For years the idyllic Mornington Peninsula has provided refuge for Melburnians looking for an accessible and relaxing weekend away. Of course, a trip out here without a stopover at the Peninsula Hot Springs would be sacrilege.
Peninsula Hot Springs is Victoria’s first geothermal mineral springs and day spa. It’s here you’ll find more than 50 bathing experiences, including shared thermal mineral pools, wet and dry saunas, a hydrotherapy pool, Turkish and Moroccan hammams and the frequently Instagrammed hilltop pool, which boasts 360-degree views over the farmlands of Fingal.
The tranquil Spa Dreaming Centre also offers communal bathing in a variety of thermal pools, including a barrel bath, grotto pool and an indoor pool that overlooks the lake. Pampering options at the in-house spa include massages, facials and body treatments. You can also book private bathing pavilions for a more secluded experience, and there’s also yoga classes, body clay workshops, mindful walks and warm water exercises to get amongst.
A good two decades after opening, the Hot Springs continue to expand. In 2018, the spa underwent a $13 million expansion which included an ice cave and a deep freeze chamber, a food garden that services the onsite café, as well as nine new pools. The ice cave is the first of its kind in Australia, and hot/cold therapy is a well-regarded method to reduce inflammation, stress and soreness in the body (think footy players jumping into the sea or having crazy cold ice baths).
While you’d be pretty content to spend hours lazing in the pools, the ‘fire and ice experience’ is a standout. Guests are guided through a 45-minute workshop, which takes you between the site’s 60-degree hot sauna, its ice cave (a very cold -17), 4-degree cold plunge pool and geothermal hot spring, which sits at a balmy 36 degrees. Your heart rate will rise and fall, you’ll sweat, you’ll shiver, but you’ll also walk out of it with a profound respect for your body and its limits (seriously, forget bungee jumping – this is what thrill-seekers should be doing).
Entrance to Peninsula Hot Springs starts at $25, with prices increasing during peak times. A daytime experience not enough? Peninsula Hot Springs also offers overnight glamping on the property, with 24/7 access to bathing sites. Prices start at $650 per night.