Surprising Yoga Retreats and
Spiritual Power Places
in Western Australia
Indigenous wisdom, sacred stone circles, all forms of meditation from mindfulness to mystical, not to mention a vast array of yoga studios. And of course pure, wild, vast open nature, ancient forests to reconnect you to Mother Earth, and beaches that speak to the soul. Let’s dive in!
This post contains affiliate links which means I will potentially earn some pocket money in commission, at no extra cost to you. (Not enough to buy my own yurt or anything.)
Fremantle is a small spiritual paradise less than an hour from Perth
Public transport journey planner
I recommend a Friday, Saturday, or Sundays for a stroll around Fremantle because that’s when their vibrant market is open. Apart from mouth watering food they also offer wonderful aboriginal and independent products, and are a treasure trove for any crystals, incense, angel and tarot cards and so much more your spiritual heart may be desiring. When you’re tired you can get a massage on the spot or take a rest in the vegan cafe..
All this in a beautiful 125 year old market building (first opened 1897!) with live music and a great atmosphere all round.
Where is it? One of the entrances is on the so called Cappuccino Strip (how great is that name! Google doesn’t know this thought so it’s officially called the South Terrace) which in itself is not to be missed.
How much? FREE
Yoga in Fremantle
The classes I would specifically recommend are:
Tuesday 9.30am with Shakti Christine
Monday 9.30am with Marianne
Kirtan and Meditation in Fremantle
The kirtans were my absolute favourite! Such a warm, inclusive atmosphere and great people to connect and chat to. These evenings are free and there is even delicious home made soup afterwards. (Optional donations always welcome).
My other favourite here are the daily guided meditations. They are different every day and may be simply on the breath or awareness of your body, or may be chakra cleansing with chanting. Everyone is welcome but they happen at 6.30 am.
Yes that’s a.m. not p.m. So at that time it is definitely easier to attend if you are a resident.
If you’re new to airbnb you can get a $30 discount (in any currency) through my special airbnb discount code (This is an affiliate link: in addition to you getting a discount I get a small commission from airbnb. Win win!)
This is what I did and I highly recommend it.
Here is a walk-through the Beacon Yoga Centre to give you a better idea:
Minimum stay as a volunteer: 2 weeks
Work commitment: 5 hours per day (can be more at times) for 5 days, then have 2 days off. Work might include washing up, cleaning, gardening.
How much? FREE with 3 meals and all yoga classes included
I did find the work tiring at times but I also liked being useful and serving others. I enjoyed learning about the philosophy like Perfection in Action and letting go of any attachment to the result. I posted this on my social media:
I’ve had a fantastic time volunteering for a couple of weeks in a Hindu Yoga Ashram just South of Perth, in Fremantle!
I’m a morning person and naturally wake up really early so it was my job to prepare the room for the daily morning meditation at 6.30am. Which means lighting the candles and the incense, making the room inviting, tidy, and warm (it’s winter here!), unlocking the door (which I forgot the first day so nobody could actually come in to join the meditation lol!)
Every day we do a different kind of meditation: focusing on the breath, or becoming aware of our chakras, or listening to a sitar player singing holy chants. I love it!
Did you know that meditation is actually one of the 5 types of yoga! One of the other ones is of course what we think of “normally” when we hear yoga (stretching/working out).
But there’s also the Yoga of Self Knowledge which pours wisdom into the mind (you do that by attending teachings), the Yoga of Living (done by the work you do for the community / for others). And the Yoga of Feelings/ Devotion (catered for with wonderful evenings of group singing, dancing, and chanting). These are called Kirtan and are my favourite! There is always an amazing feeling of community, connection to each other, and to the divine. I’ll definitely attend more of those!
