Bookings now open for Gippsland’s newest hot springs

Words by Della Vreeland
Images Supplied

Victoria’s much-anticipated Metung Hot Springs is officially opening this month, with bookings now welcome for those seeking a healing getaway characterised by serenity, luxury and tranquillity.

Set on 10 hectares of natural undulating land overlooking the magnificent Gippsland Lakes, this new wellness destination (the sister springs to the Peninsula Hot Springs) is set to welcome its very first guests on October 29.

Featuring geothermal mineral bathing, spa and massage treatments, and its very own glamping tents, Metung is a premium health and wellness experience that aims to refresh, rejuvenate and revitalise guests amidst the panoramic vistas that the Gippsland region affords.

Boasting a bathing valley with seven pools as well as a hilltop escarpment including cold plunge tub, stargazing pool and individual bathing barrels, the venue will have guests in awe at its natural surrounds and luxurious offerings.

A range of bathing, spa and accommodation packages are now available to choose from, including unique glamping lagoon-side and hillside options. Make sure to visit the website to find out all the information, and get set for a luxury escape nestled within Gippsland’s warming surrounds.


WHAT: Metung Hot Springs
WHEN: Opening October 29
BOOKINGS: Metung Hot Springs

We wish to acknowledge the Gunaikurnai people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Thyme is on your side at Alba Thermal Springs

Words by Amanda Kennedy

Melburnians have become quite used to a cheeky getaway to hot springs on the Mornington Peninsula. And when floating in tranquil luxury is just a one-hour drive away, it’s easy to see why.

The soon-to-open Alba Thermal Springs and Spa will no doubt become a sought-after destination for all things relaxing when it finally opens its doors in winter 2022. Located at Fingal, near Cape Schanck, the 15-acre water wonderland will boast more than 30 bathing options from geothermal, cold plunge through to herbal-infused botanical pools, as well as a plethora of spa services to revitalise both the body and the soul.

Now, if only there was somewhere to eat after all this bliss? Enter Thyme – a 120-seat restaurant with an all-day menu (remember those) serving up fresh, wholesome dishes with a signature Mediterranean twist, thanks to Melbourne legend Karen Martini. A staple of the restaurant scene (and television screens) for more than 25 years, the chef, writer, and restaurateur was officially appointed a Melbourne Food & Wine Festival Legend in November 2021.

As director of the culinary program, Martini has created a menu rich in plant-based dishes, making the most of the kitchen garden’s herbs and vegetables.

We will also be supporting local growers and suppliers, seeking out seasonal produce from sustainable farming practices, and choosing organically-grown wherever possible.

A well-curated beverage list will draw upon the region’s prolific wineries as well as local tea blends, excellent coffee and fermented drinks. In line with the project’s healthful ethos, those with special dietary requirements will also be well catered for.

The venue itself has been designed to capture the stunning vistas the unique coastal location provides, complete with an outdoor terrace to take in spectacular sunsets, no matter the time of year.

We know you don’t need any more convincing to visit the Peninsula with its wealth of wineries, luxury accommodation, outdoor activities and spectacular coastal walks but it looks like you’ve just added one more to your must-do list.


WHAT: Thyme at Alba Thermal Springs
WHERE: Fingal, Mornington Peninsula
WHEN: 7.30am to 9.00pm daily, opening winter 2022
MORE INFO:  Alba Thermal Springs

We wish to acknowledge the Bunurong people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Mornington Peninsula is getting another Hot Springs! Meet Alba.

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Just when you thought you’d heard the last of the good bathing news, we’re here to serve you another scoop. The Mornington Peninsula is going to be home to another luxurious thermal springs and spa, and her name is Alba.

Launching in winter 2022 to coincide with World Bathing Day (June 22nd), Alba Thermal Springs and Spa is the newest state-of-the-art bathing destination designed to wash away all your worries. Offering a wide selection of outdoor and indoor thermal bathing, spa treatments and wellness therapies, Alba has a vision of being Victoria’s most sought-after place to relax.

The baths are set on 15-acres of land and construction is already underway under the guidance of renowned architecture practice, Hayball. The development will be low-impact with a progressive design that works in harmony with the natural environment. If the prototype images are anything to go off (which they are), Alba is looking equal parts zen and impressive, and a must-do for any Victorian.

Alba Thermal Springs and Spa is located in Fingal, just a hop skip and a jump away from countless wineries, luxury accommodation and other indulgent activities. The Mornington Peninsula really is bringing it these days.

WHAT: Alba Thermal Springs and Spa
WHERE: Fingal, Mornington Peninsula
WHEN: Winter 2022
MORE INFO: Alba Thermal Springs and Spa

A new 3 week festival is coming to East Gippsland this winter

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One takeaway from 2020 we’re glad to embrace is the backyard getaway. Amidst the uncertainty of international (and at times interstate) travel, there’s never been a better time to explore your own state. From charming small towns, a vibrant arts scene, local produce the envy of many, spectacular coastlines, excellent eateries and much more, there’s one place that has this all wrapped up – East Gippsland.

East Gippsland Winter Festival (June 18 to July 11) is a celebration of all things art, music, wine, craft beer and local produce. Spread over three weeks there will be a raft of activities including interactive art installations, pop-up events, live music, workshops, exclusive dinners and lavish feasts showcasing the best the region has to offer.

