Peninsula Hot Springs
Strung-out city dwellers have long made the commute to Fingal’s Peninsula Hot Springs for a deep soak in the geothermal waters.
In the outdoor amphitheatre, there are seven hot mineral pools that curve around grassy terraces. If your digits start to wrinkle you can transfer to dry land, relaxing in a sun lounge while watching ducklings frolic in their nearby designer wetland. The pools also overlook a stage that hosts live music, cultural talks, yoga and wellbeing classes. At the Amphitheatre Cafe you'll find rice-paper rolls, smoothies, buddha bowls, poké bowls, fruit platters, vegan pad thai and house-made dumplings.
In 2020, the Peninsula Hot Springs added glamping accommodation, allowing for guests to stay (and swim) overnight. A 2018 expansion, meanwhile, saw the addition of new mineral pools, an ice cave and saunas.
The recommended route is warm up (in the sauna), shiver (in the ice cave), replenish heat (with the massage showers), cool off again (in the cold plunge pool), then repeat three times. This hot-cold therapy is inspired by Nordic bathing traditions. There are two saunas: a traditional one where the hot moist air will challenge your lungs and leave you a sweaty mess; and a dry sauna, which is a little easier to manage if you’re a bathhouse newcomer – it’s less drippy and relatively comfortable. About 10 to 15 minutes in these wooden steam lodges is said to relax the body, increase circulation and soothe aches and pains.