Bucket List This: Spa Getaways in Australia

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Silky Oaks Lodge

The land down under is a wealth of nature. This nature has also provided a wealth of natural ingredients, many of which have been used for centuries by its indigenous peoples, to heal, relax and rejuvenate the body and the mind. Such ingredients as Tasmanian kelp, Australian clay, pepperberry and mapi mud are combined with Aboriginal healing, medicinal and massage techniques to create an experience like, well, no place else on earth.

 Healing Waters Spa at Silky Oaks Lodge, near Port Douglas in the Daintree Rainforest, Queensland (pictured above)

Try: Sodashi Pure Radiance Facial. Sodashi is an Australian spa treatment line that incorporates plant essences, focusing on “wholeness, purity and radiance.” The lines’ restorative properties really shine when used in this facial treatment, which hones in on nurturing and hydrating the skin. The beauty of this treatment allows the therapist to customize and tailor the experience to your skin’s needs, mixing and matching products for an optimal outcome. From soothing facial compresses to a circulation boosting facial massage, this treatment had my frown lines softened, while my marionette expression wrinkles all but disappeared. The spa environment itself is therapeutic in itself, with views of the rainforest canopy that are second to none. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Healing Waters is also a winner of the World Luxury Spa Awards. Pure radiant.

Essentia Day Spa at Lizard Island, Queensland

Try: Indulgence of Essentia is one of three signature treatments (meaning they are unique to this spa) that take advantage of what most of us really want: a really great neck and shoulder massage combined with a comforting foot soak and rub. Those whose skin is sensitive will appreciate this treatment as all the soaking, scrubbing and nourishing mask focus on the feet, rather than the face. Circulation is restored with an invigorating scalp massage (of an Aboriginal inspired method), and a deep back, neck and shoulder massage round out the treatment. Products used are from La Biosthetique line, “With our laboratories in the foothills of the Black Forest, to our birthplace of Paris, we deliver you luxury Parisian skincare backed by German bio-chemical technology.” And, yes, it is marvelously indulgent.


The Spa at Lilianfels Resort, Blue Mountains, Katoomba, New South Wales

Try: Aroma Relax Massage. After a couple of hours in the car from Sydney, an uncomplicated hour in a quiet, well-appointed treatment room is welcome. Urban tensions – stiff necks, stilted shoulders – are relaxed and released, with the help of Lilianfels Spa signature blended essential oils, while aromatherapy and massage techniques target the nervous system and help to restore energy. Treatment products stray from the expected Australian, to offer Sothys, a well-respected beauty brand via France. And, considering the spa is located in the main resort building, it’s surprisingly spacious and still, without the cacophony of nature or overhead guests disturbing the peace. And, the resort itself has just been awarded the Regional Deluxe Accommodation of the Year Award for Excellence by Tourism Accommodation Australia.