Whether you’re after a relaxing getaway or seeking to improve your wellbeing, Australia has an increasing number of health spas, retreats and resorts to open your eyes to the world of holistic living. Here are ten of the best to get you started.
Story: Christina Pfeiffer
Arajilla Wellness Spa
Alternative medicine meets nature on Lord Howe Island, where treatments based on the 5000-year-old Indian system are administered next to the pristine backdrop of volcanic peaks, verdant rainforests, white sand beaches and rolling surf.
The range of wellness programs and spa treatments aims to restore natural balance of body, mind and soul.
Golden Door Health Retreat
A leader in the health and wellness revolution since 1993, Queensland’s Golden Door Health Retreat offers five and seven-day programs that combine physical fitness, holistic wellbeing and relaxation with the lovely scenery of the south-east Queensland bush.
New in 2012 are the in-house Wellness Coaching program and the Extended Lifestyle Program Support.
Waldheim Alpine Spa
Wind down among King Billy pines and fresh mountain streams of the Tasmanian wilderness in the Waldheim Alpine Spa.
The spa’s therapeutic area, known as The Sanctuary, has a steam room, sauna, large hot-tub, cool plunge pool, a relaxation lounge and peaceful views of the Tasmanian bush. It’s the perfect spot to rejuvenate after hiking in the wilderness.
The rugged beauty of the Kimberley region offers the perfect environment to practise yoga. At Eco Beach Resort, guests stay in eco villas that have minimal impact on the surroundings.
There are daily yoga sessions as well as longer yoga retreats, which are offered throughout the year and are conducted by professional yoga practitioners.
Samadhi Spa and Health Retreat
A tranquil Asian-inspired healing sanctuary in Victoria’s spa country, Samadhi (which means infinite peace) is an exclusive retreat that caters for one group or individual at a time.
Experiences are tailored to suit and can include life-changing treatments, such as the Self Discovery Retreat, and spa treatments such as qigong, sound therapy, polarity healing and chakra balancing.
Kangaroo Island Health Retreat
This is more than just your standard spa retreat -- it's the place to go for a complete lifestyle overhaul.
A typical day involves sunrise walks, a sauna and spa session, reflexology, a massage or facial, cooking and nutrition lessons, and lots of time to relax. The program is great for individuals or groups and focuses on de-stressing, rejuvination and weight loss.
The Joyful Buddhas
Only a short drive from Adelaide, Joyful Buddhas is an ideal destination for weekend pampering or just a quick pick-me-up.
Studio sessions, workshops and retreats are available across a range of healing treatments and the mini retreats are an affordable way of sampling various options before committing to a larger retreat. Specially tailored programs are available for kids too, so it's perfect for families.
Peninsula Hot Springs
The serene Mornington Peninsula is the home of this unique spa. Peninsula Hot Springs offers 25 different bathing experiences to relax the body and soul.
Experiences include a hill-top pool with 360-degree views, a reflexology walk, Turkish steam room, sauna, cave pool and family bathing area. What's more, this a family-friendly spot, with healing treatments available for all ages.
Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat
Nestled among the stunning valleys and natural wonders of the Gold Coast hinterland, Gwinganna is one of the largest spas in the southern hemisphere.
Packages vary from spa weekends, to seven-night detox programs, speciality retreats for men and women and classes on organic living. What's more, Gwinganna specialises in unique therapies such as Tribal Dreaming, Equine Experience and Holistic Kinesiology.
Gaia Retreat and Spa
The brainchild of Olivia Newton-John and Gregg Cave, Gaia is a luxury health retreat, offering villa-style accommodation, organic cuisine and an award-winning, fully equipped day spa.
Come here to relax, rejuvenate and detox -- all to the stunning backdrop of the Byron Bay subtropical hinterland. A favourite for celebrities, you may just rub shoulders will the likes of Delta Goodrem or Peter Morrissey.
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