Annual World Bathing Day, inspired by the simple truth that spending time in nature has a calming and rejuvenating effect on mind and body, encourages people around the planet to celebrate our common connection to water, through the practice of bathing. It is a day to remember the power of water and how it connects us all to nature and each other; how its health and ours, is co-dependent.
British artist and environmentalist Stuart Semple, with the Japanese tradition of forest Bathing, or Shinrin-yoku, in mind, created this day to bring nature’s balm to people all over the world, regardless of their location; and this year’s theme of Healing Together, draws on the idea that the simple act of bathing, a rich wellbeing tradition in many cultures, has the ability to heal and bring people together. Having a soak in a lake, river, ocean or mineral spring can remind us of the interconnections between personal and community wellbeing and that of the planet.
A wintery, southern hemisphere date of 22nd of June is the perfect time to check out some of the rich, warm waters of geothermal hot springs offerings. Here are some of the best to discover in Australia and New Zealand.
Some great initiatives such as the Great Victorian Bathing Trail are connecting connecting existing and upcoming new hot springs, mineral springs and sea baths across swathes of geographic areas, inviting a diversity of nature-based wellbeing experiences such as bathing, nature walks and trails, yoga and mindfulness experiences, arts and First Nations experiences; farmgates, food and wine as well as accommodation. Check it out here.
As part of the East Gippsland Winter Festival, Metung Hot Springs, nestled on 12 hectares of waterside wilderness bushland on a hilltop escarpment, is hosting a range of exquisitely curated winter wellness experiences at its soon to be open site. Metung Hot Springs, 20 minutes’ walk from town and 2 hours from Mount Hotham, will offer a truly spectacular bathing and resort experience, giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking cliff-top views across the Gippsland Lakes, while bathing in natural, mineral-rich geothermal waters. Director Adrian Bromage, says ‘we’re excited to invite guests to bathe amongst wildlife and nature, flora and fauna unique to our region.’ Launching late 2022, you can find inspiration for your visit here.
Every year, award-winning natural thermal springs Peninsula Hot Springs celebrates World Bathing Day with a showcase of bathing rituals, wellness activities, music and culture and in 2021 launched a ‘global sound bath’ for world bathing day – live streaming bathing, music and performance with hot springs around the world. This year this unique wellness destination will kick off the day with a sunrise ceremony and yidaki meditation at its hilltop pool followed by a full wellness day day – hot springs yoga in the amphitheatre, body clay workshops, fire and ice sessions, tea ceremonies and music by Spud Thompson, IKSRE and Tenzin Choegyal.
Click here to check out their full program.
To quote Director of Peninsula Hot Springs Group, Charles Davidson, ‘we rejuvenate and renew through relaxation, movement, nutrition, sleep, mindfulness, creativity and being at one with nature. Our capacity to be the best versions of ourselves is dug out of inward reflection and healthy habits.’ So many options to enjoy celebrating health and wellbeing on World Bathing Day and beyond!