Camping time? Planning a road trip? Smug friends on Instagram telling you how amaaaazing the springs in Iceland are, how you simply must experience an onsen in Japan? Just need to get away? Well, lucky you, because New South Wales has hot springs that stack up against any in the world. I mean, there won’t be any weirdos with accents hanging out with you, but you can always go to Queensland for that.
Moree Hot Springs
The Moree hot springs were discovered in 1895, after a search for irrigation water accidentally found the springs happily bubbling away underground at a gentle 41 degrees. The facilities are a touch better these days, the Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre having recently undergone a multi-million dollar redevelopment. Inside the Aquatic Centre you can find the Wellness Centre, offering a private retreat and full day-spa treatments. If you’re planning on staying, the Molika Springs Motel, the Baths Motel, the Hot Springs Pools & Units, and the Gwydir Thermal Pools Motel all offer pools filled with the springs. Not a bad way to start the day!
Burren Junction Bore Baths
After a quicky? The Burren Junction Bore Baths are an incredibly popular spot for campers and caravanners, drawn to the free access to both the nearby camping site and the baths. They might not be the most aesthetic springs New South Wales has to offer, but the water feels absolutely incredible. And after all, that’s why we’re all here isn’t it?
Lightning Ridge Hot Bore Baths
Lightning Ridge has by far the best name of any hot springs in the world. No contest. Open all day, errry day, and totally free of charge, there’s not much quite like at night. Looking up at the stars, taking in all the serenity, the vibe, you get it. It’s a decent hike out to the heart of opal country, so you might as well indulge yourself while you’re out here!
Yarrangobilly Caves Thermal Pool
You know what, I’ve changed my mind. Forget Lightning Ridge, Yarrangobilly Caves is the best name of any hot springs in the world. The pool is found smack bang in the middle of Kosciusko National Park, an absolutely stunning setting. It’s a decent little trek down to the pool, give it 700 metres or so, but it’s worth every step. Slightly cooler than some of the other springs, it’s the perfect place to really let yourself go in nature.
Pilliga Bore Baths
The water that fills these baths has been flowing for well over a century now. Sitting at a cool 37 degrees, it’s a touch cooler than some of the clean and simple, unfussy if unspectacular baths in the Great Artesian Basin, but all that means is you can stay for longer! The facilities are clean, simple, and, best of all, free! Well and truly worth the stop.
The best bit about the Boomi hot springs is the hot spa pool. Powerful overhead and underwater jets work together on tired muscles as you relax from your long, hard, drive. The mineral-rich water flows up from 1.25 kilometres underground, cooling down to 39 degrees in the pool and hitting that sweet spot just south of uncomfortably hot.
If you're more into bush walking, you need to read this.
Image credit: Haley Phelps