www.wherejacwanders.com – Summer on the Mornington Peninsula is synonymous with the beach. The sparkling blue waters, waves and colourful beach boxes adorn post cards and media feeds. But what is there to do when the summer sun hides behind clouds and you want a day out? We decided to head back to one of our favourite spots on the coast- the Peninsula Hot Springs. We have visited a number of times and are always drawn back to the relaxing pools, the native gardens and the various experiences on offer.
We started our day with the experience we love so much which always makes us laugh- the Clay Ridge Experience. You are presented with a range of coloured clays and paintbrushes and you get time to paint each other all over with the richly coloured clays. The therapeutic clay powder is mixed with geothermal water- a detoxifying experience inspired by ancient traditions. For centuries indigenous people around the world have enjoyed the benefits of locally harvested clays and muds for medicinal properties and ceremonial gatherings. Minerals and trace elements in clay and mud are known for their renowned effects and healing properties.
After the fun painting each other, we let the clay do its magic; drawing out toxins and impurities from our skin. As the clay began to dry and crack and after lots of laughs , we washed it off under the natural geothermal mineral showers, leaving our skin feeling soft and rejuvenated.
I love a good shower and these high pressure showers were wonderful although you could smell the sulphur! Our skin was left feeling soft and rejuvenated after this indulgent fun experience.
We then headed down for the Fire and Ice experience- a new area since our last visit. In our travels to Scandinavia we’d read a lot about hot and cold therapy and enjoyed icy cold lake swims and hot saunas so we were keen to try this out. We’d heard about the health benefits ranging from enhanced brain function to better sleep quality.
The ‘fire & ice’ area comprises two 30-person saunas – one dry; one wet, and both set at 90 degrees Celsius – which represent the ‘fire’ component. Saunas are used all over the world to help release toxins, cleanse skin, burn calories, fight illness and improve cardiovascular performance and sleep quality.
Contrasting the heat of the sauna is the ‘ice’ component, which involves a cold plunge pool and ice plunge pool, an Ice Cave set at between 2 and minus 10 degrees Celsius, and a minus 25-degree Deep Freeze. These icy experiences are based on the theory of cryotherapy – a method made popular in Japan in the 1970s that is said to help reduce inflammation, optimise brain function, improve sleep quality and boost metabolism and collagen production.
Our guide for the experience explained that we would alternate between these hot and cold experiences, a practice exported from Scandinavia to the rest of the world only in recent times. She guided us from the heat of the sauna to the first plunge cold pool, back to the sauna then into the Ice Cave where my toes felt like they would never move again! Imagine spending time in the cool room at your local bottle shop and then heading back into the steaminess of the sauna!
Finally there was the Ice Plunge Pool- the coldest water you can get into without it being frozen. It was quite a thrill climbing down the ladder and feeling the intense cold stabbing at you like hundreds of tiny needles. We managed to just make the 30 second countdown and could not believe how warm the first pool felt afterwards.
The Fire & Ice Experience was quite exhilarating and we left feeling like we’d passed a challenge. After the two experiences we felt fresh, relaxed, our skin was soft and we were very hungry! We had delicious lunch of dumplings, noodles and fresh juices at the Bath House Cafe.
Each visit the place feels more at one with nature with ducks and other birds all around. The native trees and shrubs feel more established and there’s always something new to try. This was a perfect spot for a cloudy day and we will definitely be back.
And yes, we slept very well after our day!
We can’t wait for our next visit to Peninsula Hot Springs– book now: www.peninsulahotsprings.com.