Victoria Is Set to Score a 900-Kilometre Trail Connecting the State's Hot Springs and Bathing Spots
The tourism route will sprawl between Victoria's geothermal pools and bathing spots, spanning existing and new locations.
May 23, 2022
It's been more than two decades since the Peninsula Hot Springs became one of Victoria's must-visit spots, especially if you enjoy getaways of the pampering, wellness-oriented and relaxing kind. Since then, the Fingal venue and its geothermal pools have become synonymous with blissful jaunts beyond the city. But in the coming years, it might become just one stop on a whole trail filled bathing spots — all thanks to the proposed Great Victorian Bathing Trail.
First floated back in 2019, and set to gain its next new location mid-2022 when Metung Hot Springs opens its doors in East Gippsland — also stemming from the team behind Peninsula Hot Springs — the Great Victorian Bathing Trail is exactly what it sounds like. It'll span more than 900 kilometres along the Victorian coast, and have one big aim: linking the state's hot springs and other bathing spots into one must-trek route for folks fond of soaking away their woes.
Also slated to join the trail: Phillip Island Hot Springs and Saltwater Hot Springs on Phillip Island, Nunduk Spa Retreat in the Lake Wellington part of Gippsland, 12 Apostles Hot Springs on the Great Ocean Road, Geelong Mineral Spa and the Eden project in Anglesea. The soon-to-launch Alba Hot Springs on the Mornington Peninsula is joining the lineup, too. Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre in Traralgon will also feature, for fans of splashing around in a regular community pool, and so will Warrnambool's existing Deep Blue Hot Springs.
In other words, if you're keen to escape the big smoke and kick back in a body of water — steamy or cool alike — the Great Victorian Bathing Trail will help you connect the dots. The plan will see the route stretch from Portland in the state's southwest over to East Gippsland, and also include beaches along the way.
The idea: to give Victoria a calming tourist attraction to rival hot springs and spa hotspots such as Beppu and Kurokawa in Japan, Guangdong in China, and the Nordic region's many go-tos — including in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark's Copenhagen harbour bath trail.
The numbers for Peninsula Hot Springs certainly give the concept plenty of hope, given that about 500,000 annual visitors make the visit to the spot.
2030 has been outlined as the ideal launch date — but, given that was the plan pre-pandemic, that timing could easily change.
The good news is the Mornington Peninsula's new Alba Thermal Springs and Spa, which forms part of the trail, will launch in September and is already taking bookings.
And while an exact date for Metung's midyear opening hasn't yet been revealed, hot springs fans can look forward to a multi-faceted attraction and wellness precinct with steamy thermal pools and sauna options. It'll encompass various hot springs bathing facilities at the main King Cove site, and also a spa relaxation centre and further hot springs constructed at the nearby King Cove Golf Club, all-around 3.5 hours out of Melbourne. And, there's set to be a glamping site as well.
For more information about the Great Victorian Bathing Trail, head to the project's Facebook page.
Top image: Peninsula Hot Springs, Visit Victoria.