I have been to India quite a few times but mainly to immerse myself in Buddhism and it’s only here in Australia that I’m learning more about Hinduism! (lol I’m doing everything back to front )
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Watch this short video of my funny close encounter with the kangaroos in Perth
Where is it? Heirisson Island. The main road cuts the island in half so make sure you go to the right part: the smaller half where the carpark is! (see map below)
How much? FREE
Where exactly to find kangaroos on Heirisson Island? See map
South Western Australia
If you make it down south I recommend staying in Denmark. Not the country – it’s in fact a very small, artistic town in Western Australia. At the heart of it are just two or three streets with yoga classes, restaurants, an aboriginal art gallery, beautiful artisan shops that smell of incense, and an excellent hotel called 31 On the Terrace.
This is an excellent base from where to explore the area – and it does have a lot to offer, see below.
You will need to hire a car (in Albany!) to get around. Public transport is extremely limited. There is only one daily bus from Perth (the ride from Perth is about 7 hours but along a very scenic route – I highly recommend it!). And one daily bus from Albany (about 40 minutes), the nearest bigger town.
Where to stay? 31 On the Terrace, right in the centre of Denmark How much? Around $90 (USD) for a single room per night, $170 (USD) for a double. The property is a large old house with rooms of many different sizes, so prices vary.
Sound Healing and Sandalwood
Another must-do in the area is visiting the Sandalwood Factory at Mount Romance. It might not look much on the outside but is in fact true gem!
First of all, you can sample and buy a vast array of sandalwood products, and even see how they are made on the premises. Anything from face cream and body butter to essential oil, candles, and the wood itself, sculpted into beautiful art. The benefits of sandalwood are said to be relaxing, grounding, calming, improving mental clarity, aiding sleep and meditation.
Mount Romance pioneered the distillation and use of Australian Sandalwood in 1997 and is today the world’s largest distiller of Sandalwood oil.
And it gets even better! Not only can you get a pure quality product that is uniquely Australian but you can get a Sound Healing here too!
Getting Gonged: Sound Healing
The Sound Healing happens in a sixteen-sided cone-shaped room with celestial skies (!), adjacent to the sandalwood showroom and is an incredible experience. Mystic, profound, relaxing.
You make yourself comfortable on mattresses and cushions on the floor, cuddle up in blankets as needed and then just close your eyes to let the sound of the profound gongs wash over you.
Everything in the universe is energy – your body included – and hearing sound waves can re-align parts of your body that need it. Soothe (or awaken) parts of your mind. You may have past lives memories or just a very deep sleep.
Afterwards I’d recommend taking some time to eat and relax in the cafe on site to return to earth and ground yourself.
Where is it? 2 Down Rd, Albany Western Australia 6330
How much? Gong sound healing $20 Australian dollars (about £14 American dollars) and you get a free scarf, infused with sandalwood.
Times for the Gong Sound Healing: Mondays & Tuesdays: CLOSED
Wednesday – Friday: 10:30am & 12:30pm
Saturdays & Sundays: 10:30am, 12:30pm & 2:00pm
Walpole Tree Top Walk and the Ancient Empire of Trees
Find your True Nature in Mother Nature.
You get two great experiences in one here:
The Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk high up through the crowns of the red tingle trees
A walk on the ground through ancient woodland called the Ancient Empire,
The Treetop Walk
The red tingles only occur in this small part of Western Australia now (!) but their origins can be traced back 65 million years to the supercontinent Gondwana when Australia was still joined with what is now Africa, India, Antarctica and South America!
Take it slowly when you ascend to the crown of the trees. The walkway is quite short, so take your time.
Try to tune in and feel the trees: How they stretch up, giving each other room to see the light. How their temperature adjusts with the weather. (You can feel this when you touch the trees.)
And how their roots delve down, grounding and strengthening. But also sharing and communicating.
All trees share resources: mother trees send nutrients to shaded seedlings. Or when a tree is attacked it releases chemical signals that warn their neighbours to raise their defences.
Visualise sending your energetic roots into the ground and feel the strengthening. And then feel into connecting with the whole network. A connected network of energy and knowing. Breathe and attune to its pulse. Feel the welcome. Sync with the earthy wisdom.
All is quiet peace up here. You may have a feeling of reverence come over you or a sense that this place is timeless and everything is in its rightful place. Or you might find your mind becomes still and clear of thought and busy-ness. Just breathe in there air that you are sharing with the trees.
