That oasis of calm is closer than you think. Akash Arora explores four Australian retreats that are near and yet so far from the everyday.
Spicers Tamarind Retreat
Five minutes’ drive from Maleny in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and just under 1.5 hours from Brisbane, this Asian-inspired retreat has 14 freestanding villas – some with forest views – sprinkled throughout its seven hectares, plus a 20-metre outdoor swimming pool with a heated spa bath. The secluded wellness centre, where you can indulge in a range of treatments, is a two-minute walk up the hill. The retreat occasionally holds wellness-themed weekends (contact them for details) but yoga classes can be organised any time of the year.
Mansion Hotel & Spa ￼
Housed in a stately 1870s Italianate manor set amid more than four hectares of lovely manicured gardens, Mansion Hotel & Spa at Werribee Park is a mere 35-minute drive from Melbourne’s CBD. There are 91 luxe rooms and two restaurants on site but the property’s real drawcard is its suite of health and wellness facilities: a 17-metre indoor heated pool, two steam rooms, a gym and a world-class spa. Treatments range from facials, massages and body wraps to hand and foot therapies. Our pick is the Turkish Hammam Chamber, a dimly lit steam room with tiled walls, where you can slather yourself in body mud and experience 30 to 45 minutes of bliss.
NEW SOUTH WALES
Bells at Killcare ￼
Peace is yours the minute you drive into this postcard-perfect property, 90 minutes north of Sydney on the Central Coast’s scenic Bouddi Peninsula. A walk through its lush gardens, complete with ponds and bridges, with nothing to focus on but the whistle of the wind and trickling water features, is enough to immediately lower stress levels. But nothing is as blissful as a treatment at the retreat’s day spa, where the therapists use Li’tya skincare products – many with healing native ingredients – to melt the tensions away. Opt for the 60-minute Signature Kodo massage or the ultimate 180-minute spa journey, The Dreaming, which includes a facial, foot and hand treatments and a full-body massage. When the pampering becomes too much, your bed is just a stumble away. There are 25 Hamptons-esque cottages, suites and villas dotted throughout the property, each with Ralph Lauren furnishings, vast bathrooms and outdoor sitting areas. Between all the indulgence and relaxation, visit the on-site restaurant, where renowned Italian chef Stefano Manfredi plates up dishes such as ravioli filled with slow-cooked duck and roast suckling pig on the bone.
Injidup Spa Retreat
An early-morning meditation session on the deck of your villa, with the sound of the Indian Ocean lapping on the beach, is one of the most memorable experiences at this retreat in Western Australia’s glorious Margaret River. Meditation master Joel Pauleau is on hand to help beginners or take experienced meditators to the next level. Spend the day exploring the region on foot – the retreat is located right on the Cape to Cape Track – then relax those tired limbs at the on-site spa, perhaps with the 90-minute Thai-inspired Herbal Fusion massage.
Top image: Bells at Killcare ￼
￼SEE ALSO: 10 Luxe Wellness Retreats in Australia