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Golden Door Internship

The Golden Door internship is one of my most treasured experiences. What I refer to as a ‘working holiday’ that I will hold closely to my heart for eternity.

When you become a Golden Door Intern your work life transforms into 5 weeks of 10km hikes, dukka crusted salmon with green beans, yoga, 360° views of the Hunter Valley, a new friend around every corner, candle lighting ceremonies and mango mousse with coconut crumble – with a little light vegetable chopping, window cleaning and spa sorting thrown in. The Golden Door internship is one of my most treasured experiences. What I refer to as a ‘working holiday’ that I will hold closely to my heart for eternity.

Dawn from the Wellness Lawn.

Dawn from the Wellness Lawn.

The internship at Golden Door Health Retreat allows individuals to gain experience in the hospitality and hotel industries, as well as health, fitness, wellness, and beauty. Interns are also able to choose to have some focus on a particular area they are interested in such as marketing, accounting, massage therapy, or personal training. For me, my academic background is marketing, so during my time as an Intern I also got to work with the ladies in Marketing.


Nightly storms over the Hunter Valley during December 2014

A majority of my shifts began at 5:15am, and always began with facility setup, wakeup calls, the 7am morning walk and breakfast with the guests. The rest of the day would be a mix of assistance in the Spa, Wellness Centre, kitchen & restaurant, reception and involvement in daily guest activities until 3pm when my shift was over. While I was working, it never truly felt like work and I regularly found myself helping out with dinner and became a regular assistant during the Candle Lighting Ceremonies each Wednesday night.

My go to breakfast – every morning.

My go to breakfast – every morning.

Internships are all about learning. At Golden Door, the lessons come in droves and can be somewhat unanticipated. In my experience, I expected to (and did) learn how to work as a kitchen hand, a waitress, a receptionist, and a marketing assistant. While all these lessons were valuable, it was the unexpected ones that have truly stuck with me. This is a place where I have learned so much about health, fitness and wellness, but the most wonderful thing I learned was the impact a happy and supportive workplace can have on a person and their life. During my time at Golden Door I experienced a huge decrease in stress, and that was solely due to the positive work environment and the people I was working with.

Here are some of my favourite things from my time at Golden Door…

  • The Candle Lighting Ceremony with Jaye
  • The hikes (especially the 10km mountain hike!)
  • The baby kangaroos
  • Avocado pesto pasta with roasted vegetables, & coconut ice cream
  • The outdoor pool
  • Swedish massage
  • Gym circuit / Cardio Blaster
  • The view from Meditation Hill
  • The happiness bubble that is Golden Door
  • Breakfast clean up with Danielle & Lita
  • Yoga with Caitlin
  • The morning stretch class
  •  Breakfast on the balcony
Kangaroos roam around Golden Door like they own the place!

Kangaroos roam around Golden Door like they own the place!

Internships are an important part of professional learning that allow you to apply your academic knowledge to a real life work situation, introduces you to industry contacts, be exposed to your chosen career as a test run, and bulk up your resume. But ultimately, an internship can give you an unforgettable life experience, as Golden Door has done for me.

If you have an interest in anything associated with health retreats or the health, fitness and wellness industries I cannot recommend the Golden Door Internship enough. Click here for more information on how to apply.

Article and images by Natalie Bennett

Please note: This blog is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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