Shambala Restaurant and High Vibe retreat Permaculture course

This event was devised when I was hired to design the gardens for the Shambala restaurant.

Shambala is located on Rinjani Volcano, located on the north coast of Lombok Island Indonesia.

The beautiful location of the design made me want to share this process with others, so I decided to incorporate my design job into an introduction to Permaculture course, mini design internship as well as a health and wellbeing retreat.

We stayed 8 days at the High Vibe Retreat which is the design client’s accommodation. High vibe retreat and Shambala is one of the last built-up areas as trekkers pass by as they start the 3 day ascent up Rinjani volcano.

During our stay at HVR they provided up with 3 meals plus snacks of fresh fruit, juices, coconuts, and local herbal teas. We had morning yoga and regular massages as well as beautiful grounds and nearby walks to enjoy

I spent the first few days finalising the restaurant site design, while the other participants arrived and enjoyed the HV grounds.

The introduction to Permaculture and design methodology mentoring was 2 days and was held between the HVR grounds and the Shambala restaurant grounds (across the road.)

The following 3 days was implementing the garden design. It wasn’t long before the locals new we were around so during the implementation phase we had many visitors. We had a women’s group that had a tribe of kids in toe, that couldn’t speak much English but were very excited to learn and get their hands in the dirt with us, we had locals that had connections to HVR, and the staff from HVR came over regularly as they were eager to learn what they could as it would soon be their new kitchen garden.

I spent a lot of time learning laughing and sharing with the current ground’s keeper. (He loved all the seeds I had brought for him.)

It wasn’t all hard work, haha! we finished early enough each day to head a little bit down the hill to Rinjani lodge. This hotel had a gorgeous infinity pool where we would finish most days debriefing, what we learnt, what we enjoyed and any other questions that may have surfaced. We coined this part of the day ‘school in the pool’ and it was absolutely magical.

Being that we were stay on the beautiful Rinjani it wouldn’t be complete without spending time at some waterfalls. So, we hiked and soaked in nearby Tiu Kelep.

Permaculture Retreat - Lombok
Permaculture Retreat - Lombok

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Permaculture Retreat - Lombok
Permaculture Retreat - Lombok

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Below: Read a blog written by one of the retreat participants and a testimonial from one of the owners of High Vibe Retreat.

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Introduction Permaculture Workshop - Rosie’s testimonial


"I want to thank Renee for delivering a amazing experience at the Permaculture workshop held at Shambhala Rinjani Lombok.


Renee was very professional very caring, dedicated and passionate about Permaculture and how it assists the planet. Her explanations and how she involved us all was easy to absorb and understand.


It was awesome, just how we made a spiral herbal garden and how much you can put into such a small space.


Her ability to communicate and connect with the local sasak community what needed to be done was wonderful to watch. She managed to get the locals to cut up Bamboo and create woven compost bins, trellises, also building retaining walls, a lot of dirt was shovelled and it was so much fun even with a broken tap that was out of control, we had lots of singing and dancing, everyone was so happy and laughing.


It was so much fun taking photos of all the unusual bugs in the garden and around, weird creatures that you wouldn’t normally notice.


Discovering all the different patterns in nature like scatters, branching, clouds, lobes, waves, webs all found in the grounds. I will always look at nature with new eyes, it was magical and wondrous.


Renee's  presentation for the theory was very professional, she was dressed clean and tidy just like a teacher, then out came the work clothes and hands in the dirt, it was a amazing transformation. Like from the seed to the bud to the flower, each day we all became more connected with each other and Mother Earth.


Everyone worked really hard, but you didn’t really notice it as you were so present in the NOW. Then at the end of each day we would look and see what we had all so synergisticly created together.


It was such a special time for us all and everyone gained so much from the experience, we have all connected as good friends and will all be coming back to the mountain again to continue the project and meet again with our Sasak family .


I cannot recommend high enough this amazing life changing program with Renee McKie, a experience you cannot miss.


With heart felt thanks"


Rose Ireland