Bella Rakha is a retreat centre and creative venue, which also includes family homes. The property is owned by Yvette and Simon Feasey, who live on site with their two daughters and Simon’s mother Marion. The other two dwellings on the property (the Bungalow and Cottage) are rented long term by friends who also share their love of the property and the lifestyle it offers.
The property, previously called Knock Na Gree, was owned by the Catholic Church since the 1930’s, and had hosted many generations of children, families and retreat groups, until it went up for sale in 2007.
Looking for a semi-rural property on which to create a new lifestyle for themselves and their (then) pre-school children, Simon and Yvette fell in love with this piece of land with its long winding drive and journey of discovery, with the sneak peeks around each bend of what the landscape has to offer.
The grounds were beautiful with the large established tress, well kept lawns and maturing native bush. The buildings whilst tidy, were quite tired having had very little done to them since the 1980s. Not a couple to back down from a challenge (although it did feel a bit overwhelming during the first two years), we have been chipping away at the renovations to transform Bella Rakha into a venue to be proud of.
Our name Bella Rakha comes from a combination of words and languages and translates to “the beauty of life” . . . in all its aspects.
Our vision for the property has evolved as we have lived here. It started as a place to raise our family and share a lifestyle with others. We thought that this feeling of peace and inspiration would be wonderful to continue to share with others. With our strong interest in design and creativity, we have looked to use each upgrade as an opportunity to express this.
We seek to live with ecological awareness, with respect for the land and her resources and preservation and enhancement of the natural beauty of our living space. We seek to contribute to the local community with our vision and energy, within the greater community of life. We invite others to share our vision while living and visiting here at Bella Rakha, respecting and caring for the safety and well-being of oneself, others and this beautiful place.
A bit more about us
Bella Rakha is managed on a day to day basis by Yvette. With both our girls at the local primary and intermediate schools, I balance my time working on the property and managing the business. I also find it extremely important to be available to my girls at school, helping in class, cheering them on in their sporting endeavours, and in the role as ‘Mum’ to help build confident, creative and happy children.
With my eight years of experience designing (pre-motherhood) and overseeing the construction of new shops and cafes, it is great to have a new canvas to work on, with the mix of old buildings and new spaces to create. Completing all our major renovations this year has been very rewarding.
Simon’s passion at Bella Rakha is the grounds. The first thing he did here was install a Disc Golf Course for him and his friends to enjoy. This has evolved and been improved to include some very challenging and picturesque holes to keep his skills sharp. With this being such an accessible game for people of all ages and abilities, we regularly have business groups including this activity into their visit to our property. He loves the bush and is constantly looking at ways to enhance and preserve our special environment.
Simon’s time during the week is taken up with overseeing the running of his two other main businesses. SAFE NZ (www.safe.co.nz), which he started back in the mid 90’s, is an air filtration and refrigeration company based in Penrose. He is also part of a business called Revolution Fibres (www.revolutionfibres.com), which is based in nearby Corban Ave, Henderson. This is a new technology business creating functional fibres using electro-spinning and has an exciting path ahead of it as the world embraces what this new technology has to offer.
Simon is also involved in all things Disc Golf. Manufacturing discs in NZ, the target baskets, course design around the country, and travelling overseas competing.
Our girls just love life here, and it is a wonderful opportunity to have the space to raise pets of all shapes and sizes. They also enjoy playing disc golf with their dad and building secret huts around the property with their friends.
Marion Feasey (Simon’s Mum) relocated to Bella Rakha in 2012 after several years of commuting. She loves the peace and tranquility that surrounds us here and enjoys her involvement in the development of our joint visions for the evolution of Bella Rakha.
Marion’s life work is in promoting well-being through meditation, healing and movement therapies, and lifelong learning and education. She is creating opportunities to share aspects of these with others here at Bella Rakha in the near future.