A Tale of Two Spas


For a whole hour we did nothing, and it was a wonderful thing to do

It is fair to say that I, like most women (and an increasing number of men), like a good spa.  In fact, I would go as far to say I love them; it’s a passion of mine and when I find a good one I like to shout about it.  I have been massaged in the Maldives, hot-stoned in Spain, algae-wrapped in the UK, manipulated in Goa (in more ways than one, but that’s another story…), and I feel cheated if I encounter an average therapy, for it’s a well-deserved treat we all look forward to.  Those are my credentials, now it’s up to you to read on and find out what I have discovered about wellness here on the Sunshine Coast

So, let’s start with the word spa.  It is derived from a Latin word meaning ‘health by water’, which is known today as hydrotherapy.  A truly original spa will offer hydrotherapy as well as other healing, rejuvenating, calming and sometimes beauty therapies.  The Sunshine Coast is home to many spas, but I wanted to find a couple that really encompass the hydrotherapy and spa experience.  It’s a hard life, I know, but in the name of research I found two very different experiences.

I stumbled across my first spa quite by accident whilst researching this article.  (Maybe rather than stumble it was a wrong click of my mouse on a search engine, but some things are just meant to be…)  Nestled in 8 acres of breath-taking beauty, in the petit village of Flaxton, lies the newly opened Casa di Natura, a day spa for women.

On my journey there the winding roads through the stunning Blackall Range Mountains and down an unmade track got me wondering whether my temperamental GPS had gone bonkers again – but thankfully this time it was correct and added an unexpected dose of anticipation to the experience.  At the bottom of the aforementioned track it opened up into a smooth driveway and the sign of Casa di Natura welcomed me.

As soon as you step into the tranquil day spa you can leave your cares and troubles at the door, and embrace the healing, calming energy that prevails throughout.  Casa di Natura is owned by Sue Broughton, beginning as a seedling of an idea that she had over seven years ago.  To say Sue has continued to develop her professional expertise is an understatement; in the reception area of the spa there are diplomas and accreditations of the many holistic therapies she has studied.

So what is on offer at Casa di Natura?  There are two large therapy rooms (which can also be converted into conference facilities), along with an infrared sauna and spa bath.  The main focal point in the spa is a beautiful magnesium swimming pool with a cascading waterfall.  Magnesium is known for its wonderful healing properties, especially for aches and pains.  The waterfall, with its negative ions bouncing into the pool, adds an extra dimension to the healing energy that radiates from this gorgeous pool.  In addition, at the end of the pool there is a bubble bed – the first of its kind here in Australia.

There are a number of therapies on offer at the spa, including massages, facials, crystal healing, reikli, colour therapy and Body Talk, which allows the body’s energy systems to be re-synchronised so it operates as nature intended.

I was booked in for a remedial massage given by Sue.  Without spoiling it for any of you who may visit the spa, I can honestly say it was one of the deepest, most connective massages I have ever had.  When I got home I slept for 2 hours in the afternoon (thank goodness the children weren’t around), was in bed again by 8pm that night, and had one of the most nourishing night’s sleep I have had in a while!  Casa di Natura is a place to escape and indulge on your own or with a few girlie friends; it ticked every box for me (but can we keep it our secret?).

My next spa adventure took me and my other half to the beautiful Noosa Springs Spa, located a few kilometeres away from the busy tourist hotspot of Hastings Street.  We were booked in for an hour in the hydrotherapy and an hour in the floatation tank.  An hour in the dark, with my husband floating in salt… it was definitely a first for us both!

Noosa Springs Spa has won numerous awards in the industry and has the most fantastic hydrotherapy pool; we spent an hour being pummelled and massaged by different jets.  It’s amazing how water can heal, and an hour in the pool was as good as a full body massage.

It was with some trepidation however that we entered the floatation tank.  My first (and only) encounter of this kind was, without giving away my age, back in the 80’s when they were the new thing.  I remember being cocooned in a small room, feeling claustrophobic and wanting to break out; not quite the desired effect.

However, what a different experience it was this time.  We were taken to a huge room where we were told there was over a 1000 kg’s of salt in the water.  We were then given the option of having the star lights on or off; we opted for complete darkness and with earplugs inserted got into the pool.

The water is only around 30 cms deep so you do wonder how you will float.  Once the lights go off you are submerged into darkness and silence.  It took about 5 minutes for me to switch off and when I finally managed to calm the chatter in my head and slow my breathing I drifted off into this beautiful, dreamy, in-betweeny world.  My other half was floating around with me but we didn’t even bump into each other as the pool is so big.

It occurred to me: when do you allow yourself time to do nothing?  For a whole hour we did nothing, and it was a wonderful thing to do, and not to feel guilty about doing.  When the lights came back on it felt like we had on been in there about 15 minutes, not an hour; if you have ever meditated or had hypnotherapy, it was a cross between these two states of being.

After light refreshments provided by the spa, it was time to go back to the real world.  We both commented on how relaxed and rejuvenated we felt as we got in the car and checked our voice messages and emails…

So, two altogether different experiences, but both reminding us that in today’s fast-paced, information-based world, it’s important to take some time out for you.  Make sure you find yourself a spa with hydrotherapy; do nothing, relax yourself for a couple of hours and don’t feel guilty about it.  You’re worth it!

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