But mate, you’re not a bear, so it’s time to crawl out of this winter slump and dig out your suitcase. Simply planning a getaway can boost your wellbeing, say researchers from Erasmas University Rotterdam and NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, but actually going on that vacation? Even better. Consider these escapes the perfect cold-season antidotes to nourish and warm you from the inside out.
For your mind
Billabong Retreat, Sydney NSW
If you’re looking to get away from the daily grind, consider Billabong Retreat. Nestled in bushland just 45 minutes outside of Sydney CBD, this family-run yoga and meditation sanctuary has everything you need to unwind and recharge the batteries. We’re talking tree-house cabins, nourishing vego food and daily cleansing, self-care and stress management workshops. Max chill, min fuss.
Must do: Sound healing meditation. Lie on a yoga mat and prepare to be transported to a place of calmness and tranquillity. BYO crystal.
Details: From $250 pp, dorm share per night, billabongretreat.com.au
Unyoked, regional Victoria
The ultimate digi-detox experience. Completely immerse yourself in solitude in a tiny house in the wilderness. Unyoked offers off-grid escapes within a stone’s throw of Melbourne. The cabins are solar-powered, totally self-sustaining and provide only the essentials (a comfy bed, warm shower, stove and writing supplies.) There’s no phone reception. No wifi. Just all the time in the world to enjoy the simple things in life: cooking, reading, relaxing and hiking. Sign us up.
Must do: Cook damper on the campfire under the stars. Bliss.
Details: From $199 per night, unyoked.co
For your body
Pipe dreams of becoming the next Tyler Wright? Talallah’s week-long surf camps cater for all abilities, no matter whether you’re a total rookie or hang ten on the reg. You’ll have daily theory classes and world-class coaches showing you the ropes. Plus, there’s ample opportunity to explore your epic surrounds - from bike riding through the local village to trying out a traditional cooking class. Swim. Sun. Stretch. Repeat.
Must do: Day safari to Udawalawe National Park. Get up close with elephants and leopards at one of the largest animal sanctuaries in South Africa.
Details: From $1200 per person dorm share, talallaretreat.com
Active Escapes, Noosa QLD
Burpees before breakfast? Sunset circuits? Rubbing shoulders with the likes of trainers-du-jour Andrew Pap and Amanda Bisk? So much yes. If #cleaneating and ab-sculpting is your jam, Active Escapes is your getaway. With thrice daily sweat sessions on one of Oz’s most beautiful beaches, you’ll be pushing your mind and body to the limits with wakeboarding, hiking and even an ‘amazing race’ on the agenda.
Must do: Rooftop yoga, looking out over Noosa and the neighbouring national park.
Details: From $1,950 per person double share for 6 nights, activeescapes.com
For your spirit
The Sherwood, Queenstown NZ
Set on three acres of alpine hillside in picturesque Queenstown, this eco-resort (which still has its original 1985 motor inn façade) was created with three things in mind: wellbeing, community and sustainability. Think: fire-side-singalongs, storytelling evenings, healing health workshops and wholefoods foraged from their biodynamic vegetable garden. And the best part? It won’t break the bank.
Must do: See the sunrise from the tepee. The views over Lake Wakitipu and The Remarkables are nothing short of, well, remarkable.
Details: From $150 double share per night, sherwoodqueenstown.nz
The Arkaba Walk, Finders Ranges SA:
Bush bashing meets luxe on this four-day, three-night fully-guided trek through the outback. You’ll cover over 48km on foot over a variety of terrain - from rolling hills to dried creek beds - with the stunning Elder Range and Wilpena Pound as your backdrop. Plus, when you return to camp each day your luggage will await, along with a chilled hand towel, a selection of local wine and a chef-prepared three-course feast. This the ultimate opportunity to self-reflect while reconnecting with nature.
Must do: Sleep under the night sky in a swag made up with a few creature comforts - sheets, doonas and fluffy pillows.
Details: From $2,200 per person twin share, arkabawalk.com