If you're looking to take a weekend getaway with friends that won't leave you with a colossal hangover at the end, try one of these inspired destinations.
We love a good wine tour as much as the next person, but as anyone who’s ever braved a mini-bus for 48 hours of tastings can attest, there’s no guarantee you’ll return home feeling rejuvenated. In fact, chances are you’ll struggle through your front door on Sunday afternoon lugging several cases of Pinot Grigio that seemed like a brilliant buy at the time.
So this year, as the weather warms up, we’re inspired to try a group getaway weekend of a different kind. This year we’re dreaming of a break that’s actually restful, with plenty of pampering that leaves us feeling ready to take on the last few crazy months of the year. Here’s our round-up of the best places to escape for a healthy break with your friends this spring.
1. Fall in love with yoga at Billabong retreat, Maraylya, Sydney
If you’ve always wanted to give yoga a go, but never quite made it to class, this could be just the ticket to make this healthy habit stick. Offering an inclusive and friendly approach, this fully-certified eco retreat’s Yoga Essentials program is ideal for friends who love the idea of yoga, but never quite “got it”. Similarly, if you’ve tried it before or let your practice slide, it’s just the nudge you need to get back on the mat more regularly. There’s nothing scary or intimidating, and you can tailor your program to include additional wellness treatments like reiki, kinesiology and hypnotherapy to really boost the Zen factor. Yoga Essentials runs every four weeks from 2pm Friday to 1pm Sunday.
Yoga Essentials at Billabong Retreat staying in a deluxe cabin with outdoor bath, all meals, drinks, classes and activities cost $1400 for two people. Find more details here.
2. Destress and detox at Gwinganna, Gold Coast Hinterland
This is one of the most famous and luxurious wellness getaways in the country for good reason; the spa is the stuff of legend – the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere. Set within 200 picturesque hectares in the Gold Coast hinterland, Gwinganna offers a healthy reboot (think incredible food and expertly developed workouts), balanced with plenty of pampering. Afternoons are dedicated to helping restore balance in the adrenal system with an epic menu of spa treatments to choose from. The newly added Ayurvedic Aromatherapy treatments are our top pick, using natural oils and essences to help aid the detoxification process.
Fully inclusive package rates at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat start with a 2-night Wellness Weekend at $1045 per person double share. Find out more here. Or why not enter our competition to win a two-night retreat?
3. Spend a day in the sunshine at Halcyon House
If like us you feel happiest when you’re surrounded by beautiful interiors, look no further than Halcyon House. Arguably one of the most Instagram-able spots in Australia, this exquisite boutique hotel with interiors by Anna Spiro will melt your worries away one beautiful design detail at a time. We’re rather taken with their Halcyon Hang package, the perfect day trip including a two-course lunch, pool pass and bar access, a 60-minute massage, steam room access, bicycle and surfboard hire and parking.
A one-day Halcyon Hangs costs $295 per person until 30 September. Limited packages are available, so bookings are essential. For more details click here.
Photography by Kara Rosenlund
4. Indulge and reset at Revivo, Nusa Dua
For a girls getaway that offers luxury and wellness wisdom in equal measures, this brand new resort in Nusa Dua is hard to beat. This is literally the stop, drop and flop Bali holiday of your dreams. Impeccable interiors, state of the art fitness studios and five-star service are all part and parcel of the Revivo experience. A carefully curated menu tailored to each program, daily spa treatments, workouts and mindfulness practices are all included in the price. Choose from one of six retreat programs – emotional balance, detox and organic weight loss, sleep well, anti-ageing, destress and relax and mother-to-be.
A 3-nights anti-ageing and longevity retreat staying in a Garden Suite costs US$2,157 (subject to 11% Government Tax and 10% Service Charge). Click here for more details.
5. Take the waters at Peninsula Hot Springs, Mornington
Taking the waters in natural thermal springs has been a ritual used to treat everything from arthritis to anxiety as far back as ancient Rome. Peninsula Hot Springs brings this luxurious tradition to life in a bushland setting 90 minutes south of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula. The only thing that tops a long-overdue catch up with friends, is catching up whilst lulling around in your own private pool of geothermal mineral-rich waters. Treat yourselves to the Natural Balance package which includes breakfast or lunch, a 60-minute facial or massage, private bathing, towel, robe and locker hire.
The Natural Balance package at Peninsula Hot Springs is $255 per person. Click here for more details.