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Nature & Nurture Retreat on Keats Island

With Wayne Kaulbach

Small-Group Nature Retreat

“Maybe it’s becoming a Grandfather and a combination of doing some deep soul searching during the pandemic but I’m endeavouring to change my own personal narrative from self-indulgent to serving Mother Nature.” – Wayne Kaulbach

Our urban lives have created an asymmetric dependency on electronic devices that favour information over spirit knowledge. Let’s explore what happens when we unplug our devices and let Mother Nature be our source of entertainment. This is more than an invitation to hug a tree, this is an opportunity to join me in creating a meaningful and lasting connection with a sacred space that I have come to love deeply. A place I humbly and respectfully call Family and Home: Lhek’tines (Keats Island/Mother Island – British Columbia, Canada).

This retreat is led by award-winning photographer Wayne Kaulbach, who has previously led photography tours to Portugal, India, Cuba, and Morocco. His passion for travel, natural places, and photography is infectious.

Please note that this retreat has no religious affiliation. Also, note that this retreat is best suited to those with a basic to moderate level of fitness as there will be plenty of walking and light hiking.


$850 USD per person

$1095 CAD per person + 5% GST

  • 3 nights/4 days at Barnabas Landing on Lhek’tines (Keats) Island
  • Nature Photography Workshop by Wayne Kaulbach
  • Guided Forest Meditation & Meaningful Walks
  • Water taxi transportation to/from Gibsons
  • Evening guitar and sing along
  • All meals while on the island
  • Improving your photography techniques with award-winning photographer, Wayne Kaulbach
  • Exploring the wilderness of Lhek’tines Island
  • Wandering through ancient forests and forest bathing
  • Learning about the flora and fauna of this unique island
  • Reconnecting to nature

Nature & Nurture Retreat with Wayne Kaulbach - Barnabas


Where: Barnabas. Lhek’tines Keats Island. Please note that this retreat has no religious affiliation.

When:  November 14th to 17th, 2022

Why: because you so deserve the time to walk slowly with Mother Nature.   

Who: for those who wish to step away from their screens and into Pacific West Coast Green. 

How: from the rat race to a Sacred place. *Transportation included.


1. Tree hugging 101. *there is no wrong way to hug a tree:). Find a tree or have a tree find you. Introduce yourself. Ask permission to hug. If yes, consummate request.

Sit with tree and breath 10 deep breaths.

2. Tree identification 101. Arbutus, Hemlock, Alder, Cedar (the tree of life), Grand Fir, Lodgepole Pine, Douglas Fir. *I will help you to know all the trees of Lhek’tines

3. Music and photography. Nightly guitar and sing along.

Photography nature workshop. *hands-on instruction to take great nature photos. 

4. Guided Forest meditation and mindful walks. Gratitude exercise to the four directions.

5. Silent Forest Bathing. Let’s head out into the forest sans device (untethered)and connect with Mother Nature and connect with ourselves. Transformative Therapy.

Using our senses to connect with here and now. Pick a spot for each participant. Give them one hour. Collect them by gently tapping rocks together. At gate to Barnabas we start being silent and stay silent until our return to Barnabas.

“Moving in silence is the best way to hear the land speaking to you.” Richard Wagamese

6. Forest mastication. Pick a tree or have a tree pick you. Ask permission to taste a small leaf. Ingest and observe. Make notes of your observations. 

7. Sho’kum? Spirit Bathing. Early morning. Participation: optional. 

*Purpose: to sacrifice our comfort for the spirits and to release negative energy and rejuvenate the positive. 

All activities are optional (perhaps a few hours quietly reading or journaling by the fire is necessary).

All activities/walks are graded on the level of fitness required.

*Round table or debriefing discussions of your experiences each evening.

“The more I presented myself to the land in those early hours, the more it offered me back the realization of who I was created to be.” Richard Wagamese.

Wayne Kaulbach

Portrait of the Photographer Wayne Kaulbach.

