Australian Bathing Culture at the Peninsula Hot Springs

Destination Deluxe

The Peninsula Hot Springs is an award-winning natural hot springs and day spa, and located just 90 minutes outside Melbourne

Inspired by a trip to Japan in the 90s – where they discovered the country’s onsens – brothers Charles and Richard Davidson set out to put an Australian twist on communal thermal baths in an unlikely spot just a little more than an hour outside Melbourne. They could hardly have known they were developing the gold standard for Australian bathing culture. And yet, 20 years later, this restful retreat perched on the edge of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula is exactly that.

With two separate sections and a host of packages, the Peninsula Hot Springs give guests the chance to create their own bespoke wellness experiences. At the Bathhouse, visitors can enjoy over 20 globally-inspired bathing experiences in a bucolic outdoor setting. It’s a relaxed, social affair as visitors mingle at the different thermal pools.

The grotto-like cave pool is immensely popular, rivalled only by the hilltop pool that boasts 360° views of the surrounding region. When you need a break, treat your toes to the reflexology walk, steam in the Turkish hammam and sauna, and work out any knots at the massaging mineral showers. A new addition, the exclusive Clay Ride allows spa-goers to paint themselves in five types of coloured clay, each featuring healing properties.

For discerning visitors looking for a more luxurious – and private – experience, there’s the Spa Dreaming Centre. Here, guests can relax in private indoor pavilions or outdoor pools, which can be customised with a range of essential oils, lavender milk, Dead Sea mud or tulsi tea. Visitors to the Spa Dreaming Centre also enjoy access to barrel baths, poolside lounges, a Moroccan hammam, and massaging bamboo showers.

Of course, the Spa Dreaming Centre comes with more than just bathing. The spa menu bursts with indulgent packages that combine bathing rituals with pampering massages, facials, wraps and scrubs, all inspired by wellness traditions from across the globe. Best of all, all treatments are performed with effective, natural high-end products from Synthesis, Mira’s Hand, PHYT’s and LI’TYA.

What really sets the Peninsula Hot Springs apart is its ability to create a holistic wellness experience where visitors can choose to stay active. There are regular outdoor yoga sessions – held in the property’s Moroccan Tent – and early morning aqua-exercise classes held during the week.

To connect with the local region and culture, visitors can also embark on an Indigenous Cultural Walk on the last weekend of each month. While exploring the Number 16 Beach Divide in Rye with an Indigenous elder, guests will get a crash course in local bush tucker and medicine, and experience a didgeridoo meditation class.

If you only have time for one ritual, book the six-hour Bliss package at the Spa Dreaming Centre. This decadent day out includes breakfast or lunch at the café, a 45-minute private bath, an organic mineral mud wrap, a hair and scalp treatment, a kodo massage, and a Synthesis bio-active facial. From AU$583.

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