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8 Days Pre-Summer Yoga Retreat in New Zealand

  • WHY Retreat, 16 Reotahi Road, McLeod Bay, Whangarei Heads, Northland Region, North Island, New Zealand

Wellness and Yoga Retreat New Zealand

The mad period leading up to Christmas can leave you feeling stressed and exhausted. This retreat gives you the opportunity to unwind before the flurry of holiday activities, set some goals for next year, and put in place strategies to help you stay calm through it all. You will be able to enjoy your own private deck, cozy guest lounge with library, use of a FAR infrared sauna, stream-side meditation area, a well-equipped gym, and a yoga studio.

Highlights

  • Daily yoga classes
  • FAR infrared sauna available
  • 1 complimentary 60-minute spa treatment
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Daily vegetarian meals
  • Free time for relaxing
  • 6 days with instruction
  • English
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All guests will be staying at WHY Retreat. The rooms are designed to provide a comfortable private experience with two single or twin rooms sharing one bathroom and one queen room with en-suite bathroom. The guest area has its own kitchenette and lounge.

Manaia suite

The Manaia suite is a deluxe queen room with en-suite bathroom. Enjoy expansive views of the bay from your private deck and sunrise over Mountain Manaia from your bed.

Wake up to a symphony of birdsong, sunrise over a skyline of rocky spires, and a panoramic view of the bay. The scenery is constantly changing as the tide ebbs and flows across the sandbank, and lighting plays on the rocks of the mountain. The room has private ocean view deck and dual orientation with view on McLeod Bay and Mountain Manaia.

Rosella's nest

The Rosella's nest is a twin room named after the parrot found in Northland and that lives in the area surrounding the yoga retreat. The tiled bathroom with Italian shower is shared with one other room. Its private deck is the ideal place to sunbathe surrounded by native trees and relax to the sound of the birds. The room has two beds, but double bed can be arranged on request. This room also has a private ocean view deck.

Take this opportunity to rest, relax, and unwind! There is plenty of free time to read, enjoy the fabulous views from your room, curl up with a book in the cozy guest lounge, or set off on one of the awesome scenic hikes around the area.

Your retreat includes accommodation, meals, yoga, and one complimentary 60-minute private session of your choice. The area has a number of natural health practitioners and sessions can be arranged for acupuncture, Bowen therapy, craniosacral therapy, EFT Tapping, and natural skincare or cosmetic consultations.

Sample daily schedule

Sunday

  • Arrival and orientation

Monday to Wednesday

  • Daily yoga classes, one-on-one sessions available, and free time

Thursday

  • Free time for hiking and relaxing

Friday to Saturday

  • Daily yoga classes, one-on-one sessions available, and free time

Sunday

  • Yoga class and departure
  • Jo Woollacott

    Jo Woollacott is the owner of WHY Retreat and offers retreats from her yoga studio and B&B at Whangarei Heads. She has been teaching yoga for over 35 years and is also a certified Pilates instructor. She is a Kaizen holistic health practitioner, a REPS registered personal trainer, and endorsed by the Exercise Association of New Zealand to provide SMEAEP tax deductible stress management programs.

WHY Retreat is surrounded by the iconic landscape of Mountain Manaia and overlooks McLeod Bay. Northland is often called the winterless north for its mild winter climate. With the sheltered beaches of the Whangarei harbor on one side, the sweep of the Pacific Ocean on the other, and dotted with small close knit communities, taking some time out in this wonderland is a must.

Nearby places

  • Central Whangarei - 30 minutes
  • Darch Point Walk - 1 hour
  • Mount Manaia - 5 minutes
  • North of Auckland, New Zealand - 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • Ocean Beach - 10 minutes
  • Reotahi Point Walk - 30 minutes
Activities
  • Fishing nearby
  • Golf course nearby
  • Gym
  • Hiking nearby
  • Hiking trail nearby
  • Kayaking nearby
  • Massage
  • Mountain walking / trekking nearby
  • Reiki
  • Sauna
  • Snorkeling nearby
  • Surfing nearby
  • Swimming nearby
  • Tennis court nearby
General
  • Beach nearby
  • Café nearby
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Restaurant nearby
  • Smoke-free property
  • Yoga studio
Services
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Library
  • Tour assistance

The price of this retreat includes all meals. Breakfast ingredients are provided (seasonal fresh fruit, home-made yogurt, and muesli) to be enjoyed in your own time. Vegetarian lunch and dinner with vegan and gluten free options are also available. Your meals will be inventive and nutritious, but if you prefer to have a meal outside, there are cafés are nearby.

