Luxurious Retreats Around Australia Worth a Weekend Visit

weekend away australia

When you’re on the brink of burning out at work, the answer is never pushing through and stretching yourself to your limits. The way you spend your precious weekend in a stressful time of work can do wonders to refresh your ways of thinking and up your levels of productivity. 

While camping is a wonderful way to get back to nature, our preferred way to recharge is with a luxurious weekend getaway. So book a babysitter, leave your fur baby with a friend, or do whatever you have to do to get over to one of these three world-class retreats. 

The Byron at Byron, Byron Bay, NSW

While The Byron isn’t technically a new property — it’s probably the most established hotel in Byron Bay. An extensive renovation in 2018 has given this much-loved venue a new lease on life with interior design by Luchetti Krelle, a new menu from Chef Matt Kemp and bespoke art from 2015 Archibald Prize winner Julian Meagher.

The resort’s underlying charm remain the same, set within an 18-hectare rainforest away from the bustle of the town centre. It features an enormous swimming pool surrounded by a lush lawn and its spa is a stunner, with all the usual offerings plus treatments tailored especially to men. 

The 91 guestrooms are supremely comfortable — they receive generous natural light and come stocked with all the mod cons you’d expect. For a truly indulgent experience, book one of the deluxe spa suites, which are set in a secluded tropical corner away from the main resort and are just a few minutes’ walk from the beach. 

the byron byron bay
The Byron in Byron Bay is the ideal city break.

Lon Retreat and Spa, Geelong, VIC

Geelong might not immediately spring to mind as a glamorous beach destination, but the recent opening of this small seafront retreat located on a quiet peninsula some 20km from the city centre could change all that. 

Lon Retreat sits on the site of a lovingly maintained 150-year-old farm and boasts private access to Point Lonsdale Beach, which offers sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. If your idea of summer fun is poolside cocktails and a pumping social scene, look elsewhere. But if a lazy afternoon walk along an unspoiled coastline sounds more appealing, this could be your dream spot. Stunning location aside, there are a few things that make Lon special. 

The property’s maximum occupancy is 16 guests spread across seven generous suites, so the place never feels too busy. A warm mineral spring flows directly under the site, feeding water into a serene indoor swimming pool (and into bathtubs in each suite). The in-house spa offers facials, massages, body wraps and scrubs, including options for relaxing couples. 

lon retreat
Lon Retreat is a secluded beach haven.

Qualia, Hamilton Island, QLD

Cyclone Debbie wreaked widespread havoc along the Great Barrier Reef when it hit in early 2017, forcing several top resorts to close. After repairs, Qualia on Hamilton Island is back in business and looking better than ever. The repair work was extensive – the proprietors reportedly spent $2.5m on the gardens alone – and the 10-year-old resort now looks and feels brand new. 

Qualia has 60 guest pavilions set across 12 hectares of landscaped grounds. In addition to private beach access, there are two infinity pools with postcard views plus an epic spa that offers a full suite of personal therapies — such as yoga instruction, iridology and naturopathy — to complement your warm stone massage or full-body salt scrub. 

The dining here is next level, too. Fine diner Pebble Beach offers fresh seafood and air-freighted charcuterie, while the alfresco Long Pavilion serves modern European with Australian influences. 

qualia hamilton island
Soak your worries away.

This story originally appeared in Fitness First magazine.