Crystal Waters was designed around Permaculture ideas during mid-eighties and officially began in 1988. With it’s layout of the land, dams and waterways being important aspects. A number of current residents of Crystal Waters continue to work with Permaculture and related principles of harmony with the land and wildlife, ecologically built housing and organic food production. Crystal Waters also hosts Permaculture workshops and other events that educate and demonstrate the principles in practice. Please contact us for information on upcoming events.
There are several Permaculture related Courses happening each year at Crystal Waters.
Information changes regularly, so please check back for new Courses & Dates.
See our Coming Events Page for upcoming Courses.
Please see Below is information on Robin Clayfield, Max Lindegger, & Morag Gamble
Permaculture At Crystal Waters.
Permaculture by Design
"A method based on old ideas, Permaculture is not a dogma, but it has fixed ethics. Permaculture is not one person’s way only, but follows the expanding paths of many. Permaculture is not just local, it is worldwide. Permaculture is not stationary, it is growing in its fullest sense. Permaculture is not back to nature, but it uses natural methods. Permaculture is not organic gardening alone, but it includes it. Permaculture doesn’t happen, it is designed" (- Barry Goodman). Permaculture has its basis in PERMA nent agri CULTURE but it has bearing on all aspects of culture, as the land is our natural heritage. The origins of the two words are "to remain" and "to care".
From this came the three core ethics of Permaculture. We care for the earth
- All living and non-living things; animals, plants, water, land, air.
We care for people
- Promoting self-reliance and community responsibilities
We disperse that which is surplus to our needs
- Distribution of surplus labour, information, money, skills.
Where’s the Permaculture?
Permaculture is about design, sustainability and the efficient and productive use of land while taking care of the earth. Permaculture looks at the incredible diversity of plant and wildlife, the intricacies of eco-systems with their natural checks and balances and uses this knowledge to create a sustainable way of life.
Examples of principles used in the design are:
- The balance of the hydrology was maintained, ensuring that the quality and quantity of the water downstream has not been negatively affected by Crystal Waters’ development.
- 17 dams were created and are multi-purpose -
- increasing the ‘edge’,
- providing access for traffic from ridge to ridge,
- opportunities for aquaculture, climate moderation, recreation, beauty and habitat.
- They provide a flood mitigation strategy; as they absorb runoff and the overflow is directed into the Mary River and Kilcoy Creek via specially placed swales.
- They are also a source of emergency water.
- 17 dams were created and are multi-purpose -
- Re-use and recycle are two basic aspects of Permaculture and there are other principles at play. Evidence of this philosophy can be seen all around Crystal Waters, in the overall design and in individual lots. There has been a consciousness change towards human waste. It is not seen as someone else’s problem but as a resource.
- A long term sustainable approach is taken, particularly with regard to forestry. Trees have been planted with the intention that they provide habitat and moderate environmental extremes, as well as various timber end uses.
- Buildings make extensive use of renewable materials such as earth and wood, with particular emphasis on solar passive design.
- The multiple usage of land. Crystal Waters can now accommodate up to 300 people, 83 home gardens. The best land has been set aside for agriculture, the steeper areas for forestry, recreation and natural habitat.
- Zoning can be seen on individual lots, but also in the overall design.
- The public face of the village is placed in Zone 1, and all are Welcome here. This is The Village Green, The Deck & Kitchen, Letterboxes, The Bakery and other Businesses are also part of this zone.
- Zone 2 incorporates the EcoCentre, Visitor’s Camping Area (EcoPark), where visitors come for short term stays and to take part in courses.
- Zone 3 contains the residential, agricultural and habitat areas, and visitors need to be invited here.
Visit Permaculture & Gardens
There are some people in Crystal Waters Village who are actively involved in Permaculture and some Properties can be experienced by appointment. For information on organised Tours of Crystal Waters and it's Permaculture, please check The Tours info.
Upcoming Permaculture Courses
The "Crystal Waters Co-Op" runs annual 'Residential' 2-week PDC Courses
March 6 to 20, 2022
Permaculture Design PDC Course - information here
Robin Clayfield is Hosting and presenting much of the PDC Course, with several key Guest Presenters; Annaliese Hordern, Max Lindegger, Leanne Harper, Richard Mochelle - along with other Crystal Waters Residents.
Robin Clayfield is a Permaculture Pioneer and international educator, group facilitator, ceremony guide and ‘best-selling’ author specialising in Social Permaculture, creative, interactive facilitation, teacher training and group leadership. She has lived and breathed Permaculture, Deep Ecology and social change for over 38 years.
After teaching more than 30 PDC’s (Permaculture Design Courses) over 15 years, Robin chose to concentrate on Social Permaculture activities many years ago, though still offered guest spots and sessions in PDC’s at Crystal Waters and around the world. Now she is stepping up to host and present the new, revamped version of the Crystal Waters Cooperatives PDC which involves many other key teachers and trainers in the facilitation team.
Robin has lived at Crystal Waters Permaculture EcoVillage in Queensland, Australia for over 32 years and guides tours and ‘EcoVillage Experience Days’ in her garden and in and around the village. She has written a bestselling book ‘You Can Have Your Permaculture and Eat It Too’ , a women’s psychology book, a training manual and many kits, card games and resources to support educators, facilitators, group decision makers, along with Permaculture practitioners, activists and community workers from diverse industries and lifestyles.
Robin supports people and groups who work for 'the solution' to be more effective, successful and empowered through harvesting solutions, fostering collaboration and using 'Dynamic Group' work and creative problem solving. She consults and facilitates for focused groups, intentional communities, organisations, social enterprises and individuals globally. Robin's main website is
Max Lindegger is a designer of ecological communities and sustainable systems of international repute. Max is a respected and sought-after teacher in the disciplines of Permaculture and sustainable systems. His reputation is born of over 40 years of hands on experience and leadership in the design and implementation of practical, workable solutions to the challenges of sustainability.
Max was the key Designer of the Crystal Waters Permaculture Village.
In the beginning of Permaculture, Bill Mollison invited Max to participate at the first Permaculture Course in 1979 and he also took part in the second course the year after. Since then he has been teaching Permaculture courses world-wide from the UK to the US, from Denmark to Macau and from Argentina to New Zealand and has been consulting on the subject in over 60 countries.
Morag Gamble is an international permaculture ambassador, speaker, author, blogger, filmmaker, designer and educator. For over three decades, Morag has led citizen design processes with communities locally and internationally that have turned degraded land into productive edible oases.
Morag is the founder of the Permaculture Education Institute which is at the forefront of mentoring new designers and teachers to help create a right livelihood and lifestyle with permaculture. Watch her 4 part series on permaculture.
Morag discovered permaculture in her teens felt like it was an immediate natural fit - a way to care for the earth and care for the people - a way to make a positive contribution and create ripples of positivity in the world - a positive life purpose.
Morag is the creator of the popular Our Permaculture Life blog and You Tube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-bU0T-JKZ3kVpO77Nt1hMA) channel that have been viewed over 3 million times on practical permaculture solutions. She is also the Executive Director of the Ethos Foundation, a small permaculture charity assisting permaculture projects in Africa.