The Meeting of Nature and Nurture
At Australia's premier resort spas, skilled hands and nourishing lotions may be the main attraction, but nature also plays a role in creating an atmosphere that encourages restoration and relaxation. Deep within an ancient forest, healing arts based on earth energies blend with restorative sciences perfected in the great spas of the world. To the east, secluded private islands along the Great Barrier Reef become enclaves of wellness, where spa patrons are far removed from everyday stressors, draw benefit from treatments inspired by ocean elements, and can walk pristine beaches to breathe in fresh sea air charged with health-giving ions.
- Best for: All travellers, from beach lovers to adventure enthusiasts
- Best season to visit: Year-round
- Weather: Cairns has hot, humid summers and cooler, dry winters. Temperatures typically drop a few degrees as you move offshore. Cyclone season runs from November to May
Spa and Wellness in Australia Overview
Three of Australia's premier resort spas are located in tropical North Queensland, either set on private islands adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef or isolated on the banks of the Mossman River within the Daintree Rainforest. These locations provide a unique opportunity to combine treatments with walks and swims in pristine natural surroundings.
Spa and Wellness in Australia Tips
Spas make use of a wide variety of cleaning agents, detoxification elements and nourishing oils. Equally important to the success of therapies is a pair of often-overlooked substances: air and water. Spa visitors should stay well hydrated before and after treatments and can practice cleansing deep breathing exercises while on nature walks or at the beach.
Best Places for Spa and Wellness in Australia
Set on a private island, the Essentia Day Spa complements traditional massage, detoxification and cleansing rituals with aromatherapy, color therapy, sound therapy and herbalism. The Healing Waters Spa sits within one of the world's oldest living rainforests, and features treatments that draw on native clays, plant essences and herbal extracts. Drawing inspiration from a dramatic Great Barrier Reef location, the Aqua Soul Spa is influenced by the rich and diverse beauty of the sea.
What to Pack for Spa and Wellness in Australia
Soft, comfortable cover-ups, flip flops and a tote bag for water and personal items are all standard items when at the spa. Add walking shoes and shorts for visits to rainforests spas, and a bathing suit, mask and snorkel for trips to spas on private islands.
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Passport and/or Visa Requirements
American citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport to enter Australia with at least one blank page for the entry stamp. An Australian Visa is required, or if eligible, an electronic visa, through Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) at www.eta.immi.gov.au. The ETA replaces a visa and allows a stay of up to 90 days. The ETA may be obtained from their website for $20 AUD. Airlines and many travel agents in the United States are also able to apply for ETAs on behalf of travelers. Please note that American citizens who overstay their ETA or visa, even for short periods, may be subject to exclusion, detention, and removal.
Read about Australia's entry/exit requirements here.
There are no required immunizations for U.S. citizens to enter Australia, but we would always suggest checking with your doctor and the Centers for Disease Control on recommended vaccinations for travel to Australia at Traveler's Health CDC Australia.
Culture and Customs
For visitors from North America, Australia may seem like a favorite cousin who talks a bit funny and never met someone they didn't like. Portrayals of the Land Down Under often include a “no worries” attitude, which is an accurate representation of the hospitality visitors can expect. But laid back can be far from boring. In stark contrast to the cosmopolitan coastal cities to the south, Cairns is not only the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef but also the nation's epicenter for outdoor sports and adventures. Big game fishing charters, speedboat runs, jet ski tours and parasailing adventures take place in warm tropical waters, while on land, skydivers, climbers and bungee jumpers shun their fear of heights. Forays into the rainforest take place on foot, aboard motorcycles and mountain bikes or via offload vehicle. Aboriginal parks provide a glimpse of Australia's cultural heritage; zip line canopy rides spice up rainforest tours and crocodile-spotting cruises along the Daintree River provide bucket-list bragging rights.
Electricity, Phone and Internet Access
Standard electricity in Australia is 230 volts, 50 cycles. When coming from the United States an adapter will be needed for U.S. items and a step-down transformer could also be required to convert 220/240 Volt to 110/120 Volt. The power outlets use 3 flat pin plugs in a different configuration than U.S. sockets.
The international access code for Australia is 61. Please check with your cell phone provider for international data and calling plans.
Many hotels, restaurants and bars offer WiFi.
The tap water is safe to drink and bottled water is available for purchase.
Language & Currency
English is the official language of Australia.
The currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD) and consists of 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 as coins and notes are $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. You can exchange funds at all international airports in Australia upon arrival or at any bank.
Major currencies can be exchanged at banks and many hotels, with some stores also accepting U.S. currency. Purchases may be made using cash or major credit cards. Check the current exchange rate here.
Most of Australia uses 3 time zones.
Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST): in New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (+10 GMT).
Australian Central Standard Time (ACST) in South Australia and Northern Territory, which is 9 1/2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+9.5 GMT).
Australian Western Standard Time (AWST) in Western Australia, which is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+8 GMT).
Daylight Saving Time is observed in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania from the beginning of October to the beginning of beginning of April, at which point AEST becomes AEDT and ACST becomes ACDT daylight savings time and moves by 1 hour. The Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland don’t observe Daylight Saving.
Location, Size and Population
Australia, sometimes referred to as the island continent, is the only country that is its own continent as well. Australia is very large - similar in size to the United States at almost 3 million square miles. The continent of Australia is located between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean.
Australia's population is 24,17 Million (2016).