26th OCT 2017
We can’t get enough of natural hot springs so we’ve put together a second guide to some of our favourite. This time we’re also featuring one from our homeland Australia. Whilst we aren’t known for our volcanic landscape (normally a pre-requisite for the formation of hot springs) we have a surprising abundance of natural thermal pools and springs. Combine this with our infamous natural landscape we’re lucky enough to have some pretty epic hot spring expereinces on offer.
1. ZEBEDEE THERMAL SPRINGS, WA, Australia
Located in the East Kimberley, El Questro Homestead is 700,000 acres of vast and stunningly beautiful terrain. The landscape offers outstanding diversity – from rugged sandstone ranges and broad tidal flats, to rainforest pockets, gorges and permanent waterfalls. For guests staying at the El Questro, an exclusive experience is the daily excursion to Zebedee Thermal Springs where multiple naturally occurring thermal pools and waterfalls converge within a setting of sheer cliff faces and a forest of huge native palms. If your not interested in staying at the homestead you can also enter the thermal springs for free before 12pm.
2. TERME DI SATURNIA, Tuscany, Italy
Global well-being is the objective pursued by the Terme di Saturnia. Located in Maremma, one of the most stunning parts of Tuscany, the Resort is centred around an ancient travertine stone building on the site of a rich thermal spring which dates back beyond the Etruscan era. The spring is sourced from rain water that travels on an approximately forty-year journey from the bowels of Monte Amiata, filtering drop by drop through micro-fissures of cavernous limestone. The pure spring water that surfaces into the large thermal pool at the centre of the resort is enriched with a high concentration of gases and mineral salts and flows at a constant temperature of 37.5°C. The same temperature as the amniotic fluid that protects humans at birth. The water is said to be effective in treating a variety of skin conditions, reducing cardiovascular and respiratory tension, and cleansing the liver. The healing powers of the sulphurous spring water are harnessed in luxurious, regenerative therapies at Terme di Saturnia’s recently refurbished spa, which offers a range of tailored medical, nutritional, destress, detox and fitness programmes.
3. STRÚTSLAUG, Iceland
Situated next to a glacier river, and an hour walk from the nearest road, this is one of Icelands most secret spots, which most visitors have never head of. Here you can try your hand at the famous Scandinavian winter bathing technique, and alternate between the freezing glacier river and the hot natural spring. With no bathing or changing facilities, you have to be pretty comfortable with being naked in the open – perhaps one for the more adventurous soul!
4. KERESONE CREEK, NZ
The therapeutic benefits of the Rotorua area’s thermal water have been known since the early 19th Century. Hailed for their healing properties, it’s claimed that the geothermal waters can cure all manner of diseases and ailments including sexual impotence, arthritis and rheumatism. A short drive from South Rotorua is Keresone Creek, a natural hot spring that flows through the native bush down a stunning two metre waterfall into a quiet pool of hot water. Here you can find a steaming creek of geothermal heated water, where thousands of bubbles forced down a rock face jet up to the surface to create a natural spa bath. A little further along in the forest is a small waterfall with a swimming area below, naturally heated so you can bath here even during the coolest months. With free admission it’s easy to see why this destination is becoming increasingly popular.
5. LAMP NO YADO, Japan
Probably one of Japan’s best hidden gems, Lamp No Yado is a traditional Japanese Inn (Ryokan) and onsen resort, tucked away in a cove at the very tip of Noto Peninsula. Owned by Shuichi Tone, who comes from a family of shipbuilders dating back 400 years, the property sits quite literally metres from the foaming, turbulent Sea of Japan. A country road takes you to a narrow path, from where you have to climb down a switchback hill on foot. It’s not really a town, or even a village, more a small cluster of traditional Japanese huts, nestled in the cliff face and surrounded by forests, sweeping down to the water's edge.
There are no TV’s or cell reception, at night, the property lights up using the traditional oil lamps that have now been converted to electricity. There are four different types of public baths including an open-air bath and a hot springs bath. With segregated baths, the women’s bath is a cave onsen with spectacular views out to the ocean. Secluded and remote it’s the perfect place to get off the grid. No wonder this property has been a refuge for centuries of Japanese seeking to cure what ails them!