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Healing and renewal – the Australian wellness retreats where you’ll find us as soon as borders open

Even before COVID-19, wellness tourism was having a moment. Growing numbers of travellers all over the world were seeking experiences and escapes that enhanced their well-being and incorporated elements of health, mindfulness, self-actualisation and an immersion in nature.

So now, with all that 2020 has brought us, it’s safe to assume that trend is set to continue, as the city-confined, holiday-starved and technology-overloaded seek out experiences that will help them rest, recharge and reconnect with themselves, with each other and with nature.

Luckily for us, we won’t need to head far when interstate borders open, with some truly incredible wellness retreats and experiences dotted along Australia’s East Coast.

Read on for what’s topping our wellness travel wish lists and an exclusive offer from one of the country’s leading wellness destinations, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, set in the stunning Gold Coast hinterland.

We also bring you some wonderful Wellness at Home resources from our friends at Six Senses Resorts to support some balance while we continue to stay safe.

And to all of our wonderful Melburnian and Victorian friends and colleagues – Let’s be strong, be safe and be sure that we will get through. There’s this to look forward to …

Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat

Since opening in 2006, the multi award winning and EcoTourism certified Gwinganna Retreat has become renowned as a haven for burnt-out, stressed-out city slickers seeking a rest, a reprieve and the tools to refocus.

Just 30 minutes from Gold Coast airport along winding roads through the hinterland’s lush Tallebudgera Valley, the Gwinganna sits high on a plateau and with 500 acres, is the largest land space of any Australasian retreat.

Providing a dedicated space and carefully designed stress management programs to recharge away from the distractions and responsibilities of everyday life, a stay at Gwinganna combines organic living, spa, movement and relaxation with delicious organic cuisine in a dedicated low-tech environment (ie no devices!)

Guided by highly experienced and supportive professionals you can choose how much or how little you do – joining seminars, cooking demonstrations and scheduled wellness activities and using free time to swim, nap, spa, or just walk through the macadamia orchards and lush hillsides.

With an exceptional variety of packages, there are options to stay for a weekend, a whole week or even longer, but rest assured when you do leave, you’ll leave with the Gwinganna recipe for wellness to incorporate into life in the real world.

Exclusive offer: Book any 4, 5 or 7-night stay at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat and receive a bonus $100 credit to spend in the Gwinganna Store of signature products and wellness resources

Valid for travel through to March 30, 2021

Elysian Secluded Eco Island Escape

Open in 2019, Elysian Eco Retreat is a soulfully crafted oasis, ecologically designed to inspire a blissful escape and immersion in nature. Set on a 3 hectare private cove, enveloped by rainforest this is the most secluded island retreat in the Whitsundays and the first solar powered resort on the Great Barrier Reef.

Exclusive, remote (arrival is by helicopter) and boutique (the Retreat hosts a maximum of 20 guests in 10 beautifully appointed beachfront villas), Elysian small team of dedicated hosts offer tailored experiences, locally sourced cuisine from the organic, on-site garden, personalised organic spa treatments and an abundance of aquatic adventures.

A truly off-grid escape where wifi is limited to the guest lounge, choose to idle your time away by swinging in the hammock, swimming in the lagoon-style pool filled with stress-relieving magnesium water, diving into the clear waters on a guided snorkelling tour with a marine biologist or, take a paddle board or glass-bottomed kayak to cruise around uninhabited rest of the island.

FROM $880 a night, including all meals and daily yoga lessons.

Lord Howe Island’s Arajilla Retreat

The Ayurvedic day spa at Lord Howe Island’s five-star Arajilla Retreat is housed in a traditional yurt under the majestic Banyan Tree Forest. It’s the perfect setting to relax amongst the gentle sounds of the tiny island paradise, which has been World Heritage listed since 1981.

Treatments are designed to create balance within the body, mind and soul with many based on Ayurvedic principles such as the signature Abhyanga Massage which uses warm black sesame oil along with specific rhythmical strokes to improve energy, lymphatic flow, blood circulation and completely de-stress the body leaving a sense of overall calm and wellbeing.

Beyond the spa, Arajilla Retreat encapsulates the very essence of Lord Howe Island, offering guests a haven of tranquillity from which to explore the island.  Beautifully appointed suites boast modern facilities and a private deck furnished with relaxing sunbeds to take full advantage of the serenity of the rainforest.

Soaring mountains and sub-tropical rainforests overlooking a sparkling lagoon and coral reef make for incredible outdoor adventures – hiking trails considered among the world’s best climbs, cycling trails through the rainforest, diving and snorkelling among the 90 coral species, green turtles and over 500 fish species, or staying above water on kayak or a glass-bottom boat tour.

With a permanent population of only 350, a a speed limit of 25kph and a remoteness that escapes mobile phone coverage less than two hours by plane from Sydney or Brisbane, Lord Howe Island has been described as the most beautiful in the Pacific. Its exceptional range of natural phenomena, rich terrestrial and marine diversity, and an ecosystem developed from submarine volcanic activity all make it an ideal destination for a rejuvenating retreat in nature.

Stay 6 pay 5 offer

Plan an early 2021 escape now and  extend your stay with a complimentary night on all bookings of six or more nights between January 29 – March 31.

Wellness at Home – Six Senses at Home

Renowned for their incredible spas around the world, Six Senses Hotels Resorts & Spas are helping us turn our homes into wellness sanctuaries with ‘Six Senses at Home’, a series of wellness and health focused videos, tutorials, articles, livestreams and advice hosted by Six Senses wellness experts. Fresh content is uploaded to the hub regularly and there’s now a comprehensive library of guided meditations, immunity-boosting recipes, workouts, at home spa therapies, sleep tips and more. https://www.sixsenses.com/en/at-home-with-six-senses

The gift of travel…

It’s widely proven that taking a holiday and stepping away from our day to day routines has significant positive health benefits for both our bodies and minds. But it’s also true that even the idea of future travel and the healthy sense of anticipation it brings can energize our minds, lift our moods, and help us get through tough times.

If you or someone you know is in need of a boost, the gift of travel is the gift of an experience that can last a lifetime. Jigsaw Travel can arrange flexible travel gift vouchers so the recipient to plan their own dream holiday when the time is right.

For more inspiration, please follow us on social media @jigsawtravel and Jigsaw Travel Facebook.

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