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Where to Find NSW's Most Rejuvenating Experiences for a Dose of Well-Deserved R&R

There's no shame in the relaxation game.
By Reema Hindi
May 28, 2022
By Reema Hindi
May 28, 2022


in partnership with

There's no shame in the relaxation game.

Whether you dread that early morning alarm or jump out of bed excited for each day, chances are you need (and deserve) a break — because everyone does every now and again.

We understand annual leave is precious and it can be easy to fall into the trap of packing your itinerary full of non-stop adventures. But there's no shame in the relaxation game if that's what you're really craving. So we've gone on a hunt for the top experiences around New South Wales that'll leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated — from quick (but effective) outdoor yoga classes to multi-day rainforest retreats.

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    If you find yourself around Lightning Ridge, you can’t miss a therapeutic dip in the thermal bore baths. The water in these baths comes from the Great Artesian Basin, one of the largest freshwater basins in the world. A soak here is the perfect way to relax in the cooler months, with the 2 million-year-old water naturally staying between 40 and 50 degrees. The Lightning Ridge Bore Baths are open every day (except 10am–12pm Monday to Friday for cleaning) and are free of charge for everyone to enjoy.

    Image: Destination NSW

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    Situated on beautiful rolling hills just outside Mudgee is Sierra Escape, a luxury eco-glamping experience. Sierra Escape is an adults-only retreat making it the perfect spot for a romantic getaway.

    After a day of wine tasting in Mudgee, make tracks to your private tent equipped with a lush bed, fire pit and hot shower. Watch the sunset over the hills with a glass of locally produced wine in your own outdoor bathtub before getting cosy in front of the indoor fireplace. Then, start the next day with a sunset walk to the hilltop lookout, some yoga on the deck and a swim in the pool made from a shipping container.

    Image: Cameron D’Arcy, Destination NSW

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  • 7

    Gaia Retreat, located among the lush greenery of Bundjalung country, is a picturesque haven worlds away from the bustle of city life. The boutique accommodation offers a highly flexible retreat experience, so you can enjoy the gorgeous facilities as you please — whether that’s complete sloth-like relaxation or a health and wellness kick.

    It’s worth a visit to simply soak up the beautiful scenery, but there is plenty more to enjoy here, from day spa treatments and lounging by the pool to practicing yoga and getting a naturopathic consultation. Plus, don’t forget about the award-winning food on offer. Throughout your stay, you’ll indulge in delicious organic wine and food, with all produce grown on-site or sourced from local producers within the Northern Rivers region.

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  • 6

    If you only have time for a quick night away from the city and don’t want to waste any of it driving to your destination, why not head seaside? Taylor Made Escapes has you covered with a luxury overnight experience on your own private yacht. Picture gorgeous Palm Beach scenery, crystal clear waters, deluxe cabins and champagne in the sunshine for some premium glamour.

    During the day, you can enjoy a secluded ocean swim or take a rowboat to shore. At night, watch the sunset over the horizon and relax on the calm sea while getting stuck into a decadent seafood platter. Rates start at $499 for two people, with additional guests charged at $100 per person (maximum six overnight guests). It’s time to start planning the ultimate Sydney sleepover.

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  • 5

    Want to escape to the peaceful beachside paradise that is Jervis Bay? A short drive from Huskisson, you’ll find Paperbark Camp, a family-operated eco-friendly bush retreat with African safari-inspired tents.

    The tents have everything you need for a luxe camping experience, including polished hardwood floors, high-quality linen and an open-air private en suite, where you can enjoy a hot bath while spotting wildlife. The property has a number of walking trails to explore, plus bikes and canoes to borrow if you want to venture a little further. The accommodation also includes the renowned treetop dining room, The Gunyah, which offers a three-course set menu showcasing local produce and Indigenous ingredients.

    Image: Destination NSW

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    Yoga in the Vines

    What better way to embrace a balanced lifestyle than practicing your yoga skills with a side of vino and cheese? Yoga in the Vines is all about encouraging an inclusive and attainable approach to wellness.

    The stretch and sip experience begins with a 60-minute yoga and meditation class set within a stunning vineyard in the Hunter Valley. Once you’ve downward dogged, sun saluted and reverse warriored your way to pure relaxation, you’ll have an hour to indulge in wine, cheese and fruit, all sourced from local producers.

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    Wild Things Anatomy Retreat

    A Wild Things Anatomy Retreat may not be the most relaxing experience — but it will leave you rejuvenated with skills and memories to keep for a lifetime. The multi-day events will introduce you to breathwork and cold exposure therapy as you explore the beautiful Snowy Mountains. There is a range of retreats to suit all needs and budgets, including an extensive five-day retreat that culminates in a challenging climb to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko dressed only in shorts.

    The Wild Things Team is trained in the Wim Hof Method, which combines breath work with cold therapy to help connect more deeply with the human body. The techniques are said to improve sleep, focus and cardiovascular health while reducing stress and anxiety.

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    There is nothing quite like the tiny slice of island paradise of Lord Howe Island. Here, pristine beaches and subtropical rainforests are surrounded by crystal clear waters, and the best way to enjoy this World Heritage-listed island escape is with a stay at Capella Lodge. The premium luxury retreat is home to several suites with views of the sea and mountains, each with their own set of features, like plunge spas and wraparound verandahs.

    Throughout your stay, you can enjoy beautiful scenery, tuck into delicious local produce, relax in the spa or embark on island expeditions, such as venturing into Valley of the Shadows or hiking to the summit of Mount Gower. Only 400 visitors are allowed on the island at any time so, if you’re lucky enough to snag a spot, guaranteed peace and quiet awaits.

    Image: Rhiannon Taylor

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    Boats and Baskets

    If you are looking to transform any old day into something really special, Boats and Baskets has you covered. The south Sydney-based company has two packages to choose from. The first is a four-hour beach picnic. You and your crew (eight guests max) will be picked up by a private boat at Cronulla Public Wharf and taken to a quiet beach where your chic picnic set-up awaits. You’ll have three hours to relax, swim and graze on sambos, cheese and crackers, vegetables and fruit before your return boat ride. The experience starts at $140 per person with the option to upgrade your hamper with rosé or Veuve if you wish.

    If you really want to make a day of it, opt for the half-day boat charter instead. You’ll still get to enjoy a seaside picnic but you’ll also be treated to a private tour of the Port Hacking River, with stops at Poolflat picnic area and some of the hidden swim locations, along the way.

    Image: Destination NSW

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For more places to visit in New South Wales to feel rejuvenated, head to

Top image: Capella Lodge, Tom Archer

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