Beyond temptation

There’s a cruel irony about the location of the Golden Door Health Retreat. Driving towards your destination in the NSW Hunter Valley, a sign declares: “Welcome to wine country”. Vineyards are dotted about the rolling greenery. Then you spot a chocolate maker nestled among them, and a fudge maker.

Wine, coffee, sugar … once you arrive at that gilt portal (yes, there really is one), you leave them all behind. One colleague suggested sneaking in coffee and a plunger, but I was determined to stay the course. It was only for two-and-a-half days, after all, the shortest of the stays offered. How hard could it be?

As a health retreat novice, I was intrigued and excited. I was also, frankly, in need of some downtime. As was everyone else there: solo corporates in search of a break, mother-daughter duos, couples escaping the big smoke or children. Individuals looking to kickstart changes, however small, to their routine. The first mealtime is the most confronting — who to sit with at the communal

Golden Door Health Retreat & Spa Elysia, Hunter Valley, NSW


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