Ahhh glamping. If it weren’t for you, many of us would recoil and chant “hells to the no” with even the slightest whiff of our man folk trying to coerce us into a tent like structure. But, chuck ‘glam’ at the beginning and we’re all for it! The soaring popularity of this genius concept is ever strong in these post pandemic times when the appeal of exploring our own backyard in all its raw glory is showing no signs of wavering. And now, the cooler weather is upon us which screams campfire, toasted marshmallows, red wine (especially red wine) and outback star gazing on a crisp wintery night.
Thanks to the La Niña rains of late, the rolling planes of red in outback Queensland are more vibrant than ever…and you won’t even need a filter because their a-la-natural beauty is that phenom #nofilter.
Here are seven spots in this ravishing region for you and your other half / gal pals to get your glamp on.
Rangelands Outback Camp
If you’re into epic burning sunsets with a generous dose of luxury, Rangelands Outback Camp ticks those boxes…and many more. Boasting six exclusive supersize tents, you’ll be treated to a king size bed (or king singles) with top designer comforts and air con to wind down after a day exploring the stunning cattle property. Located atop a jump-up on Rangelands Station, it’s a true-blue experience in comfort and style.
Where: Rangelands Station, Kennedy Development Road, Winton
Gilberton Outback Retreat
Want to get off the grid but in five-star luxury? As mildly anxiety-inducing as that may sound, a technology detox is the ultimate way to switch off (literally), unwind and chillax. This stunning retreat set on a working cattle station is one of Australia’s hidden jewels, with international celebs flocking to the retreat for some R&R. If it’s good enough for the rich and famous…
Where: Gilberton Road, Einasleigh
Undara Railway Carriage Accommodation
Return to yesteryear with a turn of the century camping vibe…but in a 2022 kinda way, with the creature comforts we’d rather not leave at home. Offering visitors a unique eco-friendly holiday experience with bygone era charm, you’ll be in awe of the famous Undara Volcanic National Park. From rolling savannah plains to ancient lava tubes and volcanic craters, it’s bucket-list natural beauty at its finest.
Where: Undara Road, Mount Surprise
Mitchell Grass Retreat
If you popped your must-have luxuries from home and an authentic outback experience into a blender, you’d get Michell Grass Retreat. Surrounded by vast grasslands and visiting sheep and cattle, guests are welcome to visit surrounding local properties to hear the DL on outback living. Immerse yourself in nature and spend quality time with your love or your posse, as the golden red sun goes down.
Where: Lot 162 Longreach Muttaburra Road, Longreach
Is it just us or is an outback soak in an exclusive outdoor bath terrace – complete with sunset canapes – the definition of #goals? Located within walking distance of the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Qantas Founders Museum, Saltbush Retreat invites you to indulge in their luxury package for two, including two nights’ accommodation, breakfast baskets, BBQ and salad pack, pantry essentials, pamper pack, cheese and antipasto hamper and bottle of wine. We accept!
Where: 63-65 Ilfracombe Road, Longreach
The Staging Post
If a boutique heritage-themed stay with a rustic-luxe feel is your vibe, then pay attention! Situated in the heart of Longreach, The Staging Post draws inspo from the pioneer era with a unique outback experience enhanced with their lovingly crafted outback quirks. Kick your boots off after an adventure-filled day and immerse yourself in a unique rain-shower feature in your rustic ensuite.
Where: 128 Eagle Street, Longreach
Julia Creek Caravan Park
With six Artesian Bathhouses to help you unwind after frolicking in the outback, the therapeutic properties of water from the Great Artesian Basin will renew your mind, body and soul. Each bathhouse has two huge comfy claw-footed tubs with unparalleled views of the outback sunset. Then, nosh up with one of Julia Creek’s scrumptious award-winning bush dinners…and we’ve just described the perfect day.
Where: Julia Sreet, Old Normanton Rd, Julia Creek
Words by Bianca Trathen.
There are few greater pleasures in life than a pamper sesh. Whether it’s a massage, a facial, an exfoliation or any other sort of treatment, heck you get to sit/lie down and zone out and just sign us up already!
