And I didn’t even need to buy a plane ticket…
Only an hour out of Sydney.
Amidst the nature Australia is known for – beautiful bushland, clean air, green trees and peaceful surroundings.
All these years of me taking 3-4 weeks off work to venture off overseas, when this piece of magic was available at Sydney’s doorsteps!
If you were to ask me about a month ago, I would have told you that there is no way I would find relaxation in anywhere but an Island; a tropical sunny holiday with beach, sand and sun. However, after staying at Billabong Retreat, I managed to find a point of mental clarity and stillness within the space of 3 days.
I made my way to Billabong Retreat via train, which departed from Central Station in the early afternoon. Arriving just in time for the welcome session and arvo Yoga Class. I was greeted with a smile by the friendly Taxi Driver who services the guests, transporting them from the train station at Vineyard to the retreat HQ!
Upon my arrival, I was taken to my room. I must admit, I was upgraded (life goals!), to the groovy Treehouse at Number 4. Not only did this room have 2 beds, but it also had 2 baths – one in the bathroom and one on the balcony. Ah, heaven! The room was fully equipped with tea of all sorts, a kettle, hot water bottles, a heater, EcoDownUnder towels and linen, Epsom Salts, a sound system, a fruit bowl… it was divine. I was also happy to see that Billabong is completely Eco-friendly, everything is recyclable and/or reusable, organic and nature-loving!
“2 baths… one in the bathroom and one on the balcony…“
In terms of the structure of the days? The true beauty lay in the fact that there was structure, but it was not forced upon you. Yes there were distinct meal times, sunrise yoga, afternoon tea, wellness session, but there was also no one knocking at your door demanding your attendance! If you felt up to it, then it was waiting for you with open arms. If you preferred to take a fresh air stroll or an afternoon snooze, then this was also encouraged. Choice – absolutely necessarily for someone like myself.
The food. Now this is where my head, heart, mind, body AND soul were completely sold. The food was organic, fresh and entirely plant based. They also catered for all food and dietary requirements, offering a variety of options to cater for varying tastebuds. My favourite was the Polenta slice and green veggie salad.. OH, and the delicious buckwheat and banana pancakes with vegan creamy sauce. YUM!
“They also catered for all food and dietary requirements… my favourite was the delicious buckwheat and banana pancakes with vegan creamy sauce… YUM”
The yoga. Ahhh, my favourite! A combination of gentle Yinyasa to wake the body of a morning, and a relaxing Yin practice to balance the Yang. Funnily enough, I only did 2 of the yoga classes. Why? Well, being a frequent yogie myself, I quite enjoyed the time “off” away from the mat… it also meant I enjoyed a sleep in for the first time in AGES. But for anyone new to Yoga, or for those who are constantly saying “I must do more yoga” – then Billabong Retreat is calling your name.
In addition, the workshops were mind-blowing. From learning how to ferment your own veggies and create your own kombucha, to adopting new knowledge about gut health and the gut brain relationship. For anyone that knows me well, you are aware of how much I LOVE talking about the significance of a healthy belly – hence, the Health Fundamentals package totally aligned with my values and beliefs.
“The yoga… combination of gentle Vinyasa to wake the body of a morning, and a relaxing Yin practice to balance the Yang…”
I can safely say I slept the entire train trip home – waking up upon my arrival at Central station feeling energised, relaxed and eager to conquer life!