Wayne Kaulbach MPA F/PPABC,

Wayne received his Masters Of Photographic Arts in 2004 and his Fellowship in 2006. Along with his wife Michelle Fleming, they have owned and operated Skylight Images, a multi-award-winning photographic service specializing in natural light portraiture, in Vancouver since 1995.

Along with being a passionate travel and street photographer he has also taught street, travel, and portrait at Langara’s Continuing Studies program over the past 20 years:  

Local knowledge: Exploring, living and loving Lhek’tines for over 15 years. Wayne is a Keats Island Conservancy Group Member and completed David Suzuki’s Indigenous Camp August 2022


  • Meals and beverages not mentioned in the itinerary (additional $10 per day required for Special Dietary Requests)
  • Items of personal nature
  • Services and entrances not mentioned above
  • Tips/Gratuities for tour guides, drivers, etc.
  • Program costs are based on a minimum number of participants and are subject to change without notice. Single supplement will apply to single travelers (unless a participant opts in for room share and a roommate is found. this cannot be guaranteed).
  • 5% GST will be added to the total price

What to bring?

A rain jacket. Comfortable hiking boots. Hat. Backpack and water bottles. Warm breathable clothing. Swimsuit (optional)

Journal. An open mind and heart. A kind and respectful attitude to oneself and others.

Getting to/from Keats Landing:

BC Ferries from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale (car-pooling when possible), currently $47 for a vehicle and $14 per person for the return trip. Parking at Gibsons Marina is $5/night. Then we book a 12-passenger water taxi from the Marina to Keats Landing (included)

Cost and Fee Schedule

From $1095 CAD + 5% GST per person based on double occupancy and based on minimum group size. Based on 6-12 tour participants. Program costs may increase or decrease slightly with smaller or larger group size.

Prices are based on double/twin occupancy. Single supplement fee of $195 CAD + GST applies. 

Balance payment is due 2 months prior to departure.

Waiver Form

All participants will be required to sign a Waiver Form prior to departure.

Nature & Nurture Retreat - Lhek'tines Keats Island

“I thoroughly enjoyed my day on Lhek’tines – Keats Island, made especially interesting and fun with our host Wayne.  Our eyes were opened to the ecological wonders within the native forest as we mindfully walked the “locals” trails. Wayne’s professional photo tips helped us capture the memories well.  It was a quintessential Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound day that started with a boat trip with friends, an adult camp day in the outdoors and made extra special by the upscaled food and hospitality.”  Ruth Simons. Lead, Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative Society.

“We were fortunate to be participants on a very memorable Eco Tour of Keats Island led by Wayne Kaulbach. Right from the very start, Wayne put us at ease with his kind welcoming manner and his quirky sense of humour. He led us on a hike through the forest that took us up over the spine of the island and ended up at the north end where we had a delectable lunch at Barnabas Landing retreat centre. After lunch, Wayne entertained us by playing the guitar and singing a song that he has composed about Keats Island. As well as informing us about the various trees, plants, and fungi that we saw in the forest, Wayne passed on an array of useful photographic tips drawing on his expertise as a professional photographer. The return trip to meet the water taxi to take us back to the Langdale Ferry took us along a trail closer to the water’s edge. We had a wonderful experience and can provide a very enthusiastic recommendation for Wayne Kaulbach and his eco-tours.”  David and Pat Plackett

“The nature walk was a wonderful day of adventure bringing awareness to my surroundings and a calmness to my mind.  You provided an interesting insight into the island with your engaging personality and your passion for the flora and fauna found on the island.  I am also grateful for your photography tips which allowed me to capture the beauty of the day and all it had to offer.”  Diane Barley

Are you all ready for your next adventure?

Even though we wish you a flawless trip, things can happen, especially nowadays. Make sure you are prepared with a Travel Insurance policy that is right for you. Finisterra recommends Manulife Insurance or World Nomads Insurance. Please feel free to ask us about Covid-19 Insurance Coverage, Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance, Travel Medical Insurance, or any other questions you may have.


Travel with confidence knowing that you’re covered with Manulife Insurance.

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Explore the world, stress-free, when you book travel insurance with World Nomads.

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