Health and Wellness are hot topics right now, which is great. In an age where computers live in our pockets and we can get anywhere in the world within 24 hours, we’re living in a fast-paced environment. It’s easy to get caught up in the movements of daily life, which makes disconnecting and slowing it down that much more valuable. The team at That Hippie Co have picked our favourite 5 health and wellness retreats for you to book your next self-care session.
Whether you value the finer things in life, want to reconnect with nature, or want to get moving, these retreats all have something unique to offer.
#1 The Fancy – Saffire Freycinet
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, yet don’t want to give up your 1000 thread count sheets, look no further than Saffire Freycinet. Nestled on a ridge overlooking Cole’s Bay, this sleek-modern designed resort boasts incredible views of the Hazards from every suite. Go for a workout in the on-site gym, or opt for a stunning walk along the coast. Unwind at the spa that overlooks unparalleled views and glass-like pools.
There are 3 spa retreat rooms each with different services that are designed exclusively for Saffire Freycinet. At the end of your long day of relaxation, indulge in five star cuisine utilizing as much local produce as possible. It seems nearly impossible not to leave this place feeling refreshed.
#2 The Sweat-cation – ActiveEscapes Noosa
Whoever thought you could come back from vacation looking better than before you left?! Let’s be honest, we’ve all been on a vacation and told ourselves “this is the one where I make it to the gym and stay active.” For those of you that actually did this, kudos! For the rest of us, opt for trying an Active Escapes retreat. Admittedly, the mundane atmosphere of the usually small, cramped hotel gyms isn’t the most motivating. With an active escape, you’ll be doing beachside kettlebell workouts, forest runs, and engaging yet strenuous activities such as surfing and swimming. Did we mention that it comes with a personalized training plan?
Okay, now it’s sounding like all you’ll be doing is training for the Iron Man, but rest assured that there is still plenty of downtime. The Noosa retreat offers spa treatments, wonderful social get-togethers and plain old chilling. Active Escapes takes the guess-work out for you and allows you to be fully engaged your whole retreat. Here’s to enjoying the beach and your new-found 6 pack!
#3 The Wellness – Kangaroo Island Health Retreat
Look, we all enjoy a good glass of wine and salty chips every now and again, but if we make this a routine we can start to feel groggy and run down. When It’s time to reset and get back to the optimal version of yourself, head to the gorgeous Kangaroo Island for an intensive retreat at KIHR. It doesn’t get more personalized than this; with only 6 people allowed in each course, you get undivided one-on-one attention based around exactly what your body and mind need to get back in alignment.
Education is a cornerstone on this retreat. You will learn heaps about anatomy, nutrition, and cooking that you can take back with you. During your days, you will spend a lot of time connecting with the outdoors through yoga, meditation, and pilates. When you’re not engaged in the program, you can enjoy gorgeous beach walks and ocean swims. This is optimization “right down to the cellular level” as claimed by KIHR.
#4 The Spiritual – Gaia Retreat and Spa, NSW
There may be nothing more grounding than 360 degrees of nature. Well, that and the wide array of mindfulness practices that are offered at Gaia Retreat and Spa. Nestled upon the highest ridge in the hinterland of Byron Bay, this retreat has won countless awards for its day spa and amenities. Can we talk about that room for a second? Who wouldn’t feel calm there?
Enjoy your personal concierge and tailor your bespoke experience to channel your inner chi. You can make this experience about relaxation, inner awareness, detoxification and a range of other options. The outrageously beautiful scenery makes every sunrise and sunset an opportunity to connect with the earth and take a moment to really just do nothing.
It’s not just couples or busy businessman that need a weekend of tranquillity, Gaia offers unique programs such as mother-daughter retreats that are based around bonding and connection. Spirituality doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavour!
#5 The Challenging – Dhamma Rasmi Silent Retreat, QSL
Seriously though, I can’t remember the last time I was silent for an entire day, can you?
Dhamma Rasmi is a Vipassana meditation retreat. Vipassana is a non-secular form of meditation practice that observe silence as a manner of mindfulness and healing. You will spend 10 days without saying a single word, paired with an ultra intensive 10 hours of meditating per day.
Vipassana is not for everyone and is a serious undertaking, it is not meant for relaxation but rather for a radical transformation of our inner talk with ourselves. However, the beauty surrounding Dhamma Rasmi is bar-none, and you will still get to enjoy the tranquillity of nature, with plenty of forest walks and peaceful mornings.
If you’re ready for a challenge, test out a Vipassana course. All Dhamma retreats are free for participants, and relies solely on donations from those who found the experience impactful.
BONUS: The Epicly Mind-Blowing – Aro Hå Health Retreat, NZ
Okay, I know we said Australian retreats… but I mean you need to take a look at this place. We couldn’t leave out this one from across the pond. Aro Hå Retreat lies just outside of Glenorchy, close to Queenstown. Offering a wide array of wellness services you’d expect a health retreat to have, plus one-of-a-kind scenery makes this place an award-winning getaway.
Take a hot sauna overlooking the alpine vistas, go on a mountain walk, get pampered by the pool, it’s really up to you. As Damian Chaporro, co-founder of Aro Hå says, “Most who come to Aro Ha aren’t looking for just one aspect of health; they’re looking for an adventure that addresses the neglected parts. Maybe it’s physical, maybe it’s spiritual, maybe it’s just a nature deficit. It’s hard to know what we are missing until we’ve found it.”
If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for (yes, that was a U2 reference, judge me), then Aro Hå isn’t the worst place to be figuring it out.