Peninsula Hot Springs with Kids: the Perfect Family Day Trip from Melbourne


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I don’t know about you, but I love soaking in hot water especially when it is natural thermal mineral waters.  Peninsula Hot Springs offers just that in a social, family friendly environment.  Just 90 minutes from Melbourne, we were wow-ed by Peninsula Hot Springs the first time we visited and were eager to return for a second visit to warm up from the chilly Melbourne winter.

One of the things that impressed me the most about Peninsula Hot Springs is how welcoming they were to families.  So often we think that we need to go off to an adult space to enjoy hot springs and spa services, but at Peninsula Hot Springs the whole family can enjoy the many bathing experiences together.

From the minute you arrive, you know this is a special place.  The steaming pools are set into a hillside surrounded by Australian bushland, creating an incredible blend of nature and luxury.  Every little detail has been thought of from the polished rock robe hooks to the Scandinavian-inspired design.  There are over 20 internationally themed bathing experiences, with at least half of them open to families.

Started in 1997 by two brothers, Peninsula Hot Springs has taken inspiration from bathing cultures and hot springs all over the world.  From humble beginnings, the hot springs has grown into an award-winning facility and natural space for connection with family and friends.  It makes the perfect family day trip from Melbourne, or make it a whole weekend and enjoy everything on offer on the Mornington Peninsula.

Here is everything you need to plan your trip to Peninsula Hot Springs with kids.

Are They Really Family-Friendly?

What you are really asking here is “do my kids have to be silent, perfectly-behaved minions when we visit?”

Absolutely not.  See my tips for visiting with kids below, but families are most definitely welcome and well catered to at Peninsula Hot Springs.  We saw lots of other families and children when we visited and while we did talk to our kids beforehand about how to behave (main message: this is not a swimming pool!), it is a social and relaxed bathing environment completely suitable for kids.

The only thing I would love to see them offer is kid-sized robes.  Currently they only offer adult robes, but you can bring your child’s robe from home.

The Hot Springs

There is something for absolutely everyone at Peninsula Hot Springs.  While there is a Children’s Bathing area, families are welcome to use any of the pools and bathing experiences in the main area.  The hillside pools, including the signature hilltop pool which provides 360 degree views over the region are reserved for adult use after 10 am.  The bathing pools range from 37-42 degrees and the mineral water provides many health benefits.

Bundle the family up in robes and hop from pool to pool sampling the different bathing experiences.  Don’t miss these:

  • Children’s Area – our kids love the wooden buckets to soak in and the baby bath shells.  But don’t just limit yourself to this area – there is so much more to explore!Peninsula Hot Springs with kids
  • Reflexology Walk – allow the stones to work your magic as you walk through the shallow water pool.Reflexology Peninsula Hot Springs
  • Turkish Hamam – this steam room is magnificent with its domed roof and you will feel like you have been transported to Turkey.
  • Underground Sauna – built into the side of the hill, the dry heat of the sauna is incredibly Melbourne day trips
  • Cave Pool – this was the pool we spent the most time in as the kids enjoyed the Japanese-inspired cave part of the pool.Cave pool Peninsula Hot Springs
  • Massaging Showers – located in the Children’s area and beside the Hamam and Sauna.
  • Cold Plunge – after soaking in the hot pools, dare yourself to reap the benefits from cold water.  The kids particularly enjoyed a cool dunk every once in awhile.
  • Hillside Pool – arrive before 10 am for the kids to experience this pool with a view, or have the adults take turns taking in the view in Peninsula Hot Spring’s most popular pool.
    Bath House - hilltop bathing view

    Photo courtesy of Peninsula Hot Springs

Peninsula Hot Springs is undergoing a major expansion in 2018 including an open-air amphitheater with seven pools, hot and cold therapy focused on fire and ice, a food bowl for growing food and on-site accommodation.  The first phase of the expansion is set to open in August 2018.  I love how they are continually introducing new elements to enhance the visitor’s experience.

