We’ve declared 2024 the year of health and wellbeing, and what better place to start than caring for the most important person in our lives – ourselves, of course! While we often fall into a cycle of constantly meeting other people’s needs with our own falling off the priority list, you’ll soon find that when you take some much-needed time to focus on your own health and wellbeing, the goodness flows over into other areas of your life.


Self-care practices can be as simple as taking a few moments to focus on your breath, daily meditation, or gratitude practices, walks in nature, or, for something more all-encompassing, heading along to a retreat for some intensive rejuvenation. So, let’s go forth and discover eight mindfulness and wellness retreats across Australia and New Zealand. Your mind, body and soul can thank us later.

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  • Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, Tallebudgera Valley, QLD

Beauty and body care. Sensual young woman relaxing in outdoor spa swimming pool.
Escape Gold Coast’s bustling cityscape and mosey south for 30 minutes into the wilderness of Queensland’s hinterland, and you’ll soon find yourself cocooned in the serene haven that is Gwinganna. Set on over 200 hectares of pristine grounds, Gwinganna offers a range of wellness programs focusing on holistic health, mindfulness, and relaxation, aiming to bring your body back into balance. One of the most popular all-inclusive experiences – the 5-night Triple S Program (Sleep, Sugar, Stress), involves cutting out stress and sugar, promoting relaxation and focusing on quality sleep for optimal health. Be prepared; there’s no minibar, in-room TV, or coffee machine anywhere to be seen!


  • Gaia Retreat and Spa, Byron Bay, NSW

Byron Bay is renowned for its peaceful hippie vibe with clean living, acai bowls, and yoga classes aplenty, but head a little out of town, and you’ll find arguably Australia’s most awarded boutique retreat, Gaia Retreat and Spa. Co-founded by Australian national treasure the late Olivia Newton-John, it’s easy to see why visitors to this retreat walk away hopelessly devoted. Nestled in 25 acres of lush, luxe, and lavish Byron Bay Hinterland, the retreat offers four signature stays – Revive, Renew, Refresh and Restore- each completely flexible to your needs. If you’re unable to stay, the deluxe day spa also welcomes guests, and you’ll have complimentary use of the pool, hot tub, and sauna, too.


  • Samadhi Retreat & Day Spa, Daylesford, VIC

A late autumn afternoon on Lake Daylesford in Daylesford, Victoria, Australia

In the picturesque town of Daylesford, Samadhi Retreat combines luxury accommodation, healing treatments, meditation and wellness workshops, and gourmet cuisine. And if that’s not enough, its location in an ancient volcanic basin means you’re also surrounded by the healing waters of over 140 naturally occurring mineral springs. Stays range from half a day to nine nights and can be tailored for healing, personal reflection, self-discovery or purely relaxation.


  • Billabong Retreat, Maraylya, NSW

Venture a mere 45 minutes from the gridlock traffic of downtown Sydney, and you’re transported to Billabong Retreat – a slice of Bali less than an hour from the city. Cute mini villas are perched amongst the gum trees overlooking the Billabong, and your ears will be treated to a chorus of native birds. The eco-certified retreat has been operating since 2011, tuned in to the vision of helping people reconnect with themselves, others, and nature. You’re treated to dips in the magnesium pool, classic yoga and meditation sessions, and seasonal vegetarian cuisine renowned as a drawcard on its own.


  • Aro Ha Wellness Retreat, Glenorchy, South Island, New Zealand

Balancing stones arranged in a pyramid shape

Leave the adventure capital of Queenstown behind and journey 45 minutes into the Southern Alps towards a different kind of adventure, one of introspection and transformation. Overlooking the breathtaking expanse of Lake Wakatipu, the expert hands at Aro Ha have crafted the perfect program for a holistic reset, including yoga, meditation, hiking, spa therapy, and strength training. All of this is served alongside highly nutritious plant-based meals and a mindfulness mantra. Aroha means love in Māori, and you’re sure to be feeling it when you leave here!


  • Split Apple Retreat, Nelson, South Island, New Zealand

Just visiting the coastal paradise of Abel Tasman National Park is a mindfulness practice on its own, but throw in a luxury wellness retreat, and you might just have found the ultimate elixir! Split Apple Retreat is an intimate and exclusive destination set amongst sweeping 180-degree views of Tasman Bay, where you can indulge in massage, yoga, meditation, a Japanese-style spa pool and an infinity saltwater swimming pool. Once you’ve reached optimal Zen, Split Apple can organise hiking or kayak trips in the nearby Abel Tasman National Park or Marlborough winery experiences – be warned, you might never want to leave.


  • Ridge Country Retreat, Bay of Plenty, North Island, New Zealand

Young woman enjoying massage in spa salon

A luxury retreat located in the Papamoa Ranges, in the balmy climate of the Bay of Plenty, the Ridge Country Retreat is a tranquil day spa wellness retreat, which is home to geothermal pools, there are spa treatments, beauty treatments, bush walks, and numerous pamper packages. You can go for the day or indulge in medium to long-stay options in their luxurious villas. This is a less intensive option where you can indulge as little or as much as you please. After all, wellness comes in many forms, shapes, and sizes, and it all comes down to what you deem relaxing and rejuvenating.


  • Mana Retreat Centre, Coromandel, North Island, New Zealand

Tucked up in the dense bush-clad hills of the Coromandel Ranges, a wellness sanctuary awaits. Mana Retreat is a well-established, beloved retreat space that has helped plenty of one-off guests and repeat visitors unwind over its vibrant, almost 40-year history. A little different to the other retreats on our list, Mana hosts a range of health and wellness escapes hosted by leading yoga and wellness practitioners. A few things remain consistent, though: the delectable Mana Kitchen fuelling you on your journey to Zen, the panoramic serene views of the Manaia Harbour, and the sanctuary-like surroundings and rhythm you’ll quickly settle into.


Wellness; it’s the new wanderlust

It’s well and truly time that your own health and wellbeing climbed to the top of the priority list, and with all these world-class wellness retreats to choose from, cast the excuses aside and get planning. Whether you choose a day stay or multi-day, something local or further afield, there truly is something for every budget and time frame. If you’re craving more and want to wake to retreat-like surroundings every day, speak to your local First National Real Estate expert about a more permanent change of scenery, or you could try bringing the spa to your home – here’s how to turn your bathroom into a day spa.



The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial, or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial, or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.