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Upcoming Retreats
29 February - 6 March 2020
Glenfern Sanctuary, Port Fitzroy
Great Barrier Island
From $1460 twin share
Phone: 09 4290 322 or Contact Form (click here)

I invite you to join me for an inspirational, all-inclusive 6 night Yoga, Tramping and Restore Retreat on Aotea, Great Barrier Island.


Come and explore this beautiful island by foot and on the water. Marvel at the stunning scenery, vibrant birdlife and calming effect of the native bush. Aotea is really nature at her best.

Every morning will begin with meditation and a slow flowing yoga practice, followed by a hearty breakfast. During the day you can join the days tramp or opt to simply enjoy relaxing at Glenfern Sanctuary. At the end of most days we gather for a deeply relaxing Restorative Yoga class before sharing a delicious, locally produced dinner. After dinner unwind with Yoga Nidra (a guided, lying down meditation).

On offer will be a challenging tramp from Port Fitzroy to Mt Hobson, Aotea's highest point at 627 metres. Feel like you're on top of the world, taking in the 360 degree panorama view of the Coromandel Peninsular and the Poor Knights Islands and out to Auckland. Another day we'll follow Warren's Track, a gently graded climb, to a waterfall where we can enjoy a refreshing swim. Sarah will also lead us through the Sanctuary's tracks and share the Trust's visions of a predator-free environment and how they are managing this status. We may even be lucky enough to see the nest of a takoketai (black petrel) before they fledge and begin their journey to South America. An invigorating tramp along the Forest Road and onto the Tramline Track leads us into Whangaparapara on another day, for a well-deserved late lunch at Great Barrier Lodge. Enjoy the beautiful view of Whangaparapara Harbour before we board the Sundancer, captained by Chris Olivier for our special return journey to Port Fitzroy by boat. Seeing Aotea from the water will allow us to appreciate the ruggedness and beauty of the island. By this stage we may be enjoying the sunset on the water.


A reasonable level of fitness is recommended, but all tramping activities are optional. The tramp along the Forest Road will be over a number of hours, but if preferred, transfer via road may be available at your own or shared cost.

Daily tramping timetables may change due to the weather conditions. We are at Mother Nature's beck and call.


Not included: Airfares to and from the island and travel insurance

Example of daily schedule (subject to change):

6.30am      Morning meditation and yoga

8.15am      Breakfast

9-10am      Daily tramp, or relax at Sanctuary

1pm             Share a delicious picnic lunch along the trail

5pm             Restorative yoga

7pm             Delicious home-cooked dinner

8.30pm      Yoga Nidra or Yoga-inspired movie

Noble Silence will be observed until breakfast

More about the yoga

Our yoga class will be held indoors or if weather permits on the croquet lawn. In the morning we'll begin with seated meditation before moving through gentle warm up sequences with breath awareness, to holding postures where we'll build strength, stability and alignment. Variations will be offered, so all levels of experience and physical conditions are welcomed. Yoga props are supplied and their use is encouraged! The props will be used during our afternoon restorative class to allow us to rest deeply in order to renew our energy.

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"Excellent retreat, restorative, powerful, amazing food. Some deep thinking required - although your choice to join in."

Suzanne - Medlands April 2019

More about tramping

Aotea offers up to 20 tramping (hiking) tracks, all of varying degrees of difficulty. We will be only touching on a couple of those tracks. This retreat is about allowing yourself time to soak up the beautiful sights and sounds of the native bush. The tracks are well trodden and include lots of ups and down! Be warned...there are lots of steps leading up to Mt Hobson from Kaiaraara Bay. Bring walking poles for support if needed. Good quality tramping boots are recommended.


More about Glenfern Sanctuary

Glenfern Sanctuary is a predator controlled, regenerating native forest, committed to creating a safe haven for our island's native species. We'll be staying in Fitzroy House, one of the oldest homesteads on Great Barrier Island, built in 1901. Fitzroy House is surrounded by mature gardens and lawns and overlooks majestic Port Fitzroy. Glenfern Sanctuary was the vision of Tony and Mal Bouzaid. Today it is an Auckland Regional Park managed by a charitable trust.


Arrival day

We will meet in Claris for our transfer to Glenfern Sanctuary at approximately 2pm. Upon arrival there will be time to settle in, acquaint yourself with your home for the next 6 days, before rolling out your mat for our opening circle and first restorative yoga class at 5pm.

Departure day

Our last day ends after our early morning yoga class and farewell breakfast. Estimated time of departure to Claris will be 10am.

