Six of the best Aussie health retreats
These amazing health and wellness retreats will nurture your body and mind, so you can take charge of your wellbeing.
Whether it’s to improve your health, detox, recharge your batteries or start your wellness journey, these days there’s a retreat for every need.
From pampered indulgence to functional health and fitness, here are our top picks for holidays to kick-start a healthier lifestyle.
- Related: Five of the best island holidays in Australia
- Related: Seven of Australia’s best eco-conscious wineries and distilleries
When you need to detox
Kangaroo Island Health Retreat Dynamic Detox – Emu Bay, Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Leave everything behind – it’s time to detox and begin again.
You can expect a complete lifestyle overhaul from this five-day detox program individually tailored to meet your needs. That’s because each course is limited to six people. The program starts with a thorough body detoxification, with whole food meals re-introduced after four nights of cleansing.
You will learn what you should eat and what it looks like on a plate, while arming yourself with the knowledge and tools to heal yourself, through a combination of workshops, lectures and cooking demonstrations.
To top it off, your days will be filled with everything from yoga, Pilates and meditation to beach walks and swims, saunas and therapeutic massages.
When you want to lose weight
Gaia Retreat and Spa Weight Loss Focus – Brooklet, New South Wales
If you’re struggling to nail your weight-loss goals, this retreat set in lush, tropical surrounds can help set you up with the tools you need for long-term success.
It works on the mantra that weight loss is about weight management and aims to empower you to make the lifestyle changes you need. The program looks at the wholesome nutrition your body requires and provides a stress management plan to help minimise the impacts of stress on the endocrine and hormonal functioning of the body.
You will also have a naturopathic health assessment, which includes a detailed program plus a follow-up on your last day; a fitness assessment and personal training sessions, a lymphatic massage and tips to help you establish your own healthy eating plan.
When you want to get fit
Active Escapes Fitness Retreat – Noosa, Queensland, and Byron Bay, New South Wales
With some of the world’s most stunning holiday destinations providing the backdrop to your stay, increased fitness is just one of the benefits you’ll get.
As well as Byron Bay and Noosa in Australia, Bali, Barbados and the Maldives are just some of the exotic locations where you can be put through your paces by Aussie Zanna Conlan and his team of trainers.
Their action-packed retreats feature a mix of tailored fitness programs, yoga, beach running and surfing. The aim is to have fun while getting fit and meeting like-minded people, with plenty of downtime for yummy, yet healthy, food, spa and massage treatments and even some social nights out, too.
When you need to de-stress
Miamo Wellness Retreats’ De-Stress Retreat – Port Douglas, Queensland
Forget the burnout – bliss out, instead, at this de-stress retreat set in picturesque Far North Queensland.
Wellness coaches are on hand to help you calm your mind while arming you with relaxation techniques that you can then take home and use when life gets demanding.
Regain control over your life with numerous workshops and presentations, and take some much-needed time out to enjoy a spot of pampering through spa treatments, massages and relaxing activities such as Chi Gong and meditation.
To top it off, nourishing meals are on the menu so there’s no need to stress about keeping healthy.
When a spa is on the menu
The Byron at Byron Resort Relax and Retreat Package – Byron Bay, New South Wales
Take some time out for a spot of pure pampering.
This indulgent retreat includes four nights’ accommodation for two in a deluxe spa suite within a five-minute walk to the beach. That is, if you have time for a beach swim considering the many spa and wellness options on hand.
The retreat package includes a 90-minute massage (each) and spa vouchers to use for treatments such as the resort’s signature Rainforest Couples Retreat, which includes a guided walk through the rainforest, a foot cleanse and soak, aromatherapy massage and a Beauty Chef Inner Beauty Elixir grazing platter to share.
There is also free daily yoga and a one-hour private meditation or yoga session for two.
When silence is necessary
Vipassana meditation – all Australian states and territories (except ACT) and New Zealand
If you need a challenge that will help you achieve peace of mind, this 10-day silence retreat may be for you.
This non-sectarian Indian technique aims for “total eradication of mental impurities”. In other words, it will clear your mind and help cleanse your soul. And it is serious stuff.
Delivered in three steps, the training helps you learn to abstain from actions that disturb the peace and harmony of others, calm your mind through focused breathing and learn loving kindness and goodwill to all.
The day begins at 4am with a wake-up bell and continues until 9pm with about 10 hours of meditation each day. Silence is observed for the first nine days, with speech allowed on the final day to help participants transition back to a normal life.
Written by Laeta Crawford