November 18, 2022
a warm welcome to Metung Hot Springs
Written by Amelia
Metung Hot Springs is located on undulating land with stunning views over the region’s saltwater lagoon and freshwater lake. The 25-acre site boasts luxury glamping accommodation, a day spa, a restaurant, hilltop pools, massaging showers, saunas, cold plunge pools, a reflexology walk and plenty of other immersive experiences.
And yet, Metung locals — especially those who have been around for a few decades — are already very familiar with the practice of bathing in hot springs.
In the 1920s, miners drilling for oil in Metung stumbled instead across geothermal water. From the 1970s locals and tourists would flock to the muddy pools and enjoy a warm bathe. The pools were closed down due to poor maintenance in the mid-1990s — and have enjoyed almost mythical status ever since.
Two locals with fond memories of these original hot springs are Rachel and Adrian Bromage, owners and operators of Metung Hot Springs. The couple both “recall the days of going to these funny, slimy, fun, hot pools”.
“It wasn’t only the tourists that remembered them, but lots of locals,” says Adrian. “For 20 years we said, ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing to bring these hot springs back?’”
Rachel and Adrian, who had plenty of experience in the tourism and accommodation industries, dreamed of resurrecting the springs that put Metung on the map all those years ago. In around 2008, they gave Peninsula Hot Springs founder Charles Davidson a call.
“Charles’s name just kept coming up in conversation — everybody that we spoke to said, ‘You need to speak Charles Davidson,’” says Rachel. “So, we pretty much cold called him one day and said, ‘Hey, it’s Rachel and Adrian from Metung. We’re wanting to do a hot spring in Metung. We’re wondering if you’d be available for a chat.’ And he was just so accommodating. He said, ‘Come down and visit me’. So we went down and had a great chat with him at Peninsula Hot Springs. He just really was so generous with his time.”
Charles became a friend and mentor to the Bromages and regularly checked in to see how their project was going and how he could help get it off the ground. After hitting various roadblocks, Rachel and Adrian virtually abandoned Metung Hot Springs and toyed with the idea of moving interstate. Then, about three years ago, Charles rang.
“He said, ‘It’s the right time for Peninsula Hot Springs to grow. We’d love to make Metung Hot Springs happen. What are your plans?’” remembers Rachel. “We took about 10 seconds to decide that we’d love to do it together. We purchased the land maybe three months later.”
“That was our sliding doors moment,” says Adrian. “It was meant to be.”
What started as a pipe dream soon flowed into a reality. Alongside Charles, the Bromages applied for grants, raised capital and sought the permits they needed to bring Metung Hot Springs to life. After navigating various extreme weather events, the pandemic and 12 months of construction, Metung Hot Springs is finally open for business.
Unlike Peninsula Hot Springs, which added its accommodation offering as one of the final stages of development, Metung Hot Springs installed its glamping tents first. This means that visitors making the four hour journey from Melbourne can book a night or two in luxury safari tents and truly relax and immerse themselves in their surroundings — and explore the gorgeous town of Metung itself.
The Metung Hot Springs team have also taken over the Metung Country Club, which overlooks the golf course and is a short golf buggy ride from the springs and glamping area. The restaurant has been renamed The Clubhouse and transformed into a fresh new space, complete with a new chef (Lesley Eccles) focused on serving up delicious local produce.
Rachel and Adrian’s vision for The Clubhouse is that it will act as a hub for the local community as well as hot springs visitors.
Metung Hot Springs, meanwhile, will become a year-round, all-weather attraction for locals and tourists looking to kick back in the summer and warm up in the winter (including those visiting the snow).
“We’ve always had a bit of a seasonality issue here in East Gippsland with the lakes being the major drawcard. It’s a great spot to be out on the lakes during summer,” says Adrian. “But the winter is when it gets really quiet. We have an opportunity to break down some seasonality for our region. There’s a real opportunity for our visitor economy to thrive.”
Inspired by Peninsula Hot Springs’ long-standing model of local partnerships, Rachel and Adrian will also be working with local businesses in their area (such as the cruises, helicopters and the iconic Buchan Caves) to draw the region closer together.
Book your visit to Metung Hot Springs and experience the natural warmth of East Gippsland.