Extra nights accommodation

Let me know at the time of booking if you would like to stay longer on the island - either pre or post retreat .You may choose to stay in another location to enjoy other aspects of Aotea.

How to get to Aotea, Great Barrier Island

It is only a 30 minute flight from Auckland Domestic Airport Terminal, flying either with Barrier Air or Fly My Sky. Alternatively, SeaLink offer a ferry service from Downtown Auckland on specific days.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. Upon registration a $500 deposit will be required with full payment due by 29 January 2020.

More Information about the Four Night Yoga Retreat
Four Night Yoga Retreat

Are you ready to rediscover who you truly are?

I would love to share with you how yoga has helped me to not only survive, but to thrive.

Yoga is my passion

Yoga can help take you into your next phase…..with an open heart.

Call 09 4290 322 or contact me via the form at the bottom of this page to find out more about the journey I offer.

Now is the time to begin the hero’s/heroine’s journey -

as popularized by American mythology expert and philosopher Joseph Campbell. The hero/heroine myth narrative begins when you are called to an adventure (usually not of your own making). You cross the threshold into the unknown, facing challenges and temptations which lead you toward the abyss where your greatest fears dwell. You have choices -acknowledge those fears, or not; move beyond them, or not; to a place where new ways of being are reborn. Transformation takes place. The hero returns.


The seed of our “hero’s” potential is within – we just have to awaken it.


Are you ready to step out of the familiarity into the unknown, less predictable, beckoning future?

Let me tell you about my heroine’s journey –


My life changed forever in November 2012. My husband, soul mate, lover and best friend of 33 years passed away after a short, intense illness. Bloody cancer.


Grief, despair, a broken heart, anger, fear, uncertainty, guilt, vulnerability, aloneness all jockeyed for space in my body, mind and soul.


They were suffocating me.


The abyss has called me, tempted me, challenged me. BUT, it didn’t claim me.


Yoga has been my saviour. It has been deeply healing. It has brought a vibrancy back to me and my life.


My mat is where I can escape the worries and concerns for a time. It’s where I have learned to feel compassion and kindness for myself. It’s where I’ve felt freedom and joy again. And I carry it with me now off the mat.


Yoga – the physical practice of asana, connecting with the breath and sitting in stillness has allowed me to live with my loss - to survive and to thrive.

Join me -

and come together with others who also want to experience yoga on a beautiful island, and rediscover themselves.


I am deeply passionate about sharing the essence of yoga with you – my heart is filled with quiet contentment even in the midst of chaos, confusion and doubt.

This Retreat is for you if -


you want to have some time away to slow down and rediscover what lights you up, and want to reclaim what is rightfully yours....a joyful, satisfying life overflowing with love and purpose through the power of Yoga.


“Julie's classes have become an essential part of my life. They have helped me both mentally and physically at a time when I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed with the challenges of where I live.  Her teaching style exudes kindness and caring and I leave her classes feeling taller, happier and so much more relaxed!"

—  Jo Leary

You'll be staying -

at Great Barrier Lodge in Whangaparapara, on the western side of the island.  The Lodge boasts the most impressive view of all accommodation houses on the Barrier (I may be biased!), with expansive views overlooking Whangaparapara Harbour.  Whangaparapara is a jewel – peaceful and tranquil.  The secluded bay has a colourful history and the Lodge has many reminders of the areas marine and milling past.


Studio units offer twin share or single occupancy with uninterrupted harbour views.  Each room is well-appointed and has its own private en-suite.  There is a large dining area, communal areas to relax in with a good book, as well as outdoor areas with spectacular bush and harbour views.


There will be lots of opportunities to view the prolific birdlife – enjoy the capers of the kereru and kaka, and the melodic tunes of the tui.  There is a good chance the resident island dolphins will cruise around the bay, delighting all with their antics.  During your free time explore the harbour by kayak and stand-up paddleboard, or venture off into the bush to discover more hidden gems.

dolphin leap
hot springs2

Your day will look like this -

  • 7am – 9am meditation and pranayama, followed by our morning yoga asana designed to awaken and energize

  • 9am breakfast

  • Free time do something….or nothing. Consider a massage, walk along a beach or in the bush, soak in natural hot springs, read, journal or simply rest

  • 1pm lunch

  • Free time go for a swim, have a massage, enjoy art/craft therapy or simply rest

  • 4.30pm–6pm afternoon practice of yin or restorative yoga to relax and unwind

  • 6.30pm dinner

  • 7.30pm evening program or unwinding time

To express your interest and for further details, please call me on 09 4290 322 or use the contact form below to get in touch.

Contact Form
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