Even if you are good at balancing your busy schedule and finding zen in everyday life, sometimes we all just need that well-deserved time off to relax and recharge. For those who love travelling, there is no better way to explore your inner self than taking a trip away from home. When thinking of places to connect with the spiritual realm, Australia might not be the first to mind, but wait until you discover what Australia has in store for lovers of yoga and conscious living. Here are the top 5 places to find your Zen in Australia.
Byron Bay, NSW
Surrounded by spectacular beaches and abundant tropical forests, Byron Bay is only a 2-hour drive from sunny Brisbane and showcases beautiful mountains, waterfalls, historic landmarks and surrounding small country towns. Byron Bay is an all-time favourite for great surf and aquatic adventures. The retreats in Byron Bay are often a combination of relaxing yoga and meditation practices and outdoor activities, such as mindfulness walks in nature. Let your mind drift away in the marvellous surrounds of Byron Bay and create beautiful memories that last a lifetime.
Sunshine Coast, QLD
Due to the abundance of stunning beaches, lush rainforests and rich cultural life, Sunshine Coast is a fantastic place for hiking, rock climbing, surfing, diving, trying new foods and exploring Queensland. Being one of the most popular holiday destinations in Australia, Sunshine Coast is perfect for reconnecting with yourself, nature and life. Besides standard retreats, you can find a significant number of Zen Buddhist yoga retreats in the area. So, if you feel like learning new mantras, having Zen armchair chats, or simply enjoying bird watching in solitude, look no further!
Less than a two-hour flight from Perth, WA will take you to the spectacular region of Ningaloo. With the stunning beauty of the Cape Range National Park and its striking coastline cliffs, it’s easy to see why Ningaloo is the place of spirituality and peace. Check the calendar, maybe you are just on time to encounter the migrating whale sharks and dolphins along the coast! There are quite a few options of eco-certified retreats in the Ningaloo region that offer a spiritual journey for those seeking yoga and adventure. The daily flow usually includes therapeutic yoga practices, mindful musings, cultural talks, full moon healing circles, soulful meditations and eco-adventure tour programme. Through healing ceremonies and wildlife adventures you will be able to balance both body and mind.
If besides yoga retreat, you are also planning to visit Australia’s most popular cities, Melbourne should definitely be on your list. With its recent healthy lifestyle trends and deep appreciation for the wellness realm, it would be surprising not to have a big yoga and mindfulness community in Melbourne. Most yoga retreats take place at the country houses or mineral springs resorts near Melbourne. Retreat packages offer a variety of things like inspiring workshops on nutrition, cooking classes, sports & leisure activities, and various yoga and meditation styles for all levels of ability. The choice is yours!
Bungle Bungles, WA
Bungle Bungles is natures treasure located in the Purnululu National Park that looks like a labyrinth of giant beehives, filled with breathtaking landscapes and sacred beginnings. Located in the Kimberley region, it is not one of the traditional retreats, but a place for a spiritual journey, self-reflection, and practicing emotional yoga. One of the ways to achieve inner peace and joy is having a relaxing meditation session in nature, and the mysterious Bungle Bungles are definitely among the best places in Australia for this! If you are looking for unique experiences, take this journey by yourself, try out safari glamping, stargaze in the nature’s harmony and simply enjoy the peaceful environment of the Bungle Bungles.
Yoga and mediation practices found their dedicated place in Australian culture very quickly. So whether it is a detox package or a silent retreat you are looking for, the Land Down Under, with its divine nature, will certainly help you to find your Zen.
Irene Seah has been travelling non-stop for the past three years. Visiting new places in the off-season and inspiring others to travel are two of her biggest passions. These days Irene spends most of the time working on her destination website about Perth, and going through a journey of self-discovery with the help of yoga and meditation.
Photo credit: Robert Young, Perth Tourist Centre website