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Spring Revitalization and Yoga Retreat New Zealand

We are all looking for your ‘WHY’. Why are we here? What is our purpose? How do we connect with our authentic self? WHY Retreat offers a sanctuary to safely explore our own inner depths. Yoga, meditation, healthy nourishing food, the beauty of nature, time to rest and personal coaching all contribute to a gentle unwinding so that we might find the space we need to heal.

Meet the instructors


  • Daily yoga sessions
  • Coaching sessions and workshops
  • Explore the superb natural surroundings
  • Use of the FAR infrared sauna and streamside meditation area
  • Access to all scheduled Pilates classes
  • 6 nights' accommodation
  • Nutritious meals

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Yoga styles

6 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 5
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The rooms at the WHY Retreat are designed to provide a comfortable private experience with two single or twin rooms sharing one bathroom and one queen room with ensuite bathroom. Your room is elegantly appointed, new, and clean. The guest area has its own kitchenette and lounge. Facilities include guest lounge with library and deck, use of a FAR infrared sauna, stream side meditation area, a well-equipped gym, and yoga studio.

Bay view room

This room overlooks McLeod Bay and is a spacious and comfortable double room, which offers a stunning ocean view. Its private deck is the ideal place to sunbathe surrounded by native trees and relax to the sound of the birds. The room has twin beds or a king bed that can be arranged on request. There is also a private ocean view deck in this room.

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.


Your retreat includes 6 nights accommodation, meals and yoga, and one complimentary 60 minute private session of your choice (holistic coaching, personal training, yoga, massage or reiki). Additional therapeutic sessions are available. The Whangarei Heads area has a number of natural health practitioners and sessions can be arranged for Acupuncture, Bowen therapy, Craniosacral therapy, EFT Tapping, Massage and natural skincare and cosmetic consultations.

There will be plenty of free time to read, enjoy the fabulous views from your room, curl up with a book in the cosy guest lounge or set off on one of the awesome scenic hikes around our area. Meals are inventive and nutritious, but if you prefer to have a meal out there are café’s nearby. Breakfast ingredients are provided (seasonal fresh fruit, home made yogurt and museli) for you to enjoy in your own time. Vegetarian lunch and dinner with vegan and gluten free options are served to you. A maximum of 5 guests means the retreat has a family feeling to it. Some of the yoga classes are community classes so you will meet neighbors and make new friends from the Whangarei Heads community at these larger classes.


  • Monday: arrival and orientation
  • Tuesday through Friday: morning yoga or Pilates, afternoon hiking or private sessions
  • Wednesday: evening guided mediation
  • Saturday: sunrise beach yoga, workshop (something different each week)
  • Sunday: morning restorative yoga, check out.


Yoga teaches flexibility, strength, balance, postural alignment, and encourages mind-body awareness for self healing. Yoga will make you feel strong and energetic. It will improve your balance, increase mobility, reduce joint and arthritic pain, strengthen your back, and stretch your body.

Classes are tailored to the needs of participants and focus on postural alignment. Yoga classes are for all levels, suitable for beginners and those with restricted mobility or injury. Stronger options will be given for those with previous experience of yoga.

Meditation and the stream

Visit the meditation area beside the stream and contemplate what the stream has to teach you about life.

Mount Manaia

Manaia is the guardian, the carrier of supernatural powers. It is said to be the messenger between the earthly world of mortals, and the domain of the spirits. The Manaia is a holder of great spiritual energy and is a guardian against evil.


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.

Retreat location

Located 30 minutes from Whangarei in the Northland area of New Zealand, 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.

The Bream Head Scenic Reserve is classified as an outstanding ecosystem supporting a diversity of species, which contains unique archaeological and historical landscape. It represents the largest area of coastal Pohutukawa-Broadleaf forest remaining in Northland, and one of the best in the country.

Mount Manaia hike is classed in the top 10-day hikes for New Zealand. The Te Whara hike from Bream head to Smugglers Cove is classed in the top 10-day hikes in New Zealand and part of the 3000 kilometers Te Araroa track between Cape Reinga in the north to Bluff in the south.

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

This Yoga Retreat is vegetarian-friendly

Click to see more vegetarian-friendly Yoga Retreats


The retreat includes all meals. Breakfast ingredients are provided with seasonal fresh fruit, homemade yogurt, and museli for you to enjoy in your own time. Vegetarian lunch and dinner with vegan and gluten free options are served to you. The meals are inventive and nutritious, but if you prefer to have a meal out, there are cafés nearby.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

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.

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.

Walking distance trekking paths

  • Darch Point walk - One hour loop track from WHY Retreat through bush around the point past the McLeod Bay Wharf and the historic Settlers Church.
  • Early Settlers Cemetary walk - One hour return from WHY Retreat along the beach at McLeod Bay.
  • Mount Aubrey track - One and a half to two hours loop track, which goes over Mount Aubrey and includes the Reotahi point walk.
  • Mount Manaia track - Three and a half kilometers is the ultimate climb in the area for bush and views. Approximately three hours return from WHY Retreat.
  • Reotahi Point walk - A 30-minute return walk from WHY Retreat to Reotahi Beach. Swim or snorkel at the Marine reserve or wander around the ruins of the freezing works.

Driving distance to parking area at the track heads (five to 20 minutes)

  • Bream Head / Te Whara track (seven kilometers and half) - A reasonable level of fitness, skill, and experience is needed to walk the main tracks at Bream Head. Five hours of hard steep tramping with links to several other tracks.
  • Busby Head track - One hour loop. An easy walk takes you around Busby Head to Smugglers Bay, passing the World War Two gun emplacement at Home Point.
  • Kauri Mountain track (three kilometers) - One and a half hour. Walking from the north side gives great coastal views, from the south side you walk in lovely kauri bush.
  • Pataua Island track - A short walk that skirts the Pataua estuary and goes to a lovely beach. The walk is flat and easy.
  • Peach Cove track (three kilometers and half) - A rather steep two-hour track over a saddle to a secluded cove.
  • Smugglers Cove - An easy 20-minute walk straight over the saddle from the car park to a fabulous beach.
  • Taiharuru estuary - A low tide you can reach in two hours' walk (seven kilometers)

Spa treatments

Additional therapeutic sessions are available with Jo or one of the many natural health practitioners in the area. 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 and cosmetic consultations.

What's included

  • Daily yoga
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • All daily meals
  • All scheduled Pilates classes
  • Use of the FAR infrared sauna and streamside meditation area
  • Weekly programs will vary

What's not included

  • Additional activities
  • Additional meals
  • Additional therapeutic sessions
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

From Auckland airport it is possible to fly to Whangarei airport, or take a bus to Whangarei city center. The retreat is a 30 minute drive from the city of Whangarei, and if you do not have your own transport a shuttle can be arranged at extra cost. To fully explore the area a car is recommended.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
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