If the stresses of a busy life are getting the better of you, there’s a good chance you’re in need of a hot soak, a steam, a massage, a facial, some aromatherapy or just some general pampering. Treat yourself – or someone close to you – at some of the state’s best spas and hot springs, both city and country.

Victoria isn’t quite a geothermal hotspot, but hot springs do pop up in some unexpected places. You can bathe in hot pools surrounded by native bush on the Mornington Peninsula; head west to Warrnambool to wade through warm-water caves; or get your gear off in a traditional Japanese onsen in the heart of Collingwood.

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Alba Thermal Springs & Spa
This is undoubtedly Victoria’s most Instagrammable new two-in-one hot springs and spa, located in Fingal on the Mornington Peninsula. But there's a “digital-detox requirement” that means it’s an entirely phone-free zone. Once you’ve moved into the reception area, there’s a cease and desist on any photography and phone use. What lies beyond? Striking concrete pillars and flooring, touches of timber panelling, and ceramic tiles throughout a beautifully minimalistic space. And scattered among 15 hectares of wilderness, you’ll find 31 different bathing pools (including geothermal pools, cold-plunge pools and herbal-infused “botanical pools”), as well as 22 elegant spa suites (with distinctive treatments you can book ahead) and an all-day rooftop restaurant called Thyme by celebrity chef Karen Martini. Plus, there’s a roomy lounge on a mezzanine level overlooking the gardens.

albathermalsprings.com.au

Metung Hot Springs
These hot springs sit atop a 12-hectare site, on a hilltop escarpment with hundreds of metres of Gippsland Lakes frontage. There are 10 luxurious lagoon-side, safari-style tents – each with a king-size four-poster bed and private ensuite. They each contain private bathing barrels, meaning you’ll be able to soak in solitude around the clock. The original Metung Hot Springs closed in the early ’90s but its mammoth development was a joint project between East Gippsland tourism operators Rachel and Adrian Bromage, and the team behind the extraordinarily popular Peninsula Hot Springs in Fingal.

metunghotsprings.com

Aurora Spa & Bathhouse
The final piece of the puzzle at InterContinental Sorrento is Aurora, a sultry spa and bathhouse. The 1000-square-metre relaxation destination was spearheaded by the Aurora Spa Group, which until recently had a location in St Kilda, in Melbourne’s south-east. With room for only 60 people at any one time, there are four steamy, interconnecting hydrotherapy pools you can hop between, or you can block out the world around you while soaking in a magnesium float room. There’s also a seriously sizeable, timber-clad Nordic-inspired sauna and a “glacial mist room”; set at an alpine temperature, it’s a refined bathhouse version of the Finnish tradition of rolling in the snow after a sauna. Also find a store with a dedicated apothecary station for making DIY bath-salt blends.

auroraspa.com.au

Peninsula Hot Springs, Mornington Peninsula
One of the Mornington Peninsula’s most popular attractions, the Peninsula Hot Springs in Fingal is a rite of passage for weary city slickers in need of blissful, rural relaxation. Victoria’s first natural hot springs was established by brothers Charles and Richard Davidson in 1997. What started out as a bathtub by an aquifer is now a glistening, world-class complex, attracting nearly half a million visitors each year. Steam rises from tiered hot pools that flow down through the native bush. Natural geothermal mineral water soothes your muscles and relaxes you completely. All you need now is a bathhouse massage (tick); a spa treatment (tick); and maybe a fine-dining experience and some stylish glamping accommodation (tick and tick). The Spa Dreaming Centre – a separate sanctuary within the sanctuary, for guests aged 16 and up – includes a cold plunge pool; bamboo showers; saunas (both traditional and infra-red); a Moroccan hammam; a complete spa menu with facials and relaxation massages; and poolside lounges. No sign of the old bathtub.

peninsulahotsprings.com

Hepburn Springs Bathhouse and Spa, Hepburn Springs
Hepburn Springs is a region where mineral springs seem to pop up everywhere, like puddles after rain. You’ll find Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa at the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve, 10 minutes north of Daylesford. The historic bathhouse – which is open to children and adults – dates back to the late 19th century, although it’s safe to say the modernity has been ratcheted up a notch or two since. The sanctuary mineral bathing option (for guests aged 16 and up) includes an aroma steam room; spa couches; a salt and magnesium pool; outdoor creekside bathing; and admission to the main bathhouse.

hepburnbathhouse.com

Deep Blue Hotel & Hot Springs, Warrnambool
This complex is fed by the natural geothermic waters of the Dilwyn aquifer, located 850 metres underground. The set-up at Deep Blue is fairly causal, in keeping with Warrnambool’s laid-back vibe. Explore the geothermal rockpools and wade through caves to a rainforest waterfall; have a massage or facial at the spa; or stay within the manicured gardens, where there are a myriad of hot pools (and a bar and a cafe). If you don’t want to leave after all that, you don’t have to – just book into the on-site hotel. The premium suites have spa baths, just in case you haven’t had your fill of soaking.

thedeepblue.com.au

Ofuroya Japanese Bathhouse, Collingwood
You could live in Melbourne your whole life and not know there’s a quiet Japanese bathhouse in the heart of busy Collingwood. Located on Cromwell Street, just across the road from Allpress and Rupert on Rupert, Ofuroya is modelled on a traditional onsen. This is a public bathing experience in the earthiest sense (yes, you get naked – bathing suits aren’t permitted). The baths are communal, with separate sessions for men and women. Towels, scrubbing cloths and kimonos are provided, as is shower gel, shampoo and conditioner. For the full Japanese relaxation and healing experience, book a shiatsu session (a type of acupressure massage) to restore your energy balance and stimulate the skin.

japanesebathhouse.com

Miss Fox, Melbourne
This luxe beauty boutique in the heart of the CBD’s Little Collins Street fashion district, was opened by Victoria Fox in 2011. Step off the city streets and relax in the lounge before settling down on a plush, heated massage bed for a full-body aromatherapy massage with camellia seed, rose or coconut oil. But Miss Fox does so much more than massage – you can get your hair cut and styled; sign up for a life coaching or counselling session; or check into the skin clinic for a comprehensive consultation and your choice of medifacial or professional peel. Lash lifts and brow lamination? Sure, they can do that. There’s also a champagne bar, so you can enjoy a glass or two of Moet, Veuve or Dom Perignon as you relax.

This article was originally published on 18 December, 2020. It has been updated as of 21 September, 2023.