With bushfires, drought and Covid challenging many a local business, festival founder Adam Bloem was looking for a way to attract more people to the region. ’I wanted something that encouraged people to stay a bit longer and travel around and explore all of the little towns and villages.’

We now have over 70 events on our festival program and the majority of these have been devised and organised by local businesses, community groups and passionate locals. The response has been overwhelming and we can’t wait to welcome thousands of visitors to East Gippsland over winter where there will be lots of things to see, do, eat and drink right across the region.

From Mallacoota to Paynesville, north to Omeo and everywhere in between, friendly locals can’t wait to share their special corner of the world with you. Kick it off on Friday, June 18 with the official festival opening in Bairnsdale with live music and roving performers, as well as a bevy of food/wine options and art projections throughout the town.

Pencil in the Pinot Picnic and Masterclass on Sunday, June 20 thanks to the acclaimed Sardine Eatery + Bar and Lightfoot & Sons Winery. This not-to-be-missed event salutes Gippsland Lakes District’s exceptional pinot noir at Lightfoot and Son’s cellar door. The winemaker-guided Masterclass will take place in their barrel room with guests enjoying a Sardine Eatery picnic box filled with cheese, charcuterie and conserves.

This year’s winter solstice on Monday, June 21 just happens to coincide with World Bathing Day. Join bathers from across the globe at sunrise for a live-streamed Global Sound Bath. From the new pop-up bathing area on the future Metung Hot Springs site, drink in the beauty of the natural surrounds for a calm and balanced start to your day.


The Lakes Light Festival on Saturday, June 26 promises to be a festival highlight. Watch a mural painting as it unfolds in both a virtual sense and in reality at the former iceworks factory, and now arts hub, in Lakes Entrance.

Is it time to unleash your inner artist? Then don’t miss the lantern making workshop on Tuesday, June 29 in Swifts Creek. This idyllic town in the Tambo Valley is quickly developing a strong reputation for its arts scene and part in the Great Alpine Arts Trail. Experienced local artists will guide you through the process and shine a light on your creative side. Great fun for all ages!

One of the festival standouts has to be the Sailors Grave Deep Winter Festival on Saturday, July 3. Sailors Grave is a darling of the craft beer scene for good reason. Their complex beers (and idiosyncratic branding) tell the story of their unique region, their terroir. None more so than their recent release Dark Emu Dark Lager, a collaboration with Uncle Bruce Pascoe honouring indigenous culture and knowledge.

The Deep Winter event kicks off at 6 pm at the home of Sailors Grave brewery, a 100-year-old butter factory on the banks of the Snowy River. Music will be provided by post-punk Oz rock band Shepparton Airplane and other special guests, with food by Melbourne butchers Meatsmith. Co-founders Gab and Chris Moore can’t wait to welcome you.

By now you’re thinking it might be a great idea to plan a little exercise and thankfully the area has some of the most scenic trails in the state. Little River Gorge Walk will certainly get the blood pumping but also rewards that effort with a stunning view over one of Victoria’s deepest gorges and the mis-named Little River. Of course, a leisurely stroll around one of the area’s many lakes might be more your pace. Check out some of the options here.

So many activities – both day and night – means you’re going to need somewhere to stay. With accommodation options from traditional B&Bs, luxe glamping or maybe a waterside retreat complete with mooring for your boat, there’s no excuse not to head east this winter.


WHAT: East Gippsland Winter Festival
WHERE: Various locations around East Gippsland
WHEN: Saturday 19th June – Sunday 11th July 2021
MORE INFO:  Register for program updates at the East Gippsland Winter Festival website.

Phillip Island Hot Springs underway

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In what might just be the most important regional news story this year, the Phillip Island Hot Springs project (yes, you read that correctly), has commenced and is set to open in February 2022.

If you’ve ever been to the Peninsula Hot Springs, you’ll understand why this is such a big deal. Hot springs are literally the best way to relax, rejuvenate and escape the daily grind. And these soon-to-be newest thermal baths on the block are looking incredible.

Boasting mega ocean views, 45 bathing pools ranging from reflexology wading pools to the sinking-deep variety, a day spa, treatment facilities and a restaurant, this newcomer will bring a substantial boost to the local economy, with community members and travellers alike certain to relish in the healing waters.

The project costs an estimated $10 million and is nestled right next to the Bass Strait and Western Port in a pristine coastal precinct surrounded by 10,000 indigenous trees. The Cape Kitchen, the already-established restaurant run by Jodie and Mark Vogt, is within the complex and will continue trading when the hot spring’s open up.

To begin with, ten bathing pools will open up, powered by a 900 metre bore under the 130-acre property. 20 megalitres of groundwater will supply the pools with 38C aquifer mineral-rich water. The later stages of development will see the addition of more baths and varying wellness treatments.

“There’s no timeline for the following stages. We’ll gauge feedback from stage one and then lock in further development over the next five to 10 years,” brand manager Tom Lade said.

Up to 500 people per day are expected to visit the site, and we can definitely see why. Keep your eyes on this one folks, it’s gonna be big.

WHAT: Phillip Island Hot Springs
WHERE: 1215 Phillip Island Road
WHEN: February 2022
MORE INFO: Saltwater Springs