As Australia’s spiritual capital, Byron Bay is a destination for yoga enthusiasts, reiki masters, hippies, healers and travellers looking for restoration.
The sacred Aboriginal healing ground is surrounded by nature and home to a host of health and fitness retreats. Here are five of the best Byron Bay wellness experiences to balance your mind and body, including detox breaks, luxury spas and yoga camps.
This award-winning retreat was co-founded by Olivia Newton-John in 2005 and has become one of the world’s best wellness experiences, offering a blend of traditional spa pampering and alternative healing such as reiki, cupping and acupuncture. The retreat sprawls over 10 hectares (25 acres) with 22 suites set around a Samoan longhouse, where healthy vegetarian meals are served. Gaia is nestled in the Byron Bay hinterland and offers everything from daily yoga to tai chi, organic cooking classes and psychic readings. Treat yourself to the Gaia Goddess spa package, which includes a steam room session, scalp and body massages, a hair masque and facial, or choose from a range of single treatments, from Thai massage to reflexology.
Over six days, the Byron Bay Detox Retreat aims to remove toxins from your body with a blend of fasting, colonic hydrotherapy, infrared sauna and massage. The retreat is held at a resort on Tallow Beach and is designed by naturopaths, nutritionists and healers. Take part in daily yoga and meditation sessions, as well as sound healing, which uses vibrations from instruments to relax your mind and body, and a raw-food preparation class for healthy meal inspiration. Retreat benefits include weight loss, improved digestion and mental clarity.
Sign up for the Byron Wellbeing Yoga and Surf Retreat
Looking for something more active? Try the Byron Wellbeing Yoga and Surf Retreat. The package includes three nights’ accommodation and is geared toward beginners. Surfing classes are held in the mornings at Clarkes Beach with an experienced instructor, and there’s time for yoga and massage in the afternoons. Other retreat highlights include reflexology, a sound healing session and vegetarian meals. You’ll stay in a house or villa by the beach with a maximum of six guests for an intimate experience.
Stay at Elements of Byron, which has won multiple international awards for its contemporary design and five-star features. Located on Belongil Beach, the property boasts a spa, restaurant, eco-friendly villas with designer furnishings and a lagoon pool set within 20 hectares (50 acres) of protected bushland. To really kick back, book the Elements of Wellness Experience – a five-night package that includes a villa, beachfront yoga, outdoor exercise sessions, buffet breakfast and guided rainforest walks in the resort’s protected forest. Opulent treatments at the Osprey Spa cost extra but are well worth it, whether you fancy a massage, reflexology or facial.
Stay in a private house by the sea in Byron Bay for this five-day meditation retreat, which hosts a maximum of eight people. You’ll discover how to clear your mind from the stresses of modern life with daily yoga and meditation practice sessions, enjoy healthy vegetarian meals and take spiritual excursions to various local nature sites. The main aim of this Byron Bay wellness experience is to learn how you can live in the moment with simple sitting meditation, meditation in movement and mindfulness activities.