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Eat. Write. Heal. ROTORUA

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Event description

Eat. Write. Heal. 

Nurturing mind, body and soul for creative people

Join us for coffee or breakfast, and then a meander along Rotorua's beautifully refurbished Lake Front promenade.

Then we re-convene for quick, informative, practical sessions to 

- fill your creative well

- connect with kindred spirits and 

- write great stories!

Talented Tutors, Spirited writers

We offer a supportive, uplifting community, with talented Tutors and spirited writers. 

Eat. Write. Heal is a one-off live event in Rotorua, on Sunday 20th of August 2023 and an integral part of Thee Write Away Writer's Retreat - 4, 3 or 7 day personally customised writing retreats.

EAT: 9 - 10 AM; HELLO STRANGER CAFE, PRICE: from $5 - $30 (own cost)

- Optionally join us at Hello Stranger for coffee or breakfast prior to the learning session

- Fresh, quick, delicious, healthy cabinet food

- Purchase your own to suit your unique dietary preferences

- Informal meet and greet social function

- Option to meander along the Lake front, down through Eat Street to the Rotorua Public Library. (about 500 metres) with your personal guide, Julia.


Get ready!

Get Set!


  • In this welcoming, free, community session we will re-convene in the nearby library for a Writer's workshop
  • We'll start with a quick re-cap of the Who? Where? Why? and How of writing great stories (ideal for beginners - intermediate writers)
  • Then follow our creative writing prompts to bring some sizzle to your style
  • Meet our local tutoring team and book coaches: Q & A Time - ask us anything

HEAL: 11.30 - 12.30 Breathwork, meditation and light yoga for creative souls ($15) - outside if weather is agreeable

Then it's time to look after me, myself and I, as a writer.

As writer's ourselves, we are aware of the common doubts and questions writer's have about themselves and their work.

In this nourishing Mind-Body-Soul session, we bring awareness to quick and easy practices, tips and techniques that help alleviate the doubts, stress and worry you have about writing, so you can be more creative. 

We stretch, move and nourish our physical health with self-massage, breathwork and movement to re-juvenate and heal the body to be more supportive for creative flow.

  • Writing About Personal Traumatic Experiences: how to approach the difficult, the painful, and the highly charged without re-traumatizing yourself. 
  • Calm The Farm: How trauma lives in the body and nervous system, how to understand your responses, and how to lean in to your feelings, through story telling.


We divide into smaller groups of writers depending upon which spa option best suits your creative mode.

Moving into a quiet and thoughtful phase, writers will be soothed by the soothing hot water and beautiful environment where we contemplate big questions like:

  • Who are you really? Seek, find, feel and use your authentic voice. 
  • Finding your north star: Why you must tell your story?

We've cherry-picked our Top 3 Spa options.

Please read carefully and choose the option that best suits your mobility, transport and budget. 

Visit the webpages to help make your decision but please book with us so you get access to our special writers lounge at the venue, book coaches and story telling.   

    (1) IN THE FOREST:  Secret Spot Hot Tubs 

    • Relax in your own cedar hot tub surrounded by ferns
    • Nestled on the fringes of the stunning Whakarewarewa Forest (with its towering Redwoods)
    • Must have own vehicle (or buddy up with one of our local writers)
    • Self-drive 6 km to Rotorua's Mountain Bike (Waipa) & the Secret Spot Hot Tub
    • Suits writers who are physically able to climb in and out of a hot tub
    • Book your own or be social and share (max 4 writers per Hot Tub)
    • Options for guided Forest Bathe-ing or walking on the nearby Te Ahi Ahi (part of the NZ Cycle Trail Network)
    • After your soak, stay for afternoon tea and storytelling under the canopy or by the fire

    (2) LAKESIDE LUXURY:  The Polynesian Spa Deluxe Pools

    • If a lakeside view fills you up, while away the afternoon at The Polynesian Spa
    • Indulgent luxury and a worthwhile "look after me" experience
    • A collection of rock pools, thermal bathing, cold plunge pool, hydrotherapy options
    • Nestled right on the edges of the lake Rotorua
    • Options for walking through the nearby sculpture gardens (or local art galleries)
    • After your soak, reconvene in the beautiful cafe for afternoon tea and storytelling 


