Venture down to the picturesque coastal towns of the Mornington Peninsula, where Melburnians spend their summer holidays and winter weekend escapes touring amazing beaches, discovering fine food and wine, and relaxing in hot springs while fleeing the hustle of city living.
Indulge in a weekend away and discover delicious food and fine wine, breathtaking coastal views and finish it all with a long soak at Peninsula Hot Springs.
DAY 1: WALK, WINE, DINE AND RELAX
Wake up early and start the morning fresh with a stretch and sweat session in the boutique yoga studio, Hot Hut. Calm the mind and let all your worries from your busy life melt away as you are led through a class with one of the talented yoga instructors. It is the perfect way to warm your body on a cold morning as the room is heated to a comforting 28-30°C.
After your zen session, grab a coffee and some breakfast from nearby Food on the Hill before you jump in the car for the 38 kilometre (24 mile) trip to the tip of the Mornington Peninsula and Point Nepean National Park. Explore the rugged coastline by foot or bike as you take in the natural beauty of the surrounds, or jump on the shuttle bus that will take you to all the main points of interest. Fort Nepean was important in the early settlement and defence of the region. Wander around the military forts and tunnels dating back as far as 1880 and see the historic Quarantine Station which consists of nearly 50 heritage listed buildings. Alternatively, if the weather is nice, you may prefer to simply explore the stunning beaches lined with beautiful rock formations like London Bridge, which was created by wind and strong surf.
After your walk, treat yourself to a leisurely lunch at the renowned Portsea Hotel in Portsea. Overlooking Port Phillip Bay, it’s the perfect spot to relax while enjoying a delicious meal.
Spend a laidback afternoon meandering along the main street of the historic town of Sorrento. With limestone shopfronts, it is the perfect area to explore art galleries, boutiques, homewares store and cafes where you can taste Sorrento's famous award-winning vanilla slice. While strolling along the main street shopping strip you will find a mixture of boutique retailers and chain stores; make sure you visit the town's historic post office building which dates back to 1905.
Jump back in the car and drive the 15 kilometres (9 miles) west to reach the Peninsula Hot Springs, a must-visit location when on the Mornington Peninsula. Here you can experience bathing in geothermal water while marvelling at the glorious sunset from the renowned Hilltop pool. Explore over 20 globally-inspired bathing experiences in the social, family-friendly Bath House or indulge with a spa treatment or a delicious dining package in the tranquil adults-only Spa Dreaming Centre. You will feel the benefits of the geothermal water as you connect to the natural surrounds.
Spend the night in front of the fire with a glass of Crittenden Estate wine in one of three boutique villas overlooking the lake and vines of the Estate. Each 4.5 star villa is fully self-contained and has a private deck to enjoy the natural outlook.
DAY 2: PICK YOUR OWN STRAWBERRIES, EAT FRESH FARM PRODUCE AND SEE THE AMAZING HEIGHTS FROM THE EAGLE
Start your morning hand-picking your own fresh, sweet strawberries from a beautiful, third generation owned property, the Sunnyridge Strawberry Farm. Enjoy an afternoon strawberry-inspired treat such as scones and jam, chocolate fondue or strawberry ice cream as reward for your hard work.
The options are endless when it comes to choosing a venue for lunch, as you are surrounded by wineries and farm gates. Many wineries offer both high-quality wine and a variety of delicious, fresh farm-produced meals. All are nestled among beautiful landscapes that will take your breath away, making it the perfect way to spend your last afternoon in the area.
Some of Mornington Peninsula’s most popular wineries include:
- Green Olive
- Max's at Red Hill Estate
- Stillwater at Crittenden Estate
- The Cups Estate
After lunch, head to Enchanted Adventure Garden for a bit of adventure and to see the world from a different point of view with an unforgettable tree-top climbing experience. You will have to overcome arial obstacles, bridges and zip lines all 10 metres (33 feet) from the ground. This family-friendly experience includes a large range of activities that will delight at any age, including mazes, tube slides, and the big zip, all amongst manicured gardens.
After swinging from the trees, why not get even higher and take in the breathtaking view on the The Arthurs Seat Eagle chair lift. This round trip gives you a full view of the Mornington Peninsula as your eyes scan the landscape around Port Phillip Bay, across to Westernport and on clear days you can even see all the way to Melbourne.