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The Team Behind Victoria's Peninsula Hot Springs Is Opening a New Bathing Site in Outback Queensland

When the Cunnamulla location opens in February, you'll be able to relax in seven geothermic pools by the Warrego River, including at sunrise and sunset.
By Sarah Ward
January 18, 2024
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By Sarah Ward
January 18, 2024
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If your idea of bliss is a lengthy soak in warm water in a stunning location, you have a date with the outback Queensland town of Cunnamulla in your future. Before summer is out, it'll be home to a new hot springs that boasts seven geothermic pools, is perched right by Warrego River for the ultimate in scenic surroundings, and will also get you relaxing by sunrise and sunset. And, it hails from the Peninsula Hot Springs crew.

Not content with getting folks steeping on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula and at Metung Hot Springs in East Gippsland — both in a state vying to become home to a 900-kilometre hot springs trail — plus at Maruia Hot Springs in New Zealand, the team is spreading its footprint. Cunnamulla Hot Springs was announced in 2023, and originally set to launch last winter; however, the fact that the Peninsula Hot Springs Group is now running it is new, and so is the Thursday, February 1, 2024 opening date.

The local Paroo Shire owns the five-star venue, which cost $11.7-million to establish, with contributions from both the federal and Queensland state governments. But, now that Cunnamulla Hot Springs will soon welcome in patrons after becoming the largest-funded project that the Paroo Shire Council has ever undertaken, it has handed over day-to-day operations to one of the big Australian names in the business.

The site's pools are surrounded by native trees, and feature mineral- and vitamin-rich water taken from and heated naturally by the artesian basin underneath. Learning about the latter around your soak is also part of the experience — relaxing your body and feeding your mind at the same time.

Each of Cunnamulla Hot Springs's bathing spots sport different temperatures, so you can get steamy, opt for a stint in the chilled plunge pool or both. One has been specifically built to be shallow, so that folks sitting in it can gaze at the stars in the most immersive way possible. In the state-of-the-art complex, a sauna and a steam room is also part of the setup, as is an area for salt scrubs and clay masks.

The aforementioned early-morning and late-afternoon dips are all about taking advantage of day's cooler temperatures. Dawn bathing starts at 6am, while a twilight soak is on offer from 5–9pm on weekdays.

Patrons aren't merely surrounded by Cunnamulla's landscape as they sit; everything about Cunnamulla Hot Springs has taken its cues from its environment, with Cox Architects on design duties. Think: earthy colours, and using stone and ironbark timber among other natural materials — plus the thermal waters, of course.

"Cunnamulla Hot Springs in one of the remotest destinations in one of the least populated countries in the world. We want guests to connect with the outback, the local indigenous communities and most importantly, the water — the mineral-rich artesian water that is found at Cunnamulla," said Peninsula Hot Springs' Charles Davidson.

"Our hope is that Cunnamulla Hot Springs will create a sense of community by embracing the land, culture and wellbeing — as the Mornington Peninsula did when it opened, over 18 years ago."

When it was announced last year, Cunnamulla Hot Springs was named as a highlight on the Outback Queensland Traveller's Guide, which is filled with things to do inland in the Sunshine State. Queensland isn't just about beaches, rainforests and the tropics, even if that's what it's best known for. So, the bathing venue joins everything from starlight river cruises in Longreach and Winton's Australia Age of Dinosaurs Museum through to the Southwest Queensland Indigenous Cultural Trail and a heap of national parks (and other outback spas and baths, including in Julia Creek, Bedourie, Quilpie, Mitchell and Yowah).

If you're now planning a trip to Cunnamulla, it's around a nine-hour drive west from Brisbane, with flights via Rex, and also boasts an outback river lights festival; the Artesian Time Tunnel, which explores the Artesian Basin's history; and safari-style glamping — among other attractions.

Cunnamulla Hot Springs will open at Lot 5 Ivan Street, Cunnamulla, Queensland on Thursday, February 1 — head to the venue's website for bookings and further information.

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Published on January 18, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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