Forest Therapy Guide Training

Cohort Name:

New Zealand - Cohort 32

Six Month Training Program Begins
November 4, 2018
Jouvence Lodge in Winter
Weeklong Intensive 6-13 Nov 2018 | Practicum Ends May 13, 2019

Enrollment Open

Bella Rakha Retreat Center

About the Venue:

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


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


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.

Bella Rakha Retreat Center
581 West Coast Rd, Oratia, Auckland 0604, New Zealand
Oratia, Auckland 0604
New Zealand
Yvette Feasey: +44 (0) 1803 847150


Registering for a training begins by completing an application which may take 20-30 minutes. This application is a way for us to get to know you and to determine if we think you will make a good forest therapy guide. Once your application is received, our admissions team will review it and, if you are accepted into the program, send an acceptance letter within three weeks. This letter will contain all the information for next steps, including a registration link to reserve your space in the training. To promote an optimal learning environment, we generally cap enrollment at 21 participants per training. Applications we receive after we have filled the training will be placed on a waitlist. If an accepted applicant drops out, we will contact the next applicant on the waitlist until the training is full again.

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Who should attend


Our trainers are among the most experienced guides in the world and each one undergoes a rigorous training process beyond their certification as guides. The trainers listed below are subject to change based on trainer availability. No matter which trainers you work with, you will be taught by the best in the field.


Jackie is a trainer and business consultant with the Association of Nature and ForestTherapy Guides and Programs. She’s a certified forest therapy guide trained in 2017 at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, and has been guiding regularly in her community ever since. She’s one of the first guides to pioneer guiding walks remotely via Zoom when the pandemic made guiding in-person unsafe for many months in 2020. Born and raised in China, Jackie came to the United States in 1990 to pursue her PhD in American Literature. She has had a diverse background in various fields such as teaching, translating, marketing, and practicing as a Certified Public Accountant. One of her greatest joys in guiding is witnessing the positive impact on participants’ well-being, including that of her own autistic son.

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 feels like to be alive.

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.