While the main section of Peninsula Hot Springs offers social, family-friendly bathing, the Spa Dreaming Centre is reserved for those over 16 looking for serene, tranquil bathing and requires a different entrance fee.  Here you can also enjoy spa services to renew your body and mind.  This is a great option for parents visiting without kids.  Also knowing there was this section, made me more relaxed with my kids in the hot springs.  I knew there was an area adults could go if they were seeking a more serene environment.

The Facility

As we walked the wooden walkways leading to the entrance area, we felt instantly relaxed.  The minimalist design is cozy and inviting and the use of wood, warm and welcoming.  To avoid disappointment, you want to book your bathing experience in advance online.  When you check in, you have the opportunity to hire robes, towels and lockers.  Alternatively, you can bring your own robes and towels from home.

They have mens, womens and family change areas that have everything you would ever need and are extremely well kept.  The hire lockers work with a water-proof rubber band, allowing you to keep all your valuables safe.

There is a great little cafe that serves light lunches, snacks and drinks.  It makes a great place to take a break from bathing, enjoying some snacks all wrapped up in your robes.  There are lots of kid-friendly food options like pizzas, muffins and sandwiches.  The Spa Dreaming Centre Cafe offers full lunches (adults only).Peninsula Hot Springs cafe

While you came to soak in the bathing pools, it is the Peninsula Hot Springs grounds that create the special atmosphere.  There are lots of wonderful places to sit and relax when taking a break from bathing.  From comfy chairs overlooking the lake to hanging sunbeds, there are many great spaces to have a quiet moment to yourself.

Tips for Visiting Peninsula Hot Springs with Kids

  • plan your visit for a weekday (Tuesday-Thursdays are quietest).  Bookings are essential any day.
  • the bathing gully and hilltop pools welcome children first thing in the morning between 7-10 am; afterwards this area is adults only
  • there are early bird discounts available Tuesday to Thursday if you arrive before 9 am.  Bookings are often necessary for visits starting at 8/8:30 am.
  • you can hire robes for $10, but they do not have children’s sizing.  Bring your own robe from home for the kids so they can stay warm between dips.
  • have a chat with the kids beforehand about what is appropriate behaviour at the hot springs.  My kids think anything that looks like a swimming pool is a pool and so we had a quick discussion about being respectful of other visitors (keeping noise down, not running around, splashing or jumping in).  That being said, there is the designated children’s area and we found people very tolerant of children.
  • all children are required to be supervised by a paying adult

What to Bring to Peninsula Hot Springs

  • swimsuit
  • towel (available to hire for $5)
  • robe (available to hire for $10)
  • water bottle
  • thongs

How Long to Stay?

Peninsula Hot Springs

Photo courtesy of Peninsula Hot Springs

We recommend allowing yourselves at least 3 hours to enjoy the many different bathing experiences and the whole facility.  You can take breaks outside of the bathing pools in the relaxation spaces and cafe.


Books are essential and can be made online.  Below prices are for the main bath house.  Robe, towel and locker hire is additional.

Peak prices are Friday-Monday and school holidays.  $47/adult, $32/child 5-15, $5/infant under 5.

Off peak prices are Tuesday-Thursday. $40/adult, $25/child, $5/infant.

Early bird pricing is available Tuesday-Thursday, entry before 9 am (excludes school and public holidays). $25/adult, $20/child, $5/infant.

Getting to Peninsula Hot Springs

Conveniently located just 90 minutes from Melbourne, you can visit on a day trip or spend the whole weekend enjoying all that the Mornington Peninsula has to offer.  Read this post for our favourite things to do on the Mornington Peninsula.  If you are looking for the best weekend trips from Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is a fabulous option close to the city.

Where to Stay Near Peninsula Hot Springs

The Peninsula Hot Springs expansion will eventually include accommodation on site, but for now there are many wonderful places to stay on the Mornington Peninsula.  Click here to see your best options.

We hope you have found our Peninsula Hot Springs review helpful and you are inspired to plan your trip there.  We think it is one of the best day trips from Melbourne and one of our favourite things to do in Melbourne with kids.

Disclaimer: We were hosted by Peninsula Hot Springs but as always all opinions are our own.  

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Peninsula Hot Springs with kids


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