There are plenty of beautiful day spas scattered around the GC and thank goodness for that because nothing gives the mind, body and soul a little pick me up quite like a visit to one of these godsends.
We’re here to save you the Google search and download our intel on our region’s finest spots for some much-deserved self-care. From the north, south, east and west….
The Bathhouse at Ground Currumbin
Set amongst remnant rainforest in front of a lovingly restored 100-year-old farmhouse, enjoy hot tubs, spas, plunge pools and saunas in a lush outdoor setting under the canopy of a majestic fig tree. Combine your bathhouse experience with a wellness treatment from the highly skilled massage and beauty practitioners for the best of all worlds.
Our pick: The Ultimate Relaxation, including hot tub, sauna, essential oil massage and bespoke organic facial
Where: 2 Village Way, Currumbin Valley
eforea spa at Hilton
I mean, it’s at the Hilton and do we really need to say anymore? The signature of eforea spa are their Journey Enhancements, which are powerful mini treatments that can be added to your existing services or enjoyed by themselves. Specially designed for eforea, they introduce guests to special, commonly unexperienced techniques from the most fabled spa cultures around the world. Count. Us. In.
Our pick: The Vichy Shower Experience to increase circulation throughout the body
Where: 6 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise
With luxurious accents from pillar to post, this Currumbin newcomer is already one of the GC’s most loved wellness centres. Equipped with a salt therapy room, yoga and pilates classes, meditation and sound healing, along with two registered nurses to undertake anything from scar revision, to PDO threads, iv vitamin infusions and cosmetic injections, it’s the ultimate A-Z of self-nurturing.
Our pick: Salt Therapy – it’s a wonder treatment
Where: 31 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin
Endota is basically another word for day spa – that’s how established the brand is here in Oz. In fact it’s our largest spa group and if you’ve visited one, you know why. From the moment you walk in til the moment you float out, it’s pure bliss. If you’re channelling a group spa date or organising a hen’s ‘do, Endota is the perfect choice for some pampering with your posse.
Our pick: Intense Radiance Facial to promote collagen and elastin activation
Where: Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise, Robina, Coolangatta
One Spa at RACV Royal Pines Resort
Exquisitely appointed with all details considered, One Spa offers locally inspired rituals, unique water therapies, spaciohttps://www.insidegoldcoast.com.au/category/locations/mudgeerabaus treatment rooms, private change room facilities and a relaxation area that overlooks the peaceful green landscape. A wide range of rejuvenating spa treatments await, including a geisha bath, lusar and Vichy showers, and a four-seater spa.
Our pick: Detox Mud Therapy to farewell those muscle aches and pains in a comforting cocoon of thermal monticelli mud
Where: RACV Royal Pines Resort, Ross Street, Benowa
On Eagle Wings
Nourishing relaxation awaits at this stunning Gold Coast hinterland spa. Inhale the fresh mountain air as you lounge by the heated 25m infinity lap pool, taking in the peaceful sounds of waterfalls and nature. The impressive treatments menu includes the ‘who’s who’ of pampering, with facials, massage, body treatments, pedicures or manicures. Bliss!
Our pick: Pure Chocolate Indulgence Spa Package, including all things pamper plus a complimentary cheese platter, sweet fruit chocolate box and bubbly
Where: 59 Lowry Court, Mudgeeraba
Earth + Skin Organic Day Spa
This slice of heaven is all about luxurious beauty treatments and products – with an environmental conscience. Situated in a gorgeous Queenslander building, this greenery-rich and light-filled space offers a wide range of award-winning treatments that are proudly vegan, cruelty-free and toxin-free. Enjoy mindful facials, body therapy, spray tans, sugaring and eyebrow / eyelash treatments and more.
Our pick: The signature Mountain Dreamer, with earth massage and elemental facial
Where: 2 Regency Place, Mudgeeraba
Lost World Spa
Located within the stunning O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, is there a better place for a day spa? We think not. With million-dollar hinterland views, a trip to O’Reilly’s isn’t complete without a stint here. Indulge in one of the relaxing massages, facials, hot stone therapies, spa or steam room treatments, and enjoy some restorative time alone…or with that someone special.
