Like many of us, I have a chaotic and busy life as a mum trying to balance work, health and family. So much so, that deciding I need a break from everything and everyone from time to time is crucial for our survival. We all need to re-calibrate, revitalize and re-motivate ourselves – for our families and friends but most importantly for ourselves. Leaving our routines and habits behind makes it easier to return refreshed and motivated to create new habits. But choices of escapes are vast, the values and standards are varied and the range in price is great.
I spoke to a fellow school mum, Bianca, who had returned from a weekend at a health retreat and wanted to know what she learned, how she felt during the retreat and more importantly, if she brought anything of it back to her daily life.
Bianca had gone to Gwinganna, a health retreat in the south eastern corner of Queensland, in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
Gwinganna is perched high on the plateau of the Tallebudgera Valley overlooking the hinterland, the city of the Gold Coast and the ocean; it offers over 200 hectares of rainforest, bush and rural paddocks to explore. It is a place where the natural environment is defined in the philosophies of the retreat itself.
Why did you choose Gwinganna?
I chose Gwinganna for its reputation, reviews I had read in various magazines and newspapers and upon recommendations from friends who had previously visited. I also took advantage of a special rate being advertised and took a friend.
What was your first impression?
I was impressed with the very natural and rural surroundings. The sense of privacy and exclusion from the outside world was very calming straight away. The beautiful pool area was particularly stunning as was the Day Spa.
What did a typical day look like?
A very early knock on the door to wake you up!!! An activity such as bush walking, breakfast, a class of some sort, your own leisure time, lunch. After lunch either a rest or time in the day spa. Meditation and early dinner before retiring to your room by 8pm. You could do as little or as much as you liked.
Can you describe what you loved about the food?
I loved the emphasis on fresh and organic produce and food derived from the garden beside the main eating area. The flavours in every meal were amazing and the portion size was more than enough. I was initially sceptical there would not be “enough” food available as portions sizes were described as small and there was limited snacking but I was pleasantly surprised at how I always felt very well nourished. I liked how meals were made from the cookbook available to purchase also.
What room type did you stay in and how would you rate it?
I stayed in a cabin by myself. I can’t recall the exact name of it. It was very peaceful, clean with lovely comfortable linen and plush pillows. The toiletries were good. I would rate the rooms as at a comfortable standard.
How would you sum up the whole Gwinganna experience?
Having been twice now I have enjoyed both visits immensely and have left feeling renewed, re-energised and refreshed. I enjoyed all the activities on offer and the day spa was particularly beautiful and tranquil. The therapists were of a very high standard. I think it is beautiful retreat where you’re educated and pampered all at once.
Do you believe you left equipped with the skills to create new healthy habits and pursue both body and mind wellness?
Yes, although only there for a weekend I was pleasantly surprised at how much was on offer from classes, information sessions, and activities to down time to relax in order to achieve a better sense of health and wellbeing.
Gwinganna in a nutshell
In a world of busy, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat is the ultimate destination to soothe your soul and inspire you to live a healthier life.
You can choose a range of retreat programs each day. The highly qualified staff can assist with anything from repairing psychological issues, to weight loss, to detoxing and sleep restoration, to rest and recharge, sharing a weekend with the girls, a romantic couples retreat or the ultimate solo pamper package.
An incredible selection of activities, tips and wellness seminars on how to live a healthier life, reduce stress and how to enhance healthier ageing. Gwinganna’s retreats give you the opportunity to explore, try new activities and learn. Choose from a 2 day Wellness Weekend through to the full 7 day detox, or combine 2 or more retreats for an extended stay.
Inspiring Organic Cuisine
Fresh, local organic with much of the produce harvested from the on site gardens and orchard. Gwinganna cuisine enjoys a clean and pure journey from preparation to plate. With attention to individual needs, perfectly balanced nutrition ensures the required nourishment is provided to the body for energy and vitality.