Wineries, Farm Gates and Food
With 200 vineyards, 50 cellar doors and an abundance or restaurants, cafes and farm gate produce, the Mornington Peninsula is a foodie’s paradise. Come with a clean palate, bring a grazing basket and get set to discover the region’s spoils via your taste buds. The peninsula is renowned for its pinot noir and chardonnay, but you’ll also find craft beer, cider, spirits and locally produced cheeses, chocolates, olives, honey, apples and berries. Visit the Red Hill Community Market (September to May) to sample some of the best regional produce in one location.
If all that food and wine has you feeling a little over-indulged, burn off the excess calories on a walk to the top of Arthurs Seat at Dromana. The 314-metre summit boasts spectacular views of Port Phillip Bay and the peninsula; on a good day you can even see the city skyline and Mount Macedon beyond. Take the one-hour circuit walk to Kings Falls or stroll through the Seawinds Garden, which features indigenous and exotic gardens and sculptures by William Ricketts. The summit can also be accessed by road.
Peninsula Hot Springs
If relaxation to you means soaking in rich mineral springs and being pummelled by a massage therapist as they grind away life’s stresses, the Peninsula Hot Springs is your kind of heaven. The award-winning bathhouse features 20 bathing experiences, including a cave pool, reflexology walk, Turkish steam bath, sauna, cold plunge pools, massaging mineral showers and a hilltop pool with views across the peninsula. Book a spa treatment, dine in the cafe, and leave your worries at the door.
On the tip of the Mornington Peninsula you’ll find one of Victoria’s finest coastal treasures – Point Nepean, a historic defence post and Quarantine Station harking back to the 1800s. The national park is best explored on foot or by bicycle. Enjoy sweeping views of Port Phillip Bay, the heads and Bass Strait, and discover the many military installations and historic landmarks. Explore the gun emplacements, tunnels and ammunition magazines at Fort Nepean, the site of the first shot fired by the British Empire in World War II; see the Quarantine Station dating back to 1852; and visit Cheviot Beach, where former Prime Minister Harold Holt mysteriously disappeared 1967.
Life’s a beach, and on the Mornington Peninsula there’s no shortage of golden sands and rugged coastlines to enjoy. For families, the top picks are on the Port Phillip Bay side of the peninsula, where you’ll find miles of sheltered sandy beaches and calm topaz waters where the kids can safely swim. Safety Beach, Mills Beach at Mornington, and Sorrento Front Beach are all popular destinations for a dip. If you’re a surfer or seeking a more adventurous swim, head to the Bass Strait side of the peninsula and enjoy miles of rugged coastline. Sorrento Back Beach is a hit with surfers, and the little ones will enjoy exploring the many rock pools at low tide, while there are also spectacular coastal walks. For more great hikes and coastal views head to Cape Schanck, home to a historic lighthouse.
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