The best saunas in Canberra

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Where to find the best saunas in Canberra. Photo: File.

Saunas have become an incredibly popular way for people to unwind, sweating out stress and muscle pain. Whether it’s part of your exercise routine, the last stop in a spa treatment, or a simple leisure activity, visiting a sauna can be a fantastic way to take care of yourself in ways you might not otherwise be able to.

If you’re interested in visiting a sauna, it’s important to know the difference between the good and the great. That’s why we’ve put together this article – we’ll tell you about what makes a great sauna experience, and give you a handy guide to some of the best venues in Canberra.

What makes a great sauna?

Not all saunas are relaxing and detoxifying. In fact, many can be uncomfortable, unclean, and overly suffocating. Here are a few of the traits you should look for in the best saunas in Canberra.

  • Cleanliness. First and foremost, the sauna you attend must be clean. There is nothing more disgusting than an unhygienic spa experience, so make sure cleanliness is your number one priority.
  • The right temperature. Just like Goldilocks’s porridge, the sauna you attend should be not too hot and not too cold, but just right. Too hot, and you could begin to feel light-headed. Too cool, and you may not reap the many benefits of heating the body.
  • A relaxing atmosphere. There’s no point in taking time out to rest and relax if the atmosphere isn’t quite right. You don’t want anything too clinical, awkward, or careless. Instead, you want absolute relaxation – inspiring décor, music, and aromatherapy add to the spa-like atmosphere of Canberra’s best saunas.
  • Comfortable. Uneven tiles, hard edges, and other uncomfortable features can make it difficult to enjoy your sauna experience. Look for a sauna that puts their customers’ comfort first.
  • Other facilities and treatments available. While a sauna is fantastic, before and after it can be nice to indulge in other treatments and facilities. Many spas offer saunas alongside their massage therapy, plunge pools, manicure and pedicure services, and more.

The best saunas in Canberra

Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Hale Spa

Hale Spa is one of Canberra’s most luxurious wellness destinations, offering a sanctuary for the mind and body with their range of treatments. Their saunas and steam rooms are geared toward extracting impurities while relaxing your muscles and promoting recovery.

As Google reviewer Janet Williams writes, I had a massage at Hale Spa and was incredibly impressed. The spa has beautiful facilities and well-trained staff. It was the most luxurious experience I have had at a spa in Canberra. I will be back soon.”

Enliven Infrared Saunas

Enliven Infrared Saunas is Canberra’s first and only dedicated infrared sauna studio. Unlike traditional dry or steam saunas, infrared saunas heat your body up from the inside rather than the air around you. Casual sessions or a packs of up to 10 sessions are available to book.

As Facebook user Ali Simmons wrote, What a fantastic place to relax and enjoy the benefits of having an Infrared sauna. Looking forward to my next visit.”

Rest & Recovery Centre

Rest & Recovery Centre is a place to come to recover, recuperate and revive your body to be at the best level it can be. They offer a range of services to suit anyone at any level of fitness. As part of their remedial therapies, Rest & Recovery has infrared sauna facilities to supplement their other treatments. Sessions can be purchased casually or in packs of up to 10 visits.

Peter Cook reviewed on Google, “A relaxed atmosphere to unwind. It has all the facilities you’d expect, as advertised, and all the usual comforts.”


Authentix believes that when we look good we feel good, and when we feel good we look good. That's why their beauty therapy and colonic therapy packages are dedicated to helping you feel like your best self. Authentix has an infrared sauna experiences available for those just trying it out, as well as offering it in conjunction with their colon hydrotherapy to help in full detoxification of the body.

Google reviewer Petra Jungmanova says, Simply perfection from the personal service and connection to my experience. I felt very nurtured. Thank you for being awesome.”

A trip to the sauna can be an amazing way to unwind, but it’s just one of many therapeutic options available to you here in Canberra. Check out our articles on the best Thai massage salons, the best acupuncturists and the best day spas in town for some more ways to take a break and look after your body.

Your experience with saunas in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback, if you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you had experience with any of the saunas listed above? Have we missed your favourite? If so, please share your feedback in the comments below!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the health benefits of a sauna?

Spending time in a sauna can do wonders for your physical and mental health all at once. The heat from the sauna can improve your circulation, speed up your metabolism, expel toxins from your body, release endorphins, and help alleviate stress.

Where are saunas from?

Saunas originated in Finland, first as ways to heat the home in Finland’s incredibly cold winters. Today, they are used recreationally for their health benefits, but can still be found in peoples’ homes!

Could I have a sauna installed in my home?

Absolutely! Saunas can be quite small and easily installed in your home. As long as you have a convenient location for it where it can be easily connected to electricity, there is nothing stopping you from having one of your own.

Is infrared heat in a sauna dangerous?

Not at all – while UV heat is harmful, infrared heat is perfectly safe. In fact, the human body absorbs and emits infrared heat all the time. In a sauna, infrared heat is able to warm your body from the inside out, penetrating deep tissue and the toxins stored there, rather than just the sweat glands.

What is the difference between a steam room and a sauna?

The major difference between a steam room and a sauna is type of heat that they provide. A sauna uses dry heat, usually from hot rocks or a closed stove. Steam rooms are heated by a generator filled with boiling water. In effect, both of them achieve the same thing.

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Aditya Kumar7:21 pm 05 Aug 20

For those of you looking at Foot and Thai, it has permanently closed.

colourful sydney racing identity4:03 pm 25 Aug 10

Khandalah said :

And lol being a straight female definately not looking for the gay sauna variety.. ‘not that there is anything wrong with that’ but I would feel just a tad out of place!!

Ah, that cracked me up 🙂

Thanks for the great leads! I think I’ll try the thai massage and get the benefit of both sauan and massage. And lol being a straight female definately not looking for the gay sauna variety.. ‘not that there is anything wrong with that’ but I would feel just a tad out of place!!

Waiting For Godot11:12 am 25 Aug 10

Isn’t if funny how a few years ago the meaning of the word “gay” changed to homosexual. Now if you say the word “sauna” people immediately think of establishments like Ken’s at Kensington or King Steam in Sydney where men have sex. But I suppose the words “massage” and “making love” went the same way among the straights years ago.

The AIS has a good sauna, spa, and plunge pool.

This sauna is really nice, it’s one of the ones which is infrared so it’s really effective but you don’t over heat, if that makes sense?

VikingWizardEyes5:28 pm 24 Aug 10

+1 for Foot and Thai!!!

Pommy bastard5:22 pm 24 Aug 10

You get a free sauna following a (paid for) massage at “Foot and Thai”, highly recommended.

Try and befriend a Finn in your neighbourhood. They are bound to have a genuine sauna in their backyard or garage.

Why dont you ask the patrons of the Black Mountain lookout, I am sure that they would know.

I don’t know that there is one. There is a sauna/steam room at Fitness first, but I wouldn’t call it good. At the gym at the Hyatt there are a couple of small ones, but it’s been years since I was last there so no idea what they are like now.

colourful sydney racing identity4:25 pm 24 Aug 10

what are you actually after? are you after a regular garden variety sauna or are you looking more for a male only type establishment?

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