NAISDA Dance College has been proudly dancing on Darkinjung land for over a decade. During this time, the College has become a well-known institution on the Central Coast and has helped put the region on the map for aspiring young dancers Australia-wide.
For those unfamiliar with NAISDA’s Mount Penang Parklands location on beautiful Darkinjung land, here’s everything you need to know…
For its first thirty years, NAISDA called Sydney home. The College moved from its initial base in Redfern to Glebe and finally The Rocks, where it remained until 2007. After identifying an opportunity for further growth and expansion, NAISDA relocated to its current home at Mt Penang Parklands in Kariong on the Central Coast of New South Wales.
The current NAISDA facilities are a mix of purpose-built spaces and existing refurbished infrastructure, which now consolidate the campus on Darkinjung Land. The precinct, which sits on the historic former site of the Mount Penang Juvenile Justice Centre, is listed on the NSW State Heritage Register as a site of State Heritage significance.
The NAISDA campus includes three purpose-built state of the art dance studios, a multi-purpose breakout room, computer rooms and music composition facilities, as well as administration offices. On-site accommodation is also available to our Developing Artists in the form of heritage cottage buildings, giving Developing Artists easy proximity to their full-time studies.
The NAISDA campus is also home to a new outdoor Dancing Ground and Living Learning Space, a communal performance and gathering space where Developing Artists and community members can dance and sing on country, create cultural artefacts and tell stories. This outdoor space is unique to the Central Coast, providing a regional recreational space for engagement with Indigenous culture, which is intrinsically linked to land, ceremony, community and storytelling.
Mt Penang Parklands
Just one hour north of Sydney and one hour south of Newcastle, Mt Penang Parklands is situated two minutes from the Gosford exit off the M1. In addition to hosting NAISDA’s campus, the Parklands are home to local schools and offices, the tranquil Mount Penang Gardens, the Waterfall Café, a running/walking circuit and even a large off-leash area for dogs to roam. Brisbane Water National Park, home to the breathtaking Somersby Falls, is also located close by, offering an abundance of hiking trails and picnic areas.
Next time you’re in Darkinjung country, we encourage you to make a stop at Mt Penang Parklands and get to know this beautiful part of the world a little more!