Touring company Nullarbor Traveller has recently added a new tour to its offering: a four-day retreat designed for those who want to connect with nature, adventure and themselves. “It’s a packaged weekend away without the stress of organising anything but the bag on your back,” says the tour’s co-creator Jodie Douglas.
“To us, [wellness] is about letting go of the stresses of daily life and learning to tune in to your own needs,” says Douglas. “It doesn’t have to be a hardcore silent retreat, with only vegan food, or where you are twisted up in all kinds of yoga positions for hours on end – it’s about what makes you feel relaxed and happy.”
The retreat is in Western Australia’s Margaret River region surrounded by pristine surf beaches, old forests, verdant vineyards and quaint country towns. When you arrive at Fair Harvest – an award-winning permaculture farm five kilometres from the town of Margaret River – you’ll see the generously sized bell tents that have already been pitched by local glamping company Wild Goose Camping.
Run by Jodie Lane and partner Dorothy Perez, Fair Harvest aims to introduce visitors to sustainable living practices through workshops, events and its on-site cafe. During the retreat, guests participate in introductory yoga sessions in Fair Harvest’s barn and a two-hour sound healing session with Israeli-born therapist Amber Houbara using sound bowls, craniosacral massage and guided meditation.
Guests also take a stand-up paddleboarding yoga session with South West Yoga Fest founder Heather Starr at local favourite Meelup Beach. And the weekend includes a half-day hike along the Cape to Cape Track with Dan Kozyrski of Southern Fire Wellness.
A survivor of post-traumatic stress disorder, the ex-infantry soldier guides participants with meditation, shamanic healing and trauma release practices along the walk. With permission from Wadandi cultural custodians, Kozyrski also incorporates local Indigenous healing knowledge at culturally significant sites along the ridge of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.
But the real highlight of the tour is an evening with Margaret River local Sarina Kamini – aka the “Spice Mistress”. The SBS food writer hosts cooking demonstrations at Fair Harvest’s kitchen where she introduces the origins of spices.
The four-day retreat is $1450 per person. A minibus departs from YHA Perth City, 300 Wellington Street, at 7am on set Fridays during the year, returning to Perth on Monday afternoon.