Nature Connection Retreat

Easter:  Fri-Mon, 2-5 April 2021

at Tui Treefield, Wainui Inlet, GOLDEN BAY


Tui Treefield is Tui Spiritual & Educational Trust’s private outdoor events camp, situated near beautiful Abel Tasman National Park.  


Robina McCurdy
John Massey
Julie Dean
+ other guest tutors


 ‘Earth-Spirit’ is a facilitated experience of immersion into the natural world.  The intention is to deepen and empower personal connection with the spirit of the land, in life sustaining way.  This includes sharing practical skills to enable participants to enhance their personal wellbeing, be co-creators of sacred land spaces and effective agents of positive cultural change, guided by the underlying wisdom of Nature.


Each day will include:  early yoga/qi gong/meditation, experiential activities, knowledge sharing, guided nature walks, cultural activity, alone time, practical skills.   During the weekend, we will cover the following themes, some as a basic introduction, some in greater depth:



Personal Healing & Wisdom

  •  eco-literacy – familiarisation with local ecology to ‘read the landscape’ 
  • sensory awareness skills to listen to the needs and wisdom of the land
  • attuning to nature’s cycles, rhythms and patterns
  • creating a ‘personal seasonal calendar’ to adhere your lifestyle to nature
  • wildcrafting (a) identifying, harvesting and eating from the wilderness
  • wildcrafting (b) identifying, harvesting and making natural medicines 
  • relating to the earth as healer and empowerer
  • sauna with sacredness


Cultural Healing & Wisdom

  • rebuilding culture rooted in nature
  • cultivating kaitiakitanga  (stewardship/guardianship) 
  • working with nature as teacher and guide
  • deep ecology intro – philosophy, experience, practical application 
  • ceremony / ritual to deepen with the 4 elements 
  • earth-art for creative expression and social activism


Environmental Healing & Wisdom

  • ‘decoding’ sacred geometry embedded in nature’s patterns      
  • identifying and working with earth-energy fields using dowsing and mapping 
  • creating and utilising Sacred Spaces within any landscape
  • permaculture design for nature’s restoration and nourishment 






Accommodation & Venue:  $75

Food:  $70

Registration Fee:  $15

Total:  $160

* Please pay this amount at the time you register.  Option is by Paypal or Direct Credit.  Our account info is in the registration form.



We are working this on a Dana / Koha contribution system, with participants stating a pledge amount at the end of the retreat, based on the value they got from this experience, together with personal affordability, governed by the spirit of generosity.  Dana/koha will be shared equally amongst the 3 main facilitators with a koha given to guest facilitators. 

Payment can happen in cash at the time, or direct transfer when they return home.  No credit card /zip-zap card device available here.   



Contact Julie Dean   Ph 027 4619962



Accommodation:   Bring your own tent or camping vehicle.  For those who want it a bit more comfortable we may be able to organise a bedroom for you in one of the Tui Community houses (additional cost) over the road.  However its really beneficial to sleep within our contained energy at the Treefield. 


Food:  Please provide for your own simple breakfasts (kitchen and fridge available to use).  

Lunch will be prepared for you.  Dinners will be prepared together on a roster system (so you will just cook once).  We will provide vegetarian food.   Additional goodies welcomed.  

Anything beyond dietary requirements of gluten free and dairy free you will need to cover for yourself. 



Arrival:  Please arrive between on Friday, 2 April between 9-10.30am for registration, settle in and a cuppa.  If you want to arrive the evening beforehand and stay in the Treefield (your tent, van or caravan) it will cost $20 per person additional.  

Departure:  We will be completing with lunch on Monday, 5 April, departure at 2pm.  You are welcome to stay on till 4.30pm to help us clean up.  



Transport Options:  

Overland: To Nelson by car or bus.  From North Island by ferry from Wellington to Picton then linking bus (Intercity) or car to Nelson then to Golden Bay by Golden Bay Coachlines. 

In the Air:  From Wellington on 4 days of the week, you can get an hour long scenic flight with Golden Bay Air directly to Takaka, departing Wellington 9.10 and 3.40pm.  Arriving back in Wellington at 8.35 and 3.05pm


Popular time to travel, so book flights now to get a reasonable price!

Allow 2.5 hours overland travel from Nelson airport to Wainui Bay, so it’s a good idea to fly into Nelson the day before. 


Further Details:  Sent upon enquiry or registration (eg what to bring, travel support arrangements. A mailout with detailed info (such as directions, what to bring) will be sent out to participants near the time.




Robina McCurdy 

Re-connection with nature underpins every facet of Robina’s work.  For 35 years she has been an international facilitator-educator in integrated land-use design (permaculture), with application to households, neighbourhoods, schools, farms, ecovillages and bioregions. She is gifted in creating and facilitating participatory processes which connect nature and culture. 

This is reflected in her permaculture design work, which includes bringing sacred spaces into home-surrounds and public spaces.  Robina is a a founder-trustee of Earthcare Education Aotearoa, and founder-member of Tui Community and Land Trust, where this retreat is being held.    


John Massey 

John is a master gardener, beekeeper, seed saver, ‘kitchen pharmacist’ and professional herbalist, with an extensive and global knowledge of edible weeds and plant uses.  His formal studies in this field were with Rosemary Gladstar’s School of Herbal Studies, in USA.  During his 18 years of working at both the Golden Bay and Waimarama Community Gardens (Nelson), John facilitated regular courses in nature observation and attunement, guiding participants into the mysteries of the plant world, together with their practical application.  John is also a therapeutic masseur, yoga teacher and a teacher-trainer with the NZ Yoga Association.  


Julie Dean

Julie lives her life in attunement with nature.  She is a certified medical herbalist, reflexologist and naturopath. Julie’s passion for plant medicine emerged as a mother dealing with the limitations of modern medicine.  She embarked on a journey of exploration and learning, and now finds joy in sharing her knowledge of the simplicity and efficacy of herbs with others.  Julie recently completed Golden Bay’s Sustainable Living Course and has made Aorere Collingwood her home, naturopathic clinic and workshop space.