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Steam things up at these new thermal sanctuaries

Since ancient Roman times people have been turning to the healing powers of mineral waters, but never before have we seen the extent of the wellness offerings now available. Here are some new thermal spa centres that you can’t miss this winter.

Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa

After five years of planning, Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa is about to open its doors in New Zealand’s wondrous geothermal region of Rotorua.

There will be two main spa areas: Te Āhuru Mōwai, a sanctuary for bathing and spa treatments, and Wai Whakaora, a multi-sensory, restorative journey made up of a series of hot and cold experiences designed to maximise therapeutic benefits.

Everything (including the building) is influenced by Maori culture, including treatments based on centuries-old practices of the local Ngāti Whakaue tribe.

General manager, Rania Sears, says since the 1800s, people have been visiting Rotorua to experience the region’s geothermal waters and Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa will continue that legacy.

“There are many experiences to choose from, all of which are devoted to replenishing the body and mind to achieve health and well-being in a truly unique cultural experience.”

Wai Ariki
© Wai Ariki

Alba Thermal Springs and Spa

Alba is a world-class thermal springs spa sanctuary, dining and wellness oasis, that sits among 15 hectares on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.

There are 31 pools, from geothermal to cold plunge and herbal-infused botanical pools and 22 expansive spa treatment rooms.

The spa treatment menu features Australian-made products by Vanessa Megan and her internationally award-winning Nuturaceutical™ products, plus treatments using the Victorian Aika Wellness formulations created following Ayurvedic principles.

When you’re completely Zen, head to Thyme, the restaurant in the heart of the complex. Helmed by leading Australian chef, Karen Martini, there is an all-day menu of fresh, flavoursome dishes with locally sourced, seasonal produce.

Alba thermal springs
Alba © C McConville

Phillip Island Hot Springs

Although it’s not confirmed this will be open in time for winter, the new hot springs in Newhaven on Phillip Island in Victoria are slated to open this year.

The wellness centre will have 45 bathing pools as well as a day spa, treatment rooms and facilities, surrounded by the beauty of the coastal environment.

An additional three thermal pools will be constructed next to the Cape Kitchen restaurant, with sweeping views over Bass Strait.

Phillip Island Hot Springs aerial image
Phillip Island Hot Springs aerial image

Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa

Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa and Hepburn Spa Retreat has opened four new luxury Wellness Villas.

Expect plush furniture, a marble spa bath, yoga mats with guided videos, guided meditation options and an indulgent fireplace. To ensure a sound sleep there’s also a ‘The Cloud Gen II’ mattress topper.

When you’re not in your villa, bathe in the mineral-rich waters at the historical bathhouse, an award-winning luxury spa that has been welcoming bathers to its therapeutic waters since 1895.

Image 1: © Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa | Image 2: Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa accommodation © Kirstie Bedford