When was the last time you really did something for yourself? If you have to think about the answer, it may be time to think about checking into a health retreat for a few days. While every retreat offers something unique, they all have one thing in common: They are designed to help you come out the other side feeling rejuvenated, relaxed and great about yourself. Now, who doesn’t want that? These five retreats are the perfect spots to escape — even just for a weekend. So, why not make an investment in your wellbeing and treat yourself?
Hawkesbury Valley, Central Coast
As the name suggests, guests at the NuYu health retreat leave feeling like a whole new person. The key to this retreat’s success is that it personalises its weight loss, fitness and lifestyle programs to the individual. In fact, each program includes at least 35 hours of face-to-face contact with specialised staff such as nutritionists. The trainers and food coaches are tough but, if you’re committed, they will help you to reach your goals faster than you can imagine. While there are one, two and four-week programs, for the best results, it’s worth thinking about the six-week overhaul. After all, they say it takes 30 days to make or break a habit — why not test that theory out for yourself?
Wallacia, Blue Mountains
Hopewood has a great reputation in the health industry; after one visit there, you’ll know why. Tucked away in the Blue Mountains, this retreat is all about escaping stress, reevaluating life and going back to nature to do it. Its serene location matches the simplicity of its programs, which feature lots of delish vegetarian food, fresh produce and gentle exercise in the great outdoors. If you’ve been a little bit naughty and want to detox, or if you’re in desperate need of some pampering, Hopewood will no doubt have a program to suit you. Here’s a hint: Their two-night "mini escape" packages are perfect for a girls weekend!
If the idea of an idyllic rainforest retreat appeals to you, then Cedarvale may tick the rest of your boxes as well. Set among 60 hectares of lush greenery, this retreat focuses on going back to basics. Their huge range of packages offers something for everyone and guests can stay for as little as three nights to as many as 19. While Cedarvale has general programs to help you get your health and wellbeing back on track, they also offer super specialised programs that work on banishing stress, quitting smoking and boosting your immune system. It’s also one of the most affordable retreats around, so don’t waste too much time thinking about it!
On the other end of the price scale is Gaia, the award-winning retreat owned by none other than Olivia Newton-John. A favourite for celebrities such as Hugh Jackman and Oprah Winfrey, this place is as luxurious as health retreats get in Australia. With two to seven-night stays on the menu, Gaia is the perfect place to visit once every few months when you just need a break from it all. There are tons of packages available, concentrating on everything from weight loss to detoxing, but the themed ones make choosing easy: The mother-and-daughter, spa and romantic weekend retreats are all very popular. The accommodation varies a bit as well, but if you’re willing to splash some cash, you can’t go past the individual suites, which feature outdoor hot tubs and private decks.
Elysia, Hunter Valley region
Skip the wine tasting tours in favour of a healthier holiday: a stay at The Golden Door. Nestled in the fresh air and hills of the Hunter Valley, this retreat is a winner for more reasons than one. The programs on offer include two-night weekend refreshers, seven-night "health enhancers" and the more unusual three-night Mojo Maker (to "get your groove back"). No matter what program you choose, you can expect each day to be filled with things like yoga, hikes, nutrition talks and, of course, a touch of pampering. The facilities are top notch, and the heated lap pool, fully equipped gym, sauna and tennis courts mean you have no excuse not to get moving! The super fresh, ultra light meals and luxury villas are highlights in themselves.
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