How to have a detox holiday on the Sunshine Coast

Whichever way you want to detox, the Sunshine Coast will make you feel brand new again. How to have a detox holiday on the Sunshine Coast
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How to have a detox holiday on the Sunshine Coast

Whichever way you want to detox, the Sunshine Coast will make you feel brand new again. 


By Katrina Lobley

On the beautiful Sunshine Coast, a 90 minute drive north of Brisbane, there are a million different ways to ditch the stresses of everyday life. Rent your own island and cast a fishing line into the river, track down a hidden waterfall, dive into salt water that's the perfect temperature, paddle a kayak to an off-shore island or ask the professionals to massage away your cares.    

Unwind on the Sunshine Coast

HIKE THROUGH A RAINFOREST 

The lush Blackall Range pops up out of nowhere to offer glorious views over the Sunshine Coast, the Pacific Ocean and, to the south, the ancient volcanic plugs collectively known as the Glass House Mountains. Don’t underestimate the restorative power of nature: breathe in lungfuls of fresh air and be captivated by birdsong while exploring the rainforests, rock pools, gorges and waterfalls that punctuate the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk. Covering the entire 58 kilometres (36 miles) takes about four days but there are multiple access points that allow for shorter day hikes.

CLIMB THE GLASS HOUSE MOUNTAINS 

It might take a stretch of the imagination to work out why explorer James Cook, the first European to encounter Australia’s east coast, thought that the soaring volcanic plugs known today as the Glass House Mountains resembled glasshouses as he sailed by in 1770. One of the plugs, Mt Coonowrin, is off-limits to the public because of the high risk of rock fall but one of the easiest of the Glass House Mountains to climb is the 253 metre (830 feet) high Mt Ngungun (pronounced "gun-gun"), which offers panoramic views that go all the way to the horizon. Fitness fanatics can sprint to the summit to sweat out the toxins; mere mortals can also tackle the flat, but still challenging enough, walk around the base of imposing Mount Tibrogargan.

RENT YOUR OWN ISLAND

Entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson’s heart-shaped Makepeace Island sits within the Noosa River, upstream from the ritzy centre of Noosa Heads. The island is billed as Branson’s Australian home but he also rents out the Balinese-themed property, which can accommodate up to 20 "castaways" at a time. Switch off from the world – maybe even take a digital detox - and swan around the island’s centrepiece lagoon pool or cast a line off the Makepeace dock to catch bream, flathead or mangrove jacks. A private chef will cater all meals.

CATCH A WAVE

How restorative is a dose of saltwater? Find out by hanging ten at Noosa Heads, which just happens to boast one of Australia’s prettiest surf beaches where the water is swimmable year-round. Wade in for a refreshing dip or try your hand at body surfing. Need equipment? Hire a longboard, stand-up paddleboard or body board from Noosa Longboards located along the town's main strip, Hastings Street (they will even deliver the board to the beach) and ask the guys for advice about the beach’s famed point breaks. The company also offers group and private surf lessons.

PADDLE YOUR CARES AWAY 

Caloundra, at the southern end of the Sunshine Coast, sits near the northern tip of Bribie Island. Those who want a boast-worthy workout can hire a kayak from MAB Personal Training & Adventures at Caloundra's Golden Beach and paddle across to Bribie – the northern part of the island is national park – to explore at their own pace. If you want to do something less strenuous, nose around the protected waters of Bells Creek, eight kilometres (five miles) west of Caloundra. The serene waterway attracts pelicans and plenty of wading birds such as black-winged stilts.

DETOX AND PAMPER

Need professional guidance when it comes to detoxing? Visit Foxtail Retreat in the Sunshine Coast hinterland between Noosaville and Cooroy. The retreat’s detox treatments include colonic hydrotherapy, an infrared sauna and ionic foot spa. These treatments can be complemented with indulgent pampering such as a hot-stone back massage, body wraps and detox facials. Pop in for the day or stay for several days to  reap even more health benefits.

SIGN UP FOR A POWER CLEANSE 

Check in to Living Valley – a health retreat in Kin Kin, a 30 minute drive northwest of Noosa – to try a treatment program such as the popular seven-day power cleanse. This program includes naturopathic consultations, personal meal planning, remedial massage, colonic hydrotherapy and a facial, with a range of add-ons available. Other activities include Pilates, stretch and fitness classes, steam baths and cooking demonstrations.

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