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How to get your bliss on in Noosa
Wellness travel is on the rise and Noosa is at the heart of it.
Best known to we Victorians for its fine food and glorious beaches, Noosa also bills itself as the wellness capital of Australia. And why not; it’s surrounded by national parks and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and there are wellness practitioners on every block, beside yoga studios, day spas and a host of biodynamic cafes and restaurants.
Just being surrounded by nature here is enough to heal you. Catch a wave (there’s 12 different breaks), try yoga on a surfboard, or on a farm, or relax with a full day of massage treatments at one of the best day spas in Australia. We look at the five best ways to heal yourself in Noosa.
Go on a surfari.
Drive 10 minutes from the beach and you’ll find yourself surrounded by forest in the middle of a Balinese-themed village at one of Australia’s highest-rated day spas. Leave the beach behind for a day and book yourself in to Ikatan Day Spa’s most indulgent wellness package: the eight-hour Day Retreat, including everything from meditation and yoga to Bali foot rituals and massage. Then again, you might just want a 60-minute massage or facial. Either way, once you push past the gates, you’ll be transported to this piece of Bali on the Sunshine Coast. Four-time winner of ‘Australia’s Best Destination Spa’, and recent winner of Haute Grandeur Global Hotel & Spa Awards as Best Spa, Best Boutique Spa, Best Eco Spa and Best Signature Treatments, you won’t find a more relaxing experience away from Noosa’s beaches.
It wasn’t so long ago that eating vegan on the Sunshine Coast meant choosing between hot chips and green salads when dining out. But the Noosa area is now packed with restaurants and markets offering vegan, biodynamic and organic food choices. Belmondos Organic Market in Noosa Junction’s trendy industrial precinct has onsite artisan producers and wholesalers offering everything from ready-made vegan treats to botanicals and organic coffee roasters. Meanwhile, superfood hot-spots like Vanilla Food (you’ll find it within Belmondos Organic Market and there’s a brand new store opened up in Noosa Junction) dish up healthy treats such as vegan gnocchi with garden peas, coconut feta, toasted hazelnuts, fresh lemon and micro greens. Just across from the main beach at Noosa, Coconut Head sells superfood smoothies and bowls (and poke bowls), including signature Greena Colada smoothie with banana, mango, pineapple and kale.
Do yoga in the middle of a farm
There’s no shortage of yoga studios in Noosa and surrounds but for something different Shambhala Farm, nestled deep in the Noosa Valley, has a yoga room in the midst of a bucolic three-hectare biodynamic and organic farm. Nourish and connect your mind and spirit with a downward dog or two, looking across crops of leafy greens towards the bird-filled dam. Yoga Shala also hold mini-retreats, and there’s an organic kitchen and bakery on-site for treats after your class.
Get your yoga on in the middle of a farm.
Go on a surfari
Noosa’s home to some of the world’s top surf breaks – with five world-class point breaks all within the national park that borders town. Intrepid surfers can venture beyond to where few ever surf – either with a helicopter excursion or a 4WD ‘surfari’ VIP adventure. TropicSurf takes guests 15 minutes north of Noosa, across the Noosa River to a beach that doubles as a highway (with a speed limit of 80kmh). Then it’s on to legendary surf spots including Point Cartwright and Rainbow Beach to ride perfect waves before a gourmet picnic on the beach. Optional extras include a private beach yoga session. The helicopter surfari will take you to a private surf spot, where a chef will prepare lunch as you surf.
Try stand-up paddleboard yoga
How about doing yoga while balancing on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) on the Noosa River? You don’t have to be an expert. The boards are more stable on the river than you’d think and your teacher, Kat Harding, has taught SUP yoga all over the world – even teaching yoga teachers in the Maldives. There’s no better way to work on your balance and strengthen your core than yoga on a board, and where better to try it for the first time than Noosa? (If you fall, the water’s always warm.) Located just out of town at Noosaville, your floating studio takes in the beauty of the tree-lined Noosa River, with kayakers paddling past. For those who prefer solid ground beneath their yoga mat, there are also beach yoga sessions available.
If you're planning a Sunshine Coast escape, RACV members get 25% off accommodation at RACV Noosa Resort, where you can bliss out in a luxury villa (rooftop spa, anyone?), rejuvenate with a message at One Spa or enjoy fresh produce and seasonal dining at modern Australian restaurant, Arcuri.
RACV Members also save 15% on daily car rental rates with Thrifty, with locations at Maroochydoore Airport, Brisbane Airport and Noosa.