A journey back to the Self

August 31, 2020

Here we are at the end of August, the month that marks the anniversary of my first venture into business all those years ago — 13 to be exact. No year has been more wild and filled with uncertainty than the one we find ourselves in right now, so it's no surprise I find myself tapping into the medicine of the wildflower, as she teaches us resilience, strength and the ability to thrive under the harshest of conditions. 

2020 has certainly served it up. The lessons, the emotions, the work on both a personal and business level, individually and collectively. And while August didn't feel very "celebratory" that doesn't mean I haven't been filled with gratitude as I look back over this entire journey.

I wanted to take time today, pausing for a moment just to say THANK YOU for being here. To create and share comes from deep within my heart, and to be received is quite simply one of the best feelings in the world. 

It's deeply symbolic that I share this brand new retreat offering with you today, on this special anniversary. An offering I'm co-creating with a dear friend of mine and potent medicine for the times we find ourselves in.

An invitation to journey back to the Self. 

Thursday 18th March — Sunday 21st March 2021

Join us on a deeply restorative journey over 4 days and 3 nights at Maruia River Retreat — a luxurious and intimate space nestled alongside the clear flowing waters of the Maruia river and anchored by the grounding energy of the Beechwood forest.

Visualise your mornings opening to birdsong and mindful movement, with days flowing gently and intuitively from there. Nature walks, river swims, and guided meditation. Natural hot springs, relaxing sauna, and restorative massage. Nourishing food, soul connection, and storytelling. Moments of expansiveness weaved through pockets of stillness, taking in as much (or as little) as you want along the way. 

Guided by our intention of holding this retreat, we'll explore our inner terrain through the insights that are mirrored back to us through mother nature herself, initiating the move towards a more harmonious state of being. Honouring your own innate awareness of what it is you need in the moment, this is an opportunity to truly relax and reset.

This is a journey back to the Self.

Numbers for this retreat will be kept intimate (a maximum of 12 people) allowing individual attention while embracing the collective energy that occurs when a group gathers. If these words awaken something within, we would love to have you join us. 

We'll walk to where the water kisses the land, and like the river, flow.


The Maruia River Retreat is an easy 2-hour scenic drive south from Nelson, or 3 hours from Christchurch — truly in the middle of nowhere, yet in the centre of everything wonderful that Aotearoa has to offer. The 500-acre estate is home to seven beautifully appointed villas with super King-sized beds (or King singles if preferred), luxury linens, designer marble bathrooms & Italian kitchenettes, plus a main lodge with restaurant, yoga shala and spa, all nestled in the native bush alongside the Maruia River. A private resident chef showcases the best of New Zealand dining, creatively using produce grown on the property and local seasonal delicacies, as well as serving up local wines, craft beers, and a selection of cocktails. 

The retreat price includes: 

— Accommodation for 3 nights
— Daily yoga classes with all mats & props provided
— All meals including continental breakfasts, packed gourmet lunches & dinners. 
Alcoholic beverages are available at an additional cost. 

... and of course, all the magic we'll be weaving into our time together.

As a group we have exclusive access to this entire space and full use of facilities which include an outdoor riverside hot tub, Finnish sauna, infrared chroma therapy sauna, fire pit, games room, and indoor + outdoor lounge areas. 

Finding your way to Maruia River Retreat is not included in the price and we encourage you to think of this as an opportunity to explore a side of Aotearoa you may not have experienced before, considering the journey to meet here part of the adventure. We will connect the group with each other closer to the retreat date should you wish to arrange any travel together.

Rooms + rates

We have six villas available to book — four studio style villas (35m²) and two larger one-bedroom villas with spa baths (60m²). Options are to grab a friend (twin share), or enjoy a room all to yourself (single). Two payment options are available with flexible payment terms for both.

Early release rates

Studio Villa: $1350 (each, twin share) or $2200 (single)
One-bedroom Villa: $1450 (each, twin share) or $2300 (single)

A $500 deposit is required to secure your reservation with the balance to be paid in full by the end of November 2020. This special early-release offer is valid until the end of September.

General release rates

Studio Villa: $1550 (each, twin share) or $2400 (single)
One-bedroom Villa: $1650 (each, twin share) or $2500 (single)

A $500 deposit is required to secure your reservation with the balance to be paid in full by the end of January 2021. 

We are offering flexibility with both of these payment plans, along with the option to pay by credit card, so please reach out to discuss your needs.


Any payments made are able to be refunded should the event need to be cancelled due to Covid-19, but not for change of mind. Please note that if you have paid by credit card and a refund needs to be made, that you will receive the payment amount less the amount of the credit card fees.

Introducing your hosts — 

Lauren McKee

Lauren's unique and gentle style of yoga has organically evolved from its foundation in Hatha and restorative Yin, incorporating bio-mechanics, neuro-feedback, and a deep understanding of both the physical body and it's subtle energy fields. Lauren's method of teaching asks you to listen attentively, initiating a deeper connection to, and direct felt-sense of, your physical body and its surroundings. Lauren has a loyal following through her in-person class setting and daily online offerings, and brings a wealth of knowledge on nutrition and holistic health from her open approach and outlook to life.

Keely Watson 

Keely's experience as a facialist has gifted her the wisdom that naturally evolves from the intimacy of one-on-one work. Keely's philosophy and holistic understanding of skin health, the human body, and emotional well-being, drew her into plant medicine and deeper study of aromatic science, from which her range of bespoke products and offerings — Aromatology, was born. With a deep reverence for plants, the land, and navigating our own innate healing process, Keely is a forever student of Vipassana insight meditation and is once again expanding into the plant realm through Horticulture studies.

We are taking bookings now so please reach out to secure your space.


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... and let me share the magic of plants with you x