Sanctuary for being and doing celebrates 20 years

Organisers say Prana is for seekers of metaphysical and spiritual insights.
Organisers say Prana is for seekers of metaphysical and spiritual insights.

It flies pretty low under the radar, despite being held at one of the most beautiful beaches in the region and at New Year it will mark 20 years of "conscious celebrations".

Eco-retreat Prana, at Opoutere on the Coromandel Peninsula, hosts five days of celebrations from Sunday, with everything from DJs to natural therapy workshops, samba, sustainable living, rebirthing, reggae, tantra, yoga, dance and even celestial navigation.

Gareth Bellamy, of Prana, says the New Year celebrations have always stuck to their initial idea.

"From our beginnings 20 years ago, we have never lost sight of our vision to hold conscious celebrations, to provide a venue and environment that people of all ages are free to enjoy the beautiful place that is Prana retreat."

The lineup for this year's 20th New Year celebrations is the most extensive yet and Bellamy says he is excited to have Pacific voyager Tua Pittman sailing to Opoutere for the festival.

"He and the crew of 12 to 15 will land and join Prana New Year Festival and there will be opportunities to meet and talk with him and the crew," he says.

The festival is not the usual New Year's drunk-fest, with Prana pitching itself as "an event for seekers of metaphysical and spiritual insights and is a nature sanctuary for being, feeling, creativity, and doing, the four expressions of our consciousness".

Numbers are limited to 1000, so it doesn't get too crowded.

Given the limited numbers, tickets are $375 for the five days, with campsites available. There are other options for single-day tickets from $95, depending on the day.

But what's most impressive about this year's festival is the lineup.

Some of the more well-known names include Ddub, Tripswitch, Knights of the Dub Table, and Mihirangi, of New Zealand's Got Talent.

Add to that the AK Samba circus performers, fire acts and a tonne of side shows, and even more dance, music and meditation workshops and activities to keep the kids busy, and Prana 2013 is shaping up to be a huge success.

To pique people's interest just a little more, Bellamy says they are holding back a couple of surprises to "have something special to pull out on the night for our guests".

The festival runs from December 30 to January 3, and has three main stages, seven food outlets and several cafes, plus market stalls and healers.

There is also the Prana Art Trail, for artists to display their sculptures and installations on and in the surrounds of one of the country's most beautiful beaches.

For more information on the full lineup or for ticket prices, see

Waikato Times