Eat, sleep, namaste, repeat: Top 3 Gold Coast wellness retreats
What do carrot sticks, spirulina and straw diets have in common?
They will all have you de-railing your detox train before it has even left the station.
Once you see what the Gold Coast Hinterland has on offer, you won’t ever want to hear the words ‘juice cleanse’ again. There is only one way to detox, and you have a first-class ticket to the top 3 wellness retreats on the Gold Coast.
GWINGANNA LIFESTYLE RETREAT
Imagine you and Hugh Jackman, making eyes over a glass of organic wine. This is not a joke. In fact, Australia’s hottest export is a part-owner of Gwinganna and visits the retreat on the reg. Holy Wolverine!
Apart from the eye candy making its way around the 200 hectares of hinterland and rainforest, Gwinganna offers a space to relax and digitally detox from our fast-paced, technology-driven world.
Everything about this place forces you to slow down, from the strategic planning of the daily itinerary to the way the Tallebudgera Valley property is designed. The entrance to the spa is actually blocked by a sensor-operated waterfall, forcing you to enter slowly and mindfully after waiting for the waterfall to break. I’m relaxed just thinking about it.
Whether spoiling yourself for just a weekend or an extended stay, you can expect to spend your time indulging in meals designed to help support and improve digestion and liver detoxification, reduce inflammation, improve gut bacteria and balance blood sugar levels. Meals are fresh, local and organic, with the majority of produce harvested from the on-site gardens and orchard.
Your day begins watching the sun rise while practising the ancient art of Qi Gong. This is followed by a walk or hike and then a variety of yin and yang activities throughout the morning.
Have you ever heard of equine therapy? Yep, we’re not horsing around. Gwinganna has a menu of equine experiences aimed at providing you with tools and insight into managing challenging situations through working with horses. No previous horse experience required!
But back to your itinerary… After attending one of many informative wellness seminars, your ultra-delicious lunch is served, and you can rest that organic food baby during Dreamtime (from 2pm – 7pm). This is the time you’re encouraged to rest, take a bath, enjoy a spa treatment, read a book, anything that helps you to relax, unwind and take a break.
EDEN HEALTH RETREAT
Nestled in an ancient valley known for its healing energy, you can be forgiven if you’re wary of being dropped in the wilderness at the end of the Currumbin Valley and forced to sing “kumbaya” around the campfire.
This couldn’t be further from the truth at Australia’s longest-established health retreat. Eden is a tranquil residence offering a state-of-the-art program that has guests coming back time and time again.
The Eden philosophy will take you on a transformative self-journey, with activities focused on challenging your mental and physical state.
Upon arrival, you’ll be individually evaluated so your retreat program can be tailored to suit yours truly.
Your early-start mornings (we’re talking 5am, still-dark kind of early) will see you practising Qi Gong on the beach with the sand between your toes, followed by a jog (yes jog) up the mountain to watch the sunrise over the water. Lucky the view is so spectacular.
Afternoon activities can include an Eden drum circle, Tibetan yoga, kayaking, a glow worm walk, bike riding, nia dance or a physical and mental challenge like the giant swing. Bet you never thought you’d have to face this again after Year 9 school camp, right? Wrong.
Opt for all the activities or none. The choice is yours. But if there is one definite must-do during your stay, it’s a walk through the Eden rock labyrinth – a metaphor for the journey to the centre of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are.
NIRVANA WELLNESS SANCTUARY
Yoga mode: Activated.
Whether you consider yourself an apprentice yogi or your headstand puts others to shame, the Shanti Yoga Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary caters for all yoga levels and is calling your name.
Nirvana puts the well in wellness, with a programme tailored to relaxation and rejuvenation. Forget tangible luxuries, expensive treatments and lush accommodation. Nirvana’s simplistic, soul-cleansing experience will have you feeling at one with nature in no time.
Let’s start with the rural setting in Beechmont where you’ll be meditating above the hills of the Gold Coast Hinterland. How’s that for serenity?
The Queenslander-style accommodation and retreat facilities are run with a focus on renewable energies so even just attending means you’re doing your bit for the environment. And that's a tick in everyone's book!