If you make one day trip out of the bustling Australian city of Melbourne, be sure to head down to the Mornington Peninsula and visit the Peninsula Hot Springs. Melbourne is one heck of an exciting city – you can lose yourself in all the laneways and eateries for days on end and before you know it, a few weeks can zip by and you realise that you haven’t explored more of the state of Victoria! And this state has everything, from dry bushland to rugged windswept coasts.

hilltop pool peninsula hot springs

Hire a car or befriend a local with their own transportation and make the quick road-trip down to the Peninsula to explore and catch a few waves if surfing is what you’re after. But if you’re after a dose of zen, then head to the Peninsula Hot Springs to soak up natural spring water whilst taking in the gorgeous views of Australian countryside.

Once you hit the freeway out of Melbourne (past the traffic) you can blitz down wide endless roads and get many miles between you and the skyscrapers. The journey shouldn’t take more than 1.5 hours and even though we were visiting on a weekday, the car park was heaving with visitors as this day spa centre has an incredible reputation that proceeds itself. It is the first natural hot springs day spa to open in Victoria and with the natural mineral private baths set within the scenic Aussie bush, it’s easy to see why many come to try this unique experience.

relax in an australian spa

The benefits of natural spring water

The spring waters on the Peninsula are filtration hot springs which are believed to have been kept deep within the Earth for over 10,000 years. Natural spring water is steeped in therapeutic benefits and is renowned for providing healing, purification and natural health benefits. Sure, the springs make for a relaxing activity, but they have also been pinned to supplying treatment for various ailments. These waters are packed full of minerals, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, that will soak into your skin and are believed to help circulation, detox your body, ease stress and skin problems, and increase your oxygen flow.

hot tubs in australia

There are a range of famous hot springs that are scattered across the globe; from Tibet to Japan, and Turkey to Ecuador, but since I was in Melbourne, it only made sense to pop down and see what the fuss was about with these magical waters.

Inspired by the hot springs of Japan,  the founders of Peninsula Hot Springs embarked on intensive research and touring of the best hot springs around the world. With their fantastic knowledge of hot springs teamed with the fact that hot geothermal water had been found on the Mornington Peninsular, they launched an epic project to open this spa in 2005.

peninsula hot springs

Peninsula Hot Springs

Upon arrival, we were given a rundown of the different areas of the spa and the property is surprisingly large. We were to begin with the Spa Dreaming Centre experience and then move onto the Bath House over the course of 4 hours. I was pretty fresh to Australia and after that LONG flight from London, I was more than ready to just lie back and let the hot water ease my jetlag – heal me!!

Plush dressing gown and towels are provided, and you can stash your belongings securely in lockers with electronic rubber wristbands. Grab your sunnies, flip flops (or thongs, as the Aussies call them) and a bottle of water as when the Australian sun peeps out whilst you’re neck deep in hot water, you will feel the heat and get a tad thirsty.

hot spring peninsula hot springs

We entered the Spa Dreaming Centre, the first part of the spa to open 11 years ago, and the quiet stillness invoked zen immediately. Guests lazily dozed on sun loungers besides the first pool where others casually moved around sleepily, soaking up the mineral rich goodness. Move from pool to pool as each one is different, either in temperature or features. It’s a good idea to read the signs that accompany the bodies of steaming water so you don’t get a hot surprise when you go plunging into a 45C pool!

peninsula hot springs hot pools

soaking up mineral waters in hot springs

peninsula hot springs outside melbourne

Don’t be put off if you don’t have glorious sunshine on your visit as the waters are hot (duh) and dipping in and out these pools in weather in the 30’s would be quite hard. Hundreds of metres below the surface, 54 C naturally hot mineral waters  are piped to flow into a variety of pools that are scattered around the vast site. Although it was hot to trot, the heat relaxed my tense shoulders and aching neck from my 24 hours flight. The mineral waters felt silky on my skin, but be sure to remove jewellery and avoid wearing white swimsuits as the minerals can cause discolouring. See more about how to prepare for your visit here.

bath house cafe peninsula hot springs

We ventured higher up the hill to serene pools where you could kick back and have secret chats with your bestie. The craggy Australian trees surrounding the isolated pools really muffled sounds and made you feel that you had stumbled upon these sporadic pools during a countryside ramble. Looking down at the below pools, steam wafts off the surface creating an ethereal atmosphere. Who knows where the people who owned the cars in the car park were, but it was a relief to see how large the centre was so there wasn’t a cramped atmosphere with people piling on top of you in the pools.

hot springs in victoria australia

A large foot spa and a wood encircled tub from the highest point of the Spa Dreaming Centre was completely deserted apart from a snoozing visitor on one of the many hammocks. This area certainly made you feel slightly out of it, as if in a dreamlike state, so after a quick dip into the massaging thermal shower and a peer into the infrared sauna, we popped to the bar for a little pick me up. Don’t want to detox too much.

relaxing at peninsual hot springs

The Bath House was opened in 2009, so is relatively new within the centre. And it is huge, so it explained where all the other guests had been hiding whilst we had slowly been comatosed in the Dreaming Centre. It was bustling with guests across a vast area which encircles a lake and then pools ascend a high hill. Pools scatter the hill making quite the sight from the bottom or from the top, plus there’s an exciting pool that contains a cave which makes you feel like you’re in a sauna.

Be sure to take a mooch along the Reflexology Walk which contains a variety of stones, smooth rocks and pebbles that are designed to hit certain pressure points in your feet. Walk the 20 metres with shallow waters rushing around your ankles and unravel the tension in those feet.

peninsula hot springs cave pools

exploring the hot springs in australia

Once you’ve unknotted your feet, ascend the hill to the extremely photogenic Hilltop Pool that has an impressive 360 degree view of the region – it’s the crowning glory of the Hot Springs. The winding paths lead you up to the highest peak where you are treated to incredible views of rolling fields stretching out as far as the eye can see and bush land rises up the edges of the pool.

Curl up in the warm pools, feel the cool breeze whip off the horizon and indulge in chats with fellow pool visitors who have come from all over the globe. A giant compass shows you your surroundings so you can get some perspective on where you are, but it’s easy to feel like you’re truly in the middle of nowhere with these expansive views.

views at peninsula hot springs

hilltop pool hot springs australia

hilltop pool view hot springs

Peninsula Hot Springs has plenty of development in the pipeline which includes overnight accommodation and a Wellness Centre that will include walking tracks, so it will only get better and better as the years go on. The Mornington Peninsula has so much to offer, from vineyards to rugged coastline and delicious restaurants to olive groves, so be sure to make the short trip from Melbourne to the Peninsula – give it a thorough exploration topped with a trip to the hot springs for a well-deserved dose of relaxation.



All photographs by Sophie Saint

Many thanks to Peninsula Hot Springs for inviting me to experience their bathing experiences.

Sophie Saint was one of the original travelettes, from 2009 – 2017. After fleeing the UK with ink barely dry on her graduation certificate, she traversed the world with a backpack and spent a few years living in Melbourne – one of her favourite cities in the world.

She finally returned to the UK after a few years where she now whiles time away zipping off for European escapes, crocheting and daydreaming of owning her own hostel somewhere hot to live out eternal summers. See what she’s up to over on her blog saintsonaplane.com and instagram: @saintsonaplane