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Gaia Retreat & Spa Review

Launching alluxia events with a Gaia Retreat Wellness Weekend was an inspired choice writes founder Sally Scott.

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What better way to launch alluxia events this year than with a health retreat to kickstart the year in a positive way? That’s exactly what we did when we took a group of women to Gaia Retreat for a weekend of relaxation, rejuvenation and indulgence.

Gaia Retreat is 2 hours from Brisbane, 20 minutes from Ballina Airport (transfers by arrangement) and just 20 minutes from Byron Bay Township. Stylish and luxurious without being pretentious, it’s co-owned by Olivia Newton-John and long-time friend Gregg Cave. The retreat is majestically poised on the highest point in the region and boasts a dramatic backdrop of undulating hills and green valleys in the Byron Bay Hinterland.

From the moment we arrive through the ornately carved wooden gates, navigating the path through lush gardens to the main house, our shoulders drop and a feeling of relaxation surrounds us as the team in hushed tones warmly welcomes us.

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Our group of women don’t all know each other, but each is keen for some “me” time to recharge the batteries.  Some may come to Gaia Retreat for health reasons or to detox, we’re here more for a girls’ getaway.

It has been 10 years since Gaia Retreat opened its doors and it continues to evolve launching new certified organic skincare range ‘Retreatment’ made locally using Australian native extracts and essences and adding new Komala Villas offering saltwater infinity plunge pools to the collection of 19 rooms.

We’ve booked the more modest Layana Rooms with either King or twin share beds available, tastefully designed for the discerning traveller. Spacious en-suite bathroom is stylish and modern with lovely touches such as fresh flowers and oil burner. An outdoor verandah nestled in fragrant, lush sub-tropical gardens is a lovely extension to the room and a great spot to read a book or meet with friends. Other in-room luxuries include batik robes, slippers and weekend bag to carry all your poolside essentials.

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In the afternoon I’m whisked away to the Gaia Day Spa for my spa treatment with therapist Xan. Rather than being ushered into a treatment room, we exit the building and I’m lead to a private pavilion open to the world but surrounded by the privacy of nature. At one end of the pavilion is an egg shaped stone bath and the other two massage tables, ideal for couples - instead I have it luxuriously to myself today. The massage is heavenly, so relaxing to hear the birdlife surrounding you for a true sense of tranquillity.

Our first activity is core strength, kinda like pilates held in the Zama Yoga Room which affords breathtaking views of the Byron Hinterland. Each morning we head back here for daily Yoga, which is an invigorating way to start the day.

One of the true pleasures of Gaia is the food, as each and every meal is nourishing, inventive and changes daily chosen by the chef. Breakfast is a buffet laden with seasonal fruit, muesli and more and I’d return to Gaia alone for the asparagus, pea and goats cheese frittata. Organic Byron Bay Plunger coffee is available so you don’t have to go without your caffeine hit. Lunch is a flavour packed salad or pasta dish of a million delicious ingredients you wouldn’t have a hope of recreating at home despite being able to purchase a Gaia Cookbook.  Dinner is the main event with three delicious courses and you can order wine from an impressive organic selection.

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Lazing by the sun-dappled pool is the order of the day here. Women (and the odd man or two) wearing our batik robes are curled up reading books, sipping herbal teas and soaking up the sunshine. Surrounded by lush foliage, including a tree with a magnificent candelabra (of course) it’s a relaxing spot to while away the day. If you’re feeling more adventurous there is a tennis court, fitness centre or wander around the perimeter of the retreat.  The track has surprises at every turn, from beautiful natural gardens, sculptures and day beds to meditate or simply to reflect on the calming views beyond. 

Gaia is a “pamper choice” retreat, meaning no one will be banging on your door to get you up for yoga, meditation or for meals. You can also still order an organic plunger coffee and indulge in organic wine with dinner if you wish... It’s quite simply the most relaxing retreat we’ve even been too, with everyone in our group vowing to return soon.

Whether your intention is to lose weight, detoxify, distress, get fit or maybe you just need peace and serenity to regain balance; Gaia provides everything you need to help you on your path. You’ll feel comfortable here alone, with a friend or partner or with a small group. It’s an inspiring and nurturing retreat in a peaceful setting.

Want to join our next Gaia Retreat Wellness Weekend? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to express your interest and we’ll notify you of the next getaway or we can book for you at any time for the dates of your choice.

All inclusive packages including two nights accommodation, all gourmet meals and snacks, morning yoga and all scheduled activities, $250 spa voucher per room, spa gift pack and use of all facilities from $500 per person per night, twin share minimum 2 night stay. 

Image: supplied & IG @alluxia

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