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HOLIDAYS with benefits Health and wellness travel is booming offering guests the opportunity to put aside the stress of modern life and recharge and reboot. Whether you are looking to lose weight, rev up your fitness game or touch in with your spiritual side, we’ve rounded up our annual feel good list of the best Australian retreats.

PHOTOGRAPHED BY BONNY BENSE


Best for private escapes

EDEN HEALTH RETREAT www.edenhealthretreat.com.au

Set amongst 400 acres of lush subtropical rainforest, Eden Health Retreat is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Eden offers a full daily program with activities such as Pilates, yoga, Qigong, bushwalking, adventure activities, gym classes, as well as a luxury spa and therapies centre where expert health professionals will help you to escape and unwind. All stays are completely catered for with a menu sourced from seasonal, local and organic wholefoods. Eden’s instils a little bit of ‘simple’ back into your lifestyle during your retreat, that will ensure you leave with a renewed sense of energy and vigour!


Best for the ultimate beachside escape

SMITHS BEACH RESORT www.smithsbeachresort.com.au


Enjoy luxury beachfront escape and relax in spacious, stylish accommodation ideally situated in the heart of Western Australia’s Margaret River Region. Smiths Beach Resort offers generous bedrooms, living areas and balconies, infinity pool, professional grade tennis court, and blissful in-room massage. Do as much or as little as you like… the choice is yours, while you savour understated style and individual attention at this Small Luxury Hotel of the World. Perfect for swimming, strolling, surfing and sunsets, the Resort is located on the renowned Cape to Cape walking track and sits within a national park, just a short drive away from spectacular caves, tall-tree forest and miles of stunning coastline. Enjoy the surrounding natural beauty, the stunning stretch of white sandy beach, coastal walk trails, Lamont’s gourmet deli, café and restaurant, infinity swimming pool, tennis court and neighbouring worldclass wineries. Prepare meals in your apartment or have a chef come to you, select tempting produce from our gourmet deli, or relax over coffee, breakfast, or all-day brunch in Lamont’s cafe. Enjoy a stylish dinner in our restaurant featuring seasonal local produce and signature dishes from one of WA’s best-known chefs Kate Lamont, or choose from one of the many world-class boutique wineries, breweries, bistros and cafes a short drive away. For yoga enthusiasts, Smiths Beach Resort has partnered with local yoga experts for individual or group sessions in the luxury of your room or on the beach. Smiths Beach Beach Resorts has also partnered with Revive Retreats to provide regular retreats at the resort which include yoga, meditation, coastal hikes, surfing or stand-up paddling along with goal setting and multiple daily workouts.

PHOTOGRAPHED BY BONNY BENSE


Best for romance

ELEMENTS OF BYRON www.elementsofbyron.com.au

Elements of Byron, one of Australia’s leading luxury resorts, offers a refined and tranquil haven on the outskirts of Byron town. The villas enable guests to unwind in the epitome of Byron Bay nature, offering a perfect, private hideaway for those seeking to be energised and rejuvenated, with cosmic activities available – from daily yoga and meditation classes on the cusp of the Pacific Ocean, treatments at the Osprey Spa to organic de-stress sea salt therapies. Modern Australian and Mexican flavours are also offered at their five newly relaunched and child-friendly food and beverage outlets.


www.edenhealthretreat.com.au

Best for mindfulness

BILLABONG RETREAT www.billabongretreat.com.au

Billabong Retreat is an award-winning retreat close to Sydney offering wellness programs based on ancient wisdom and modern neuroscience. All visits include twice daily yoga, evening meditations and inspiring workshops that explore mindfulness, stress management, nutrition and gut health. Featuring delicious organic whole-foods, treetop cabins overlooking the billabong, a stunning magnesium aquatherapy pool and most importantly a down to earth friendly relaxed vibe.


Best for relaxation

GAIA RETREAT & SPA www.gaiaretreat.com.au

Nestled in the lush, sub-tropic Byron Bay region of Australia, Gaia Retreat & Spa was established in 2005, the founders Gregg Cave, Ruth Kalnin, Olivia Newton-John and Warwick Evans (affectionately known as G.R.O.W.). Set out to realise a shared dream, offering the highest of standards and service excellence, Gaia Retreat & Spa continues to shine as one of the country’s most authentic, most renowned and most awarded boutique lifestyle pamper retreats. Gaia Retreat & Spa has established itself as Australia’s most renowned boutique lifestyle pamper Retreat, giving you complete freedom of choice and flexibility to tailor and personalise your experience. Check in any day, select an accommodation Retreat Package that suits and let Gaia take the thinking out of it for you. The ideal escape from the perils of new millennium living, the 25-acre property offers 25 beautifully appointed rooms, suits and villas, a multi award-wining Day Spa, a heated salt water swimming pool, tennis court, hot-tub spa, sauna, steam room, walking tracks and its own organic garden. Providing guests a unique and private space to realign themselves physically, spiritually and emotionally: at Gaia, it’s about the whole experience – the staff’s exceptional service, nurturing guidance and wisdom along with nourishing, award winning organic cuisine. The dedicated focus on tailored healing treatments in a safe and warm environment completes the story.


