Forest Therapy Guide Training


New Zealand - Cohort 32

Jouvence Lodge in Winter

Enrollment Open

Weeklong Intensive 6-13 Nov 2018 | Practicum Ends May 13, 2019
Bella Rakha Retreat Center
Auckland, New Zealand

Escape to a land of beauty and fantasy...

Who should attend
Schedule Overview

This November, join us in gorgeous New Zealand for a Forest Therapy Guide Training event. Bella Rakha is a tranquil retreat center spanning 32 acres of park and wild bush, just outside of Auckland, North Island. The facility provides a quiet setting that is idea for silent meditation and spiritual retreats, with lots of open and private spaces to walk through and be surrounded by the beauty of nature.

About the Venue:

Bella Rakha Retreat Center

Bella Rakha is set in 32 acres of park-like grounds and native bush. Their secluded property is a true escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, but only a 25-minute commute from Auckland CDB. We hire the facilities to groups wishing to run their own retreat or event. We provide cost effective group accommodation for up to 40 people. Our tranquil setting and relaxed comfortable environment is perfect for groups wanting a change of scenery. We are flexible in the services we provide to suit your event and budget requirements – from low cost self service and catering, to full service catered events.


Shared room accommodations are $100 USD a day, which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, as well as tea and coffee. One towel per person is supplied, as well as bed linens. Camping is also available for the same price, but you will need to bring your own equipment.​There are a limited number of single rooms available as well for $115 USD a day. ​If staying off site, a day rate for the resort will be charged in addition to meals charges, if meals are required. Book your room through ANFT. Email Coral Fallon-Linzman at

Venue-specific questions can be directed to Yvette Feasey at Bella Rakha: +44 (0) 1803 847150


Bella Rakha is about 40 minutess from Auckland airport outside peak traffic times. They are about a 5 minute drive from local train stations or about a 40 minute walk from venue. Shuttle buses, taxis and Uber are available from the airport or Uber from the train.


Meals will be catered with vegetarian and vegan options available.

There is no place on site or accommodations where people can make their own food.

Supermarkets about 7 mins away

Dining options about 10 mins away


Tuition for the six-month Guide Training and Certification Program is $3410 USD. This includes the week-long intensive training and six months of mentored practicum. It does not include travel, lodging, ground transportation, or meals. 

Please check current exchange rates for conversion to NZD or other currencies.

About the Venue:

Bella Rakha Retreat Center

Ben ‘Crow’ Page is the Director of Training for the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy as well as a trainer of guides. He is the founder of Shinrin Yoku LA and has been guiding Forest Therapy walks since 2016. Since his practice began, Ben has been featured in such publications as Women’s Health, USA TODAY, Good Morning America, The Washington Post, and WebMD. Ben is also a co-founder of The Open School, Southern California’s only free democratic school. He holds a B.A. in religious studies from Carleton College and an M.A. in human development and social change from Pacific Oaks College. Ben’s primary interest is to live the question of what it means to be alive.

As a certified nature and forest therapy guide with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs, Jackie loves guiding people for an immersive experience in Nature. She also loves teaching others how to make certain Chinese food, including dumplings. So she combined her two passions and launched a successful AirBnB Experience called “Forest Bathing with Jiazi Dumplings” in the spring of 2018. Born and raised in rural China, Jackie spent a lot of time outdoors as a child, helping her grandmother gather firewood and following her grandfather around as he raised buffaloes. She came to the United States as a PhD candidate in 1990 and made Los Angeles her home after completing her studies. Besides leading forest therapy walks, Jackie also does translation work and advocates for her autistic son Chris.

Vicky Kyan is the first ANFT Certified Guide, Mentor and Trainer in the Southern Hemisphere. She is a strong advocate for the practice of Nature and Forest Therapy, and for the promotion of trainings in the South Pacific. She is largely inspired by her local ocean beach, seashore and estuary ecosystems, where she has pioneered this work since her Guide Training with ANFT in North California in May 2015.

Vicky operates a small Homestay holiday retreat, where she offers ‘Wellbeing Wanders’ Nature and Forest Therapy guided experiences. When she is not travelling she uses her Pacific Island home as a base for mentoring ANFT trainee guides and building network with nature connection contacts both nationally and around the world. She is also an active member of the ANFT International Training Team and travels to trainings around the world.