Bella Rakha is a Retreat Centre situated in Oratia at the foot of the Waitakere Ranges. The Retreat Centre buildings are set in 32 acres of park-like grounds with a mixture native bush, open spaces and quiet secluded groves.
Accommodation is in twin-share rooms, each with a heater, mattress protectors, pillows, a duvet and two blankets. The kitchen/dining, accommodation and meditation hall are in separate buildings so come prepared for outdoor transitions between them.
While on retreat we live as a community so we share (vegetarian) meal preparation, washing up and other domestic work between us. If you have any specific dietary needs (eg gluten, dairy, or sugar-free) please let us know in good time.
Retreats start with a shared meal on the first evening. So you can just spend the time to arrive and we'll spend the time to cook up something for everyone to eat.
As well as your personal gear, including warm clothes in winter you will definitely need:
If you can please bring your own meditation gear. If you do not have your own then the Auckland Buddhist Centre can arrange to transport mats, cushions and stools to the venue. You will need to bring your own meditation blankets/wraps.
Anything that will prevent you from enjoying the space and simplicity of being on retreat, e.g. books, radios, mobiles, computers.
You can either leave the Northwestern Motorway via Waterview or Te Atatu off-ramps.
Waterview off-ramp – generally follow Great North Rd through (or around) New Lynn town centre until you reach the intersection with West Coast Rd, at the top of the hill at Kelston.
Left turn into West Coast Rd – through Glen Eden shops to the Parrs Park round-about.
Te Atatu off-ramp – left into Te Atatu Rd, and veer left at round-about, following same road until next large round-about (at Glendene) and veer left onto Great North Rd. At second lights, turn right into View Rd.
You'd be best to have map here to follow the back roads through to Parrs Park.
Once you have reached the round-a-bout at Parrs Park and West Coast Rd head west at round-a-bout to Oratia and Waitakere Ranges/Piha.
Bottom of second hill, past Mobil Station and Oratia District School Bella Rakha is opposite the Dairy & Orchard – driveway on right.
581 on round sign post, just before driveway.
The driveway is a long winding road – follow it 800m to the main buildings.
When arriving for the retreat, veer left at the fork and park on the concrete areas around the island next to the main buildings.
The hall will be on your left, with the kitchen and dining hall straight ahead.