The Great Artesian Spa in Mitchell, Queensland
“It’s like Reykjavik’s Blue Lagoon but the Australian country town version.” That was me explaining the Great Artesian Spa in Mitchell, Queensland to my youngest son.
Mitchell is a 6.5 hour drive inland from Brisbane. It’s a small country town (population: 1000) on the Western Downs. The Great Artesian Spa is on the left-hand-side when you approach Mitchell. You enter the spa through a community hall entrance. A day-pass is $8, students $6.20 and a family $26.30. There’s a small gift shop with local tchotchkes and other rooms with swimming equipment and stacks of pool noodles.
On the poolside deck, there’s an ice-cream stand and a small coffee outlet. Changing rooms are just behind the deck. The Great Artesian Spa has lovely landscaping – flowering trees and paved footpaths. Families are clustered in the shade on sun loungers and picnic tables.
There are two pools: one has artesian water at 40 degrees; the other pool has a cooler, regular temperature. The staff recommend only spending ten minutes at a time in the artesian water as it’s very hot and compounded by the fact we’re visiting in the middle of summer. The staff also point out the water bubbler to rehydrate from the heat.
There’s not really enough to do at the Great Artesian Spa to warrant staying all day but it is a delightful, refreshing, family-friendly pit-stop on an outback road trip.
Where to stay
En route to Mitchell (two-and-a-half hours away) is the Laurels of Chinchilla. The Laurels consist of a cluster of cottages and an old Queenslander set off from the Warrego Highway and edged in by Charley’s Creek.
The Laurels of Chinchilla is so special with its perfect, lush gardens and chic outback styling (seriously, it’s gorgeous). There are fantastic common areas where breakfast is served and large couches on the screened in veranda to drink wine and read a book.