Fantastic Spas for travelling Australia and beyond

by Glenn Reynolds

More men do it in Australia.

Almost half of all spa-goers in Australia are men (43%), unlike the US (31%) and the UK (22%), according to recent research by ISPA*. This would account for the fact that most spas in Australia are not frilly, floral encounters but instead, beckon men to choose from the whole menu. I’ve selected spas that offer a range of therapies, activities and locations that would be attractive to men. Only one is male-only.

Finally, not only are they great spas but these are also wonderful destinations to visit. You could break up your trip downunder with a visit to energetic Hong Kong, and then take your pick from the range of experiences in Australia: World famous tropical rainforest in the Daintree, rugged Tasmanian mountain wilderness, legendary hippie locale Byron Bay, the quiet, arty mineral springs village of Hepburn or the bustling fashion and coffee laneways of Melbourne. Enjoy.

1. Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa, Queensland

Inhale the tropical aromas of the rainforest as you undergo a local spa treatment, inspired by aboriginal custom. Named “Wawu-karrba” (healing of the spirit) by the local Kuku Yalanji tribe, the Daintree spa integrates indigenous and imported medicines, spirituality and healing in their spa treatments and naturopathy medicines.

Unique to the Daintree Spa is its natural setting, fully immersed in the surrounding rainforest environment. Connected to this living amphitheatre, the resort and spa facilities allow visitors to be fully immersed in the natural surroundings, with views of waterfalls, streams and lagoons.

The 100% certified organic product range has been specifically designed for Daintree Spa. Treatments include a spirit cleansing Wawu Jirakul (Waterfall treatment) using the raw elements of the environment (earth, water, fire, air and ether), and the grounding Dukul & Jina Massage and Masque for Head and Feet.

2. Gaia Retreat & Spa, New South Wales

Enfolded in the rolling hills and lush foliage of the subtropical Byron Bay hinterland, Gaia Retreat and Spa is a unique combination of health retreat and restorative spa. Choose to be active or tranquil, Gaia offers an extensive menu of services and facilities to accommodate your experience. Utilising the freshest local organic produce, Gaia offers a boutique dining and spa combination.

Why not try the Hinterland Adventure for nuture and hydration, the Bay Dream for Lovers (uplifting) or Detox and Restore package treats? Options for fitness, detox and weight loss can be combined with your retreat stay, or schedule your visit to coincide with a specialty retreat on offer, such as cooking, yoga, and art/sculpture. Finally, a champagne breakfast balloon ride over the ‘rainbow region’ is a scintillating way to cap off a great retreat.

3. Mineral Spa at Pepper Springs Retreat, Victoria

Hidden in the grounds of the restored 1930’s art deco Pepper Springs Retreat house in Hepburn Springs, the fresh new Mineral Spa boasts 3 open air mineral pools, a sauna, steam room and 8 treatment rooms. State of the art Soft Pack treatment beds underscore a range of clay wrap treatments, detoxifying your skin, or any of the wide range of massage therapies.

The unique steam room sports a copper cauldron of water into which red hot granite rocks are plunged. Algae bath essences combine with 180 individual jets in their hydrotherapy baths to provide a fresh and reviving experience. Chinese traditions influence the range of therapies on offer, including their Signature Facials, the Tiger and Rainbow.

Finally, prolong the experience by having a modern Australian dish at the Restaurant or relax in the Bar/Café.

4. Basement Grooming, Victoria

A rare jewel in the pavement, Basement Grooming is a no-fuss haven for getting the job done. They’ve gone to great lengths to design a funky and welcoming treatment centre for men (only) with a solid list of treatments, without the frills and price-tag of a destination hotel. If you’d prefer a more low-key, local day spa, Basement is the place to go.

The body, hands and feet are all accommodated in treatment rooms and facilities designed with men in mind. The menu includes massages such as the “The Athlete” or “The King” along with facial treatments, MANicures, body wraps, pedi spas and waxing.

5. Waldheim Alpine Spa at Cradle Mountain Lodge, Tasmania

Rugged mountain peaks, pristine rivers and deep forest surround the Waldheim Spa, situated on the edge of the World Heritage Listed Cradle Mountain/Lake St Clair National Park. Exceptional walking trails, cosy cabins and plenty of wildlife set the scene for a wilderness adventure in the ancient forests of Tasmania.

Refresh and revive after your expeditions in the warmth and tranquillity of the Waldheim Alpine Spa with a traditional or hot stone massage. Breathtaking views of the Pencil Pine River frame the bathing ritual pool, with a range of possibilities including the Waldheim Signature aromatic bath, and a refreshing Blue Gum Eucalyptus Bath.

Finally, relax and refresh in The Sanctuary, a dedicated therapeutic area with steam rooms, sauna, large hot-tub and cold plunge pool alongside a relaxation lounge.

6. Peninsula Spa by ESPA, Hong Kong

The premiere ESPA spa in Asia, the Peninsula Spa offers a comprehensive range of treatments, fusing Oriental, Ayurvedic and traditionally-inspired therapies. Enjoy gorgeous surrounds, stunning views of the harbour and legendary service. A full range of massage treatments are available including a “Jet-Lag Eliminator”, Balinese, Thai, Deep Tissue or Detoxifier massage. Relax in radiant crystal steam rooms, Finnish saunas, and invigorate at ice fountains. Fitness centre and swimming pool.

Try one of the ceremony signature body treatments. Designed to nurture and rebalance the body during times of stress and fatigue, these ceremonies combine cultural elements of the Ayurvedic tradition, healing disciplines and western practices. Examples include the Puva Karma Four Hand Synchronised Massage, Yin Uplifter, or the Deep Cleansing Back Massage specialty treatment.

So, find your way to the glamorous “Grande Dame of the Far East”, created in the 1920s, as the Peninsula Hotel is one of the finest hotels in the world. Why not treat yourself to transportation by the famous Rolls-Royce Phantom fleet or even helicopter from the rooftop helipad?


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous August 13, 2007 at 9:45 pm

I went to the Waldheim Alpine Spa last year, and it was fantastic. After going for a day hike, there is nothing better than coming back for a vichy or hot stone massage. Not to mention, their open air jacuzzi is pretty impressive too.



Andrew August 14, 2007 at 12:48 pm

Hi Dave,

Thanks for sharing your personal experience. Glad to hear you had a great time in the Tassie wilderness with a return to the spa.

Why not let us know of your other favs, here or overseas, that we can pass on to readers…?

If you prefer, you can email


Ethan Mark March 22, 2010 at 4:42 am

i had my spa at the Buddha Gardens Balinese Day Spa, Byron Bay..very relaxing and has the balenese feeling in it…..


Glenn March 25, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Hi Ethan,

Thanks for your comment. I'll have to check out this day spa!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: