Our Guide to the Best Retreats

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Holidays are a very special thing. We look forward to them all year, we save our precious dollars, and we work that little bit harder to make them happen. But sometimes you want someone else to do the organising so you don’t have to. And all you want to do is relax and maybe throw in a yoga sesh or two to really clear your mind.

That’s why retreats are the perfect escape. We’ve picked some of our favourites, some with a health focus, others with simply a relaxation focus. The choice is yours.

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Active Escapes

As the name suggests, these retreats are more about sweating than indulging. Located in either Bali or the Maldives, the backdrop will make the workouts just that little bit easier. The retreats focus on yoga, surfing, and general fitness workouts with some seriously well know trainers. Think Ashley Freeman, Steph Pacca, and Amanda Bisk. After you’ve worked your butt off you can relax with a drink or two and meet all the like-minded people on the retreat with you. It’s guaranteed to be a blast.

www.activeescapes.com.au

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O’Rielly’s Rainforest Retreats with Stephanie Rice

If you’re at all into Australian sport, Steph Rice doesn’t need an introduction. For those who aren’t, she’s a three time Olympic gold medalist in swimming. No big deal. There’s no denying she knows a thing or two about being healthy. Her latest venture is going to help all of us stay healthy, she’s collaborated with O’Rielly’s Rainforest Retreats in the Gold Coast. You’ll indulge in spa treatments, healthy meals, and relaxing retreat accommodation. You’ll also work it in daily fitness sessions with Steph and daily yoga and meditation with Liz Bonney. And you’ll have the opportunity to explore the outdoors and work on yourself in daily goal sessions.

stephanierice.com.au

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Qualia Luxury Retreats

Found on Hamilton Island, Qualia is the perfect luxury retreat for escaping and simply indulging in pure relaxation. Your whole stay will be filled with fine dining, decadent spa treatments, first class service, and all the extras you could ever need. If you need things to fill the days that don’t involve lounging and drinking, you can get involved in sailing, snorkelling, sunset yoga, cocktail master classes, or even personal training. It’s like the adult version of Club Med!

www.qualia.com.au

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Gaia Retreat and Spa

Discovered by Olivia Newton-John and her close friend Gregg Cave, Gaia retreats in Byron Bay combine the relaxing elements of the healing town, and touches of elegance to bring a unique retreat experience. The venue offers a range of options from health and fitness to detox, weight loss and simple relaxation. The space is filled with a day spa, a relaxing lookout, pools, tennis courts, and saunas.

www.gaiaretreat.com.au

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Ocean Soul Retreats

Ocean Soul Retreats in Bali is a holistic health retreat where wellbeing and relaxation is key. Surfing, yoga, detoxifying nutritionist designed food menus, acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, Balinese healing, Reiki, and spa treatments will keep you busy throughout the day. You can choose your own adventure either going for a Surf and Yoga package, a Yogini Package, or a Soul Surf Package.

www.oceansoulretreat.com

> See our full review of Ocean Retreats

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Yoga Retreat with Power Living Australia

Sometimes you want to get away and get healthy and zen when you do. One of Australia’s largest yoga communities, Power Living run retreats to Bali where you can escape the daily grind, practice yoga twice a day, daily meditation, and there’s a focus on cleansing and nutrition, with afternoons off to explore. It helps that the beach is a very short walk from the retreats. Yearly dates may change, but they are constantly running through the year. Check their website to confirm dates and prices.

www.powerliving.com.au/content/power-living-retreats

About the author

Yoga teacher, writer, blogger, and marketing whiz – it’s safe to say Amy Collins is a busy little lady. Her idea of a stellar evening is yoga class followed by a glass of wine. Her favourite quote: “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

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