Relax, recharge and retreat from the daily grind at one of these boutique Great Ocean Road and Bellarine Peninsula spas.
From facials on bucolic country farms in the Otways to mineral-fed hot springs on the Shipwreck Coast, these are seven of the region’s best offerings.
The set-up at this Birregurra spa is a little bit special; picture a quaint whitewashed cottage in the heart of the Otways, surrounded by pine trees, farmland and fields, and you have Warilda Spa. Inside the cottage you’ll find exposed timber beams paired with sleek matte black fixtures and a minimalist design, with furnishings in muted neutral tones and a riot of textures. And no wonder: Denise may have started her career as a massage therapist in 2008, but she later added a qualification in interior design to her résumé.
If you’re looking to hide away and seek out relaxation, this is the place. After all, there’s only space for two at this little countryside retreat, where you can indulge in a bathing ritual, a Shiatsu massage or a foot spa. You can even up the ante and book a night in an on-site cottage on the water, replete with freestanding outdoor tub and Denise’s keen eye for aesthetics inside.
A wellness-focussed hotel that comprises not just a spa but hot springs to boot, you’ll find sanctuary at Deep Blue Hotel & Hot Springs on the state’s Shipwreck Coast. Wallow in the resort’s mineral-rich geothermal waters to soothe weary muscles and overactive minds.
You’ll find a vast complex of open-air and cave bathing areas, waterfalls to bask under and deep freshwater plunge pools to jump into, as well as rockpools, hydrotherapy pools complete with 20 jets, sensorial caves with starlit ceilings and ambient piped music, and even a purpose-built salt room. Although the springs are the main attraction, there’s plenty more to entertain spa-goers: think an infrared sauna, indoor swimming pool, indoor bathhouse and a day spa.
The carefully curated spa menu at Saltair Day Spa isn’t the only thing that keeps loyal customers coming back for more: the dreamy setting, amid manicured gardens and water features, and overlooking a lush blanket of greenery, make it a destination to remember. Moreover, there’s a healthy number of reasonably priced packages on offer – from couples to prenatal pampering sessions – so you can make a day of it.
Flotation tanks, make-up services, scalp therapy, waxing, mani-pedis, body wraps; you name it, this Torquay spa probably offers it. Encyclopaedic treatment menu aside, One Spa at RACV Torquay Resort commands a bit of a niche in so-called ‘wet rooms’. Guests can laze away the day in a steam room, a thermal stone room (similar to a hammam) with heated stone walls, flooring and seats, or even a Lusar room, which includes steam, aroma infusion, mist sprays and showers, and a sensorial lighting and sound system. Once you’ve idled around to pruney perfection, soak up the restorative warmth of the sun’s rays on a leather lounger in the timber-lined Relaxation Lounge, cup of steaming herbal tea in hand.
This boutique day spa hits the perfect pitch for Port Fairy, a historic, artsy and affluent village on Victoria’s Shipwreck Coast. The therapists are known for their professionalism, friendliness and warm hospitality, so you’ll feel at ease from the minute you walk in the door. While Port Fairy Day Spa might be best known for the healing hands of its masseuses, there’s an array of different therapies on offer.
Those new to the enticing world of spas might want to dip their toes into the waters of treatments with the entry-level Indulge package, which includes a 15-minute scalp massage, 15-minute face massage, 15-minute foot massage, and either a sauna session, private spa bath session or cheese platter.
Tucked away behind windswept dunes on the very fringes of town, Lon Retreat exudes tranquillity right from the start. Set amid more than 80 hectares of rural and conservation land, this adults-only boutique hotel is the picture of serenity, with a spa to match.
Lon Spa’s distinctive calling card is its warm mineral springs, which run beneath the farm from limestone caves and feed directly into its baths and heated indoor swimming pool. Each of the spa’s three treatment rooms feature mineral water-fed tubs, Vichy steam showers and calming coastal views through floor-to-ceiling windows. Further exploration reveals private gardens, sundecks and a sunroom.
Lon’s therapists anoint spa-goers exclusively with Subtle Energies, a homegrown skincare label based on principles of aromatherapy and Ayurveda, and there’s a select number of treatments to choose from, including scrubs, facials, massages and body masks. Draw out the indulgence with one of the spa’s packages and you can also add on a grazing platter and a bottle of local sparkling. Act with haste if you have a particular date in mind: this in-demand spa often books out up to a month in advance.
This Great Ocean Road spa takes a holistic view of wellness, boasting a team of spa therapists and wellbeing consultants from a variety of disciplines who are ready to usher you into peak health. Beyond the spa’s more mainstream offerings, such as massages and mud wraps, guests at this Anglesea spa can dabble in treatments such as LED facials, cosmetic tattooing and infrared sauna sessions, as well taking a nutritional consult or trying out alternative therapies, such as reiki.
Part of the Great Ocean Road Resort, Lux Spa & Wellness also runs multi-night all-inclusive retreats for those who are in need of a thorough recharge. There’s a multitude of options on offer, including postnatal, gut health, men’s health, couples getaways and plenty more.
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.