanbung Gardens and established Bioregional Campus

since then the gardens have continued to grow, and grow, and grow….


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