Where to find the best natural hot springs in Victoria

Peninsula Hot Springs

Jessica Taylor Yates

Posted October 26, 2022

From moonlit bathing on the Peninsula to natural minerals in Daylesford, indulge your body and revitalise your mind at one of the many hot springs around Victoria. 

Thanks to its natural mineral waters, heading to the hot springs has become a common pastime amongst Victorians, whether on holiday, a day trip, or simply to relax and indulge. And with world class natural hot springs available around the state, you can take your pick from outdoor moonlit bathing to private springs and indoor geothermic mineral waters. 

Hot springs, sometimes known as outdoor spas or outdoor bathing, are natural geothermal mineral waters found in underground areas with active or inactive volcanoes, where the water is heated by the Earth’s interior. 

These waters consist of a range of minerals that scores of people around the world find to be healing and therapeutic.

Outdoor bathing is now a ‘booming’ industry, not only overseas, but in Victoria as well. Discover why hot springs are having a moment, and where to find them in Victoria.  

RACV Members save on experiences at Peninsula Hot Springs and Alba Thermal Springs and Spa.

Why hot springs are so ‘hot’ right now 

The desire to open a hot spring in Victoria came to Charles Davidson, the Chairman, Founder and Creative Director of Peninsula Hot Springs, while working in Japan in 1992. “The friends I was with said ‘let's go to a hot spring’ - and I didn't know what a hot spring was!”

After experiencing the traditional Japanese springs, or ‘onsen,’ Davidson was inspired to bring the feeling of “summer in winter” to the Victorian masses. Travelling the globe for inspiration, he researched how other cultures around the world utilised natural hot springs for “health, wellness and community creation.” 

This led to globally inspired practices, like the Turkish-inspired hammam (a public steam room); the healing properties of springs in Russia; and the moonlit bathing experiences of Hungary, with Davidson also citing the Czech Republic, Russia, Iceland and Yemen as some of his most inspiring springs visits. 

While many may consider the hot springs more of a cold weather activity, Davidson says the springs are a year-round destination. 

“There are hammocks to hang out in, walks in the shade, food experiences, cooler pools and even an ice cave.” 

Davidson is encouraging of guests to become repeat visitors who also explore the area, from the new springs to visiting the local art and wineries, restaurants, or making a weekend out of their experience.


The caves at Peninsula Hot Springs. Image: Supplied.
Yoga at the Peninsula Hot Springs. Image: Supplied.
Private bathing at Peninsula Hot Springs. Image: Supplied.
Fine dining at Peninsula Hot Springs. Image: Supplied.
The amphitheatre at the Peninsula Hot Springs. Image: Supplied.
A relaxation dome at the Peninsula Hot Springs. Image: Supplied.

Soak up the hot new experiences

Since opening their doors in 1997, the Peninsula Hot Springs has undergone numerous transformations, including the Spa Dreaming Centre, new amphitheatres for live performances, on-site glamping experiences, relaxation zones, picnic hampers, and even their own sustainable produce grown on directly on the property. 

That said, “the intention of it hasn’t really changed,” says Davidson. 

Focusing on key pillars of health, nature, relaxation and education, one can see how at this workplace, wellness is not just a concept or box to tick, but a way of life. “We’re hoping to build intentional wellness communities, particularly in the regions,” he says.  

Davidson’s Global Wellness Institute is indeed booming, and is set to open springs in more hot spots around the country and overseas, including Metung in East Gippsland, in Phillip Island looking over the Bass Strait, as well as on the Gold Coast and on New Zealand’s South Island.

How to get the best out of your hot springs experience

For first timers, Davidson recommends some classic bathing, as well as the ‘Fire and Ice Experience’ that leads you from a 50-degree-Celsius sauna to a 4-degree ice plunge. 

There is also the newly launched ‘Food bowl,’ where guests are treated to breakfast and a wellness seminar in a glass house with stunning panoramic views of their new amphitheatre; followed by a walk with an expert grower who displays fresh produce on-site.

Davidson also recommends ‘Clay Ridge,’ where guests can have fun painting clays on themselves and friends, leaving the skin feeling fresh and exfoliated after a soothing warm outdoor shower. 


The Deep Blue Hot Springs Warrnambool. Image: Visit Victoria.
The Hepburn Springs Bathhouse and Spa. Image: Visit Victoria.
The Japanese Mountain Retreat in the Dandenongs is your own private sanctuary. Image: Japanese Mountain Retreat.
The new Alba Thermal Springs & Spa are set to open on October 29. Image: Visit Victoria.
Metung Hot Springs, East Gippsland. Image: Supplied.

Where to experience natural hot springs in Victoria

Peninsula Hot Springs, Mornington Peninsula 

More of a wellness community than just baths, these mineral springs feature over 70 ‘bathing and wellness experiences,’ including the Bath House for families and friends to relax and bathe together, the Spa Dreaming Centre for ages 16 and up, moonlit and private bathing sessions that go until 2am – providing the perfect time for that 360-degree view on the top hilltop pool. 

Peninsula Hot Springs also offer a range of wellness activities, from yoga to spa treatments, a tea ceremony, and a range of food and beverage options on-site. 

Alba Thermal Springs and Spa, Mornington Peninsula

Launching on 29 October, the new Alba Thermal Springs and Spa are looking to bring luxury to the masses, with 22 geothermic bathing experiences including the rain pool, forest pools, cold plunge pools and sunset pool. There is also a restaurant on site providing locally sourced, seasonal produce. 

Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa, Hepburn Springs / Daylesford 

Utilising the area’s natural minerals for 127 years, the Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa near Daylesford offers a range of experiences, from bathhouse mineral baths to private sessions, water therapies, steam therapies and spa treatments. 

Deep Blue Hotel and Hot Springs, Warrnambool

Featuring natural mineral waters above 45 degrees, these geothermal waters come from rainfall that passes through the earth’s layers to reach the ‘Dilwyn Aquifer,’ an underground geological formation. 

Deep Blue Hotel and Hot Springs have 15 mineral spring rockpools to explore, including sensory and rainforest caves, cleansing waterfalls, an aromatherapy pool, cold plunge, and a reflection bay. There is accommodation and dining options on site, as well as spa and salt therapy experiences. 

Japanese Mountain Retreat, Dandenongs

Set on a five-acre mountain resort in the Dandenongs, the Japanese Mountain Retreat is a luxe mineral bathing retreat designed for couples on a romantic getaway in Japanese style bathing. Featuring private outdoor bathing, an indoor Roman bath and steam room, spa treatments and Japanese fine dining, this is one for people looking for a secluded and relaxing bath house experience. 

Metung Hot Springs, East Gippsland

From the same team who manage the Peninsula Hot Springs comes Metung, a new hot pool natural spring overlooking the lakes of Gippsland. From a day of bathing in the hot springs including plunge pools and geothermal showers, to private serenity offerings, spa treatments, glamping, golf, wellness classes and the 16 and over only ‘hilltop escarpment’ option, Metung looks to capture the magic of East Gippsland’s mineral rich waters.