The Hunter Valley’s wine and food options will have your mouth watering, but its impressive wellness offerings will help keep your mind and body balanced, too.
Check in to a health retreat
Healthy, wholefood-based meals (but no wine, unfortunately), a huge program of activities and lush treatments are on the menu at Elysia Wellness Retreat in Pokolbin, the Hunter Valley’s premier health retreat. The wellness programs range from three to seven nights and focus on fitness, healthy eating and rejuvenation, and the day spa is also open to the public for massages, facials and more. The luxurious suites have king-sized beds, bathtubs and balconies overlooking the rolling hills.
If you’ve got a group of friends, family or colleagues who all need a little time out, book a private stay at Nu Leaf Retreat. This gorgeous lodge in Pokolbin sleeps up to 24 guests in spacious ensuite rooms overlooking the shiraz vines. There’s a huge commercial kitchen and open plan dining area, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, yoga studio, gym, day spa facilities and more for you to customise your own retreat.
Focus on your fitness at Miliya Health Retreat, where bespoke programs focus on Pilates reformer, hot yoga and bootcamps. Packages include three meals a day, designed by a local chef and using the best local ingredients. The retreat is part of Argentille Boutique Accommodation, a working horse farm with luxurious accommodation, so equine therapy can be integrated into the programs. Wind down with a treatment in the day spa before retreating to one of the nine stylish rooms in the aptly named Stables building.
Indulge at a day spa
Part of the five-star Spicers Vineyards Estate, the small and elegant Spa Anise is open to both hotel guests and the public. Treatments include aromatherapy massages, a full-body treatment and the spa’s very apt signature treatment, the Vino Spa Ritual. It starts with a champagne sorbet body scrub before a skin-smoothing infusion containing pressed grapes, followed by a rejuvenating facial.
Chateau Élan at The Vintage is an award-winning resort and golf club that’s also home to one of the largest and most luxurious day spas in Australia. Start with a glass of bubbles on the Hydro Deck, a soak in one of the two mineral spas and a session in the infrared sauna. Then retreat to one of the 17 treatment rooms for massages, mud wraps, body scrubs and facials.
Rolling fields of vines and breathtaking views of the spectacular Broken Back Range provide a tranquil setting for Adina Vineyard in Lovedale. Book in for a luxurious package and be scrubbed from head to toe, followed by a glass of Hunter Valley bubbles on the verandah. Inside the Rydges Resort (formerly the Crowne Plaza), Ubika Spa is a calm sanctuary offering indulgent treatments that use the exclusive Skeyndor range of products. The innovative formulas use ethical ingredients and scientific methods to leave your skin glowing., set on the grounds of
Reset at an off-grid cabin
Sometimes, you just need to get away from it all. Into The Wild Escapes can offer just that; a handful of tiny homes and off-grid cabins dotted around the Hunter Valley. Set on private farms or in untouched bushland, these secluded retreats are perfect for quiet contemplation, walks in nature, midnight stargazing and disconnecting from technology. Choose between Christopher, Clancy and Elizabeth, then switch off from the world.
Find your inner zen
Feeling too cosy in your accommodation to leave? Book a massage to come to you. Heavenly Hunter’s therapists offer a variety of massage styles but specialise in the Hawaiian therapies of Lomi Lomi and Kahuna. Yoga in the Vines runs private classes in beautiful locations. Their philosophy focuses on balance and a realistic approach to wellness, so you’ll pair yoga, meditation and mindfulness with a tasting of Hunter Valley wines. Or commit to an immersive retreat at their gorgeous Sovereign Hill lodge.
Set on 37 acres of gorgeous countryside in Broke, The Wellness Farm describes itself as ‘the perfect place to disconnect to reconnect’. Dedicated retreats focus on things like yoga, stress and nutrition, and there’s a range of indulgent features like a red cedar sauna, hot tub and swimming pool. If you need a little time back in the real world, the farm is very close to wineries and restaurants.
Focus on your fitness
Saddle up for an escorted trail ride through the region’s undulating countryside with Hunter Valley Horses. There are easy 30-minute vineyard rides for beginners or more adventurous 90-minute rides along old stock routes in the Brokenback Ranges. Early risers will want to book in for the Rise and Shine sunrise ride, meandering through the vines and bushland as the day comes to life.
Off-road enthusiasts might like to hire a mountain bike and ride the Sutton Estate electric bike. Golfers are spoilt for choice with three championship courses in the valley. Oaks Cypress Lakes is the top ranked course – stay at the adjoining resort to finish your round with a dip in the lovely swimming pool.. Built by convicts to connect the Hunter to the north in 1836, it’s part of the Convict Sites of Australia World Heritage Area. Or grab a map and go further and faster on a