Our pick: The Lost World Ritual. It’s a splurge…but it includes the lot and will change your life
Where: The end of Lamington National Park Road, Canungra
Greenhouse The Bathhouse
This modern-styled Australian boutique bathhouse and communal rejuvenation space is pure ecstasy. Offering access to two hydrotherapy spas, a custom-built wet steam room, a traditional red cedar sauna, a magnesium plunge pool, sundeck and lounge area, don’t think, just book. A shared experience for up to 10 people at a time, it’s everything you’d expect from the Greenhouse Canteen girls, and then some.
Our pick: Signature Massage + Luxe Soak Package, with full body massage, soak, plant-based lunch and bubbles or kombucha
Where: 7/37 Tallebudgera Creek Road, Burleigh Heads
Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat
This is a complete wellness destination designed to help you truly rest and focus on your health, which sounds pretty darn perf to us. Set among over 200 hectares of beautiful native bushland, there’s everything from soothing spa therapies to wellness consultations, plus stress management, emotional wellbeing and movement sessions tailored to your needs. This is your time to stop, rest and relax.
Our pick: Hawaiian Bodywork Massage, ideal for shifting tension from the physical, energetic or emotional bodies
Where: 192 Syndicate Road, Tallebudgera Valley
Hit the reset button at this retreat…reimagined! Based on four ‘pillars of wellness’ (recovery, nutrition, movement and connection), this modern Australian bathhouse and spa is a holistic wonderland. With a truly beautiful environment where guests feel inspired to linger, relax and socialise rather than zip-off straight after a treatment, Soak experiences are high quality, affordable and accessible. To quote Nike, just do it.
Our pick: A Soak membership with bathhouse sessions, beauty and recovery services, and massage discounts
Where: Pacific Square, 2532 – 2540 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Azure Spa & Fitness
At Azure, they request that guests rest, relax and recharge…and we oblige! Located at The Star Gold Coast, this chillaxation powerhouse offers a wide range of decadent treatments, using leading skincare brand BABOR. There are six treatment rooms, including a dual treatment space and an exclusive outdoor cabana to hire, and you had us at private cabana. Go on, live your best life and level up that ‘you time’ with a stay-cay for maximum R&R.
Our pick: Deep Sea Body Indulgence with a salt exfoliation, body wrap and full body massage
Where: Pool Level, The Star Gold Coast, 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach
SpaQ at QT
If you’re all about customisation, this is the spa for you. There’s no need to select a treatment – just make a booking and decide once you’re there! For those who allow time for a 1+hour treatment, enjoy complimentary access to the Hammam-inspired steam room to ease your body and mind into spa nirvana. All treatments include time for a personal consultation and post-treatment recommendations.
Our pick: The Plush Princess therapeutic salt scrub, massage and facial massage
Where: 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Words by Bianca Trathen.
How’s your passport looking right about now?
Likely shoved away in a drawer, a little dusty and rejected we reckon. And whilst we could go on about the woes of not being able to travel overseas and how it’s really, really bad and making us all sad, we must remind ourselves — we live in Australia.
We didn’t get the name of The Lucky Country for no reason. International visitors from far and wide are almost always taken back by the vastness and diversity of our nation, then, of course, the glorious beaches and natural wonders we have, before inevitably falling for our enigmatic Outback.
After all, the Outback can be as big if not bigger than most European countries!
How much of the Outback have you seen? For most of us, the answer is very little if anything at all, however, Outback Queensland Tourism wants to change all of that. They have just recently launched a carefully curated driving guide that highlights twelve tailored road trip itineraries and unmissable experiences. The guide promises to excite and inspire anyone who reads it to pack up the car and venture out into the undiscovered back corners of our Sunshine State. We do recommend telling your boss first though.
The Queensland Outback varies a lot and has all sorts of alluring things to capture the imagination for all of the family, from friendly fossil adventures, hidden gorges, Indigenous art, gold rush pioneering history right through to some jaw-dropping luxury stays.
Queensland’s big backyard spans 932,678km square (two-thirds of the state) and Outback Queensland Tourism is looking to educate Aussies on what the region has to offer and how it can be explored throughout the year.
