MenAware nature retreat with Yatra.org.au – May 31st-June 4th 2023


New England National Park, NSW

Wednesday 31 May – Sunday 4 June 2023

I recall times in this life when I’ve quietly grieved an absence of deep connectedness with men. At MenAware gatherings I’ve glimpsed that a relationship of trust, emotional honesty and deep listening with men is still a possibility.” (A MenAware participant)

A MenAware Nature Retreat provides an experiential container where we explore our relationship with self, other men and nature in a safe and caring environment. During our time together we will investigate the possibility to live a fulfilled, authentic and sustainable life and how we can extend this into the relationships and the communities we live in.  Our retreat program will draw upon a flexible combination of yoga, meditation, mindful walking, discussions around the campfire, shared meals and our unique, creative celebration of mankind.

This MenAware Nature Retreat will take us to the pristine wilderness of the New England National Park located in the Northern Tablelands of NSW. The Park is home to World Heritage Gondwana rainforest and boasts spectacular walking tracks, monumental escarpments, magnificent views and impressive waterfalls. 

Our retreat will be based at the Thungutti Campground nestled in the shade of tall eucalyptus trees. We will be accommodated each night in our personal tents. An accompanying support team will provide hearty vegetarian meals, and take care of logistics. At times help will be required with food preparation, clean-up, and setting up/packing down our camp. 

Carpooling for those based in the Northern Rivers will depart on Wednesday 31st May at 10am from Mullumbimby, from where we will embark on a 4 hour drive to Thungutti Campground. We will return to Mullumbimby on Sunday 4th June around 6pm.  Carpooling or direct travel for participants in other locations can be organised after registration.

A MenAware Nature Retreat is conducted under the shelter of Buddhist ethics which create a safe, caring and conscious environment for spiritual practice. On retreat, ethical conduct invites us to restrain from harmful speech and actions, sexual expression and intoxicants. Part of our retreat program will be supported by noble silence. The meditation instructions are primarily grounded in the Insight Meditation method. The yoga and movement exercises are suitable for all levels and are designed to nourish our physical condition and assist our mindfulness practice. 


Ken Golding  has a diverse history of social and environmental activism, meditation and artistic expression and has been engaged in creating and presenting innovative workshops, courses and activities for men for over 30 years. He has facilitated several yatras and nature retreats over the past decade and currently teaches Buddhist influenced meditation using the Recollective Awareness approach. Ken has a deep concern about our collective environmental and social future and believes that working with men cannot be done in isolation from these concerns.

Ronny Hickel has studied, practiced and taught in various traditions of yoga, and buddhist dharma for the last 25 years. He is a yoga and tai-chi instructor, a qualified outdoor recreation guide and has trained in Hakomi psychotherapy. His approach is shaped by his love and passion for the dharma, nature connection, deep ecology and the cultural richness of our tribal traditions as well as modern science. He presently resides in Murwillumbah in the Tweed Caldera where he works in outdoor recreation and human development, facilitating meditation, yoga and tai-chi classes, nature retreats and yatra pilgrimages.

Brother Tenzin (Dr. Alex Anderson) is an ordained monk in the Sakya Tibetan tradition. He has also studied and practiced under Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh at Plum Village in France, and at Pa Auk Tawya in the Burmese Forest tradition. Guided by his main teacher Bhante Dhammadipa, his approach is informed by Theravadin, Zen, and Vajrayana methods of meditation and mindfulness, as well as Hatha Yoga, Deep Ecology, and his deep love of wild places.  He currently lives on Gumbayngirr country on the Dorrigo Plateau, where he works on a project to co-create community space for meditation and nature connection: http://www.gaiaforest.org.

What to bring?

  • tent

  • good quality sleeping bag (rated 0 degrees comfort or below)

  • camping mat 

  • appropriate clothing for hot, very cold and wet weather

  • sunhat, beanie, gloves

  • good (walked in) hiking shoes 

  • daypack

  • water bottle (2L), lunch box 

  • meditation cushion/stool, yoga mat

  • cup, bowl, plate, cutlery

  • torch and spare batteries 

  • toiletries, towel, swim wear 

  • musical instruments, journal (optional)

Cost:  $490 Base Fee & Dana 

Base Fee: The base fee covers all running costs of the retreat including food supplies, catering,  camping fees, fuel, equipment, administration costs, etc.

DANA means generosity and forms a substantial aspect of providing this retreat. Following an old Buddhist tradition the facilitators & organisers of this yatra do not charge a fixed fee for their contributions, but offer their services as a gift. At the end of the yatra there will be an opportunity to offer dana in the form of a monetary gift in return. Dana supports the livelihood of yatra facilitators & organisers, keeps the dharma accessible and affordable, and cultivates a spirit of generosity.

How to book?

1.  Fill out and submit the online registration form – CLICK HERE!

2.  Secure your place by making full payment.

Account Name: Yatra Bushwalking Club Inc

BSB: 722744 (Southern Cross Credit Union)

Account No: 100134728 

Please state ‘MA23′ and ‘YOUR NAME’  in the reference box.

  1. You will receive a confirmation letter via email to confirm your booking. Please note that we can secure a place only after we have received your registration form and full payment. Please do not make any travel arrangements before your place has been confirmed.

Cancellations before the 14th May 2023 will be refunded payments minus a $50 admin fee.   Unfortunately we are not able to offer any refund after this date. If you need to cancel please make sure you inform us in time so that your place can be offered to someone else.

For more information please contact Ronny on:

0422 075 488