If you’re a hard-working woman who’s craving time out to rest AND be pampered, then join Julie McDonald on this transformational retreat to turn your life around and get back on track!

Imagine this: You are gazing out over the majestic deep green rainforest with breathtaking scenery of the undulating hills, stunning views over the lush green trees into the majestic blue ocean and the endless horizon beyond.  A cool fresh breeze caresses your face as you inhale the crisp freshness of Spring and savour the peaceful quiet of the occasion.

Suddenly, the sound of laughter pulls you out of your reverie, and you remember you are in the blissful Gymea Eco Retreat, near Byron Bay,  positioned right in the heart of Australia’s Green Cauldron, one of Australia’s iconic landscapes identified as the creative and spiritual heartland of Australia.

You are not alone, either! You are surrounded by like-minded women – some of the most authentic and passionate women you’ll ever meet – a beautiful rejuvenating space to getting in touch with their most cherished dreams.

Remembering the fullness of why you’re here, you take a deep breath and let go into the peaceful majesty of the moment, smiling with anticipation over what’s to come.

You’ve arrived, and it feels amazing

Get ready to restore your passion!

Are you finally ready to focus on

YOUR dreams,

YOUR desires and

YOUR passions?

Now that I have your attention, and before I describe the delights of this remarkable journey, let’s honestly consider a few pressing questions you may have:

Are you exhausted, overworked and just getting by? Then enough of that! During the entire retreat, we’ll be feeding your body and mind all the healthy food, gentle yoga, pampering and positive activities that you will need to GET CLEAR and begin to function at the highest level possible!

Do you want more in life BUT don’t know what nor how to get it?  Well, get ready to discover your inner purpose so that you can hardly wait to get home because on our retreat, you’ll get to take my Inner Passions Test, opening YOUR world to an explosion of self-discovery.

Do you feel fed up with being so overwhelmed with everything you do in life that you feel to guilty about giving time to yourself?  There is nothing like standing in your personal space and truly owning it. We will share with you nurturing Self Compassion and Self Love practices, which create a personal and heart felt connection. You will restore the true essence of you and fully appreciate how giving kindness to self is authentic love. These special tools, alone, are something that you will invariably carry with you for the rest of your life.

Wouldn’t you just LOVE to experience inner and outer adventures in a beautiful, nurturing environment with other successful women like you? Of course you would! And just as one example, our journey includes an awesome excursion to Minyon Falls, a mountain forest filled with moss-covered rocks and beautiful waterfalls crashing into deep pools — places where you and your new soul sisters can immerse yourselves in the tumbling water and feel fully rejuvenated completely and at one with nature.

Would you like to how to manage your energy and emotions so you can feel OK with the changes in life? Hold onto your hat, because this is exactly what this Retreat is all about. Everyday in Gymea’s Octagon hall, we will experience deep and beautiful meditations, easy flow of Qi Gong, full body relaxations to unwind and calm the busy mind and gentle yoga practices which are designed especially to TRANSCEND you into a peaceful state feeling completely restored and renewed.

So why should you join us?

Because you’re craving a place to slow down and get your life back on track!

Because you want to discover what makes your heart sing, so you’ll wake up each morning feeling energised and alive!

Because you want to get off this roller coaster of meeting others’ needs, step into your personal power AND feel like a wonder woman, strong and purpose driven!

Because you can’t wait to create an opportunity to grow into the most amazingly beautiful person that you really are!

Because you’re ready to receive the support of some of the most heartfelt and passionate women you’ve ever known – some of whom are bound to become lifelong friends! 

Because you want to laugh until your sides hurt and feel more content in life.


OK, what do you think?


Throughout our retreat, you’ll be ensconced in a place apart. You’ll be staying at the beautiful GYMEA Eco Retreat Centre and Healing Spa. It is a sustainable / eco retreat venue positioned at the base of majestic Wollumbin / Mt Warning in the northern rivers region of New South Wales and positioned on 46ha (113 acres) of secluded naturally undulating rainforest with stunning views of the UNESCO World Heritage national Park.

Gymea Eco Retreat is positioned right in the heart of Australia’s Green Cauldron, one of Australia’s iconic landscapes identified as the creative and spiritual heartland of Australia.

This part of Australia is being described as a mysterious melting pot of rich volcanic earth, deep green rainforest, breathtaking scenery, shining blue waters, rare Gondwana (prehistoric) rainforest and captivating land and mountains.

