Last year, I decided to take myself to Kingscliff for a mini-break to ring in the New Year.
Spending New Years’ Eve alone may seem like a strange decision but there wasn’t much happening in Brisbane and I thought it would be nice to start the year with a swim in the ocean.
Keen to skip the usual holiday hot spots of Noosa and the Gold Coast, I headed over the border for my first visit to Kingscliff in New South Wales.
Ninety minutes from Brisbane, and about 30 minutes from Byron Bay, Kingscliff has been popular with generations of holidaymakers and it’s easy to see why; it’s a cool little seaside village with plenty of dining options, great bike paths and family friendly activities.
The first thing I noticed at Peppers Salt Resort & Spa was the welcoming scent of summer which seemed to waft around the reception area; a delicious blend of sunshine, sunscreen and coconut.
Then I spotted what seemed like 3000 children in the picturesque lagoon-style pool and my heart broke a little as I remembered being pounced on by some random kids in a pool in Fiji a few years back.
I like kids, I just don’t like kids I don’t know jumping on me while I’m trying to float around like a drunk sea-lion.
Luckily I’m not easily deterred so I dropped my bags in my room, swapped my shorts for bikinis and set myself up on a sun lounge faster than you can say, “Happy New Year”.
Once the sun set, I slathered on some aloe vera and picked up some Thai food, cheese and dip and settled in to enjoy the free in-house movies and wait for the fireworks, held at the kid friendly time of 9pm.
When the clock struck midnight, I was curled up in bed struggling to keep my eyes open long enough to fire off the standard ‘Happy New Year, blah blah blah’ texts.
The next morning I headed to the beach just after sunrise to wash away all the worries and perceived failures of the old year.
As I hit the sand, one of the locals said good morning and told me it was his goal to be the first swimmer in the ocean for the year–a title he’d missed the year before.
I laughed, dropped my towel and busted out my best Baywatch run to distract him, but in the end I couldn’t crush his dreams, so I let him win and he congratulated me for being the first woman in the water.
With my morning swim done, it was back to Peppers for a buffet breakfast at Seasons before reclaiming my spot by the pool in time for a visit from my friends Shan, Willie and Xanthe.
Topping off my visit was a trip to The Spa at Salt , a world-class luxury spa which adjoins Peppers.
Three days drinking cocktails by the pool, walking on the beach and swimming in the ocean had left me feeling pretty peaceful and relaxed but my treatment took it to a whole new level.
With an indoor mineral spa and a relaxation lounge stocked with herbal teas and glossy magazines where you can chill out pre and post treatment, it’s the perfect place to switch off from the outside world.
Among the indulgent treatments available at The Spa at Salt are blissful couples connection packages, half day complete harmony treatments and nurturing mother-to-be massages.
As a long time lover of body scrubs, I booked in for the Elemental Nature Rain Shower, a 60 minute treatment including a body scrub, facial cleanse, massage and Vichy shower.
For those that have never had a body scrub before, I can’t even articulate what you’re missing. Combined with a massage, they are my favourite treatment because my skin feels so fresh and smooth once all the dead skin cells have been exfoliated away with a combination of warm oil and aqua therapy salts.
An hour later, I was clean, shiny, relaxed and ready to head back to Brisbane and take on the challenges of a new year.
- The area will come alive for the annual Taste of Kingscliff and Tweed Coast food festival from 8-17 July. The 10 day event includes food tours and talks, demonstrations, signature dishes and events suited to people of all ages.
- Fingal Lighthouse and Hastings Point are both worth a visit, while the beach between Cabarita and Fingal is great for surfing, swimming and diving.