Finding time for yourself can be tough. There’s work, family, the school run – the list is endless. Put simply, adulating can be exhausting. The ‘me time’ movement is slowly gaining momentum, with more people realising that time out is important to long-term health.
In fact, some studies show that wellness tourism is growing twice as fast as the tourism industry overall. The sector is now worth $639 billion annually and, according to the Global Wellness Institute, Australia hosts 10 million wellness trips a year. This month, Noosa will host Australia’s first Wellness Tourism Summit. But what exactly is this growing industry? The institute defines wellness tourism as ‘travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal wellbeing’.
From indulging in a spa escape, to a stay at a hinterland retreat, the options are endless. Here are some of our favourite wellness trips that are close to home.
Spicers Tamarind Retreat, Maleny
Calming, elegant and infused with Asian inspiration, the rainforest-fringed luxury of Spicers Tamarind Retreat will make you feel a world away from home. Spoil yourself with a treatment at Spa Anise, or enjoy a class at the Tamarind Cooking School. There are five types of villas to choose from, including the Luxury Falls Villa. Located adjacent to Gardners Falls, the villas feature a private outdoor cedar hot tub, fireplace and double shower. Packages include a bed and breakfast combo or the blissful Signature Getaway, which includes accommodation, daily breakfast, three-course dinner at the award-winning on-site Tamarind restaurant and a day spa experience for two including hydrotherapy, foot ritual and aromatherapy massage.
Gaia Retreat & Spa, Brooklet
This Olivia Newton-John founded retreat will have you surrendering to your inner peace in no time at all. Centred on healing and pampering, Gaia gives visitors freedom of choice to tailor their experiences. There is a wide range of retreat packages and holistic specialised day spa treatments. We like the Revive package, which will leave you feeling refreshed. It includes two nights of accommodation, all meals, a wellness consultation, relaxation massage and morning yoga. We warn you – it’s not cheap, but who could put a price on good health? Packages start at $2205 for twin/couple share in a Layana Room.
Aro Ha, Glenorchy
This award-winning retreat is located in New Zealand’s stunning southern alps. Its focus is zen-inspired luxury and rejuvenation of the soul. The self-sustaining retreat offers single and shared eco suites, hydrotherapy spas and a yoga studio with views of Lake Wakatipu. The Wellness Adventure retreat is a six-day program that centres on nature, nutrition, mindfulness and yoga to boost health. Visit the website for dates. aro-ha.com
Shangri-La Fijian Resort and Spa, Yanuca
Recognised as one of the country’s best hotels, this award-winning resort features 442 rooms across three wings. For couples looking for the ultimate escape, you can’t go past the exclusive adults-only Reef wing, which boasts six ocean-front bures. Here you will also find CHI Spa. We love the Dusk Till Dawn overnight spa package, which includes accommodation in an ocean suite perched on the water’s edge. Outfitted with private balcony and outdoor bath, the package also includes a full body scrub, massage, meal and facial. Bliss.