You’ll be staying in one the Eco Deluxe double rooms, which are all equipped with luxury 5 star eco inner spring latex topped king beds. All bedding, manchester and room furnishings have been carefully selected to meet biodynamic or organic certification standards, each impeccably designed to reflect the essence of magic and serenity.

Here you’ll be able take time out to focus on the ONE thing that’s most important to you right now: turning your life around, getting back on track and getting clear about you and your life!

Our planned activities will take you even deeper into relaxation and self-discovery. Gymea features an open, airy meditation hall “The Octagon’; a magnesium swimming pool; Spa Centre and a dining room with outdoor seating and expansive rainforest views.


We can’t talk about the delectable food without first introducing our delightful retreat chef, Carly from The Whole Food Artists. With a passion for wellbeing, a big part of Carly’s joy lies in sharing fresh, simple and delicious food that is chemical-free and organic wherever possible. Carly has worked with a variety of whole-food restaurants and wellness centres in Melbourne and has catered on a range of health retreats within Australia.

Through sharing wholesome food on retreats and in workshops, she continues to experience the way that real food can assists people in feeling grounded, refreshed and renewed. She embodies her love for healthy, clean living and the food she creates is born from a belief that the food we eat can be some of our greatest medicine. With this devotion to her craft, Carly will be preparing our meals which will be well-balanced, nutritious, healthful and literally zinging with flavour!

Much of that flavour springs from the variety and freshness of the ingredients. The daily menu caters mostly to vegetarians, with favour given to organic produce as well gluten-free options and minimal dairy and sugar.

Hankering for a sample menu? All right, imagine feasting your eyes on a buffet breakfast selection of organic yogurt, fresh-made muesli, pancakes with stewed fruits; artfully constructed poached egg and dukka with avocado, tomato, mushrooms and feta; and fresh organic sourdough spread with tahini, almond butter or an assortment of sugar-free jams.

Or for lunch, how about a medley of fresh, green salad ingredients with herbal and balsamic dressings? You’ll see some surprises too – for example, Norish Bowl with black wild rice, roasted root vegetables, fresh greenleaves, avocado and Vegan pesto OR Make-Your-Own-Sushi, with delictable delights to choose from.

Dinners are always an adventure, with unusual flavour combinations such as Asian cabbage salad with lime and peanut dressing, jasmine and brown rice with sultanas and cashews, marinated baked chicken with assorted steamed veggies, and – fasten your seatbelts! – Carly’s Organic Quinoa Bowl with charred broccoli, fresh herbs and organic feta cheese will take you to the moon!

It doesn’t stop there, either! Wholesome desserts are usually served every other night (baked nectarines with sweet yogurt and cream, anyone?) And each day, we’ll have access to a coffee and herbal tea station offering a medley of fresh fruits, organic nuts and bliss balls.


And what will we DO at Gymea? We’ll start each morning by awakening your senses with the subtle movement practice of Qigong, a gentle Eastern art aimed at gathering life energy while relaxing and strengthening the body.  And we’ll finish our morning wakeup with a peaceful, guided meditation, leaving you truly relaxed, centered and ready for the day.

Healing the Heart…Rejuvenating the Soul…Empowering the Mind.

After our sumptuous breakfast, each morning, we will meet in the lovely Octagen Meditation Hall, where we’ll dive into daily life-changing practices:

Emotional practices to help you release old baggage, de-clutter your mind and develop a deeper compassion for yourself.

Foundational exercises to help you discover your purpose, who you really are and how to live your life with passion.

And rejuvenation exercises in which you’ll reclaim and connect to an inner sense of personal strength, centredness and confidence in  yourself to create fresh goals that bring your life into alignment with your heart.

In other words, get ready for an enlightening mixture of thought, action and emotion – all artfully enhanced with periodic meditation, movement and mindfulness practices.


You deserve this…

It’s time to get your life on track and live it with

purpose and passion!


After your gourmet, organic lunch, you’ll have plenty of “me” time to do whatever you please – for example, hang out by the magnesium pool, stroll along the beautiful walking tracks, immersing yourself into the tranquility of nature, the trees, birds, wildlife and the adjacent ancient mountains that create the Gymea experience.

You may choose to book into the Spa for a special organic facial or body treatments. They use ‘Synthesis’ Certified Organic Skin Care, which is nutrient enriched and energy imbued OR curl up on a comfy day bed and read your favourite book OR just chill and enjoy the peaceful surrounds of Gymea.


And, oh yes, I almost forgot! –  during your stay, you will experience a deeply pampering, full-body massage by a licensed therapist. In her professional hands, you can let go completely and drift off into pure serenity and bliss as every muscle and bone in your body is sent to heaven. You can choose the day and time of your massage; we will get this organised before you arrive, this is our treat to you.


