Destinations / Travel

10 Australian wellness retreats for when you’re in need of a restorative escape

wellness retreats australia

Given that chaos is the order of day, we don't blame you for needing a break once in a while. These past few years have been tumultuous and I can't be the only one beginning to feel it all catch up with me? If you're yearning to slow down and take stock, we know just the place to do so. Enter: the wellness retreat.

Unsurprisingly, Australia has quite a few hidden gems where you can lean into self care and take a break for your phone. From environmentally conscious lodges in the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest to zen escapes straight out of a Hollywood movie set, we know how to disconnect and unwind. Whether it's yoga you're after, proximity to water or just quiet time alone with your own thoughts, you'll find it below. So pack the bare essentials and book in at any of these 10 Australian wellness retreats.


1. Injidup Spa Retreat (WA)

There's more to the Margaret River than wine. Take Injidup Spa Retreat for instance. Embedded in the remote coastal landscape, Injidup began as a spa and expanded into a fully-fledged retreat. Take refuge in any one of its 10 villas, all of which are equipped with their own private plunge pool and go from there. There's yoga onsite but at Injidup it's all about the spa, so be sure to take advantage of its massages, facials and body therapy treatments.


2. Soma (NSW)


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Look familiar? Like most people, you've probably comes across Soma from its cameo in the television adaptation of Nine Perfect StrangersWhen you imagine a retreat, you probably think of the packages this Byron Bay institution has on offer. Select from its Meditate, Rounding, Redesign or Visionary Masterclass and experience coaching in meditation and mindfulness, locally sources Ayurvedic meals, massage and acupuncture, on top of complete access to its picturesque Hinterland grounds and infinity pool.


3. Daintree Ecolodge (QLD)


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If you're yearning to ground yourself, where better to do so than within the Daintree Rainforest – a 180 million-year-old wonder? At Daintree Ecolodge you'll sleep among the treetops in its 15 suspended and eco-friendly bayans. Dry season may offer refuge from the rain but wet season will grant reprieve from crowds and the soothing, centreing soundtrack of rainfall and overflowing creeks and rivers. Hike, read, listen in, you've got no excuse here.


4. Billabong Retreat (NSW)


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Some think of a retreat as a solo expedition, others crave community and togetherness. If you're in the latter camp then Billabong Retreat is the place for you. There are ten different kinds of programs to choose from, including one centred on calm, another on fostering emotional intelligence and even one that teaches you how to release yourself from stress. The menu is veggie-forward, daily yoga is the standard and its spa includes reiki and iridology. Plus, it's just a short 45 minute drive from Sydney CBD.


5. Sequoia Lodge (SA)

Fill your cup at Sequoia Lodge. Perched atop scenic Mount Lofty, part of the Sequoia Lodge philosophy is to centre you in nature. Considering that you're surrounded by the peaceful Mount Lofty Botanic Garden, Australia's largest koala population and spring-fed hot pools, somehow we think this won't be too difficult. Wake up with sunrise yoga and end your day stargazing over the Piccadilly Valley.


6. Gaia Retreat & Spa (NSW)


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Settled in the outskirts of Byron Bay and co-founded by Olivia Newton-John, Gaia Retreat & Spa is an unpretentious wellness sanctuary. To visit, you can select from four retreat packages: Revive, Renew, Refresh and Restore, with special options if you're coming as a mother-daughter duo or couple. Enjoy morning yoga classes and bliss out at its famous spa, enjoying its large menu of massages which includes lymphatic drainage and the popular Royal Kahuna treatment.


7. Eden Health Retreat (QLD)

As tested out by our editor in chief Jess Blanch. Eden Health Retreat is the place you go when you want to truly disconnect. There's no phone service, not a single TV nor any Wi-Fi, just you and the Currumbin Valley. You can decide how hard you want to go, whether you pack your time with kayaking, pottery classes and tennis, or opt for more calming activities like pilates, soud baths and time at the spa.


8. Harmony Hill (TAS)

Protect your energy at this Margate institution. Developed by Ami Nakamura, your time at Harmony Hill will cleanse you of the daily stressors of our terminally online living, demand that you slow down and tune into your body. Offering two packages, a five-night stress release stay or a six-night sojourn focused on detoxing, both come complete with daily morning meditation, vegan meals and 9 spa packages per person. What a delight.


9. Longitude 131 (NT)


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While not strictly a wellness retreat, Longitude 131 has garnered a reputation as one of Australia's most luxe getaways. The destination flanks Uluru with Kata Tjuta a short distance away, making it the perfect rest stop for sightseeing. Designed to integrate its outback surrounds, the spa menu works with local bush medicine like Scented Emu Bush, quandongs, Australian yellow clay and Kakadu plum, to heal and rejuvenate.


10. Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat (QLD)

Looking to integrate major lifestyle changes? Let Gwinganna be the first stepping stone in your process. It's all about balance here, and to kick start your stay, Gwinganna ask that you refrain from drinking alcohol, smoking, taking drugs of any kind and caffeine during your stay. Ease in with the accessible two-day retreat or its longer 3, 4, 5 and 7 night stays. Throughout your stay, the program dictates the mornings are a time of action, beginning with Qi Gong, then rigorous exercise like hiking or boxing, before winding down with yin-adjacent activities like dance, yoga or pilates. End your day with a spa treatment and feel all your troubles melt away...

For more wellness-inspired guides, here's some tips on how to begin your meditation journey and some apps to keep you on track. If you find yourself drawn to sound baths, here's what you need to know about the practice.

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