There is plenty of free time to read, enjoy the fabulous views from your room, or set off on one of the awesome scenic hikes around the area. WHY Retreat is located on a diverse and beautiful peninsula, which offers many hikes for all levels of fitness ranging from 45 minutes to five hours. Whatever it is, this retreat is designed for you to exercise, rest, eat right, meditate, relax, and enjoy nature.

The beaches at Whangarei Heads include world class surf, long white sand, sheltered swimming bays, and rugged rocky coastline. Snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, and other water sports are available for you to enjoy, as well. The area is rich in bird life, including a kiwi habitat, and boasts a wide variety of local flora, including a giant Kauri tree. There are many other activities nearby including golf, tennis, scenic flights, abseiling, and much more for you to enjoy and explore.

The price of this retreat includes one complimentary 60-minute private session of your choice (holistic coaching, personal training, yoga, massage, or Reiki). Spa facilities include the use of a FAR infrared sauna, stream side meditation area, and a well-equipped gym.

There are a number of natural health practitioners and sessions can be arranged for acupuncture, Bowen therapy, craniosacral therapy, EFT tapping, natural skincare, and cosmetic consultations. You can make reservations for an extra cost.

  • 1 60-minute private spa treatment of your choice
  • 6 days of yoga classes
  • 7 nights cozy accommodation
  • Daily delicious meals
  • Additional meals
  • Additional spa treatments
  • Airfare
  • Extra activities
  • Personal expenses

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Auckland Airport (AKL).

  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 2 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Verified BookYogaRetreats.com reviews

  • M
    Review by Melanie Walsh from New Zealand

    Peaceful getaway

    CONS Cons: Nothing

    PROS Pros: The food, hospitality and yoga was amazing, I felt welcomed and really got to relax

    2017-Jun-27 00:54:43

  • K
    Review by Katrina Angelo from New Zealand

    Yoga in paradise

    2017-Apr-25 08:40:52

  • Review by Marion Honan - van Dam from Australia
    10 out of 10

    "Well now, I had a great week at WHY, the Yoga and Pilates exercises where great. Also the homework Jo gave me are very much appreciated. Besides this I can mention that the meals where really cared after, I enjoyed the Hikings. But most of all I couldn't stop watching the astonishing ocean views. With one word what an awesome place for a retreat. One thing is a bit awkward and that's when you are only traveling with public transport, then it asked some creativity to organised how to come and go from WH. I hope this review will do for your website. Sincerely, Marion Honan - van Dam."

    BookYogaRereats Website, edited

  • Review by Kate Edmonds
    10 out of 10

    "My stay at Whangarei Heads Yoga was quite enjoyable. The situation of the venue is actually beautiful. They were beautiful places to walk in the area and it is quiet and calm, a perfect spot for Yoga. I was a little disappointed that there was not as much yoga teaching as I had been expecting. Perhaps I didn't check beforehand. Just three or four hours in total during a four day stay. Jo is a very good teacher. We were provided with three meals a day. The help-yourself breakfast, a salad lunch and a warm supper. The food was basic but nutritious. Two of the three bedrooms look out over the McLeods Bay and enjoy a really beautiful view, as does the living room. I found myself in the side bedroom which really didn't have any outlook sadly, but I suppose it's just the luck of the draw. All the best."

    BookYogaRetreats.com, edited

  • Review by Glen
    10 out of 10

    "Rob and Jo have an amazing place and it is truly and awesome area for hiking, swimming, and rejuvenating at such a fantastic part of New Zealand."

    BookYogaRetreats.com website, edited

  • Review by Joanne
    10 out of 10

    "I had a great time at WHY Retreat. We were very well looked after by our friendly hosts, well-fed, and accommodated comfortably. I would thoroughly recommend WHY for a relaxing and invigorating getaway."

    BookYogaRetreats.com website, edited

Testimonials

  • Review by Peter Francis

    "‘A room with a view’, is an overused expression on accommodation web-sites, they can’t all have it but WHY retreat does. The view in the pictures is what I see every morning as I wake up, every-day I write in the lounge, every time I do a Yoga class and last thing at night. In fact, whatever part of the retreat you are in, you’re guaranteed at least a mountain face to look at. Speaking of mountain faces, there two within 5 minutes’ walk with well led tracks and steps all the way to the top where stunning scenery awaits (picture below). You’ll get a sweat up but only for an hour or two, depending on which one you choose. This means there’s no need for bringing half the house and you can do them more than once. You can walk a 2.5-mile loop around the mountain if you prefer the flat. If you fancy a swim, you simply have to choose which almost private swimming bay you prefer (there are lots). A little further afield but still only 4 miles or so are smugglers bay (in the picture) and ocean beach. Beautiful white sand and turquoise colour ocean. Back at the ranch Yoga starts every morning at 9am, if you’re an early bird, like me these days, you might even get a ramble around the mountain beforehand. Jo provides a beautiful lunch and dinner every day. I’ve never eaten such nutritiously rich food that was at the same time so tasty. A detox without the pain. Ample snacks and breakfast options are kept well stocked within the fridge each day. There’s WIFI between 7am and 10pm, perfect if you enjoy being the wilderness but not cut off completely. There are some small local cafes and places to eat, but not many – I very much enjoyed this. It is amazing the crap you can do without when it is unavailable or at least unavailable without significant effort. Good food, exercise, nature, reading and writing formed the perfect get-away for me. I could lose the city but not my mind."

