Royal Botanic Gardens
A short walk from Flinders Street Station in Melbourne’s CBD, visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens is a must visit and a great way to take a break from exploring the concrete jungle. The gardens offer a dedicated and guided Forest Therapy session, presented by the International Nature and Forest Therapy Alliance (INFTA). With more recent studies showing that spending time in nature has considerable health benefits, forest therapy is gaining traction as a form of healing. Originating from Japan, shinrin-yoku, or forest therapy, is a preventative health practice that immerses your senses in nature.
Be guided through these peaceful and tranquil majestic gardens. Feel the benefits of walking through the vast biodiversity of this 38 hectare urban oasis that is dedicated to caring and conversation for a collection of more than 8,500 species of plants from around the world. Bring your own picnic to enjoy on one of the manicured lawns or dine at The Terrace cafe, overlooking the Ornamental Lake.
This guided wellbeing experience will bolster your mental and physical health by reducing stress levels, regulating pulse and blood pressure and elevating your mood.
Other available walks of interest include the Aboriginal Heritage Walk where you can learn about Aboriginal plant uses, customs and ongoing connection to Country.
South Melbourne Market
Just a few minutes’ drive from the CBD, you will reach the suburb of South Melbourne, and its ever so popular market, where you will find top quality, fresh, wholesome, gourmet local produce. It champions sustainability so only feature food traders that embody this. There are also many delicious dining options here for a feed in between exploring the many interesting market stall aisles featuring local farmers, artisans and producers.
Grab a coffee, soak up the atmosphere of this local market for a fun and healthy morning out. Eat, talk to the traders to learn about seasonal produce such as persimmons and feijoas, get some healthy cooking tips and get to discover more healthy products and brands.
Take a seat and have a bit in its Food Hall Courtyard was recently announced as a finalist in the 11th Annual Architizer A+ Awards, which honour the world’s best architecture, buildings and spaces.
We highly recommended to visit one of the oyster bars where you can indulge in delectable fresh oysters and other seafood goodies.
Albert Park Lane
Also located just a few minutes drive from the city centre, Albert Park Lake, in Albert Park, provides a picturesque and most pleasant trail for walking and jogging around the lake. The completely flat trail measures 5km around the lake. There is a boatshed and café should you wish to stop for a coffee break, take a seat and admire the views of the lake. Swans can easily be spotted as well as a range of other birdlife.
Close by and within walking distance, before or after your laps of the lake, you can continue with more fitness at The Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, which was host to the 2006 Commonwealth Games. You will have access to world class facilities including a gym, 75 metre indoor pool and 50 metre outdoor pool. Or if you just wish to recover, there is also a heated spa, sauna and steam facilities and a hydrotherapy pool.
St Kilda Sea Baths
A 15 minute tram ride from the CBD will get you to the St Kilda Sea Baths, that sits right on the sands of Melbourne’s most famous beach, St Kilda Beach. Sea water has had an ancient history of use for medicinal and health purposes. For example the Ancient Egyptians used it to treat severe wounds and burns. It is said that the minerals in the water may assist with improving skin conditions, aching joints and muscles. The water here has been derived directly from the sea and heated to a soothing temperature. Feel refreshed after a swim in the 25m heated seawater pool, followed by a session in the unisex aromatherapy steam room, then relax in the lounge area admiring the sweeping views of the bay.
South Pacific Health Club is also onsite should you feel the need to hit the gym. Or if you’re in the mood for some water sports, Kite Republic is on hand to help set you up with stand up paddle boarding, kiteboarding, wing surfing and hydrofoiling.
May a day of it, by taking a walk along St Kilda beach, to the Acland Street shops or head to the Luna Park Amusement Park up the road.
Chadstone Hotel, Holism Spa and Shopping Centre
Chadstone – The Fashion Capital is in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs. With over 500 stores, it’s the largest shopping centre in the southern hemisphere, and home to many high-end luxury brands, as well as many Australian designer boutiques. It’s easy to see why it’s considered The Fashion Capital. Aside from the retail aspect, Chadstone is the ultimate lifestyle destination. The recent opening of The Social Quarter added six new dining and entertainment offerings including Archie Brothers, the first Hijinx Hotel in Victoria, Holey Moley mini golf and Strike Bowling.
Adjacent to Chadstone – The Fashion Capital is the luxury 5-star Hotel Chadstone Melbourne MGallery, where visitors can retreat to after a big day of shopping. This is where Holism Retreat Wellness Spa provides the perfect haven, offering facials, massage, LED Light Therapy and Wellness Packages.
Take advantage of the hotel onsite dining option Pastore Restaurant, named for the Italian word for ‘shepherd,’ honouring the area’s heritage as a pasture and orchard. From small plates to full tasting experiences, the menu presents Italian cuisine with Australian flavours.
Then after dinner head to Altus, a stylish and sophisticated lounge, rooftop bar.
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Where to go. What to do? Our destination guide gives you inside tips on where you find spa and wellness when you’re not at home
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