Best for detoxing

KANGAROO ISLAND HEALTH RETREAT www.kihealthretreat.com

The Dynamic Detox at Kangaroo Island Health Retreat is a hard hitting, truth bomb about the actual meaning of wellness and vitality. Located in Emu Bay on Kangaroo Island, the program is about focusing solely on yourself, making your health a priority. Described as a holistic health boot camp, the retreat program is designed to give individuals a roadmap to mastering their own wellbeing. Challenging, enlightening and extremely rewarding, clients lose an average of 5kg and 30cm during their time on the Island. Sue McCarthy has been running health retreats for over 40 years and is a true wellness expert with qualifications in naturopathy and nutrition. Long before the importance of intestinal microbiota became popular in mainstream health, she was teaching the benefits of balanced gut flora to ward off disease (including the connection between gastric issues and mental health). Her detox programs revolve around the anatomy of the digestive system, educating clients on the nutrient density/value of foods, and food as medicine. Plus, if you are looking for them on social media, you won’t find them! They are bucking the trend by having no social media presence, finding it too image-obsessed. Health is about functionality, not appearance.


Best for digital detox

GWINGANNA LIFESTYLE RETREAT www.gwinganna.com

Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat is a complete health and wellness destination to help you rest and re-focus on health. Ecotourism certified, it offers an innovative range of fully inclusive packages with exceptional facilities and unique services, two infinity edge swimming pools, premium villas and Meditation Suites plus the stunning Spa Sanctuary, the largest spa in the Southern Hemisphere. Delicious organic meals, diverse activities and key wellness seminars help guests to recharge in a dedicated low-tech environment set on over 200 hectares of stunning bushland overlooking the coast.


Best for self discovery

SAMADHI RETREAT www.samadhiretreat.com.au

Samadhi is luxurious multi award winning private sanctuary for personal reflection and selfdiscovery. An exclusive wellness retreat handcrafting a bespoke journey for each and every guest.  It is …. Your story. Your journey. Your time. Providing stylish luxury accommodations for more than 15 years, Samadhi has been delivering bespoke retreats tailor made and designed to the modern lifestyle. A distinctly intimate and authentic wellness escape, with a focus on living the ultimate high of emotional freedom as you journey towards a stronger sense of your own purpose and direction. Samadhi delivers an authentic place of personal healing and mindful self-awareness for the discerning guest. As a small intimate meditation-based healing retreat, Samadhi has developed a reputation as “the jewel of healing retreats®”.


Best for spa and wellness

PULLMAN BUNKER BAY RESORT www.pullmanbunkerbayresort.com.au


Nestled on the white sands of Bunker Bay, 5-star Pullman Bunker Bay Resort boasts an absolute beachfront location with 150 luxuriously appointed bungalowstyle villas in contemporary Australian architectural style. Villas offer beach access via boardwalks through immaculately landscaped grounds and are complemented by award-winning world class dining and recreation facilities. Just over three hour’s drive south of Perth, Pullman Bunker Bay Resort Margaret River offers the ultimate spa getaway at Vie Spa. Meaning ‘Life Spa’, Vie brings a fresh approach to wellness in the Margaret River Region with uniquely ‘South West’ themed treatments that echo the relaxed atmosphere of its breathtaking bushland and beachfront location. Each of the spa’s seven suites and two couple’s suites offer private courtyards with tranquil native gardens to relax in and maximise the experience, while ergonomically designed massage tables ensure the neck, spine and leg muscles are cradled against any pressure points and are thermostatically controlled to look after any drop in body temperature during treatments. Vie Spa’s highly skilled staff are trained in both ancient and innovative new techniques which are utilised throughout the extensive menu of massages, facials, hand and foot treatments, body and water therapies. The spa also specialises in customised treatments for babymoons, brides and hen’s parties, with express treatments available for conference groups. Alongside the high-performance Pevonia product range, Vie Spa features award-winning iKOU products which are Australian-made using organic Australian produce. Some of the uniquely Australian treatments include a 90-minute hot stone healing and foot renewal treatment; a native clay hot oil body treatment; a blue cypress scrub, sea kelp and Indigenous clay wrap, and a White Flannel Flower full body experience.

Profile for RETREAT Magazine

Holidays with Benefits - Australia's Top Retreats  

Health and wellness travel is booming offering guests the opportunity to put aside the stress of modern life and recharge and reboot. Whethe...

Holidays with Benefits - Australia's Top Retreats  

Health and wellness travel is booming offering guests the opportunity to put aside the stress of modern life and recharge and reboot. Whethe...

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