    Peter Francis' blog, edited

  • Review by Kerry from Canada
    10 out of 10

    "I recently stayed at the WHY retreat with my partner and we both had a fantastic time during our 6-night stay and would highly recommend the WHY retreat as a travel destination. Whangarei Heads was the last stop on our 3-week trip to NZ and was the perfect location to relax, unwind and refocus after several busy weeks of travel and activities. The WHY retreat is situated just above McLeod bay and provides an impressive view of the ocean and surrounding area. Whangarei Heads is a peaceful and idyllic community and offers great access to impressive beaches, forests and mountains. Many great excursions, either short or long, can be had from the WHY retreat location, and our hosts (Jo and Rob) provided good information and recommendations on some 'must-see' points of interest in the surrounding area. Whangarei Heads also provides good access to other areas of Northland, including the Bay of Islands which is only a 1.5 hour drive from WHY. Jo and Rob were friendly and accommodating hosts and provided us with fresh and healthy meals, as per our arrangement. We really enjoyed the food and our conversations with Rob and Jo during our stay. From our experience, Jo is an experienced and knowledgeable health and wellness practitioner, and we very much enjoyed the yoga classes that were provided during our stay. The morning yoga classes were a great way to start our day, and we appreciated the diversity in the styles of classes provided, and the helpful cues and adjustment that helped us improve our postures and practice. We would love to stay at WHY retreat again,and are happy to recommend this business based on the accommodation, meals, and yoga classed that we enjoyed."

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by a traveler
    10 out of 10

    "I recently stayed at the WHY retreat with my partner and we both had a fantastic time during our 6-night stay and would highly recommend the WHY retreat as a travel destination. Whangarei Heads was the last stop on our 3-week trip to NZ and was the perfect location to relax, unwind and refocus after several busy weeks of travel and activities. The WHY retreat is situated just above McLeod bay and provides an impressive view of the ocean and surrounding area. Whangarei Heads is a peaceful and idyllic community and offers great access to impressive beaches, forests and mountains. Many great excursions, either short or long, can be had from the WHY retreat location, and our hosts (Jo and Rob) provided good information and recommendations on some 'must-see' points of interest in the surrounding area. Whangarei Heads also provides good access to other areas of Northland, including the Bay of Islands which is only a 1.5 hour drive from WHY. Jo and Rob were friendly and accommodating hosts and provided us with fresh and healthy meals, as per our arrangement. We really enjoyed the food and our conversations with Rob and Jo during our stay. From our experience, Jo is an experienced and knowledgeable health and wellness practitioner, and we very much enjoyed the yoga classes that were provided during our stay. The morning yoga classes were a great way to start our day, and we appreciated the diversity in the styles of classes provided, and the helpful cues and adjustment that helped us improve our postures and practice. We would love to stay at WHY retreat again,and are happy to recommend this business based on the accommodation, meals, and yoga classed that we enjoyed."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Jillian from United States
    10 out of 10

    "What an amazing experience! WHY YOGA at Whangarei Heads was an absolute treat. The view from the house is breath-taking, beautiful beaches to explore and a lovely hostess who provides healthy and delicious meals!"

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Laura from United States
    10 out of 10

    "Thank you Jo so much for an amazing relaxing trip. It was the vacation of a life time!"

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Uli from Germany
    10 out of 10

    "Thank you for an amazing time! I especially enjoyed the one on one session. Jo, You are a magician!"

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Rhi from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "I had a great time and thank you very much for what I've learnt with you and your great classes."

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Zana from Whangarei
    10 out of 10

    "Walked with a skip in my step and a smile and thought, " Jo's Yoga makes me happy." Thanks Jo!"

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Chrissy from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "Thank you for a lovely relaxing and restorative week of yoga and fun. The food was delicious, and Rob’s desert was especially yummy. Thanks to Rob for the boat trip – it was fabulous! I have made some wonderful memories and met some lovely people. Love and light to you both."

