Healthy Holiday Hot Spots In NSW

24 September 2019

There’ll always be a place for the resort-style holiday, where sipping cocktails by the pool and walking to and from the buffet are the biggest work-outs on offer. But more and more of us dream of a break from busyness, phones and schedules – an escape to a haven where the health of our mind and body takes top priority.

If you’re craving breathing fresh air rather than pollution, sitting on a rock in the middle of nowhere rather than in front of a computer and walking further than the distance from the station to the office, these health-minded holidays might be just what the doctor ordered.

Byron Bay

Yoga on Belongil Beach, Byron Bay.

Yoga on Belongil Beach, Byron Bay.

Food 
Taste delicious locally grown produce at restaurants such as 100-Mile Table in central Byron. Discover ‘food as medicine’ at nutritionist Sam Gowing’s Byron Bay Cooking Classes and pick up goodies for your next healthy meal at the Bangalow Farmers Market – a 20-minute drive from Byron on farmland-fringed roads.

Fitness
Start your day with an early morning yoga class at the Byron Yoga Centre then hit the beach for a refreshing swim, or take a learn-to-surf class at Byron Bay Surf School.

Zen
Byron Bay is the mindfulness mecca of NSW, so where better to learn meditation? Awaken Meditation will show you how it’s done. Or treat yourself to one of the indulgent therapies on offer at Elements of Byron Resort’s Osprey Spa (Oceanic De-Stress, anyone?).

South Coast

Merimbula Beach, Merimbula

Merimbula Beach, Merimbula 

Food
On a Region X kayak tour in Batemans Bay, meet fourth-generation oyster growers, slurp oysters straight from the shell and paddle the pure waters of the Clyde River to learn more about how this delicious (or disgusting, depending on your point of view) mollusc is grown.

Fitness
Pop down to Seven Mile Beach, just south of Gerringong, to run, swim or stroll. Or take a stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) lesson with Shoalhaven Heads Surf School (they’ll take you to a flat-water location). If you have kids, head further south to the calm waters of Merimbula Lake, where the whole family (children 10 years and over) can have a SUP lesson with Merimbula Stand Up Paddle.

Zen
The luxury Bangalay Villas in Shoalhaven Heads are the perfect place to recharge. Inspired by the coastal landscape, the villas have native gardens that mirror the adjacent dunes, while in-villa massages by Jaspers Organic Day Spa will have you floating on cloud nine. Or head inland to Crystal Creek Meadows retreat and spa in the green and lovely Kangaroo Valley.

There’s nothing like an encounter with wildlife to renew the spirit. On the Sapphire Coast—about seven hours’ drive south of Sydney—lose yourself in the company of frolicking bottlenose dolphins, or maybe spot a whale between May and November, on a tour with Cat Balou Cruises or Merimbula Marina.

Snowy Mountains

Sign welcoming visitors to Jolly Berries blueberry farm in Tumbarumba

Jolly Berries, Tumbarumba

Food
Wilgro Orchards in Batlow has a famous roadside stall, where you can buy tree-ripened cherries, apples and chestnuts, depending on the season. Between December and March, pick blueberries straight from the farm at JollyBerries in Tumbarumba. At the eco-accredited Eucumbene Trout Farm, go on a fishing adventure where you catch, then cook, your lunch.

Fitness
With a majestic mountain and river landscape, the region on the edge of the Kosciuszko National Park is a magnet for horse riders, hikers, mountain-bikers and fly-fishers.

Zen
Nimbo Fork Lodge, between Gundagai and Tumut, is perfectly located for those who need a hit of Mother Nature but still want a comfy bed, good food and a bathtub with a view. Horse riding and picnic baskets available.

Or get off the grid at Kimo Estate in nearby Gundagai. The three architect-designed eco huts have 180-degree vistas across the Murrumbidgee River flats and 100-per-cent vegan Leif hand and body products made from Australian natives.

Blue Mountains

Food and Wine at Leura Garage, Leura, Blue Mountains.<br />

Food and Wine at Leura Garage, Leura, Blue Mountains.

Food
The refined menu at Palette Dining in Katoomba is influenced by produce supplied by local market gardeners. It’s a little more casual – but infinitely more hip – at Leura Garage, where local sourcing and seasonality are the key philosophies behind the food.

Fitness
The Blue Mountains are a bushwalker’s paradise, covered with walking trails to suit all fitness levels. For those who like their fitness a little more adventurous, the glorious Jamison Valley offers abseiling and canyoning.

Zen
Wellness is easy when you’re in the middle of the magnificent World Heritage Blue Mountains National Park. Find an off-the-tourist-trail lookout like Elysian Rock, take a perch and discover your inner calm. Treat yourself to a long and languid massage at Ubika Day Spa.

If you like the iKOU products they use, visit the iKOU store in Leura to keep your new-found sense of zen alive when you get home. The two-storey, 16-room spa at the Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains boasts four couples’ rooms, a Vichy shower and ‘zen space’ to sip herbal tea and read. Its 105-minute signature White Flannel Flower Sanctuary Ritual will keep you calm forever. Well, for a few hours at least.

Country NSW

Sculptures in the Garden, Mudgee

Sculptures in the Garden, Mudgee

Food
Mudgee, about 270km northwest of Sydney, is one of the State’s food and wine meccas, ideal for a little healthy indulgence. It’s hard to go past Lowe Wines, one of the first organic wineries in Australia, while paddock-to-plate eatery Pipeclay Pumphouse only uses homegrown or locally sourced produce.

Fitness
Chesleigh Homestead is a 1,200-hectare wilderness property that’s ripe for exploring. Horse riders will be thrilled with trails up mountains and along the river; mountain-bikers will be equally happy; or you can just explore the terrain­—which includes valleys, waterfall creeks and caves—on foot.

Zen
A grand art deco homestead on 40 hectares that brims with native wildlife and beautiful views, Carrawobitty Rural Retreat is the perfect place to unwind. About 15km from the central-west town of Forbes, Carrawobitty offers meditation and mindfulness retreats, and the perfect chance to do a digital detox.

At Rosby winery in Mudgee, graze on paddock-to-plate dishes and take in views of the vineyards when you indulge your creative side at one of the regular art workshops.

 

For more information on planning your trip to New South Wales, head to VisitNSW.com.