Best out-of-town wellness breaks for a long weekend
body + soul
28 March, 2018
There's so much to see and do in your very own backyard this Easter.
If you’re in Perth
The Hotspot: Lancelin
If you’re keen for a getaway that picks up the pace, drive 90 minutes north of Perth to the white sands of Lancelin. Head straight to Back Beach for a refreshing dip, surf or paddle, then set your sights on the dramatic dunes, where you can hop on a quad bike, go four-wheel driving or try sand boarding – just remember to bring goggles and pre-book your board (lancelin.com.au).
The Hideaway: Mudstone Spa Retreat
If you’re in need of some TLC, book a weekend at Mudstone Spa Retreat (mudstonesparetreat. com) in Pemberton. You’ll sleep among the Karri forest, unwind with a light-therapy sauna session and indulge in local treats such as truffles, wine and organic fruit. Prices start from $270 per night.
The Old Favourite: Margaret River
Although best known for its food and wine, the Margaret River (margaretriver.com) region is also a certified wellness hub. There are beaches for surfing and swimming (try Surfers Point and Hamelin Bay), the river is a kayaker’s heaven and there are underground caves to explore, such as Lake Cave – which is home to an actual lake!
If you’re in Melbourne
The Hotspot: Wilsons Promontory National Park
Tucked away on the Mornington Peninsula, the network of natural baths and mineral-rich thermal pools at Peninsula Hot Springs (peninsulahotsprings.com) will prompt instant relaxation. Prices start from $25 per person.
The Old Favourite: Daylesford
Pretty Daylesford is famed for its mineral springs and great food. Get the best of both worlds with a ‘dine and unwind package’ at the Lake House hotel (lakehouse.com.au) and enjoy a 60-minute massage and two-course lunch. Prices start from $198 per person.
If you’re in Darwin
The Hotspot: Manton Dam Recreation Area
Follow the Stuart Highway south to Manton Dam (nt.gov.au/leisure/parks-reserves) for a weekend of watersports. Built in 1942 as Darwin’s first water supply, it’s now used by windsurfers, wakeboarders, canoeists and waterskiers. Those who prefer dry land can trek along the bank before settling in for a picnic or barbecue.
The Hideaway: Bamurru Plains
Cosy up by the Mary River with a stay at Bamurru Plains (bamurruplains.com). Here, you can snooze in a safari-style bungalow, float in the infinity pool and join a guided walking tour or game drive to spy local crocs, birds and buffalo. Prices start from $488 per night.
The Old Favourite: Kakadu National Park
Unfortunately Gunlom Falls will be closed over the long weekend and won't open until early May, but you can still take a scenic helicopter flight and hover over Twin Falls and Jim Jim, then rest up at Cooinda Lodge (kakadu tourism.com). Prices start from $149 per night.
If you’re in Sydney
The Hotspot: Mollymook
Mollymook on NSW’s South Coast boasts pristine beaches and gritty hiking trails. Learn to surf at Mollymook Beach Surf School (mollymookbeachsurfschool.com) then enjoy oysters at Rick Stein’s Bannisters by the Sea (bannisters.com.au).
The Hideaway: Billabong Retreat
It’s only 45 minutes from Sydney, but Billabong Retreat (billabongretreat.com.au) feels like a bush paradise with daily yoga, plant-based banquets, a spa and a pool. Prices start from $250 per night.
The Old Favourite: Blue Mountains
It’s all about the vistas in the Blue Mountains, so once you’ve lunched at Palette Dining (palettedining. com) in Katoomba, hit the 6km Grand Canyon Walk and marvel at its waterfalls, creeks and canyons.
If you’re in Brisbane
The Hotspot: Tamborine Mountain
Tamborine Mountain offers up a tangle of rainforest hikes, waterfalls and horse riding trails. If you’re looking for a bigger adrenaline rush, the soon-to-launch mountain bike park at Guanaba Experience (guanaba.com.au) will do the job. In the meantime, get your fix at TreeTop Challenge (treetopchallenge.com.au) with a zip-line through the forest canopy.
The Hideaway: Spicers Hidden Vale
Set among almost 5000 hectares of rugged Aussie bushland (but still only an hour’s drive from Brisbane), Spicers Hidden Vale (spicersretreats.com) comes with everything from facials and massages to bike rides and pool days. Prices start from $339 per night.
The Old Favourite: Sunshine Coast
With 60km of coastline right on its doorstep, the Sunshine Coast is a haven for fans of surfing and paddle sports. If you prefer a more gentle escape, though, pop by the Chenrezig Institute (chenrezig.com.au) for a dose of yoga and meditation.
If you’re in Canberra
The Hotspot: Stromlo Forest Park
With its rolling hills and state-of-theart bike track, Stromlo Forest Park (stromloforestpark.com.au) is the ultimate adventure getaway. BMX pros hit up the mountain trails, but there are plenty of not-so hardcore tracks for novices, plus horse riding trails. When you’re ready to rest, pitch a tent at Cotter Campground (environment.act.gov.au) then cool off in the stream.
The Hideaway: Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa
Stroll through the property’s wisteria garden, detox in the sauna room or grab your clubs and head out from Milton Park (miltonpark.com.au) to hit the links at one of eight local courses. Prices start from $355 per night.
The Old Favourite: Snowy Mountains
Winter and summer sports adventures get all the attention in the Snowies (snowymountains.com.au), but there’s something to do all year round, and autumn is the perfect time to hike the hills and hit the lakes for watersports.
If you’re in Hobart
The Hotspot: Huonville
If you’re a fan of great views and even better food, set your GPS for this postcard-perfect town in the Huon Valley. Spend the weekend exploring Hartz Mountains National Park, strolling along the Huon River or sampling the spoils of the surrounding orchids. A visit to Willie Smith’s Apple Shed (williesmiths.com.au) is a must.
The Old Favourite: Freycinet National Park
Home to pink-hued mountains, azure-blue bays and views from every angle, Freycinet National Park can’t be missed. Although the famous Wineglass Bay is exquisite at eye level, it’s even better from up high, so trek to the lookout then wander down to the beach for a kayak. When you’re ready to rest, splurge on a stay at the luxurious Saffire Freycinet (saffire-freycinet.com.au) in Coles Bay. Prices start from $2100 per night.