A short drive to the south west of Melbourne, is the Mornington Peninsula. One of Melbourne’s most famous attractions stretched over 100km, it feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There is so much to do here, people often come for a mini holiday, for some rest and relaxtion, spending time playing golf, visiting the vineyards, markets and spas.
The Mornington Penninsula is most well known for its vineyards especially its, pinot noir. There are more than 50 cellar door to visit which are open on most days until 5pm. Red Hill is the main area for the vineyards and the estate is one of the oldest areas in the region. Visiting the vineyards is fun whatever the weather. I went in the winter when it was rainy and cloudy in the winter, but there was an open fire inside keeping the guests toasty and warm (and yes it can get cold in Australia). Many of the cellar doors have a restaurant where customers can enjoy the panoramic views of the vineyards. In summer, there are quiet a few Melbournians who have their wedding receptions at these venues.
My friend who I was visiting in Melbourne, suggested we go to the hot springs on the peninsula. I am normally not a big fan of the spas, but after the stressful week at work, I was more than happy to go. We went to the Penninsula Hot Springs where there are thermal mineral waters. It can get very busy so I would recommend booking at least a few days in advance, if not a week. There are many different bath pools with beautiful views overlooking the Peninsula. For those wanting a bit more of a pampering session, there are private treatments such as massage and relaxation reflexology.
You are Better off By Bike
Since arriving in Australia, I have gone everywhere by bike. However, biking to the Mornington Penninsula may have been just a bit too far. For those enthusiastic bike enthusiasts, there are many bike tours and trails to take part in. There are safe and well maintained cycle tracks to cater for even the beginner cyclist. There are two main companies where cyclists can rent bikes from, Bayplay Adventure and the Information Center in Point Nepean National Park.
Festivals – for Food Lovers
I love my food, of course I have to eat in moderation, but that is why Food Festival in the Mornington Penninsula sounds fantastic. Unfortunately I was not there when it took place on the 20th of October last year but hope to attend in the upcoming years. I found a lot of information about “What’s on at the Mornington Peninsula” on this website. For those who are not around at the time of these festivals, there are other craft and product markets to visit. Since 1994, the Mornington Racecourse Market have taken place on the second Sunday of every month, open from 9am until 2pm. There is also the Red Hill Community Markets which takes place on the first Saturday of each month and has been since 1975!
For those who love horses (and ponies), take a pony ride along the Gunnamatta Trail while visiting the Mornington Peninsula. It is open for all ages. Don’t worry if you have never ridden before, Gunnamatta’s Kids Program gives riding lessons to children from the age of 6. Book early to avoid disappointment. Many people ride the trail to St Andrews Ocean Beach. There are also individual rides for schools and business groups.
Next time you are visiting Melbourne, make sure you spend at least one weekend at the Mornington Peninsula. You will not be disappointed ! I only covered off a handle of activities to do on the Peninsula, visit it’s tourism site to find out more.