You are surrounded by the spirits of air, sun, wind, maybe rain, and birds, all communicating with the spirit of the trees. These trees are ancient and their spirits know no time. You can ask them any question and they will whisper the answers straight to your soul. Just pay gentle attention to what words and images pop up in your mind during your walk or shortly after.
The Ancient Empire
The other part of the walk here is on the ground. It is called the Ancient Empire: a forest of tingle trees, karri, she oaks (these are all real names, honest!) and other trees, some 400 years old.
You can often walk right THROUGH the trunk of the trees, as many of them are hollow. Despite growing 70-80 meters high. And despite the fact that they have very shallow roots! What is going on with that?!
What happens is that the bottom of the trunk hollows out due to bush fire or fungus or insects and then the outside of their trunk become like buttresses: sides that stem up the trunk. (Like buttresses hold up the roofs of large cathedrals!)
So basically, the hollow trunk helps to hold itself up, stabilising the tree.
How mind boggling that.
Reflect on what the tree is doing as a teaching:
Instead of seeing itself as becoming hollow the trees now sees its bottom as a support: strong sides that help to prop itself up. It has lost its bottom heaviness so it can grow tall and flourish at the top!
Where is it? 18 km drive from Walpole and 52km from Denmark, off the South Coast Highway
How much? Treetop Walk $21 (Australian dollars, about 15 USD). The Ancient Empire is FREE to visit.
Castle Rock and Granite Sky Walk
Castle Rock are some huge bold rock formations, one of them even resembles the Easter Island figures. (Don’t you think? See right.)
The sheer size of these imposing rocks is humbling. I found it to be a very spiritual and awe inspiring place that seems to hold the memory of a primordial time.
You get to them by walking through woodland up the signposted path inside the Porongurup National Park (4.4 km return walk from the carpark).
At the very top you have the Granite Skywalk which is a suspended walkway, high up on the largest of the huge rocks.
This is not for you if you have a fear of heights! Also, beware: to get there you first have to scramble over some huge boulders but are then rewarded with stunning views.
Then you climb 6 meters up a vertical ladder to get to the actual skywalk. Don’t look down! Best to enjoy the far open views. It’s raw and beautiful (and very windy) up here!
Where is it? An hour’s drive (about 80km) from Denmark
How much? FREE but the car park costs $12 for the day (Australian dollars, about 8 USD)
Greens Pool is absolutely stunning. It’s not a pool but a part of the ocean that is sheltered and safe from rough, high waves. The ocean here is an incredible deep green/blue colour. There is said to be a lay lines that runs through here.
In winter you’ll have the place almost to yourself and it’s still warm enough to swim.
In summer it will be crowded though. Go early morning to beat the crowds, and breathe deeply, let the wind blow you about, expand your mind, and become one with nature.
These look like a giant herd of elephants, frozen in rock. (Just 5 minutes walk from Greens Pool – follow the signposts.)
You can admire the rocks from above, then take the wooden steps down to a small secluded beach called Elephant Cove.
On the way down is a bench which is a sun trap, safe from cold winds, and also sheltered from sounds (like whining children…). Although there’s no view it’s a great place to sit and turn inwards for some peace and calm.
On your walk to the Elephant Rocks you can see a stone circle on the left horizon called Tower Rock. To get there is a bit of a hike, first on a dirt track and then through the bush on kangaroo trails. But you’re almost guaranteed to get away from ALL other tourists here. Plus the actual Tower Rock looks like a portal and is a great place for meditation.
Bibbulmum Track – a walking pilgrimage?
Greens Pool is on the Bibbulmum Track, a 1000km long trail all the way from the Perth Hills down south to Albany, established by the indigenous people.
Although Australia doesn’t have official religious walking pilgrimages I feel that these kinds of tracks probably come pretty close:
You wander on foot to connect with the land, commute with Mother Earth, and turn inwards.
