Glamping Heats Up In Australia

Incorporating a geothermal ‘hydronic’ flooring system, and seamlessly blending the tents into its pristine environment, the new development, sets about redefining wellness-tourism, in the Australian glamping sector.

Only, a 90-minute drive from Melbourne, is the breath-taking Peninsula Hot Springs and Day Spa: an award-winning, geothermal retreat, that was founded by brothers Charles and Richard Davidson, in 1997.
Their vision reflects time spent visiting Japan’s traditional ‘onsens’ and draws on hot spring designs, across five continents.

In addition to a day spa, cafe, yoga, ice cave, and over 70 bathing and wellness experiences, the property recently partnered with Eco Structures Australia, to introduce 10 new Glamping tents, in January 2021.
Eco Structures was approached to adapt its tent design, to include a custom concrete flooring system, to facilitate the heating process, from the geothermal waters, of the property.


Interestingly, Australia has many of these hot spring locations – due, in part, to the Great Artesian Basin, which underlies almost a quarter of the continent.

According to Eco Structures’ International Business Development Manager, Tom Butterfield, the project was both exhilarating and rewarding, as the team embraced the unique design challenge: “There’s nothing we love more, than working with a client, to overcome obstacles and creatively push the boundaries, to achieve win-win outcomes. Innovation and embracing the unknown, are all fundamental to our approach. We thrive on it!

Initially, we thought that the location of the tents alone, in such a pristine and abundant landscape, would be enough to set this world-class retreat, apart.”

However, the concept of incorporating a thermal flooring system, from the ebb and flow of nature – was simply, next level.


“Our architectural and design team, worked seamlessly with the site engineers and construction experts , to custom-design the concrete floors to precision. The result, was outstanding and a credit to all involved.
When guests arrive to their tent in the cooler months, it’s as if they’ve been welcomed by a warm hug from nature!

The plummeting temperatures, characteristic of this region in winter, are all but forgotten, as guests disappear into a luxurious cocoon of cosiness and warmth, generated from the ground-up.
The flooring system is quiet, energy efficient and doesn’t impact on the exterior aesthetic.

Guests can even alter the temperature settings, depending on the outside temperature. Although there is reverse cycle, split-system air conditioning there’s nothing like a nurturing heated floor, within a canvas tent.

We’ve been fortunate to work with many clients on innovative and heart-stopping projects, but this combination of ancient hot springs, and holistic wellness, has definitely been a highlight.

We’re very proud to have partnered with the team at Peninsula Hot Springs and encourage everyone to put this stunning destination, on their ‘zen’ bucket list!”

Reflecting on the opening, Peninsula Hot Springs founder reinforced the importance of balance and a close connection to nature, to ensure the ultimate guest experience: “Our journey has been inspired by ancient inspired global bathing and its healing properties,” said Charles.


“In this rapidly changing world, people are looking to reconnect with nature and find tranquillity, without external distractions.

Our water is infused with natural minerals and trace elements that can both detoxify and rejuvenate, mind , body and spirit. It rises from around 637 metres below the ground, to flow into our pools. Nature has given us a rare gift, to work with.

The design, had to respond to the sensitivity of the environment and leverage the efficiency opportunities of the project.

What we did, was utilise a series of pipes underneath the tent floors to circulate warm water, in order to heat the concrete in each tent. The floors then, simply heat up the objects (or people), increasing the overall warmth and comfort for guests.

We set about achieving a unique design for our tents, and thank the team at Eco Structures, for their expertise and role in making it all happen.”