Toward the end of each day, we’ll all gather on the Octagon hall, where we’ll reconnect with each other, share insights from the day and experience the stunning beauty of nature during a sunset meditation.


So what can you expect from this six-day, five-night, rejuvenating retreat at the beautiful Gymea Eco Retreat Centre?

Just a complete life rejuvenate, that’s all!

You’ll have the chance to let go of everything that is holding you back from living a heartfelt, soul-centred life. This retreat will give you the space to get clear, discover what YOU need, what’s important to YOU, what YOU want and how to create it. And finally, you will leave feeling deeply relaxed, refreshed and ready to begin the rest of your life – an amazing, authentic life truly worth living!

Some of our special events and activities to look forward to:

  • Letting go of blocks and fears in a powerful ritual of a fire ceremony.
  • Releasing emotional triggers with a beautiful sound healing session.
  • Strengthen the Mind and Body under a waterfall meditation.
  • Boost your Health and Wellbeing with your personal Aromatherapy Oil
  • Getting in tune with yourself with deep Meditations and gentle Yoga.
  • Building inner peace and calm through the beautiful practice of Qigong.
  • Gaining clarity in your life direction through our Finding Your Passions exercise.
  • Learning how to live fully, embracing new things and meeting change with self-love and compassion.
  • Discovering what you really want and how to go about getting it.
  • Rejuvenating your body, mind and soul through your lovely pampering massage and “me” time.
  • Learning and practicing how to be a human being instead of a “human doing.”
  • Learning how to manage your energy and emotions so you feel more calm and relaxed in stressful times.
  • Gaining clarity, focus, direction and heartfelt commitment in your life.
  • Learning how to live the rest of your years with purpose, passion and peacefulness.

Wow, where do I start? Amazing, life changing, great food, beautiful company and extraordinary professional support from Julie and Catherine. I arrived to retreat without any expectations and left feeling that the experience was over and beyond anything I could have imagined. The sessions were well organised and seemed like they were especially designed for MY needs and MY wants. I had the impression that all the other girls felt the sme way.  I will go to their future Retreats to help me stay on track. Thankyou.

Kathryn Eveleigh

The location, the sharing with like minded beautiful women, the food, the insights and so much more was FANTASTIC and empowering to move forward with. My mindset has completely changed and I have the skills now to meet any challenge that life throws at me. Thank you to Julie and Catherine for your guidance xxx

Camelle Denny


  • A welcome party with wine and nibbles.
  • Beautifully appointed “eco” ensuite double rooms accommodation for five nights.
  • Daily delicious breakfasts to get you ready for the day.
  • Delectable, nourishing lunches to keep you going all day.
  • Scrumptious evening meals.
  • Morning and afternoon teas, coffee, fruits and snacks.
  • One fully pampering massage experience, oh you will feel amazzzinng.
  • A day excursion to Minyon Falls, for a Waterfall Meditation and Forest Bathing, pure bliss.
  • Serene sunset group gatherings
  • A special Aromatherapy session with a guest teacher + your personalised Aromatherapy oil, made just for you.
  • Releaxing morning Qigong sessions.
  • Glorious deep relaxation ‘yoga nidra’, you’ll just float with this.
  • Gentle yoga session.
  • Another special guest teacher for ‘Sound’ Healing session.
  • A super special fire ceremony to “Let go of the Past”.
  • A 2 hour use of the Eco Retreat Spa.
  • Use of the special Magnesium Pool, your skin will be oh so smooth!
  • Surprise gifts and other fabulous extras.
  • Incredible conversations, life-enhancing friendships and endless laughter.
  • Paradigm-shifting explorations and experiences in the Octagon Hall.
  • A bucket full of strategies and new learning to take back home.
  • A festive, farewell lunch as we all say goodbye (au revoir) to each other on the last day.



  • Your round-trip travel from home.
  • Personal toiletries.
  • Personal, medical or trip cancellation insurance (which we strongly recommend!)
  • Your towel for the pool – be sure to bring one! 🙂


Retreat dates:  Tuesday 30 October to Sunday 4 November 2018


Your Retreat Leader

Hello and welcome to my new Retreat. I just love love love running Retreats. My passion is organising and creating opportunities to guide and watch people transform their lives so they can live with true happiness, purpose and fulfilling their hearts desire.

It all started back at the end my second marriage. I was single, an empty nester with ailing parents. I realised I had been living everyone’s dream but my own, taking care of everyone else and putting myself at the bottom of the ladder.