Denmark Magic Stone Circle
Just on the outskirts of Denmark where houses meet the woods there is a stone circle with massive boulders that seems to weave a magic with the trees that grow in and around them. Here trees turn into wood turn into stone and vice versa…
I have been asked not to share the exact location but if you are in Denmark ask the locals or the librarian, they will tell you.
Where is it? Mel says: 24 McLeod Road, Denmark, Western Australia (Google says: 116 McLeod Rd, Shadforth WA 6333, Australia)
Open 10am-4pm. CLOSED Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Inner Vision Website (no website, facebook page only)
How much? Prices vary by piece but earrings typically cost $30 AUD (Australian Dollars, about $20 USD)
Other things to enjoy here:
The thing that struck me most in Australia was how big (and unpopulated) it was.
Enjoy the long empty roads and feel the sheer wide open space.
Not coming across another human being for hours. Let it still your mind and expand your soul.
This part of the world is called Rainbow Coast and chances are you’ll see a rainbow or seven.
The cumulous clouds go very low, almost touching the ground, which makes it look like heaven and earth meet here!
A random sight to enjoy here are Alpacas. They are used instead of sheep dogs as they have a strong protective instinct. They guard the flock from foxes and other predators. And look very cute doing it.
You may think the capital of Australia is Sydney (or even Canberra) but in terms of spirituality, the capital of Australia is definitely Byron Bay! 🙂
Byron Bay is a small but gorgeous town where the rainforest meets the sea. Aboriginal elders say it’s been a sacred healing ground for tens of thousands of years.
Nowadays, Byron Bay is a magnet for surfers, hippies, musicians, writers, meditators, yogis, spiritual seekers, and alternative practitioners. Stunning beaches, a huge range of alternative healing, spiritual events, yoga, meditation, vegan cafes can be found all over in Byron Bay and the surrounding area. (Again, a car here is pretty essential.)
Not to forget that if you’re lucky you can spot dolphins frolicking here and from May to November you can watch whales as the migrate past. I felt truly privileged to see these graceful confident giants close up on my whale watching tour. At times when the boat stopped they even swam towards us, free of fear, just curious and playful.
Where to eat: No Bones (vegan restaurant) is right in the centre of town close to the main beach)
In the Byron Area
While in the area, make sure you visit the spiritual marvel that is the Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens, home to ancient amethyst and crystals, the largest Buddha statue in Australia, a world peace stupa blessed by the Dalai Lama and so much more.
While here all make sure to visit the small town of Mullumbimby: “Smiles are wide and heads are dreadlocked, hearts are open and spirits awakened.”
Fortnightly (Fridays 6:30pm-9pm) you can join a kirtan at St Martin’s Anglican Hall, 38 Stuart St in Mullumbimby.
(If you cannot join in person there is another kirtan live streamed on facebook from a different place called the Mantra Room in Gold Coast for free every Friday!)
I had one of the best raw food dishes ever in Melbourne: these courgette spaghetti were beyond delicious! You can find them at Sister of Soul in St Kilda (the beautiful beach and pier in Melbourne that you’re bound to visit).
Other fab places to eat:
Sibling, a not for profit cafe in 611 Nicholson Street, North Carlton. (Tram 96 will take you straight there.) 100% of their profits go to charity partners. They also operate a volunteer program for 60 volunteers a week which focuses upon speciality hospitality training, capacity building & social inclusivity.
And while you’re in fab Fitzroy (Northern Melbourne) check out Rose Street: you’ll find plenty of the street art that Melbourne is famous for and you’ll get to browse the Rose Street artist market, open each Sat and Sun from 10am until 4pm.
Sydney has everything on offer you could want. I will just point you to one extra
Special Yoga Retreat
place called Govinda which is a hidden gem. Perfect for an individual stay or join one of their retreats. Every day they offer three yoga classes, two kirtans, one workshop, and 3 delicious vegan meals! Just an hour (drive or by train) out of Sydney.
Now over to you!
And now I have a question for YOU! Have I left off an essential spiritual power place, wellness retreat, or yoga and mediation centre in Australia that you feel must go on this list? I’d love to hear your suggestions. Please let me know in the comments!