While the kids absolutely love the Peninsula Hot Springs, sometimes it’s a delicious treat to go sans offspring and enjoy an indulgent catch up with a bestie – which is exactly what I did on World Wellness Weekend!
When: 7:00am – 10:00pm, Bath House Amphitheatre 9am – 9pm daily
Where: Peninsula Hot Springs, 140 Springs Lane, Fingal (Rye)
Cost: Adult $55, child $35. Book now
I couldn’t believe my luck when I was invited along to the World Wellness Weekend celebrations that happened in conjunction with the official opening of the Peninsula Hot Springs new section, the Bath House Amphitheatre. This amazing new section features seven new hot spring pools, two Amphitheatre saunas, an Ice Cave, Deep Freeze plunge (coming soon), Wellness Centre, Amphitheatre café and an open-air stage.
I was joined for the day by a dear friend and we had so much fun visiting the 30 odd pools (we actually didn’t make it to all of them) as well as the saunas, cold plunge pools, Clay Ridge (where we painted detoxifying therapeutic Australian clay over our face and body), the Turkish steam bath, the Ice Cave and more. We arrived at 1pm and dragged ourselves away some 4 or 5 hours later (time really did stop still!). Both of us are long time fans of the Hot Springs on the Peninsula – so this was our idea of heaven.
As part of our World Wellness Weekend experience (4th weekend in September), we checked out the new Amphitheatre pools, indulged in body mud at Clay Ridge and were also privileged to experience the Ice Cave and saunas with Prof Marc Cohen – a GP with a lifetime of study and a career that places him in the enviable space of researching the health benefits of bathing! Marc talked us through the physical aspects of what our bodies would be experiencing as we went from the very hot sauna, to the cold plunge pool and onto the -25C ice cave. He talked about his studies and how these extreme temperatures experienced safely had such a positive impact on our bodies and our health – it was fascinating (and I wish I had a better grasp on the language to explain it here in more detail).
An exercise Marc gave us to take home was to spend the last 30sec of our daily shower with only the cold tap on. This is both a mental and physical challenge (and equally matched with benefits for both mind and body).
On the mental side is overcoming the fear and uncomfortableness of the experience – and finding the mental strength to actually turn the tap from hot to cold. But a small gesture like this can set up your day – not just a sense of achievement in facing a discomfort and overcoming it, but that moment when you stand in the cold water and your breath is taken away (that sharp breath in) that is an instinctual fear reaction. By slowly breathing out we calm ourselves to know that we are okay, we are safe… and it gives a sense of control for the rest of the day.
On a physical side, the change in temperature is related to our bodies ability to self-regulate. This is where things become much more technical and deep in a physiological and anatomical way beyond my knowledge, but the health benefits are many – including positive benefits for those with circulatory issues, muscle and joint pain and soooo much more. On a very simple level, a burst at cold at the end of your shower sends all the heat in your body away from your extremities into your core (resulting in you actually feeling warmer as you leave the shower – rather than the usual sensation of feeling cold as you leave thewarmth of hot shower). It also has anti-inflammatory benefits and gives your circulation a great mini workout.
Over the past two weeks, I have managed 11 out of 14 showers with a 30-second cold shower at the end… I still haven’t mastered the breathing (it still grabs my breath) and there is still quite a bit of mind over matter to turn the tap to cold and then get under… but it’s getting easier – and the fear aspect is lessening. Don’t get me wrong, I love a hot shower… but I do quite like the idea of knowing I can hack a cold one if push came to shove.
This little challenge at home doesn’t really compare to the experience at Peninsula Hot Springs… those delicious hot mineral waters really do something amazing to your soul. And the energizing cold plunge after the sauna invigorates like nothing else (and the Ice Cave took that up another notch).
We checked out the new cafe near the Amphitheatre for some lunch – everything was super healthy, fresh and delicious!
The new change facilities near the new Wellness Centre are stunning (and when we visited relatively undiscovered by many visitors!).
No visit is complete without a lap of the Reflexology Walk!
I was a guest of the Peninsula Hot Springs, all views are my own. Information shared correct at time of publishing.