• Matt Sykes

Metung Hot Springs - Voices of Regen #8: Rachel Bromage

Updated: Nov 12, 2020

By Jaari Heyes, Images by Metung Hot Springs

Metung Hot Springs will be much more than a place to relax and switch off. This development is an opportunity to regenerate the local biodiversity and East Gippsland’s economy, as well as bring back Metung’s hot springs heritage.

Over the last ten years, Rachel Bromage and her husband Adrian have shared a dream of recreating the original Metung Hot Springs. Beginning as a couple of small tanks for the locals and tourists to bathe in, Metung’s Hot Pools quickly became a popular hangout spot.

“The area was originally drilled for oil in the 1940’s, but instead of finding oil they found beautiful hot water!” says Rachel.

“The hot pools were not only special to Metung, but to Gippsland too, which was why it was so sad when the pools closed in the 1990’s.”

Children taking a dip in the old Metung Hot Springs, circa 1970s (Credit: Unknown)

Rachel’s inspiration for integrating both wellness and nature within Metung Hot Springs has been sourced from Charles Davidson, founder of Peninsula Hot Springs.

“From going to the Peninsula Hot Springs as visitors for the last ten years, it’s clear that Charles has definitely been a visionary in creating a holistic experience for people,” says Rachel.

When it comes to creating a project as comprehensive as Metung Hot Springs, there is simply no point in standing alone. As a female leader within the wellness and tourism industry, Rachel admits how vital it is for businesses to collaborate and come together.

With the Great Victorian Bathing Trail underway - a vision for a world-class tourism trail linking bathing and hot springs across our State’s southern coastline, this idea of partnerships will continue to ripple through Victorian communities.

“Working with like minded people who are involved in hot springs and general bathing is extremely important,” says Rachel.

“As a group, we are very powerful with our learnings. This idea of knowledge sharing is crucial for any group that is identified on the bathing trail. Victoria is seen as Australia’s bathing capital, so this is an exciting time for the state.”

Regenerating the Metung Hot Springs property began from the ground up, where the local community showed a huge interest in lending a helping hand.

“The best place to start regeneration is by planting trees,” says Rachel.

“You plant a seedling and can witness it’s growth over your lifespan. The people who were involved can show their children and even grandchildren how they were a part of the regeneration of the Metung Hot Springs.”

Metung Hot Springs team planting day, Winter 2020

Plans are underway to have a hot springs experience available to the public by Christmas 2021. The property will soon transform into a sanctuary for people to connect with themselves, each other and nature. Doesn’t that sound blissful?

Why is it that East Gippsland has been unexplored by so many Victorians? It’s honestly a region that has so much to offer! I have this feeling that in a few more years this special place will be Melbourne’s new holiday hotspot, and so does Rachel.

“It should be a real destination, and it’s going to be the places like Metung Hot Springs and the Slipway [see Voices of Regen #7] that become icons for the region,” says Rachel.

“Time and time again we hear people saying how they can’t believe they have never been here. Once they come, they fall in love.”

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