There are few things more restorative than soaking in water. Hot, cold, somewhere in between, it doesn’t matter – the therapeutic benefits are well documented. And while Victoria is already swimming in hot springs and natural bathing pools, the Great Victorian Bathing Trail is about to launch the state onto the world map as a leading bathing destination.
The 900km trail is a tourism initiative linking a number of the state’s current and proposed bathing spots. Covering Victoria’s southern coastline from East Gippsland to Portland, it will include over 30 places to immerse yourself in the healing power of water – from hot springs to beaches to sea and river baths. The trail also features two forest bathing areas for surrendering to the power of nature if soaking up tree energy is more your thing.
While it is not due to be fully complete until 2030, there are numerous venues along the linked trail that are already operating. Here’s a taste of what you can expect along the way.
"Alba Thermal Springs has 22 geothermal springs and pools, a day spa menu of over 35 treatments and a restaurant plating up nourishing locally sourced seasonal produce."
A truly beautiful and lesser known part of Victoria, Gippsland encompassed undulating hills, mountains, crystal clear lakes and unspoilt beaches. At the eastern starting point of the Great Victorian Bathing Trail, here you will find Metung Hot Springs. A partnership between local tourism operators and the award-winning Peninsula Hot Springs Group, Metung contains 7 hot springs pools of varying depths, two cold plunge pools and geothermal showers featuring geothermal water drawn from more than 500m beneath the ground and infused with natural minerals.
Also in the region is the recently opened Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre – a state of the art recreation centre featuring an indoor and outdoor pool, two large water slides and an indoor aquatic play area catering for people of all abilities. This is the kind of place that will keep the kids happy for hours.
Need to escape for some well-deserved ‘you time’? Look no further than Nunduk Spa Retreat. While still under development, this intimate retreat built on the principles of regenerative design is sure to become an iconic feature on the state’s wellness map.
Gippsland is, of course, also home to the stunning Ninety Mile Beach and Cape Conran.
Better known as the home of the largest colony of Little Penguins in the world, the addition of Saltwater Hot Springs is set to add Philip Island onto the bathing map. The original plan for the 130-acre property includes over 45 bathing pools plus a day spa. It’s due to open in March 2023.
Already boasting Australia’s most regularly visited hot springs, Peninsula Hot Springs, Mornington Peninsula is about to become a hot spring mecca with Alba Thermal Springs and Spa bursting onto the scene. With 22 geothermal springs and pools, a day spa menu of over 35 treatments and a restaurant plating up nourishing locally sourced seasonal produce from brunch to dinner, there’s plenty to keep you occupied for the day.
Of course, you can’t go to Mornington without stopping in at the iconic Peninsula Hot Springs. With over 70 globally inspired bathing and wellness experiences to choose from, multiple dining options, luxurious glamping packages and extensive spa menu, it’s easy to see why this spot has become an unrivalled bathing destination.
"Deep Blue Hotel and Hot Springs features a salt room, moonstone garden and sensorial caves along with numerous pools, a day spa and elegant yet understated accommodation."
Great Ocean Road
From Anglesea to Portland, the majority of the bathing venues along the Western end of the Great Victorian Bathing Trail are still under development – with the exception of Deep Blue Hotel and Hot Springs, that is. Located in Warrnambool, Deep Blue was Victoria’s first hot springs. Featuring a salt room, moonstone garden and sensorial caves along with numerous pools, a day spa and elegant yet understated accommodation, it’s the perfect base from which to explore the rugged majesty of the western Victorian coastline.
An exciting future addition to the area, the 12 Apostles Hot Springs and Resort, is likely to become another favourite when it launches in a few years. Plus, there are four other hot spring destinations proposed for the region – perfect for warming up after a day exploring the iconic scenery and lush national parks. It is this stretch of the bathing trail where you can also enjoy the traditional Japanese practice of forest bathing (known as Shinrin-Yoku) with Cape Otway and Budj Bim National Parks both earmarked for the experience.