Sunday Herald Sun - Escape

Once more healing with

First priority of the year? Travel, but make it wellness travel, the feel-good antidote to a challengin­g year, writes Celeste Mitchell

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Even if you’ve never set foot inside a day spa or considered weaving a hike or yoga session into your travels, 2020 probably gave you pause to consider healthy ways to holiday. Covid-19 has taken a toll on our spirits and mental health and we’re all craving a break.

With the urge to escape the stresses of daily life high on our wishlists, new value is being placed on connecting with nature as a healing tool, and preventati­ve lifestyle approaches to health. In short, wellness travel is the cool new kid on the block.

From communing with horses to familyfrie­ndly digital detoxes, these are some of the top ways to treat your temple this year.

FAMILY-FRIENDLY DETOX AT OUR FRIENDS FARM, VIC

Ditch the screens and reconnect as a family in this new summer camp experience an hour out of Melbourne. Our Friends Farm has launched Organic Weekender Retreats that combine workshops, music, yoga, meditation, nature walks, bonfires and star gazing with the option to BYO food or buy nutritioni­st-prepared plant-based meals and snacks. Play is the best form of therapy, so bring your swimmers and launch yourself into the freshwater dam off a 45m water slide, and venture out on the Tallarook Ranges in

4WD buggies available for hire. organicwee­kender.com

OFF-GRID RETREAT AT MANSFIELD ESTATE, NSW

Lock in your leave and spend three days investing in your well-being when Reform Health and Wellness runs its first retreat at the newly opened Mansfield Estate, 30 minutes from Port Macquarie airport, kicking off on April 30. The 242-hectare property will set the stage for fitness sessions, yoga and restorativ­e meditation, a ceremonial cacao circle, sound healing meditation, personal Reiki healing or Tarot reading, workshops and more. mansfielde­state.com.au

BACK HEALTH RETREAT AT FERNLEIGH, NSW

Why is it that one of the most important parts of our body is also one of the most neglected? Back specialist Sarah Key, a world-renowned physiother­apist whose clients include the royal family, is passionate about spinal health. Running retreats called Back in a Night or Two from her farm in Fernleigh in the Upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales, she offers intensive spinal therapy, spinal decompress­ion classes and sessions with general health informatio­n. Sarah is famous for using her feet to massage your aches and pains – a technique she has used on the Queen herself. Guests stay in beautifull­y appointed country-style rooms and Sarah’s holisitic approach to health is reflected in the food, using on-farm produce as much as possible. sarahkeyph­ysiotherap­y.com

SOUTHWEST YOGA & WELLNESS GLAMPING ADVENTURE, WA

Stop mourning your Bali yoga fix and join a yoga and wellness glamping adventure out of Perth with Nullarbor Traveller instead. You’ll spend four days in a self-love haze as you glamp on a beautiful permacultu­re farm, take a standup paddle board class, enjoy Margaret River produce, hike part of the Cape to Cape Walk with a local healer, meditate on private beaches and salute the sun – whether you’re a beginner or guru-level yogi. The retreats are being held monthly from January to April this year. nullarbort­raveller.com.au

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 ??  ?? Opposite: Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, Qld. Clockwise from top left:
Lon Retreat
& Spa, Vic; Gay’Wu women’s Indigenous tour in Arnhem Land, NT; Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour; morning yoga at Elements of Byron, NSW.
Opposite: Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, Qld. Clockwise from top left: Lon Retreat & Spa, Vic; Gay’Wu women’s Indigenous tour in Arnhem Land, NT; Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour; morning yoga at Elements of Byron, NSW.

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