A key part of any stay at Gwinganna is the magic of being in our dedicated space surrounded by nature and wildlife. Destination Gold Coast named Gwinganna in this feature as one of their recommended nature-based stays on the Gold Coast. Here we explore the benefits of spending time in nature and how a stay at Gwinganna provides the ideal space for restoration and lifestyle transformation.


Health and nature at Gwinganna

Urban living can be challenging if you are constantly indoors, in cars and air-conditioned, artificially lit environments for most of the day. Today’s fast-paced world creates intense pressure, and this can irritate your nervous system which sets off a stress reaction. In a busy world, you need to break the cycle and regularly switch off this debilitating reaction.

 Gwinganna has long recognised the benefits of spending time in nature to help reduce stress. Each day our guests can immerse themselves in the stunning natural surroundings of the property and explore the different trails and hikes amongst native birds and wildlife. There is now evidence to show how exposure to nature is associated with reduced stress and improved work performance.

Walking in nature can become a coping mechanism. It is linked with less perceived stress, lower depression, and enhanced mental health and wellbeing, according to a study conducted by the University of Michigan, with partners from De Montfort University, James Hutton Institute, and Edge Hill University in the United Kingdom.

 A review of 120 studies published in the International Journal of Public Health discovered that time spent in gardens, parks, and wilderness settings resulted in lower pulse rates and other markers and a better sense of wellbeing. It’s about making some time to stop striving and simply rest by finding joy in what you are doing.


Hear more from Emotional Wellbeing Manager, Megan

“Taking the time to immerse yourself in nature is a great way to start each day.

Studies have found that spending time in nature can lower blood pressure and stress hormone levels, which can reduce feelings of anxiety and positively impact our mood.

Being in a natural setting like Gwinganna's over 200 hectares of pristine bushland, provides people with the profound affects that nature has on our systems, producing the vital feel good hormones we need for physical and mental health. Natural environments provide settings that awe and inspire us, which again switch us into the part of our central nervous system where we rest and digest.

When things get a little too busy, take time to stop. Go outside, begin to slow your breathing and simply observe what nature provides. Try standing under a big tree and notice the light filtering through, feeling the earth under your feet. Or maybe lie in the grass, looking up at the clouds and the colours of the sky. This can help refocus your attention on the many wonders that Mother Nature gifts us each moment.”


The ancient fig tree of Gwinganna

Gwinganna ancient fig tree

Our majestic ancient fig tree, tucked away in the rainforest here at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat is recorded as being over 1000 years old. Ideal for a walk at any time during your stay, we know that more people now look to the concept of forest bathing. Originating in Japan, it determines that sending time in nature is highly beneficial in stress management and helping activate the parasympathetic nervous system.

 Immersing into the ancient trees, native plants, watching the animals and birds, and exploring our orchard and organic gardens has always been an integral component of any stay with us.

“Now more than ever, we can fully appreciate the benefit of spending time in a natural environment. The fractal patterns in nature stimulate our brains to produce the feel-good hormones we need to help bring balance to our body, mind and soul.” 

- Megan, Emotional Wellbeing Manager.


To see our treasured fig tree and the surrounding space of Gwinganna, watch the video below. We also invite you to learn more about how we care for our flora and fauna here at Gwinganna.


<iframe width="1060" height="596" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ObkMGzgmvHg" title="Retreat to Gwinganna" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen></iframe>