Peninsula Hot Springs Restaurant
140 Springs Lane, Fingal, VIC
03 5950 8777
Twenty years ago, if you told the residents of Mornington Peninsula that the area would soon become a hot spring destination, most would have chuckled. Rumours were indeed floating around that the area held large reserves of hot geothermal water, but it took the experience and determination of two hot-spring-loving brothers before the speculation became reality. In fact, Peninsula Hot Springs is the only natural thermal springs in Victoria and the only natural hot mineral spring in Australia that offers spa and wellbeing services. Today, it provides visitors with numerous bathing areas fed by hot mineral springs, a vast selection of health and spa treatments, and two cafés serving international fare.
The story of Peninsula Hot Springs begins in 1992, when Charles Davidson, who was working as a trader of Australian foods at the time, received an unexpected tour of Japan’s hot springs from his friends. The experience was shockingly beautiful, and, soon Charles was visiting hot springs all over the world
In 1997 Charles heard rumours of hot springs on the Mornington Peninsula.. After checking the records at the Department of Minerals and Energy, which confirmed that geothermal water had been discovered in Victoria in 1979, Charles convinced his brother Richard to join him and they purchased 42 acres near the village of Rye in the sand-dune area known as The Cups. They began drilling to find the hot springs, but, unfortunately, the springs were well hidden: It wasn’t until 2002 that things, thankfully, came together, and the brothers made national news unleashing the area’s hot geothermic water. Next, they formed a partnership with Norm and Bruce Cleland and began to construct spa facilities, and, in 2005, Peninsula Hot Springs opened to the public.
Today, the spa has an international feel. Charles and Richard have visited hot springs in more than 20 countries on research missions, and the bathing facility includes a Turkish spa (hamam), a Japanese reflexology walk, French thalasso therapy pool, Scandinavian saunas and a hilltop pool with 360-degree views of the property and many other culturally inspired bathing experiences. All of the pools have temperatures between 37°C and 43°C, and the facility has two primary sections: the Spa Dreaming Centre and the Bath House. The Spa Dreaming Centre, open from 9 am to 9 pm daily is exclusive to guests 16 years and older. It provides massage and spa treatments, is a collection of tranquil thermal pools and a cafe. The Bath House, open from 7:30am to 10:00pm daily, welcomes visitors of all ages, and offers more than 25 unique bathing experiences and its own cafe.
For a more personal experience, you can book a private pool or bath, either indoors or out, and these pools come with the added benefit of being able to add your own choice of oils, milks, and other ingredients. Additionally, note that Peninsula Hot Springs is vastly quieter during the week than on weekends and public holidays, and Charles and Richard recommend visiting on weekday mornings and booking in advance.
After all the lazing about, it’s nice to have a good selection of food on hand, and the Spa Dreaming Café serves such dishes as Buttermilk Pancakes with yoghurt and berry compote and Pan Seared Local Bay Calamari with ponzu sauce. In the Bath House Cafe, guests find a selection of smaller plates, such as chicken or beef pies, salads, falafel wraps, and gourmet home made pizzas, and you can order food in the morning, afternoon, and early evening.
Peninsula Hot Springs also offers spa and dining packages to those seeking a truly relaxing experience, and the packages include the Breakfast & Bathe, Pasta & Bathe, and Pizza & Bathe. Head chef Andy Greenlees sources ingredients from a number of regional producers, including Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm, Nirvana Free Range Eggs, Pure Peninsula Honey, Ridge Estate Olive Oil, and Greg’s Family Butcher, to provide a local taste of wellbeing.