Oasis of Calm

By Rona Berg / March 11, 2013

Gwinganna Lifestyle Resort

Former chef Shelley Pryor now tends four organic gardens on-property at the Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat in Queensland, Australia. Raised on a self-sustaining property—her parents grew all of their produce organically, made their own herbal-infused oils, and preserved fruits and vegetables for the winter—Pryor literally glows with good health, a testament to her organic upbringing and lifestyle. With an elfin ear-to-ear grin, Pryor flits through her gardens, plucks a yellow cherry tomato, wraps it in a basil leaf, and pops it into her mouth. She hates having to buy fruits, herbs, and vegetables. “I’d rather just go without,” she says. After a taste of my own basil-wrapped tomato, I understand why.

Pryor’s bountiful gardens (also a way station for wallabies passing through) provide about 90 percent of the herbs and produce served to Gwinganna guests at meal-time. And she raises silkiebantam chickens, gorgeous fluffy white birds that supply the chef with eggs. With a magnetism to rival Mary Poppins’, Pryor teaches guests how to plant sustainable backyard gardens and pack herbs into poultices that soothe skinned knees. Gwinganna’s stunning Asian-inspired spa features top-notch nurturing treatments, and the Wellness Center rounds out the circle of holistic healing. gwinganna.com

Rona Berg

Rona Berg

Editor-In-Chief at Organic Spa Magazine
Longtime journalist, author and current editor-in-chief of Organic Spa Media, Rona Berg is the former Editorial Director of ELLE and Deputy Style Editor for the New York Times Magazine, and she has contributed to and been quoted in dozens of publications. She co-chairs the Personal Care Committee of the non-profit Green Spa Network, is a Charter Advisory Board Member of the Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance, best-selling author of Beauty: The New Basics and Fast Beauty (Workman Publishing), and is a frequent speaker and guest on radio and television and at conferences around the globe.
Rona Berg

Latest posts by Rona Berg (see all)