The Peninsula Hot Springs have been on our wish list since we heard about them and last weekend we had the opportunity to go there.
Oliver and I met each other on a campsite in Sweden that had a sauna. Although I politely rejected an invitation to go there back then, sauna’s have played an important part in our lives together.
Oliver’s parents had a sauna in their house, we visited several sauna’s in the Netherlands (meeting colleagues there was a bit awkward). And had a real bathing experience in Baden-Baden, Germany. After several baths going from a lower temperature to a higher one, the absolute highlight was walking in to a dark and quiet room where we had to lay down on a bed and got wrapped into warm blankets. So obviously we were very curious about a bathing experience in Australia.
Off we went to the Mornington Peninsula, about an hour’s drive from our house. Hot water had been discovered on the Peninsula in 1979. Two brothers heard about it in 1996 and they decided to invest in it. The Peninsula Hot Springs opened in 2005, but many of the outdoor facilities have only been there since the end of 2014.
We pre-booked a bathing and pizza experience with our Entertainment Book voucher, giving us a free pizza as a discount. At 10 am we arrived at the car park and it was hard to find a free parking spot. So we were not going to be alone today.
After getting into our bathing suits and bath robes, no birthday suits here in Australia, we started our adventure on the foot reflexology path.
With enough energy we walked up the bathing gully onto the top of the hill.
On top of the hill is a pool 38-40 °C hot pool with a stunning 360° view. It was nice that we were here on a cool day and have the wind cool us down a bit. No pictures of the hilltop pool though, as we were not allowed to take pictures of other people and this was a popular spot. I could only take one at the foot bath.
Then we descended down the bathing Gully to get to the other pools:
Next to the pools there was a hamam and a sauna. The sauna was not very big, maybe 10 people could go in it and it was clear that it is not a common thing here. People came in, sat down without a towel or walked out after a minute or so. Leaving the door open too long, making the temperature drop by 10 degrees. Despite that it was a very pleasant experience, especially the tingly feeling in my skin when we relaxed on a lounge bed afterwards. That made the difficult dip into the cold plunge pool worth it.
Although the hot springs were full, it did not feel crowded. There was a lot of distance between the different pools, a lot of space to walk around, so you can not see many people at once. On busy days they only allow a limited amount of people into the hot springs.
The biggest disadvantage of wearing a bathing suit was that our towel and bath robe were soaking wet at the end of the day.
This spa is a complete outdoor experience in the middle of nature. It felt like walking in a tropical swimming paradise of Center Parks*, but without a roof over us. I had to remind myself over and over that this was all real. The trees and the bushes are all naturally growing here already. The water comes from a spring that lies 637 meters below the surface. It rises up and the last 10 meters to the surface the water gets pumped into the pools. They even have to cool it down a bit, as it is 50 degrees.
Completely relaxed after a great day we went home again. Maybe to go back again someday with the children?
Tip: If you arrive between 7:30-9am you pay a discounted rate of $25 to enter (only in off peak), instead of $45 peak/$35 off peak. Before 10 am children can also go to all the pools and there is a family pool.
* Center Parks is a European network of holiday villages that was founded in the Netherlands in 1968