Peninsula Hot Springs on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula in Victoria is the perfect destination for a day trip from Melbourne as the weather starts to turn chilly. So, on the last day of the school holidays, The Impossible Princess and I headed off on an early morning roadtrip to what we call ‘our happy place’.
Longtime readers of this blog know all about the ‘hot springs tour of the world’ on my bucket list. There’s just something about hot water (or hot mud) that I find eminently appealling. To have the world-class Peninsula Hot Springs right on our doorstep is a special treat.
The Peninsula Hot Springs complex is the first natural hot springs and day spa centre in Victoria and is about an hour and a half’s drive from the Melbourne city centre. We had booked ahead on-line for an 8am timeslot for the bathhouse bathing. (This is considered ‘earlybird’, and is a slightly cheaper option.)
The bathhouse bathing area contains a number of thermal mineral pools, including the stunning hilltop pool, and a cave pool; a reflexology walk; thermal mineral showers; a Turkish hamam steam bath (where semi-nudity is not required…); hand and foot pools; cold plunge pools; hydrotherapy pools and a jacuzzi pool; plus a cafe.
Natural thermal mineral water at 50 degrees Celsius is pumped from 600 metres below ground and flows into each of the pools tempered to various temperatures. The Peninsula Hot Springs thermal mineral water contains a range of naturally occurring minerals including sulphur, calcium, magnesium, potassium and is classified as a “Sodium Chloride Bicarbonate Spring”.
The view from the hilltop pool over the Mornington Peninsula is stunning. It is a 360 degree vista over the whole Peninsula. However, that pool and the bathing gully that leads up to it, are an adults-only area after 10am. This is partly why we drove down there early, as it gave us a good amount of time to enjoy that area before The Impossible Princess would not be allowed in.
On arrival, we headed straight up to the hilltop pool – but even at the time in the morning it was totally full…so we waited for a bit in a pool lower down the hill and tried again later.
During school holidays, the pools are all packed, so you would never see one empty like this photo (I took it on a previous visit). However, turnover in each pool is reasonably rapid, and apart for the hilltop top, we were always able to get into a pool and shuffle into a sitting spot.
The hot springs pools range in temperature from 36 to 42 degrees (Celsius) with the 40-42 degree pool labelled as the ‘Hot Pool’. Warning signs clearly outline health considerations. The Impossible Princess and I decided that sitting in it was a little like lowering a lobster into a pot of boiling water.
There is a lovely lakeside deck with chairs, where you can cool off and relax between pools.
Or you could admire the steaming waterfall.
…your happy place.
My top Peninsula Hot Springs tips?
1. Get there early – especially if you have under 16s in your party.
2. Book ahead. (Essential during school holidays.)
3. Bring along your own bathrobe (or hire one there for $7).
4. Take a water bottle to stay hydrated.
(If you’re using GPS to get there, put in 30 Springs Lane, Fingal)
Opening hours: 7 days a week, from 7:30am until 10pm daily (bathhouse)