Unwinding At Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat

25 Aug 2011

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Judy, a client of Perchalla & Turner Travel Associates in Adelaide, recently experienced Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat on the Gold Coast. Read on as we ask her all about the experience.

Why did you pick Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat?

In pursuit of my passion to indulge in active adventure tours and to experience diverse cultures, I travel the world scuba diving and trekking - making for non-stop itineraries. This prompted me to change tack and book a week away from the fast paced 21st century environment.

I was confident that I didn’t need to re-address, re-examine or tweak my health and lifestyle. Primarily I wanted to experience what Gwinganna had to offer, and just generally escape and opt out of the manic, yet predictable daily grind. I was therefore focused on the experience.

Tell us about your first impression of the Retreat

I flew into Coolangatta airport, where I was greeted and transferred to Gwinganna via a private bus, along with 15 other guests. My daughter, a Gold Coast local, arrived in her own car and we met on site at the arrival orientation gathering.

The property itself covers 360 acres of pristine volcanic bushland, which offers breathtaking views of the southern Queensland coastline. Clustered around the hillside is the Gwinganna village, consisting of numerous impressive buildings of reclaimed material and especially constructed to provide a seamless flow between activities and experiences.

What is a typical day like at Gwinganna?

Each day we were guided effortlessly through a complete program that offered exciting and varied activities. Nothing is compulsory - if you need a complete week of rest and poolside relaxation, then you are free to make that choice.

On the other hand, the special programs on offer are very enticing and those involving group participation are always fun. Whether you select horse-whispering or organic cooking lessons, the wide variety of choices available really tends to energise you and almost compels you to indulge in as many daily programs as possible.

Evenings around the open fire or the dining table are buzzing with stories and experiences. The recounting of the day’s events usually does not last beyond 8.30pm, however, as bedtime beckons.

The day’s schedule may be planned by the staff, or you can plan your own day. Your day could start with a sunrise Chinese Qi Gong group session and an early morning walk, followed by a breakfast to replenish your energy.

Between breakfast and lunch there are choices between lectures by motivators, doctors, nutritionists, naturopaths and fitness instructors or even some innocent fun, where makeup artists instruct you in a new image, using organic and mineral products.

Further choices include a swim in one of the two ‘infinity’ pools, or something more exotic like a ‘Tribal Drum’. After a sumptuous organic lunch, time is put aside to indulge in all manner of treatments at the ‘Dreamtime Spa’.

Would you go back to Gwinganna?

Absolutely. After 6 days we were loath to leave but, inevitably, the cast iron front gates that had shielded us from those outside temptations of coffee and alcohol were flung open.

As we return to our normal lives we are now well equipped to practise our new found skills and I’m pleased to announce that they are still part of our daily habits. My daughter proclaimed that her Gwinganna journey was a“life-changing experience”.

I found that the Gwinganna ethos is based on equipping you with the skills to pursue both body and mind wellness, whilst enjoying the freedom to achieve your life’s desires and presenting you with opportunities for greater happiness and self-determination.

Sue Johnson

Sue started her career in travel as a Travel Consultant and is now part of the Travel Associates marketing team. You can email her at sue_johnson@travel-associates.com.au