Our Vision Statement

My late husband and I had a vision for Whangarei Heads Yoga Retreat to create an oasis along the journey towards wellbeing where visitors can gather the skills they need for better physical and emotional quality of life, and to provide a meeting place for healers and practitioners to nurture their own growth and encourage enlightenment.

About WHY Retreat & Whangarei Heads Yoga

Your hostess has a wealth of knowledge to help empower you with optimal health. Jo’s love of travel and interest in people from other cultures combines with her expertise in promoting well-being through a wide range of modalities from postural alignment to gut health. Jo is passionate about food for taste and nutrition, and grows much of the produce for your meals. She is a nature lover, and will gladly lead you on one of the many beautiful hikes around the area.

Built by Rob and Jo Woollacott, the WHY studio and accommodation opened 2014. After 16 years cruising in the Pacific, a health crisis forced their return to New Zealand in 2011, determined to create a healing space for themselves and others. Rob lost his 7 year battle with Cancer in 2017, but this experience taught them much about living with and overcoming chronic illness, stress management, nutrition and holistic practices. Rob’s positive attitude in the face of 4 separate stage 4 diagnosis and his focus on maintaining health rather than treating disease was an inspiration to all who knew him.

About Jo

Jo’s life experiences have driven her towards a multi-faceted and holistic approach to rehabilitation and health transformation. Jo has studied many styles of Yoga in several countries around the world and has been teaching yoga for over 35 years. Jo is a certified as a Pilates instructor, Total Gym Incline Body Weight instructor, Pelvic Floor Specialist, Kaizen holistic health coach, Touch for Health, Reiki and Gaia practitioner and is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

Jo is a REPS registered Personal Trainer, endorsed by the Exercise Association of New Zealand to provide SMEAEP tax deductible stress management programs. Jo offers SMEAEP exercise programs through Anytime Fitness in Whangarei, as well as fully tax deductible retreats at WHY. As owner of WHY Retreat Jo teaches Yoga and Pilates and offers retreats from WHY Retreat Yoga Studio and B&B at Whangarei Heads. Jo's special area of expertise is postural alignment and rehabilitation. Through massage, yoga, meditation and strength training, Jo assists her clients to overcome injuries or reduce chronic pain, and train safely. Jo has practiced daily yoga and meditation from an early age as part of her own rehabilitation from a postural disability, and follows a natural health regime.

Getting Here

The closest international airport is AUCKLAND, which is about 3-3.5 hours by car from the retreat. There is a regional airport at WHANGAREI, a 20 minute drive away. There is also a bus service from Auckland to Whangarei (2.5 hours). Whangarei town center is about 35 minutes by car from the retreat. We have no public transportation here but we can help with transfer to the retreat.


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