Wholesome girls weekend getaways in Australia

Sometimes a wholesome girls weekend getaway is essential for your health, happiness, and sanity.

Yes, you could spend big bucks on a ritzy spa retreat. But the reality is that there are affordable wellness experiences on offer in towns and cities across the country. So, rope in a bunch of besties and put together your own stress-busting short break of three-or-so days. Here’s the ultimate guide to wholesome girls weekend getaways in Australia.

The Northern Rivers of NSW

If you’re looking for acupuncture, yoga, meditation, kinesiology, or any other kind of holistic treatment in a relaxing setting away from home, you’ll find it on a long weekend in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. This is the undisputed home of alternative therapies, and the best way to plan your holistic holiday is by referring to the Byron Body and Soul Guide. From yogis to sound therapists, it lists an array of local practitioners ready to transport you to a higher plane. Aim to spend at least an afternoon exploring the stunning grounds of the Crystal Castle (which is home to a peace stupa that was blessed by the Dalai Lama himself). Cleanse your inner world with fresh local produce from the region’s many markets, including the Byron Farmers Market and the Mullum Farmers Market in Mullumbimby.

You May Be Interested In: Brunswick Heads, a haven for nature lovers

Need a place to stay?
The Comfort Inn All Seasons in Ballina is located just a short walk from the riverfront. Enjoy the fabulous tropical pool and outdoor recreation area.


Melbourne offers an array of ways to bliss out over the course of a three-day stay. Start by soothing body and mind in the private baths and tranquil pools of the Peninsula Hot Springs on the Mornington Peninsula. Situated just 90 minutes’ drive from the big smoke, the Springs draw warm waters from deep underground and are rich in minerals (which are purported to have healing qualities). Other amenities include a hydrotherapy pool, thermal stream gully, massaging showers and a sauna. The city itself has no shortage of ways to refresh and revitalise. The St Kilda Sea Baths draw in sea water and heat it to a temperature that will have you floating on cloud nine. Over in Prahran, Beyond Rest’s float tanks will do much the same job.

Need a place to stay?
Browse Choice Hotels Melbourne accommodation options.

Ballarat and Daylesford

Hepburn Springs Bathhouse. Image courtesy of Visit Victoria

Melbourne’s love of ‘taking the waters’ isn’t restricted to the Peninsula or bay. West of the city and within close proximity to Ballarat, is what’s known as ‘spa country’ thanks to the high concentration of mineral springs in the area. Since the late 1800s, world-weary souls have been making their way to the towns of Daylesford and Hepburn to both drink and bathe in the mineral rich waters. Head to the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve to try the former (although we warn you, the taste is pretty tangy). The Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa is the region’s ultimate mineral springs bathing experience, and there are also a plethora of day spas in Ballarat itself. Try the Elysium Day Spa or Peace and Quiet Day Spa, or book in for some Bowen therapy massage.

Need a place to stay?
Browse Choice Hotels Ballarat accommodation options.

Newcastle and the Hunter Valley

Newcastle’s stunning beaches and coastal magnificence are the ultimate relaxant, and a sandy morning constitutional is the best way to start your stay in New South Wales’ second city. Alternatively, say ‘namaste’ to the team at Yoga at Merewether, which offers morning yoga classes by the beach. Newcastle is the gateway to the Hunter Valley, and a day amongst the vines can be as much about pampering as it is grape grazing. Book your choice of treatment at one of the classy day spas dotted across the region, and follow it up with lunch and a wine tasting. If you prefer to find your perfect peace in physical exercise, head for the aquatic playground that is Lake Macquarie (Australia’s largest coastal saltwater lagoon) and go for an early morning or sunset stand-up paddle.

You May Also Be Interested In: Wine & Dine in the Hunter Valley

Need a place to stay?
Newcastle’s Terminus Apartment Hotel, Ascend Hotel Collection offers a fabulously comfortable stay, directly opposite the Hunter River foreshore.

Friends enjoying a day of stand up paddleboarding on Lake Macquarie off Naru Beach. Image Courtesy of Destination NSW.


You could almost plan an entire long weekend of ‘me-time’ around Brisbane’s namesake river. Enjoy some therapeutic sand play (yes, that is a thing) at Streets Beach in South Bank. Walk or cycle along the Bicentennial Bikeway from Toowong to the City Botanic Gardens, or the almost kilometre-long Brisbane Riverwalk, which skims out over the surface of the river from the Story Bridge to New Farm Park. Riverlife offers a sunset kayaking, wine and grazing board experience that’s perfect for groups of friends. Explore the river by kayak, then retire to your private riverside marquee for drinks and nibbles. Social!

Need a place to stay?
Browse Choice Hotels Brisbane accommodation options.


Guided Tour and Dreamtime Walk. Image Courtesy of Tourism & Events QLD

Getting back to nature is a tried and true way of balancing out the stresses and strains of daily life, and nowhere is that more the case than in the sublime Daintree Rainforest of North Queensland. Cairns is the gateway to the Daintree and offers a variety of small group day tours and guided experiences that will take you deep into this UNESCO World Heritage-listed wilderness. If you’re making your own way to Mossman Gorge, a Dreamtime Walk with an Indigenous guide will connect you to country in a deeper way. In the city itself, enjoy an inherently relaxing meander around the Cairns Flecker Botanic Gardens, or book in for a free aqua aerobics class at the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon.

Related: Step back in time to one of the world’s oldest natural tropics (The Daintree Rainforest, QLD)

Need a place to stay?
Comfort Inn Cairns City offers affordable accommodation on the edge of the CBD, just a short walk from the Esplanade, Cairns Aquarium, and cafes and restaurants. Beat the heat with a dip in the refreshing tropical-style pool.


Australia’s Great Artesian Basin of warm, mineral-infused ground water bubbles to the surface via bores in various rural and outback towns. One that makes full use of it for bathing purposes is Moree. Situated in northern NSW, the town offers a variety of opportunities to enjoy a splash in the sulphur and magnesium-rich water, which is reputed to help heal various ailments and ease arthritis and muscular pain. The newly renovated Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre is a must visit. Not only can you attempt to wash away your niggling aches and pains, but the onsite Moree Artesian Wellness Centre offers a full suite of spa treatments, therapeutic massage and even acupuncture and other traditional Chinese medicinal practices.

Need a place to stay?
Located in the heart of town, Econo Lodge Moree Spa Motor Inn offers a complimentary airport shuttle and the use of an outdoor saltwater pool.

Sunshine Coast

If your mantra is one of sun, surf and sand, Queensland’s Sunny Coast has you covered. But there are plenty of other aspects to the region’s wellness credentials. From Hinterland day spas to mindfulness and meditation courses, the options are many. Book a meditation class in the tranquil Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens. Those who leap out of bed each morning full of beans might like to do the dawn climb to the top of Mount Coolum. You’ll enjoy sweeping views of the entire coast, bathed in the soft light of the rising sun.

Need a place to stay? Treat yourself to some understated luxury at Breeze Mooloolaba, Ascend Hotel Collection. The hotel is just a short walk from the beach and Mooloolaba Wharf, and some of the coast’s best cafes and restaurants are right on your doorstep.

About the writer
Adam Ford is editor of The Big Bus tour and travel guide and a travel TV presenter, writer, blogger and photographer. He has previously had the opportunity to travel the world as host of the TV series Tour the World on Network Ten.

Cover Image: Courtesy of Getty Images.

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