Our favourite spas in Australia
Mix serious relaxation, spa cuisine and habit-forming yoga, qi gong and creative dance classes at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, set on 200 hectares of Gold Coast hinterland. The only thing likely to raise the blood pressure is a sighting of part-owner Hugh Jackman.
For a less regimented time in the subtropics head to the 23-room Gaia Retreat behind Byron Bay where detoxers are free to be as diligent or decadent as they wish. There's a 14-room day spa and tailored health programs for the virtuous, and all-day snacking, three-course dinners and (organic) wines for the less disciplined.
If the setting - a 300 million-year-old escarpment in the Blue Mountains - isn't enough to soothe frayed nerves, check into the spa at Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley for chakra balancing and "sacred stone" massages.
Feel the bliss at Injidup Spa Retreat, a boutique retreat and petite spa set in 120 hectares at Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park by the Indian Ocean.
Victoria's best spas run hot and cold. The naturally cool mineral springs of the central highlands feed three treehouse tubs at Salus Spa at Lake House, where guests wallow with views over the picturesque landscape of Lake Daylesford. On the Mornington Peninsula, Peninsula Hot Springs is a remarkable water-world of pools and private baths fed with waters heated by the Earth's core. Set on 30 hectares of coastal scrub, the complex has more than 20 "bathing experiences" from hammam to hilltop pool and a full range of therapeutic treatments.
Peninsula Hot Springs
Tasmania's top spa is at Saffire, the ultra-luxurious Freycinet resort where in-house guests can submit to a three-hour Restoration that runs the gamut from hot-stone massage to caviar lift facial. Even more exclusive is the solo spa cabin perched above white sands and the Southern Ocean at the Bay of Fires Lodge.
Saffire at Freycinet
Equally dramatic, the two-room spa at Southern Ocean Lodge fuses physical therapy and natural beauty atop a seacliff on Kangaroo Island's wild south-west coast. In the Top End, Darwin's Lagoon Day Spa has eight treatment rooms with alfresco baths and access to a 30-metre man-made beach, a vast lagoon pool and Darwin's only swim-up bar. Sounds like our kind of spa.