There’s something magical about a festival vibe. Maybe it’s knowing that for days at a time you’ve got nothing to do except follow whatever your heart desires. Or perhaps you just tap into the collective energy of fun. Or it could be the dark chocolate-filled Byron Bay organic sourdough donuts that seem to be on offer at every festival I’ve ever been to. I’ve honestly contemplated buying a ticket just to get my hand on one.
While I’ve taken a turn towards more mindful experiences since my early-going festival days, I’ve never been quite ready to relinquish the entire experience. So, discovering that there are people out there combining both wellbeing and the whole festival atmosphere into one heady mix was quite the revelation.
We’re blessed to have some amazing wellness festivals around the country and we here at Well Traveller would hate for you to miss out. So, whether you’re a seasoned yogi, a meditation maven, or simply someone seeking that festival experience with a more mindful twist, here are our picks on the upcoming wellness festivals you won’t want to miss.
Where: Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide
When: February 2024
Join like-minded souls at Wanderlust True North for a day of mindfulness, social impact and personal development. Wanderlust operates on the ethos that intentional self-care is something to be celebrated. The aim of the event is to help reconnect you with your whole self through engagement with inspiring speakers and core wellness practices such as mindfulness, music and meditation. Plus, a whole lot of joy along the way.
The program includes sessions with Adam Goodes (Sydney and Adelaide only), Isabel Lucas, Radek Sali, Paul and Tami Roos, Pandit Baskaran, Laura Poole and it’s hosted by Sarah Wilson – so get ready to be immersed in a wholly sensory experience.
"Wanderlust True North is a day of mindfulness, social impact and personal development."
Where: Sunshine Coast, QLD
When: 2-3rd March 2024
Get ready to elevate your mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing with an array of health hacks and thought-provoking concepts. The Conscious Life, a holistic wellness festival now celebrating its 12th year, is an earth friendly event promoting personal empowerment. It’s designed to invigorate your life in a way that revitalises your energy, expands your awareness and unlocks your inner potential. Precisely what you need in the current world.
Over two jam packed days, connect with a community of like-minded individuals and experience a transformative journey towards happiness, wellbeing, and wholeness. Rejuvenating activities, nourishing food, enlightening workshops and seminars, captivating live music, and a diverse range of exhibitors offering meditations, massages, intuitive readings, alternative therapies, will help you let go of stress and discover your own truth. Between life changing sessions you can soak up sacred sounds while you tuck in to nourishing treats, organic coffee, kombucha or chai. Yep, sign me up!
Where: Sunshine Coast, QLD
When: 31st May – 2nd June 2024
Once again the Pranafest team are gathering the Sunshine Coast’s leading breath-work facilitators, yoga instructors, musicians, meditation experts and inspiring thought leaders for a truly transformative event. Over three days, experience a fully immersive camping event that encompasses the essence of connection through yoga, music, art, community, and culture.
Organisers, The Flow State Experience, create a secure space where connection and collaboration are cherished and fostered by a vibrant creative community that is dedicated to nurturing the creative spirit.
Pranafest goers are invited to embark on this evolutionary journey of self-worth, self-development, and self-discovery through participating in transformative activities that expand your horizons. While the full program hasn’t been released yet, last year’s event featured a whole lot of dancing, breathing, stretching, healing, relaxing and time spent in the present moment unlocking your boundless potential.
Where: Alice Springs, NT
When: September 2024
Desert Festival is Alice Springs’ award-winning annual arts and cultural festival and one very enticing reason to head north this September.
With an exciting program of local and visiting artists that embrace the diversity of creativity across multiple art forms, Desert Festival celebrates the depth and breadth of arts and culture residing in the oasis of Mparntwe / Alice Springs.
Hosting the Festival Hub is The Gap View Hotel, which will be transformed into an arts and culture wonderland with resident DJs, a bespoke container bar, community courtyard and food and drink for purchase. We recommend arriving early to enjoy the festival atmosphere before a show and make sure you have time to take in a few of the incredible sites this beautiful part of our country has to offer while you’re in the region.
Yuin Healing Trail
Where: Shoalhaven, NSW
When: 18-20th October 2024
Okay, the Yuin Healing Trail retreat is not a festival in the true sense of the word, but this weekend of experiential and immersive offerings across the Shoalhaven Coast in New South Wales deserves special mention. You are invited to visit, walk and listen to sacred dreaming of Djirringanj country, the heartland of the Yuin people.
During this transformative experience you will have the opportunity to participate in and witness unique and sacred experiences such as traditional Aboriginal wellness sessions, dance, yidaki (didgeridoo) and yarning circles. Learn about the Yuin peoples creation story and Aboriginal Dreaming, history and culture from knowledgeable Aboriginal guides and walk on Country to take in all the wisdom of Gulaga Mountain.
With a traditional sound healing workshop, cooking demonstration and cultural interpretation of the oldest food and healing techniques in the world, the Yuin Retreat is truly a grounding, nourishing and sacred experience.
"Desert Festival is Alice Springs’ award-winning annual arts and cultural festival"
Where: Adelaide Hills, SA
When: Spring 2024
Held in the Adelaide Hills in Spring, this event offers the opportunity to explore the best of wellness that this spectacular region has to offer. Local producers, soulful practitioners and passionate restauranteurs will showcase a carefully curated selection of events and experiences that are designed to enhance mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.
Wellness wander is the perfect weekend away for families and groups of friends, as well as solo travelers. There really is something for everyone and you can personalise your own wellness trail through the Adelaide Hills across the three days.
You might pick fresh fruit from orchards, find your zen with yoga, try equine therapy, move mindfully with a forest bathing, get active in nature or soothe your soul with a pamper session at a luxury day spa. There is always so much to choose from.
Woodford Folk Festival
Where: Moreton Bay Region, QLD
When: December 2024
The Woodford Folk Festival is an annual cultural and music event held over six days and six nights, from Dec 27 through to January 1, on a 500-acre farm about an hour from the Sunshine Coast. More than 2,000 local, national and international artists, musicians, practitioners and presenters host a range of performances, workshops and experiences. The festival begins each year with the iconic Opening Ceremony and closes with the spectacular showcase, the Fire Event on New Year’s Day.
There are concerts, dances, yoga and mindfulness sessions, street theatre, writers’ panels, a film festival, comedy sessions, acoustic jams, social dialogue and debate. Plus, an entire children’s festival, an environmental program featuring talks, debates and films, art and craft workshops, circus performances and workshops, late night cabarets and parades.
The festival streets are lined with restaurants, cafes, stalls, and bars. Tree-filled campgrounds, butterfly walks, ponds and wildlife complete the picturesque site. There are a range of accommodation options, so go solo or collect your favourite people and secure your tickets for this magical experience!