Gunnamatta Trail Rides
Step back in time and experience the Mornington Peninsula as the early settlers did – on horseback. Gunnamatta Trail Rides operates saddle-top adventures on the beach and through the bush, catering to all levels of experience. Saddle up for a twilight ride along St Andrews Beach, or book an all-day ride and enjoy sightseeing in the stirrups.
Surf and swell or sandcastles and serenity? Whatever your preference for a seaside sojourn, Rye has it all. Enjoy family-friendly swimming in the calm waters off the Rye foreshore and soak up the sunshine on the vast golden sands. Try your hand at fishing from the pier or simply enjoy a moonlight meander along the boards. If you want to up the adrenaline, head to Rye Ocean Beach on the other side of the peninsula. A long-time hit with surfers, this popular back beach packs a fierce swell. While swimming isn’t recommended as the waters can be treacherous, it’s a great spot to walk on the beach, explore the dunes and watch the surfers hang ten.
Peninsula Hot Springs
One of the Mornington Peninsula’s most famous tourist attractions – the Peninsula Hot Springs – is a stone’s throw from the centre of Rye, which is handy because after a session here you won’t feel like venturing too far. The springs are in the business of inducing bodily bliss, offering 20 unique bathing experiences, thanks to a steady stream of natural thermal mineral water. Try the cave pool, reflexology walk, scenic hilltop pool and Turkish steam bath, and if that doesn’t leave you feeling rejuvenated, book a private treatment for the ultimate in relaxation.
Rye’s flashy big sister Sorrento is an upmarket resort town 10 minutes’ drive west towards the tip of the peninsula, and is worth a visit for the shopping alone. Peruse the boutiques and galleries, housed in historic limestone buildings, and pick up designer labels, antiques, homewares, jewellery and nautical kitsch. The picturesque foreshore offers another safe swimming option, with numerous walking opportunities and jetties to explore. Book a dolphin swim and snorkel with bottlenose dolphins and fur seals in Port Phillip Bay, or explore the military installations at historic Point Nepean.
The Mornington Peninsula is no place for teetotalers and calorie counters; not if you want to explore what this region – famous for its vineyards and local produce – is all about. With 200 vineyards, 50 cellar doors and an abundance or restaurants, cafes and farm gate producers, the peninsula packs a party for your palate, and everything is readily accessible from Rye. Grab a map and let your taste buds lead you on the food and wine trail, where you’ll not only find a great drop, but also craft beer, cider, spirits, cheeses, chocolates, olives, honey, apples and berries.
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