The recently released Drive Guide showcases in detail eye-opening adventures, rich cultural experiences, beautiful landscapes, indulgent retreats, and world-class Outback events – all naturally topped off with a generous serving of quintessential country hospitality.
“It has been a great summer for those in the Outback with the summer rains breathing even more life into the region, bringing along the spectacular Outback Queensland birdlife and wildflowers that truly are a sight to behold,” says Outback Queensland Tourism CEO Denise Brown.
“From unbeatable bakeries to coffee that’d give your suburban local a run for its money, Outback Queensland has a lot on offer, and we are looking forward to showcasing it to the rest of the state.”
It’s not just hospitality either. Queensland has some of the best examples of prehistoric history in comparison to any other state. Add to this, quirky and unique experiences like Windorah’s International Yabby Race or how about a visit to Queensland’s most remote pub in Middleton to wet your whistle?
There is so much to see and do, making it almost impossible to do just one trip! So what are you waiting for? Get to it – start planning here!
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
It’s been a long few months and although of course we are lucky to live in paradise, the escapism feels are real at this point in time.
Excitingly, we’re allowed to venture out of this city of ours from now on and even more excitingly, we don’t actually have to venture very far to experience something completely different from the norm.
And here are five ways to do exactly that.
Cruise around Springbrook National Park
Take a drive through Springbrook National Park for an ample fill of dreamy views, winding roads and fresh country air. If you head toward Purlingbrook Falls, at the top of Mt Cougal National Park, you’ll find Dancing Waters Café, the cutest little cottage overlooking the rainforest where you can enjoy a wholesome, healthy lunch or some cake and a steaming cup of coffee. The Purlingbrook Falls lookout is right next door for your token road trip snaps and if (read: when) you fall in love with the place stay overnight in the cosy cottage accommodation (there’s a claw foot bathtub for ultimate chill time).
Where: Dancing Waters Café, 33 Forestry Road, Springbrook
Soak up the serenity at Spiral Beach
Just past Duranbah Beach, Spiral is somewhat of a locals’ secret making it the perfect spot to enjoy some solitude. No matter the season, there is usually some sun to be had so pack up your umbrella, a good book and your best do-nothing vibes and prepare for sweet serenity. Spiral Beach is also the perfect place for snorkeling around these parts due to the abundance of colourful coral and magical marine life. Get in quick before the water gets too chilly.
Where: Around the Corner from D’bah Beach, near Coolangatta (see, secretive)
Mount a steed at Gold Coast Equestrian Centre
There’s something so peaceful about sitting atop a horse with the wind in your hair and a world of adventure at your fingertips. The Gold Coast Equestrian Centre is the perfect place to experience exactly that whether you’re a beginner or simply in need of an activity where all you have to do is sit back and be carted around. Located in Guanaba, just 15 minutes from Helensvale Shopping Centre, the property is 50 acres of beautiful bushland and offers trail rides along the river and an Olympic-sized dressage area for those who know what they’re doing.
Where: 212 Stewart Road, Guanaba
Have a beer at The Wallaby Hotel
The Wallaby Hotel in Mudgeeraba, is one of Queensland’s oldest and most rustic hotels. Heritage listed, it opened in 1884 and was a watering hole for both horses and patrons and became the centerpiece for the Mudgeeraba township. Today, it’s the perfect place to escape the city for an afternoon coldie, a spot of live music and delicious pub-style eats. Bonus; if you find you’re having too good a time to come home, you can always stay the night.
Where: 45 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba
Hike the Witches Chase Track at Mt Tamborine
For those with energy to spare after a long working week, the Witches Chase track is for you. It’s a moderately difficult track that’s about a two hour round trip. The track descends through rainforest to Witches Falls and continues along the cliff to Witches Chase, passing big, beautiful red cedar trees and through the eucalypt forest and of course, there’s plenty of wildlife to keep an eye out for. You’ll be famished once you’ve made it back so pack a picnic or some BBQ supplies and put your feet up and relax for awhile before you head home.
Where: The Witches Chase Track starts from the picnic area on Main Western Road, Mt Tamborine
Words by Kirra Smith