This is a visit of absolute self-indulgence, pampering and relaxation.
Peninsula Hot Springs had been on my ‘to go’ list for a while. I went with a few girlfriends (one who’d already been there and is also a keen spa goer) just after Christmas.
The bathhouse has won several spa and tourism awards, most recently the ASPA Awards Spas of Excellence 2013 and the 2013 Victorian Tourism Awards Tourist Attraction, so I had high expectations it would be a breathtaking bathing wonderland.
From the moment you walk through their entrance – a tunnel of overarching twisted trees – you feel transported into a hidden sanctuary.
There are over 20 bathing areas but not all of them are visible. Which is the fun part. Each hot spring bath blends into the 42 acres of bushland, rocks and rolling hills which you get to discover when you stroll around the natural surrounds.
A favourite is the Reflexology Walk where you walk along a path of different textured rocks that are meant to massage different pressure points in the feet.
The Cave Bath was also a highlight, offering a shady and cooler setting from the open spa baths.
But one of the most popular bathing experiences is the ‘Hilltop Spa’, which is a hot spa (which ranges from 39 – 41 degrees!) overlooking a stunning view of rolling hills and endless sky. It gets pretty crowded and I’m told it gets even busier in winter so it’s probably best to get in as an early bird to avoid the crowds.
Don’t expect a huge range of gourmet healthy food options though. I ordered the chicken wrap and a coconut yoghurt but that’s as healthy as it gets. There a few salads and flavoured yoghurts but, then again, this place attracts a lot of young families and tourists so the menu reflects foods with a more universal appeal. Think meat pies, pizzas, pastas and the like.
At night, we treated ourselves to a therapeutic massage at their Spa Dreaming Centre. While the cost of a masssage here is almost double what you probably would usually pay, the setting, the complete attention and consistent massage pressure you get from your therapist, as well as the pre- and post- tea and lounge relaxation area, makes it worthwhile. There’s even a beautiful cafe and dining area in the Dreaming Centre where you can have a meal before or after your treatment.
Is the Peninsula Hot Springs worth the visit south? You bet it is. If you’re wanting to completely switch off I recommend you stay the whole day and not during peak season. Book yourself a treatment well in advance so you get the best time that suits you and really savour everything for a full sensory experience.
From the soaps and bath salts they sell (they stock the lovely iKou range which I absolutely love), to the invigorating cold plunge pool, to the fun water buckets for a fun photo shoot, it’s easy to see why Peninsula Hot Springs is an award-winning tourist attraction.