I love made-up words; ‘excellerate’, ‘crafternoon’, ‘loonwalk’… I could go on. I realise that this is a very nichey niche thing I’ve got going on so it was with intense delight that I stumbled across a place called Sparadise. A spa in paradise … what could possibly go wrong?
Well, here’s one thing. Sparadise is located on the outskirts of Lithgow. You heard right, folks. LITHGOW. Prior to my little weekend excursion, I have only been to Lithgow in passing and there is a good reason for that. Lithgow is not a destination so much as a pit stop on the way to somewhere better. Not only that, it’s a pretty hefty drive from Sydney if you’re only planning to go for a soak in a Japanese hot springs and then turn around and drive home.
And yet this is what we did. We drove for three hours, splashed about and then drove home. And what’s more, it was worth it.
Because of my bumbled organisation (I didn’t realise how far away it was), we arrived at Sparadise in a tizz. Not only was I running late for my painfully expensive massage ($75 for half an hour), we had to talk the militant Japanese staff into allowing my friend Elly in to the baths. Turns out bookings are essential essential.
Once we made it inside, things improved. Elly was spirited off on a tour of the baths (it’s slightly complicated – there’s a locker room, a bathroom, an indoor warm bath and cold plunge pool, Japanese-style seated showers, a herbal steam room, a silence room, an outdoor natural thermal spring and a reflexology path) and I was ushered off to a private room for my massage.
And so began the most relaxing three hours of my life. After my massage, Elly and I spent the afternoon wandering from pool to pool, hot to cold. With each transition, a little bit of stress washed away until eventually, we could barely string a sentence together.
Sparadise offers accommodation but it’s ultra-expensive and by the looks of it, not very flash. It also has a ‘tea shack’ which is a glorified Colourbond shed. Go for the springs … and then go home.