New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian announces local travel restrictions will lift from the beginning of June, allowing residents to travel regionally for the purpose of holidays. However, many borders between states still remain closed.
Mark June 1st in your calendar, because from that date residents of New South Wales will be permitted by the state government to take regional trips for any reason – including holidays – within the state. Hooray!
While many state borders – particularly Queensland’s, which may stay closed until September – remain closed to interstate visitors, the easing of regional travel for non-essential reasons is good news for both travel operators and those of us suffering from cabin fever.
Can residents of other Australian states travel interstate yet?
Each state has different regulations regarding regional travel, and their plans for coming out of lockdown vary wildly. Here’s a run down of each state and territory’s current guidelines for interstate travel:
According to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Victorians are still not permitted to travel for the purpose of a holiday, as it is not deemed an essential reason.
South Australians are now being gently encouraged to travel interstate, with the Government of South Australia‘s website stating “Travel within South Australia is a great way to support our regional communities and economies.”
The Northern Territory Government site is suggesting residents “should reconsider all non-essential travel” and has restrictions in place for those wanting to visit remote communities.
Queenslanders are still under Stage 1 restrictions in terms of interstate travel, and as the Tourism and Events Queensland website states, residents are only allowed to take day trips 150km from their home, up to 500km if residents live in the outback.
For those Australians who live in the ACT, there are currently no interstate travel restrictions in place according to the ACT Government’s COVID-19 site.
Western Australians are permitted some regional travel, however this is currently restricted to certain areas. Head to the WA government website for full details. The site states, “From 18 May, some regional travel restrictions have been relaxed as part of WA’s COVID-19 roadmap.”
Because we know that one of the best ways to distract yourself current pain is to start mentally plan for the future, we thought it would be timely to start researching the best health retreats in New South Wales – because even though they may be closed for business now, we’re betting our favourite yoga mats that they’ll be welcoming guests again come June.
Here’s the body+soul list of relaxing health retreats that will make the perfect holiday destination once travel restrictions lift:
The best health retreats in NSW
This award-winning retreat is co-owned by Olivia Newton-John and was a pit stop for US chat show queen Oprah Winfrey when she visited Australia. (Hey, if it’s good enough for Oprah…) There is a wide range of packages available, from two to seven nights, including a spa retreat special, mother-and-daughter retreat, romantic weekend escapes and a honeymoon serenity package. The luxurious individual suites feature private decks and outdoor spas. If you’re feeling really flush, you can even book the whole place out with a group of friends.
Contact: (02) 6687 1216
Spicers Sagoma Retreat
Only one hour from Sydney, and nestled in the beauty of the Blue Mountains, Spicers Sagoma Retreat is a place where you can really getting away from it all. The luxury accommodation provides all gourmet meals on-site, and the attentive service means you won’t want for anything.
Contact: 1300 352 190
If good food and a great spa is what you’re after, look no further than Bannisters. Tagged as ‘luxury by the sea’ this is an indulgent getaway only a few hours drive from Sydney that is sure to help your forget your cares.
Contact: (02) 4454 7400
Lord Howe Island
Arajilla Retreat is set on World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island, the closest island getaway to Sydney, Arajilla Retreat is the perfect spot to get away from it all and indulge in some rest and relaxation.
Contact: 1800 063 928
This retreat is set in picturesque Bundanoon, which is part of Morton National Park, and is ideal for outdoor types. Activities include bushwalking, cycling, tennis and archery, or you can opt for a circuit class or aqua aerobics at the fully equipped gym and pool. Personal trainers, nutritionists and life coaches are on hand, and there is a wide range of fitness and pampering packages.
Contact: 1800 044 944
Programs at this well-established retreat range from weekend escapes to a seven-day health-enhancement program. A typical day includes tai chi, guided walks, stretch classes, workshops and pampering.Facilities include a heated indoor lap pool, fully equipped gym, basketball and tennis courts, sauna and spa pools. The accommodation features luxury villas with all mod cons, and the cuisine is fresh and healthy. Specialty retreat packages are also available, including a three-night Mojo Maker program to help you get your groove back.
Billabong Retreat, Maraylya
If you’re based in Sydney and don’t want to drive too far, Billabong Retreat might be the place for you. With a focus on yoga and meditation, you’ll have the chance to unwind in the midst of mother nature – with all the creature comforts. Organic meals are provided, as are the themed workshops as well as yoga and meditation classes.
Contact: (02) 4573 6080