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Rest, Relax & Rejuvenate: 10 day spas & yoga retreats to add to your itinerary


TNQ Writer

From three day beach-side yoga retreats, to modern spa treatments in the heart of Cairns City, relax and unwind with these spa and yoga experiences in Tropical North Queensland.

If your new year’s resolutions to nourish your mind, body and soul have already fallen by the wayside, we know just the place to realise your goals.

Enter Tropical North Queensland, a destination where you can inhale fresh tropical air and exhale inner-city stress, all set to the backdrop of two World Heritage-listed wonders.

Whether you decide to pepper these wellness activities throughout your itinerary, or make them your whole holiday focus, get ready to rest, relax and rejuvenate at one of these day spas or yoga retreats from Mission Beach to Port Douglas and the Daintree.

1. Daintree Wellness Spa, Daintree Rainforest

Feel grounded in the world's oldest surviving rainforest

Nestled in the famous foliage of the Daintree Rainforest, you’ll find Daintree Wellness Spa, the onsite spa of the highly awarded Daintree Ecolodge.

With a wellness menu that focuses on restoring the mind, body and soul, this spa pays its respects to the Traditional Owners of the land by combining the ancient healing properties of the rainforest with modern spa practices.

Treatments incorporate water from the waterfall on the property, the very spring used by generations of Kuku Yalanji women said to have healing and spiritual properties.

The celebration of the environment doesn’t stop there – your therapist will throw open the doors to the sounds of the 180-million-year-old rainforest to accompany your treatment, rather than pressing play on an artificial track titled ‘rainforest sounds’.

2. Thala Beach Body & Soul Rainforest Escape by Spiritual Journeys, Oak Beach

Three days nestled in Mother Nature is sure to soothe the soul

If the mental load of even organising a holiday is weighing you down, let wellness experts, Spiritual Journeys, take care of everything.

Thala Beach Nature Reserve is the setting for their three-day retreat program (14-16 May), with an itinerary that combines yoga, meditation and naturopathy.

In between sessions, the 145-acre property is yours to explore, whether it’s a walk along the private headland and beach that hug the property, a dip in one of Thala’s pools or simply curling up for some quiet time in your private bungalow.

It’s hard to think of a more relaxing setting to slide into śavāsana than the very spot where two UNESCO World Heritage sites – the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest – collide.

3. Eleme Spa, Cairns

Eléme Day Spa at Crystalbrook Riley offers a relaxing retreat in the heart of Cairns City

Set inside the personality-fuelled Crystalbrook Riley, Eléme Day Spa delivers on its promise to pamper.

Everything about Eleme is personalised so you won’t find a one-size-fits all spa menu. Instead, on arrival you’ll meet with a therapist to outline a treatment that best suits your mind, body and soul.

The spa menu features all the classics – facials, massage, body scrubs and peels – which are designed to be either savoured solo, as a couple or with a group of friends.

Using Australian-owned, natural, vegan and cruelty-free Sodashi products, expect to be transported at this newcomer to Cairns’ wellness scene.

4. Vie Spa, Cairns, Palm Cove and Port Douglas

A massage at Vie Spa instantly transports you to a holiday state of mind

If you want to start your holiday in the means you wish to carry on, bypass the poolside cocktails and book a treatment at Vie Spa at one of their three locations – Pullman Cairns International, Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort & Spa and Pullman Port Douglas Sea Temple Resort & Spa.

Cocoon yourself in Vie’s wellness bubble, which has the award-cabinet to prove it’s worthy of the coveted title, ‘Cairns’ best day spa’.

The spa menu is as comprehensive as any degustation – with a choice of massages, facials, beauty services or relaxation ‘rituals’.

With treatment names like ‘heaven on earth’, ‘organic radiance’ and ‘body de-stress’, you can expect to be transported into a holiday state of mind.

5. The Alamanda Spa by Lancemore, Palm Cove

Relax and rejuvenate in this palm-fringed paradise

If you choose your day spa based on the view from the treatment room, it’s hard to go past The Alamanda Spa by Lancemore in Palm Cove, overlooking the palm-lined foreshore.

Their spa menu features facials and massages, alongside facial enhancements and couples packages. One of the most popular treatments is the Alamanda Signature Treatment, which can be enjoyed alone or with your significant other.

If you want to fast-track that holiday feeling, choose one of their spa packages like ‘spa and lunch’, which pairs a 60-minute treatment with lunch at the equally decadent Nu Nu restaurant, just downstairs.

6. The Peppers Beach Club & Spa, Palm Cove

Palm Cove provides beach relaxation from dawn to dusk

A Palm Cove holiday will almost certainly melt your worries away, but if you want to supercharge the R&R, check into Peppers Beach Club & Spa, whose onsite spa was voted by Conde Nast as one of the best spas in the world.

Using Australian spa care range LI’TYA, Exclusive Spas combines ancient Indigenous wisdom about the healing properties found within nature with their modern treatments.

Everything about the treatment menu has been designed for deep relaxation, from the products to the menu, to the global first Vichy tables — a cushioned table with multiple shower heads that melt away your worries through hydrotherapy.

7. Kewarra Beach Resort & Spa, Kewarra Beach

Immerse yourself in relaxation at this sanctuary by the sea

If the distance between the massage table and the water is commensurate to your ability to rest and recharge, put Kewarra Beach Resort & Spa on your Tropical North Queensland to-do list.

Whether you choose to stay in one of its beachfront bungalows or visit only for the day spa, the signature Kewarra Escape will put you on the path to holiday bliss with a vichy shower body scrub, massage, facial and hair treatment.

Treatment rooms cater for both couples and singles, with transfers in an Audi convertible and a spa lunch at Paperbark Restaurant just two of the optional add-ons available.

8. Essentia Day Spa, Lizard Island

Embrace your inner zen on a remote island on the Great Barrier Reef

Wellness and luxury frequently go hand in hand but are epitomised in North Queensland on Lizard Island.

If you’re looking for the kind of wellness retreat that guarantees seclusion and privacy, set your sights on the 1013-hectare National Park in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef, where the resort accommodates just you and 20 other guests.

In their Essentia Day Spa, everything about the wellness journey you’re about to embark upon is designed for maximum relaxation – from the Ikou products used to the views from the treatment rooms.

The full-body nourishment extends to the kitchen, with fresh, local produce from the Tropical North Queensland coast and mainland.

9. The Reef House by M Gallery, Palm Cove

Soothe the skin and soul with a range of luxurious spa treatments

For a dose of vitamin sea, book into The Reef House Day Spa, which is the only day spa in Queensland to offer phytomer treatments.

If you’ve never heard of ‘phyto’, it heralds from Saint-Malo, France, using marine biotechnology to promote glowing, healthy skin.

Given your proximity to the water, it makes sense to soak up the benefits of the sea. Opt for a marine face or body treatment, such as the ocean spa ritual which combines sea salt, oligomer, and red algae with natural oils for a total marine indulgence.

10. The Sanctuary Eco Lodge & Yoga Retreat, Mission Beach

Salute the sun with yoga at Mission Beach

If you’d like to take your meditation and yoga practice to new levels, re-TREAT yourself with a yoga intensive at Sanctuary Retreat Eco-lodge.

Let the 50 acres of lush tropical private rainforest become your studio, as you perfect your practice in their dedicated yoga space overlooking the Coral Sea.

With over 30 retreat programs scheduled for the year ahead, you’ll find a retreat to suit your pace, whether it’s your first time saluting the sun or you’re a regular ashram visitor.

The lodge is perfectly set up for retreat guests, with in-house massage and the Sanctuary Longhouse Restaurant to nourish your bendy body after each session.

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