Struck Melbourne in winter? Then this day-trip is a must.
You need one car, your maps app, plenty of time to visit the wineries en route and even more time to while away warming up your body temp at the Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs.
About an hour and a quarter drive from Melbourne’s CBD, these natural mineral springs are brilliantly done - with a series of pools running down a hillside to a large pond replete with what sounds like at least a million frogs as soon as the sun goes down.
The setting is, as said, on a hillside, with the aptly named Hilltop pool at the crest where you can soak up the warmth and the views at once. I recommend wandering up the path through the trees and flowing waterways to make this your first stop. You can then slowly make your way back down the hill stopping at any of the numerous pools (of varying temperatures) to the pond at the base.
Don’t rush it – among the pools are a sauna, a Turkish steam bath, hot mineral showers, a reflexology foot walk, cold plunge pools (and it is very easy to spend an hour or more just circulating through the steam room, plunge pool and hot showers), pools with massage jets of various types, and more.
All in all this is a great way to chill with friends, a partner, or take time out alone with a book while getting a completely natural body detox and therapy session!
Book ahead online to be guaranteed entry – it’s a popular place and winter weekends are booked out ahead of time. There would be nothing worse than driving that distance and not getting in.
Bring thongs / jandals / flip flops to wear as you move from pool to pool – it can get very cold on the feet in the winter!
Bring an extra towel or hire a bathrobe $7. You want to keep warm moving between pools and your towel might keep you warm but will soon get wet.
Lockers are available at $3 each. You can store your things in outdoor shelves as well.
There is a cafe but bringing your own food and drinks is fine. Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Adult prices are $40 Fri -Mon and $35 Tues- Thurs. Children $25 and $20, and family (2+2) $115 and $95 respectively
It’s slightly cheaper if you go first thing in the morning – opening is at 7.30am. Alternatively go Tues- Thurs for a cheaper rate (and fewer people!)
Evenings are wonderful - lie back under the night sky, and well, enjoy the cacophony of the frogs in the pond!