About Us

Adele and Gary's Story

Gary Dawkins from RiverRidge Retreat in The Catlins, Otago

Gary Dawkins – Owner

“Helping people to find their unique and natural paths to optimal health and wellbeing is my inspiration, passion and purpose – it is the most rewarding journey imaginable.

This journey began 27 year ago, and I have committed my life to it ever since. I know first-hand the enormous impact good health can have on our daily lives and therefore cannot think of anything more important or empowering for me to be doing.

After graduating in 1999 from Otago University with Bachelor of physical Education, Bachelor of Commerce and Nutrition degrees  I launched ‘the first of their kind’  Results Guaranteed Personal training studios, in Dunedin, Otago, NZ. I spent the next 12 years achieving holistic health results with people ranging from elite athletes and obese kids through to people with chronic aches and pains and to people simply wanting better health – such as weight loss, more daily energy, glowing skin, and stronger emotional states.

It was during this time I met my future wife, Adele.

We both wanted to help more people in even more meaningful ways and therefore decided to purchase a Retreat venue so that we could help more people to achieve more health and wellness in their lives.

In 2011 we were fortunate enough to move to the stunning Catlin’s and begin our new joint journey of helping more people, on a higher level, in the form of Health and Wellness retreats. We are both grateful we have the opportunity to help people in such a meaningful area of people’s lives – their health!

We currently run up to 27 retreats per year, helping people from all throughout NZ and globally.

We are grateful to be living on our dream lifestyle block, in our dream house, with two gorgeous girls – Khloe, 7 years and Lily, 2 years.

However, it hasn’t all been plain sailing.

It was not until I went through a very dark time in my life that this became so apparent. My mind became toxic, depressed and fragile. Here I was, in the eyes of my clients and friends – helping thousands of people to their desired holistic health, yet, from the inside, I was crumbling.

I had the physical health yet was lacking the mental – How could I continue to get paid advocating holistic health when I was in fact only 180 degrees there with my own health? My many qualifications were useless to me now! I knew every muscle, bone, organ, hormone, connective tissue, in the body, and had degrees and International certifications in Exercise physiology, Sports nutrition, Anatomy and Neurological programming – yet all of this was rendering useless to me for my own health.

Everything was ‘falling’ over. Something had to change!

It wasn’t until I went offshore and spent considerable energy in learning, experimenting and designing my own unique natural pathway to holistic (body, mind, soul) health, did I get myself better – all the knowledge and resources out there are absolutely useless unless they are applied to each person’s own natural path – applied to each person’s unique body type, personality type and motivation type.

Only once I applied it all to my unique self did I reach total 360 degree health.

It really is as simple as finding and then following one’s own natural path. This may seem a little confusing and upsetting, given that some people have spent the vast majority of their lives attempting to attain the health and wellbeing they deserve.

Adele and myself feel extremely grateful to have a venue where we can create and deliver life changing health and wellbeing programmes, and thus help more people in more meaningful ways.”

Adele Dawkins completing a half marathon

Adele Dawkins – Owner

“I had a ‘big mess’ to clean up when I first became Gary’s client at Creative Conditioning in Dunedin. I had tried countless diets and exercise fads. My body had gone through the cycle of losing weight and gaining it all back, plus more, countless times. I had little to no energy, low immunity and I was even getting regular aches and pains for no apparent reason. Not to mention the huge dents in my self confidence that this YO YO cycle was creating!

My entire life changed when I began to follow my own personal natural path to nutrition and exercise – one that was designed for my unique body type and my personality type. For the first time in my life my body was in balance. Soon after, I noticed my moods improve, fat drop off and stay off and at the time what I thought were ‘with me for life’ body aches – disappear – my body, mind and soul were at last, in synergy .

Weight loss and weight maintenance became easy; exercise was motivating and my body, intuitively, knew what it wanted to eat – and this didn’t include cravings!

I felt I had gained back my Mojo. I was not getting sick and coming down with colds like I was so used to. My entire life had changed.

It had such a profound effect on my life that (I married him!!!!).

I have had a complete reshuffle of my career and I am now extremely passionate in supporting others to achieve the daily health and wellness they deserve, by following their own personal path to health.”

“We feel extremely grateful to have a venue that enables us to ‘walk our talk’ and contribute on a higher level, to the wellness of others. We guess this is because we have shared core values of gratitude, authenticity, health and ‘giving back’.

Looking forward to chatting soon.

Ready to change your life for the better?