Gwinganna… I Love you. Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat is nestled into the Gold Coast Hinterlands. A wellness destination for both the body and mind. I attended a four night program. Whilst there I felt immersed in the experience that is Gwinganna. A few months on and when I think of Gwinganna I feel nourished. So, what makes Gwinganna amazing.
Before attending Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat I read several reviews; many of them focused on contraband and the rules. This is understandable as our days are consumed by the need for technology and the unfortunate crutch of coffee and alcohol. I too wondered about how I would manage without coffee and technology. But my journey to Gwinganna was not about how I would manage to do without. It was about new experiences and friendship.
I didn’t know what to expect as I had never been to a Health Retreat before. I imagined I may be surrounded by women who are extremely slim and fit and this made me a little nervous as I am a normal weight and of average fitness. I travelled with a friend and upon arrival was relieved to note that there were women of all shapes and sizes. The women ranged in age from 25-83 years; this made the group interesting. Most course participants did not wear make-up and this was quite liberating. An idea I appreciated at 5.30 in the morning when we were woken up. It would only take a few minutes to be dressed and outside for Qi Gong. This took place on a hillside overlooking the ocean. Being woken up at Gwinganna is a joy, no loud alarms; just a little singsong at my door “Good Morning Nicole”. If only I could wake up like this every day.
The food at Gwinganna lifestyle retreat is organic; it is also gluten and dairy free. Most importantly the food is delicious with every meal a gourmet affair. The meals were presented beautifully, lots of vegetables, delicious curries, steak, fish and yummy sweet snacks during the day. The tahini balls are on regular rotation at home now; thanks to the Gwinganna cook book.
Days at Gwinganna were filled with activities. You choose how active or quiet you would like your stay to be. You choose what time you want to rise in the morning. The activities are designed to represent both Yin and Yang. In Chinese philosophy Yin and Yang describe how two opposite forces are complimentary and interdependent in the natural world. We were encouraged to listen to our bodies and what they needed. When I did this I naturally fell into a rhythm of doing both Yin and Yang activities. I enjoyed the challenging bush walk before breakfast and then relished the long Yoga class mid-morning.
The afternoons were for Dreamtime. This was a good time to use the two wet edge pools, have a steam or treatment. The spa is beautiful and welcoming. My favourite treatment was the Lomi Lomi. The staff at the Day Spa were very generous; no clock watching here. They just give you what you need. Wow. The people…where to begin. You could remove any one person from Gwinganna and it would still be the same as they are all so giving, kind and free of judgement. I felt indulged and rejuvenated.
Staying at Gwinganna lifestyle retreat gives you the opportunity to try new things. It was so enjoyable to be introduced to Qi Gong and to try different types of Yoga. Having the time to learn about organic food and gardening was a pleasure. The programs at Gwinganna are quite structured with fantastic exercise options, seminars and relaxation activities but this is not what makes Gwinganna unique. It is not the simply divine organic food, the luxurious accommodation or the eco-tourism awards.
It is the secrets. It is the quiet times whilst taking a walk in the bush when an exquisite little feather settles on your sleeve that you are reminded Gwinganna is more than self. It is a chance to rebalance and focus on oneself but it is also a time for reflection and appreciation. A time to be thankful. Gwinganna is a magical place. Thank you.
In the spirit of transparency I wish to inform you my stay was sponsored.
If you would like to learn more about Gwinganna here is the link https://www.gwinganna.com