Stop, Drop And Zen | The Coast’s Top Health & Wellness Retreats

By Bronte Holding
3rd Aug 2018

Adulting is a tough gig. There’s the laborious working week, traffic jams (where, let’s face it, the mouth can get a little loose), relentless bills that magically keep reappearing, chasing after snotty kids, soccer practice chewing up your whole Saturday—are you depressed yet? Well you don’t have to be.

Squeezing in downtime is the best way to keep your serotonin levels high! Whether it’s “omming” yourself to sleep, ocean swims at sunrise, tasting your way through tapas bars with your friends or inhaling the rainforest scents of a nature walk, regular Zen time is the only way to stay happy, healthy, and sane.

But if you are feeling particularly wound up by the pressures of life, why not go the extra mile and book yourself into a health retreat? It will do you wonders and may even ease up those achy muscles, tension headaches, and iron out that permanent frown between your brow. Happy jig!

So get your nose out of the Eat Pray Love books and give your soul the IRL nourishing it deserves!

Here are our fave health retreats on the Sunshine Coast:

Living Valley Springs

Kin Kin

Head to picturesque Kin Kin for a dose of a serious first-class mind, body, and soul transformation at Living Valley Springs. With 1-28 day packages ranging from $230-$15,000 (I did say first-class), this luxe health hideaway caters to anyone from frazzled CEOs and weary executives to worn-out mums and dads. And this place is not mucking around when it comes to shaking out those noxious habits. There’s remedial and lymphatic drainage massages, colonic hydrotherapy treatments (could be interesting!), clay wraps, facials, manicures/pedicures, naturopathic consultations, meal plans, personal trainers, organic gourmet feasts (now we’re talking), detox shakes, juices, broths, lectures, cooking demonstrations, Russian steam baths (worth the visit just for this!), mountain climbs, access to a gym, swimming pool, and nature walks through the 145 acres of lush bushland—phew, I have to take a breath! So toss those frozen meals straight into the bin and pull yourself away from Netflix. It’s 2018 and time to find the new you! Or just get healthy…

Bellbunya Sustainable Community and Eco-Retreat Centre

Belli Park

If your inner-greenie is calling and you are passionate about getting off the grid, and learning about permaculture and alternative economics—this is the hippie haven you have been searching for. Throw in a dose of personal and spiritual growth and you’ll be one happy, earth-lovin’, uber-conscious citizen. Bellbunya is a demonstration centre for sustainable living, and a place where you can get a taste of this alternative lifestyle as a visitor or volunteer. There’s also yoga, spiritual development, and cooking classes. With organic food gardens, wildlife corridors, a creek and lagoon, conference hall, restaurant, and accommodation for up to 16 guests—all running on 100% renewable energy—this community will have you barefooted, wearing organic cotton tees, and humming happy little tunes in your veggie patch for the rest of your life!

Chenrezig Institute


The Coast’s holy grail of health, wellness, and spiritual development, Chenrezig is a Buddhist retreat and study centre hidden in the hinterland hills of Eudlo. Since 1974 this iconic establishment has been transforming the minds and hearts of locals and visitors alike, and was among the first Tibetan Buddhist centres in the western world, and remains one of the largest. Home to a Tibetan teacher, nuns, monks, and a thriving community of students, volunteers and guests, this peace-promoting sanctuary provides a range of Buddhist and secular programs, meditation retreats, advanced study courses, art classes, and workshops on Buddhist psychology and mental wellbeing. The centre also features accommodation, the Big Love café (serving incredible vegetarian fare), Garden of Enlightenment, library, meditation hall, art studio, memorial garden, and beautiful grounds which are all open to the general public from Tuesday to Sunday.

Fountainhead Organic Health Retreat and Education Centre


With suicide still the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44 (can you believe that?), mental health is a serious social issue that affects all of us, whether directly or indirectly. If you are not feeling yourself there is a fantastic rainforest retreat in Maleny that may help bring the spark back into your life, complete with day spa and swimming pool. Fountainhead‘s programs run for 7-28 days and cater to a range of stress-related conditions such as; depression, anxiety, substance dependence, post-traumatic stress disorder, teenage depression, eating problems, and body image issues. Clients can benefit from nutritional and physical therapy, life coaching, massages, facials, and a food school.

Mt Ninderry Healing Retreat


This super-intimate healing hideaway focuses on physical and emotional detoxification, catering for a maximum of six guests at any one time. Over four to six nights, the focus at Mt Ninderry Healing Retreat is on healing naturally and learning about the seven principles of health. There’s a wholefoods diet, increased oxygen intake via Liquid Manna oxygenated water (you will need to go here just to see what that is all about!), gentle exercise, yoga, detox body wraps, laughter therapy, emotional healing, meditation, and soothing massages. There’s even psychic readings, reflexology, and chakra clearing if you’re new-age inclined. Don’t forget your crystal drop necklace!

Vipassana Centre Queensland


A meditation retreat on 60 acres of lush bushland in Noosa Hinterland sounds pretty magical, and you’d be right in agreeing with us. But, a Vipassana retreat is either for you or not for you. Why? Because the 10-day course that’s open to beginners, will not only see visitors learning the ins and outs of the Vipassana meditation technique by practising for ten hours a day but there’s also no communication allowed between guests. Yep, that means you’ve gotta be silent. Not possible, you roar? Well, this isn’t for you. For those who are interested, this course will stretch you in ways you didn’t know possible but the rewards you reap will be life-changing. If you’re still not convinced, there is also no charge on any of their courses, including meals and accommodation. Their entire program is funded by donations from others who have experienced the life-changing power of Vipassana, and want to help people achieve the same experience for free. How very enlightening. 

Image credit: Sporteluxe

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