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Eileen from Dunedin
    10 out of 10

    "Thank you Rob and Jo for a wonderful week. It has been relaxing and informative and fun. The food was amazing, lovely and tasty, very healthy and appreciated it being natural and not processed. You are great hosts. Your knowledge of the area was appreciated. I feel so relaxed and spoilt!"

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Suzanne from Auckland
    10 out of 10

    "Thank you so much for this time. I have gained an experience I would never have ventured on and hope to continue doing yoga. What a wonderful couple you are."

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Roshni
    10 out of 10

    "Stayed here for 2 days as an individual retreat - it was fabulous! Jo was very welcoming and accomodating. Amazing views/location, great to have access to yoga classes and food was good too! There are some great walks nearby and it is 15 mins drive to Ocean Beach which is the most beautiful pristine white sand beach with calm waves to have a dip in."

    WHY Retreat, edited

  • Review by Emily from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "Prior to the retreat at WHY I had been to a workshop before and had been struggling with balance. As a result of attending the “Find Balance in your Life” workshop at WHY I now feel stronger knowing that I’m on the right path and doing the right things. The workshop, the accommodation, the free time, the hospitality and the food all exceeded my expectations."

    Why Retreat, edited

  • Review by Ffion from Wales
    10 out of 10

    "Attended a yoga retreat here at the beginning of February. I have never been to one before, and was traveling alone, Jo is a very friendly host and the accommodation made me feel right at home. Lucky enough to have a very comfortable room with a balcony over looking the bay. Enjoyable and healthy meals were provided. Great yoga and Pilates classes daily, with friendly locals also attending! It's located in a lovely spot, with great walks if feeling adventurous, with stunning bays less than 10 minutes drive away."

    Why Retreat, edited

  • Review by Louise D>
    10 out of 10

    "I've had a very restful and tranquil time staying here. Jo is an amazing cook serving up delicious vegetarian healthy meals each lunch and dinner. Yoga classes were relaxed and welcoming. I'd recommend to anyone wanting 'time out' and a kick start to a healthy lifestyle."

    Trip Advisor, edited

  • Review by Sander from Belgium
    10 out of 10

    "I enjoyed my week at the WHY very much. The place is amazing, beautiful rooms, shared living, dining room and kitchen for the guests. The view from the deck over the bay is amazing to relax in the afternoon or evening, plenty of walking trails around in stunning scenery and healthy delicious meals every day. Jo and Rob are such a friendly and wonderful couple they make it the perfect place to relax and recharge. I would recommend this to everyone!"

    WHY Retreat, edited

  • Review by Kim B. from New Zealand
    10 out of 10

    "We enjoyed great views across the bay from a lovely room which opened onto the deck. The meals were delicious and the yoga classes were a huge benefit. Jo and Rob were superb hosts and I would recommend taking the time to enjoy their retreat for anyone looking to rest, relax and revive."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Deborah from Auckland
    10 out of 10

    "Thank you, the rest was just what we needed. The lovely company, food, and yoga were the unexpected icing on the cake. We will see you again. You guys were fantastic!"

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Matt
    10 out of 10

    "I really enjoyed being off the grid and relaxing for a few days with time to enjoy the scenery and amazing bush walks. The yoga was very relaxing and the entire experience was rejuvenating."

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Sandra
    10 out of 10

    "Thanks for giving us the opportunity to go to this wonderful paradise. The surroundings, accommodation, yoga experience and group were all well chosen."

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Sarah
    10 out of 10

    "I really enjoyed my time away at the Why Retreat. The walks were a great challenge with amazing views throughout both hill walks. I loved the opportunity to learn more about Yoga and experience some new Yoga techniques throughout the weekend. Definitely a great place to go and relax for a few days."

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Pam from Whangarei Heads
    10 out of 10

    "I have been attending a gym of one form or another for a good number of years. Really haven't seen much change in fitness, fatness, or weight levels. Motivation became extremely difficult to raise. The manager at Anytime Fitness suggested I consult a personal trainer and recommended Jo Woollacott. Jo is the kind of person who can focus on you exclusively. She is always interested in you and your achievements. At my age (64), I have started with internal problems and Jo always has a remedy. She is a personal trainer in every sense of the word. She has an amazing touch and gets to the base of any problem very quickly. At the same time, I am not pushed to do more than is possible for me and she always has my best interests at heart. Jo is a valuable asset to Anytime Fitness."

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Bernadett from Whangarei Heads
    10 out of 10

    "I went for a kayak this morning and concentrated for a full hour on the core. I was bracing my knees as that is also all connected to the core and guess what? No sore right arm. Felt really good on my return. Though i must say, it was pretty calm out there. Also, I saw a baby seal sunning him or herself on a rock."

