Forest therapy in Karri Valley

Instant relaxation awaits at the RAC Karri Valley Resort, a peaceful paradise set along the banks of a tranquil lake.

Jan09

Forest therapy in Karri Valley

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Have you heard of shinrin-yoku? Japanese for forest bathing, this form of nature therapy encourages people to spend time in the forest and under the canopy of trees. The practice is believed to have calming, rejuvenating and restorative effects on the mind, body and soul – a belief I was quite sceptical of, right until now.

It’s a cool summer’s eve at the RAC Karri Valley Resort, where my partner and I are enjoying an impromptu couple’s escape. Situated on the banks of Lake Beedelup, the resort has everything you need for a romantic getaway, family holiday or holistic retreat.

We’re walking along the Beedelup Loop, a trail that weaves through native forest and past the Beedelup Falls, which feeds the Valley’s serene lake. Towering karri trees sway above us, a sky of green floating effortlessly in the breeze.

We listen to trickling water and the soft rustling of leaves, a stark contrast to the city sounds of honking horns and buzzing mobile phones. As we continue our walk, calmness washes over us like soft waves at the beach. Seems practising shinrin-yoku is easier than we think.

We’re walking along the Beedelup Loop, a trail that weaves through native forest and past the Beedelup Falls, which feeds the Valley’s serene lake. Towering karri trees sway above us, a sky of green floating effortlessly in the breeze.

We listen to trickling water and the soft rustling of leaves, a stark contrast to the city sounds of honking horns and buzzing mobile phones. As we continue our walk, calmness washes over us like soft waves at the beach. Seems practising shinrin-yoku is easier than we think.

Back at base, we’re spoilt with 360-degree views of the forest and lake. Our lakeside room boasts a picture-perfect panorama and a balcony covered in bright green ringneck parrots, searching for a feed. Hungry ourselves, we head to the resort’s restaurant for a hearty feast. On the menu we find dishes featuring local produce, including Pemberton marron, black Périgord truffles and Black Angus beef.

The next day I wake early after a good night’s sleep. I find my partner sitting on the balcony, in quiet wait. He’s trying to catch one of the lake’s illusive freshwater trout using sweet corn – what the resort staff say the fish like to eat. He threads corn kernels onto the hook of a fishing rod, drops the line into the water and tells me fishing from the balcony is “a real treat”. Unfortunately for him, the only bites he’s getting are from the parrots, which have eaten all of his bait.

We swap the fishing rod for a canoe at the resort’s general store, which houses a whole range of equipment available for hire. There are the fishing rods and canoes, but also kayaks, stand up paddleboards, golf gear, archery sets and more. We take to the water with oars and life vests and start paddling around the entire 52 acres of tree-lined lake.

We explore every nook and cranny and eventually glide down a shallow creek. A familiar trickling sound echoes through the trees. We’ve ended up at the bottom of Beedelup Falls, where we first discovered Karri Valley’s therapeutic techniques.

As we watch the water lap over rocks and into the creek, I breathe a sigh of relief. After experiencing shinrin-yoku, I feel my mind and body truly at ease.

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Options include stunning Lakeside Rooms to 2 and 3 bedroom Chalets nestled amongst the towering Karri trees.

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