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.
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 and Whitsundays, 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’re yearning for yoga
Heart and Soul Retreat – Otford, New South Wales
Spending a few days nourishing your body and soul through restorative yoga asanas and immersing yourself among 20 acres of native bushland nestled into the hills of the Royal National Park could be the perfect way to shut out the noise of your daily routine.
With a focus on nature and reconnecting with your sense of self and spirituality, the daily program includes two restorative yoga classes, a wellness workshop, three vegan meals, and an evening sangha.
Deepening your curative experience, the healing centre offers a variety of therapies to indulge in as you broaden your understanding of yoga philosophy.
When you need to de-stress
Arinya Retreat – Daylesford, Victoria
The stunning eco-friendly designed retreat is nestled into a tranquil bushland setting, providing the perfect backdrop to unwind as you immerse yourself in the natural landscape of the premiere mineral springs region of Australia, Daylesford and Hepburn Springs.
With a focus on relaxation and rebalancing, guests can personalise their experience to their interests.
A team of wellness professionals are on hand to over a range off revitalizing pamper services, or you may choose to can kick back by the open fire or enjoy a leisurely nature walk to the mineral spring area.
Delicious and nourishing food is locally sourced and menu options include detox, gourmet, vegetarian, gluten-free and refined-sugar free meals.
When a spa is on the menu
The Byron at Byron Resort – 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, with Claire Burke (updated February 2021).