Peninsula Hot Springs has been, and continues to be, an exceptionally important leading light in the Australasian spa and wellness industry, celebrating is 10th anniversary on June 28 with a party for all its supporters.
‘I remember [co-owner and CEO] Charles Davidson’s vitally important contributions as we formed the Australasian Spa and Wellness Association (ASPA) all those years ago as he turned the first spades of soil to build the now world-famous Peninsula Hot Springs,’ says SPA+CLINIC publisher and spa industry venteran Kirien Withers.
‘Today Charles, with the fine example of Peninsula Hot Springs, are leading lights in the campaign to install therapeutic natural bathing firmly into the world’s future wellness culture.’
‘We are incredibly grateful to all guests, staff past and present, suppliers, partners, industry, trade and media who have been on this journey with us and helped turn our dream into reality,’ Charles told guests at the anniversary bash.
The inspiration for Peninsula Hot Springs came from a time in 1992 when Charles was living in Japan. He hopped into a hot spring in a town called Kusastsu. It was in the middle of winter and there was snow all around.
‘I was in the pools and I had an epiphany,’ Charles says. I asked myself, why don’t we have this in Australia?’
Five years later Charles learnt there was hot water deep underground on the Mornington Peninsula. He then spoke to his brother Richard to join him and open a hot springs. Together they purchased the 42 acre property in Fingal in late 1997 on which Peninsula Hot Springs now stands.
It took several more years of hard work to design the facility, secure the water licence, obtain a planning permit and drill a bore 637 metres underground to a plentiful aquifer of 54 degree celsius natural hot mineral waters.
It was in 2002 that the remarkable discovery of hot springs water occurred. ‘The day the hot springs water came it was an amazing moment,’ Charles recalls. ‘ We felt like finally there was a reality to this crazy dream that we had been onto for such a long period of time.’
From what started as a bare paddock, on June 28, 2005, the Stage One Spa Dreaming Centre opened, followed by the Stage Two Bath House in 2009.
Peninsula Hot Springs is a $30 million facility which attracts over 450,000 visitors annually. It is the leading attraction in the region and state, having won three consecutive years at the Victorian Tourism Awards in the tourist attractions category as well as best mineral springs spa in the World Luxury Spa Awards in 2014 and 2015.
Reflecting on Peninsula Hot Springs’ evolution Federal Minister of the Environment Greg Hunt (MP) said: ‘Not only has it become a renowned tourism destination in its own right but it has created a flow-on effect to the entire region attracting visitors from Melbourne, interstate and overseas as well as catering for the local community.’
Chief Executive Officer of Victorian Tourism Industry Council Dianne Smith said: ‘The development of the Peninsula Hot Springs story is one of resilience and determination.’
Peninsula Hot Springs’ vision is to be ‘recognised and loved globally for creating immersive hot springs experiences that are inspired by nature and respect all cultures.’ Future plans include an increase in bathing experiences, the introduction of accommodation, a restaurant and more wellness-focused facilities.