Local Escapes

Stop, Drop, & Zen | 5 Top Wellness Retreats On & Around The Gold Coast

By Dani Byrnes - 15 Feb 2017

With a new season creeping up faster than we can wax those hibernating leg hairs, we’re calling for a much needed spring-clean for the body and soul.

Let’s be real, we’ve been hustling far too hard at work, and that recent rendezvous to Bali was hardly relaxing (puh-lease). So, what can we do to get the creative juices flowing again and get that bikini-bod back on board, we hear you ask? An e-tox and a delicious spa-cation, that’s what.

We’ve done the hard slog and narrowed down the best wellness retreats on the Gold Coast (or in driving distance). Boys, if you’ve found this article conveniently open on your device, take it as pure, honest fate. You’ll thank us later.

Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat

Tallebudgera Valley, QLD

Looking for a sneaky getaway just a stone’s throw from home, yet distant enough from the hustle ‘n’ bustle of the GC rat race? Located high in the lush Gold Coast Hinterland is the famous Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat. Offering the perfect balance of fitness, nutrition and heavenly rest, Gwinganna will soothe your soul—just what the doc ordered. A picture-perfect infinity pool overlooking the hinterland hills and ocean is a great place to spend your afternoon after a day of Spa Sanctuary pampering. While the dining room is the place to be as dusk falls, boasting a cosy, open fireplace and comfy daybeds aplenty. With long-term health transformations in mind, the Gwinganna experience goes well beyond your stay, thanks to their daily health seminars and wellness centre—a whimsical cottage full of ancient herbs and organic supplements. Delightful! You will leave with an abundance of knowledge, wisdom and a fire in your belly preparing you to kick some butt when you get back to the daily grind. Packages for the best wellness retreat on the Gold Coast start at two nights (reserved for us time-poor city slicker folk) and go up to seven nights, and beyond. Your lady deserves it, boys! *insert subtle hint*

Gaia Retreat & Spa

Brooklet, NSW

Fancy a wellness retreat without the set agenda of activities? Forget the strait-laced itinerary, at Gaia Retreat and Spa you won’t feel the pressure to get up at the crack of dawn for Qi Yong (huh?) when you really just want to hit snooze. Although it would be lame to skip a glowing sunrise Yoga sesh at the stunning Samira Lookout—the highest point of the property. Gaia, translating to Mother Nature in Greek (true story), is nestled in the green rolling hills of the Byron Bay Hinterland, with panoramic views of the glistening Pacific Ocean and enchanting Nightcap Ranges. This sanctuary has just 23 majestic rooms and daintily provides the resources allowing you to pick and choose what suits you, when it suits you. The brainchild of Aussie’s own Olivia Newton-John, this boutique retreat will tantalise all your wellness needs, from meditation to Pilates and spa treatments to emotional guidance workshops. Gaia Retreat and Spa is surprisingly popular among solo detoxers; the perfect opportunity to freshen your spirit, enjoy some peace-out bliss time, or simply contemplate life. Sigh. From Zen Yoga to catching Zzzz’s on one of the day beds dotted around the stunning grounds, you will leave Gaia feeling invigorated. Cheers Liv!

Nirvana Wellness Retreat

Beechmont, QLD

Another gem oh-so-close to home is the zealously holistic, back-to-basics Nirvana Wellness Retreat. If no booze, no shoes and no technology doesn’t sell it to you, read on friends. In their own words, this spiritual retreat is not a resort. No distractions are welcomed in the creative renewal and rejuvenating experience Nirvana offers. Hidden away in Beechmont, on the Gold Coast’s scenic rim, lush green trees lead you up the path to a Queenslander-style home, which sleeps all guests. Although the living staples are simple, such as no fresh bed sheets daily (say what?!) the view of the Gold Coast Hinterland remains uncompromised and seriously five-star. Hosted by meditation guru, Shanti Gowans, day-to-day activities consist mostly of meditation practices, and contrary to other retreats mentioned here, Nirvana Wellness Retreat focuses on ditching the tangible luxuries and the status quo, instead teaching you to tap into your higher self, learning to appreciate the important things in life and not the materialistic trash. Where do we sign up? Just one day here will leave you feeling light years away from society, which is somewhat refreshing. For 10-day stay-cationers, you have the option to engage in Panchakarma, a daily purification process that involves herbal medicines, oil applications and tissue cleansing. Neat! Get in touch with your spiritual side Yogi’s and Yogettes and book a retreat—stat.

Eden Health Retreat

Currumbin Valley, QLD

Set in dew-draped Currumbin Valley is the splendid Eden Health Retreat, occupying a sheer 120 hectares of tranquil promised land and fresh ol’ country air. Built with sustainability in mind, this holistic earthy-inspired retreat covers all aspects of wellness: fitness, nutrition, naturopathy, and life coaching to name albeit a few indulgences. More than just your mediocre feet-up vacay, Eden Health Retreat tailors structured programs to suit your needs, be it stress relief, weight loss, a health detox or finding your spiritual side. It doesn’t take long to settle into this paradise and the facilities are seriously first-class. Sauna, steam room, natural mud baths, heck, they even have a guest library full of self-development and productivity books. All foods are sourced locally and ethically from rural producers nearby and, sorry folks, alcohol and caffeine is non-existent. Ahem, do we need to remind you this is all in the name of detoxification?

Spicers Tamarind Retreat

Maleny, QLD

This Asian-inspired sanctuary is a mere two and a half-hour drive north, and absolutely worth the road trip. Overlooking the smoky-at-sunset Glasshouse Mountains, you will feel very much drawn to nature at this retreat. Spicers Tamarind is laidback luxe with all the services within easy reach—without the rigid drill-sergeant pitch—your retreat, your rules babeh! On arrival you’ll be greeted with a wine and cheese platter (now we’re talkin’), a tour of the facilities and what will be your humble abode for the next few days of utter bliss. After a day spent wandering through the quaint local villages of Maleny and Montville, or a three-hour Spice of Life pampering package at Anise Day Spa, you’ll be ready to put your feet up just in time for sunset over the Glasshouse Mountains. Does a cosy day bed back at your modern-yet-rustic private villa tickle your fancy? Totes does, eh! Their gorgeous restaurant, The Tamarind, has scored a number of Chef Hats over the years and promises to have you drooling over their five-course Thai degustation menu. Despite generally attracting honeymooners to Spicers Tamarind Retreat, most villas can accommodate up to four people, making it the perfect double-date getaway with your best couple buddies. With most villas flaunting their own fireplaces, you’ll want to squeeze a wellness weekend in before winter thaws out. Who’s bringing the marshmallows?

Want some pampering but don’t have time or cash to splash at the best wellness retreats on the Gold Coast? Head straight for one of the Coast’s best beauty therapists, as voted by you.

Image credit: Spicers Tamarind Retreat

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