    • Bathe in mineral rich, deeply restorative waters 
    • Take a Restorative Journey (Wai Whakaora). Wai = water. Whakaora = to be well.
    • The ultimate "look after me" experience - for mind, body and soul
    • Follow a pathway of unforgettable spa experiences that move you from heat to cool, mud to water and air to steam
    • Unique, therapeutic, relaxing and multi-sensory experience with waterfalls, soaking, hydrotherapy (jets) overlooking lake Rotorua
    • Draws on the centuries-old legacy of local Maori (Ngāti Whakaue) practices, culture and values
    • Maximise the wellbeing benefits of the natural environment, from the heavens to the waters, and the earth. 
    • Options for walking along the lakefront and new art installations
    • After your soak, reconvene in our writer's lounge for afternoon tea and storytelling 

    Eat. Write. Heal is an integral part of the Thee Write Away Writer's Retreat - 4, 3 or 7 day writer's retreat in Rotorua. 

    About Our facilitators

    Meet Dr Julia Anne

    Dr Julia Anne, is an award-winning scientist, writer and entrepreneur. 

    She’s also a performance poet and author of the creative non-fiction stories: Secret Diary of an Entrepreneur & Secret Diary of a Writer. 

    Julia has nearly 30 years of experience writing across many genres and styles: mainly business, PR, literary tourism, the Shared Access Economy, plant molecular biology and creative. 

    As Founder and Managing Director of the 'Look After Me' Accommodation Network, during Covid-19, Julia pivoted the company and has created retreats, live events and educational experiences for writers. 

    All events, but especially this Eat. Write. Heal Event honour our 'look after me' philosophy around wellbeing.

    As Facilitator, Julia will lead the creative writing sessions and quick writes.

    Passionate about looking after people, as a mindfulness and meditation practitioner for about 30 years, Julia shares her quick, practical and easy mindfulness, breathing and stretching techniques that are helpful for creative people. 

    Julia will also offer a self-care group therapy session, aligning chakras (the 7 wheels of energy in the body), and connecting with your higher self as a way to approach difficult, painful, and highly charged experiences without re-traumatizing yourself. 

    Meet our local Doctor/Naturopath - to be confirmed

    We'll be hosting a qualified doctor (GP with an MD) as well as a Naturopath (ND).

    They will discuss nutrition for writers to help alleviate and heal stress, trauma and anxiety. 

    They will also discuss helpful herbs and nutraceuticals for improving brain function, which is critical for writers as they navigate the complexities of story telling.

    Finally, we'll talk about sleep from a nutrition for mind, body, soul perspective.  

      About Rotorua

      Rotorua is New Zealand's most celebrated geothermal valley, so it's where writers come to soak, write, learn, eat, play, stay and heal.

      It’s also the home of the Thee Write Away retreats which brings local, national and international writers to Rotorua to celebrate words, stories and ideas.

      If you plan to stay a few days on either side of Eat. Write. Heal., we'll share our local secrets of the most stunning lakes, endearing wildlife, historical architecture, fantastic bookshops and mouth-watering restaurants.

      Need a place to stay? 

      No problem. Look After Me will look after you. 

      We're both an events and accommodation network, so we know safe and comfortable places to stay in Rotorua. Make a note in the comments, and we'll send you separate information about bed and breakfasts, homestays, self-contained units, holiday houses or lodges suitable for writers coming to this event.  

      Eat. Write. Heal.

      Our time together will be an immersive experience of writing, story telling and connection.

      We'll nourish our deepest self, fill our inner well of inspiration and tap into creativity and joy. 

      Find your tribe.

      Free your voice

      Tell your stories! 

      Head over to our Thee Write Away information page to hear more about our 3, 4 and 7 day writer's retreats.

      Thanks to Our Supporters, Suppliers and Funding

      We are grateful to all the tutors, individuals, organisations and businesses who have support this and other events for writers, with funding, logistics, risk-management, catering, venues, photography, marketing, in-kind and cash contributions or sponsorship. 

      Thank you!

      Please note: Funding partners for our 2023 events are still being finalised as sponsorships and partnerships are being secured, so this may change slightly. 

      For all our new writers - welcome to our community - we are writers, authors, publishers, booksellers and tutors, private businesses, council owned organisations and national funding bodies, and of course a whole lot of accommodation hosts who have come together to support story telling in New Zealand.  

      Look After Me loves creating, hosting or being involved in memorable, enjoyable events in New Zealand communities.

      We are now taking enquiries for Thee Write Away Writer's Retreat in Rotorua. 

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      Refund policy

      Refunds are available up to 3 days before the event.