With this realisation, my attitude shifted. Instead of having a pity party and looking back at the past with regrets and what ifs, I looked to the future and realised I had 30 odd years to take care of me, and make my life full of fun, adventure and true centredness.

But it was up to ME to make it that way. It was time to climb out of the dark hole of despair and create the life I wanted. And that’s exactly what I did — no fuss, no muss!

My motto is: You can manifest what you want and there is only Plan A.

My first Retreat was Mindfulness Immersion which was in an Ashram in the beautiful Mangrove Mountains; My second Retreat was at Bryon Bay and it was called How to Reset your Life, which was about decluttering the PAST.  Now this new Retreat, is in rainforest, for rejuvenation and to discover what you really want: your purpose, your passion as well as taking time-out to relax and restore.

Join me on my Retreat where you can discover HOW to MAKE the rest of your life the BEST of your life.

 So what are you waiting for? Why waste another second?


Start being true to yourself NOW!

Join us at this Renewal and Rejuvenation Reteat to turn your life around and get back on track! 

Tuesday 30 October to Sunday 4 November 2018


I want to introduce a dear colleague who will be assisting me. She’s not only a longtime friend but also a coach and trainer with decades of experience.

Cath works with professionals who want the success they have at work to spread to other areas of their life. She consults them on how to be strategic in their personal growth so they can become high performers – not just when they have to dig deep as the situation requires, but also when encountering the ordinary, everyday challenges of personal and family life.

Cath’s background is in psychology, teaching and mindfulness, and her application of outstanding coaching models, she has figured out a pathway for herself and others who really want to live their best life. She’s passionate about assisting others to create a clear vision for themselves, reconnect with their purpose and drive, and ultimately women like you who are ready and eager to live their best life.

Though she’s usually booked with clients around the world, Catherine is taking time out to join us and be a warm, welcoming part of our group. We’re lucky to have her, and I can’t wait to have you meet her!


We are very priviledged to have the beautiful ShamanaTara with us on our Retreat. She is a senior yoga teacher in the Satyananda Tradition. Her career has been travelling the globe teaching yoga and working in ceremony with Indigenous leaders from many traditions. Shamana is also song writer, sound/intuitive energy healer and Counsellor.

ShamanaTara now balances her time between her homes in Byron Bay and Bali. Her joy is to share the gift of sound and yoga for health and balance with others.

Shamana will be with us at Gymea, to experience peaceful and gentle Yoga AND a truly amazing Sound and Movement session, to journey deep within to refine our harmonic resonant field and release what separates us from our true self.

I am super excited to have ShamanaTara with us, and can’t wait for you to meet her 🙂

MELINDA – The Fragrant Goddess Byron Bay

Mel is an absolutely delightful and a very experienced clinical aromatherapist of women’ts health. She has over 20 years experience with all facets of using essential oils for therapy, skin care, perfume and household health. The name Fragrant Goddess was a name affectionately given to Mel by long term clients and is now the name of her business in Byron Bay. Mel works from her AromaPod Clinic in Ewingsdale, Byron Bay.

Mel’s passion has inspired thousands of people to embrace aromatherapy in their daily lives. Mel began her trainee-ship with Sal Battaglia and Perfect Potion in 1992 by working in the shop, clinics and then teaching introduction courses, practitioner training in both Massage and Aromatherapy.

Mel will be giving us a session on teaching us how to bring balance using aromatherapy.


CARLY – The Whole Food Artist

I would like to introduce you to our Chef – Carly. She is passionate about taking whole-food and turning it into, not only nourishing but delighfully full of flavour and scrumptious. Carly’s joy lies in sharing fresh, simple and delicious food with others. She thoroughly enjoys inspiring people into a world of vitality through sharing the art of cooking food that nurtures the whole body.

Carly has worked with a variety of whole-food restaurants and wellness centres in Melbourne and has catered on a range of health retreats within Australia. Through sharing wholesome food on retreats and in workshops, she continues to experience the way that real food can assists people in feeling grounded, refreshed and renewed.

Carly embodies her love for healthy, clean living and the food she creates is born from a belief that the food we eat can be some of our greatest medicine.

Wow, I can’t wait for you to see the menu….super lovely.

14 + 6 =

I thoroughly enjoyed this Retreat, not only because I learned self-compassion, but because I made so many new and loving friends. I learned so much about myself and my capabilities using new tools and strategies, for me to honour my spirit and live a fulfilling life.

Terri Scott