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Sonya from Warkworth
    10 out of 10

    "I am a dance teacher in my mid-thirties and have suffered from a variety of neck problems and pain for approximately 10 years. I have seen many physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, and quacks in an attempt to find some lasting relief from the tension and muscle spasms that plague my shoulders and neck. I was referred to Jo by my mother and I can truly claim that I have finally found the answer to my pain problems. Jo's initial assessment and treatment was swift and accurate, and by using her pressure point technique, she dealt to the problem areas. The headaches stopped and I could turn my head again. To my surprise, I did not suffer any pain the following day, which usually happens after an intense physio massage, and the relief I felt from Jo's treatment lasted at lot longer than any other treatment I have ever had. I fully intend booking further appointments with Jo whenever I am in Whangarei. Jo also helped me with some core stability exercises. I have sought help in this area from other personal trainers, but thanks to Jo's easy to understand explanations and exercises, I finally found the muscles I have been trying to target. I discovered that I have been exercising the wrong muscles (outer abdominals) for years now. I look forward to seeing Jo again in the very near future."

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Wendy from Whangarei Heads
    10 out of 10

    "I am loving your yoga, which is a big highlight of the week for me. I look forward to it every Monday, really. I have never felt so enthusiastic about it before and I can feel my yoga improving every week. Your teaching clicks with me and is spot on, many many thanks. Cannot believe it that you are a hop skip and jump from me, we are so lucky!"

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Lisa
    10 out of 10

    "Jo, I just want to say how fantastic your class was today, as always. But particularly today, because even though I had some of my usual challenges in moments of it, I have felt incredible, almost normal, with more vertical integrity than for ages, and without pain all day since class! Thank you so much for your well balanced, nicely challenging, yet sensitively delivered classes. I am so so grateful for everything you have been doing to help me get free of pain. A huge breakthrough!"

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Franz and Viki from Germany
    10 out of 10

    "We spent a great, exciting, and fun week with Jo and her husband Rob, living in a nice and comfy caravan with a beautiful view on the ocean. This property has an amazing energy and can make your stay be a retreat for mind, body, and soul, even as a woofer. We even joined one of Jo's yogalates hours and had a yummy dinner together with them. Our project was building a paddio in front of the studio and gardening work. We gained a lot of building experience and had much fun finishing the project with Rob. Jo and Rob are both very special people, kind, helpful, nice, and caring. It was a pleasure to meet them. Whangarei Heads is definitely a beautiful place to stay and full of great spots waiting for you!"

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Hilary from Wellington
    10 out of 10

    "Hi Jo and Rob! Just wanted to let you know that Jo and I had a wonderful time on our yoga retreat with you a few weeks back. I have been speaking highly of you to all my yoga friends down here, which is the best advertising you can get. Cheers to you both and all the best with your journey forward."

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Stene from Christchurch
    10 out of 10

    "What a perfect little place to rest and recover! Wonderful hosts and the location is paradise. Food, ambience, and good books to read. Be as energetic or as relaxed as you want."

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Lydia and Chris from Germany
    10 out of 10

    "From our room, we had a lovely view on the sea and the stunning countryside of Whangarei Heads. Everything is new in the accommodation and our room was nicely done up. The bed was comfortable and the rooms and facilities were very clean. We felt as snug as a bug in a rug. An amazing and quiet beach was not far away where you can go for a swim or just sunbathing. We did also some walks. One was quite easy the other one to Mount Manaia, which was a little bit exhausting, but you get amply rewarded be the view. We attended a few of Jo's yoga classes and it was really nice. Perfect to exercise your body and relax at once. Jo and Rob were lovely, helpful, and kind hosts. The meals were delicious, healthy, and always freshly cooked. We had everything we needed and more. We would highly recommend and will definitely come back!"

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Johannes from Germany
    10 out of 10

    "I enjoyed the retreat and was even able to start learning yoga. Another highlight was the visit to Blue Moon and Rob and Jo's beautiful hand built sailing boat. Would have loved to stay for a longer time!"

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Lisa from Europe
    10 out of 10

    "I have felt incredible, and without pain all day since class! I really appreciate the well-balanced, nicely challenging, yet sensitively delivered classes. I am so grateful toward Why Retreat for everything they have been doing to help me get free of pain, huge breakthrough!"

    WHY Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Cathy from Europe
    10 out of 10

    "I have not done the nostril breathing for year. It is very calming. The pace of the yoga classes and the words spoken by yoga instructor that gave us a choice in the poses are very useful."

    WHY Retreat website, edited