Inside Spa Kinara, The NT’s Luxury Indigenous-inspired Spa

In the heart of the outback, Spa Kinara connects the body, spirit and land through luxury wellness treatments.

When it comes to acknowledging and paying respect to Indigenous culture, Spa Kinara at Longitude 131 in the heart of the Northern Territory is unmatched. From the architecture to the treatments themselves, the entire spa is inspired by Indigenous design, ingredients and customs.

Each treatment is designed to imbue a sense of true calm and connection to the landscape. The spa uses native beauty products including signature skin and body treatments from Li’Tya, an Indigenous-owned botanical spa and skincare line. Treatments begin with Indigenous welcome ceremonies, and the team works closely with the local Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Lands Women’s Council to provide traditional healing guidance.

We spoke with the team at Spa Kinara to find out more about their diverse offerings and garner their top tips on how all spas around Australia can pay respect to the Indigenous owners of land they operate on.

What is the inspiration behind Spa Kinara’s signature treatments?

At Spa Kinara, we take the vast Australian outback and the healing wisdom of its Traditional Owners as inspiration for the range of rejuvenating treatments on offer. Kinara means “moon” in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara language, which hangs peacefully in the twilight desert sky, accompanied by a sea of glittering stars when the heavens turn inky blue. We designed the spa in the style of a traditional shelter or wiltja and use a combination of Australian botanical-based spa products and bush ingredients with Aboriginal massage techniques.

How do you incorporate Indigenous Australian customs into your treatments?

Each spa treatment at Spa Kinara begins with a healing smoking ceremony using bush botanicals. We also use the cure-all irmangka-irmangka or Scented Emu Bush which is gathered by the ladies in the Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council and made into a traditional Aboriginal healing balm, sold as part of the social enterprise with proceeds returning directing to the women. The bush’s fresh leaves are mixed with olive oil to form a balm. 

The irmangka-irmangka balm is very popular among indigenous healers who know it for its multiple healing applications. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it ideal for relieving everything from sore muscles and joints to symptoms of a common cold. The use of this balm in our spa treatments offers guests a real, sensory connection to the country. All proceeds from the sale of the balm go back to the local NPY Women’s Council and their work in the region.

We also use Li’Tya spa care products and massage techniques that integrate the ancient aesthetics of the Australian earth and spirit. The Li’Tya spa experience combines a range of sensory therapies designed to purify, nourish and harmonise the body using the profound wisdom of ancient Aboriginal medicines, spirituality and healing modalities.

What are the hero native ingredients in your treatments?

All Spa Kinara therapists have been trained by Li’Tya professionals on the traditional use of Australian native ingredients. Our signature products are packed with native Australian superfoods such as Kakadu plum, quandongs and desert lime, as well as scented emu bush, Australian yellow clay and nutrient-rich desert salts.

Please talk us through the process of a signature Spa Kinara ritual/ceremony.

Each Spa Kinara treatment is a personal journey. Our clients are invited to select a therapy that resonates most with their mood or desired physical focus, and each treatment may be tailored for a complete mind, body and soul treat. All Spa Kinara journeys commence with a traditional Aboriginal welcome ceremony and finish with the option of an outdoor rain shower under the gaze and spiritual energy of Uluru.

How can other spas pay respect to the Indigenous land they operate on?

Spas offer a rare and special chance for guests to really reconnect with their own body and spirit and with the Country they’re in. A genuine effort for spas to connect with their region’s Traditional Owners offers a chance for that connection to become real for guests, while at the same time providing economic support to First Nations peoples and ensuring their culture and heritage is shared and persevered for the future.

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