If the winter blues have you spending a little bit too much time in your trackies on a Netflix marathon, then perhaps a road trip getaway is just what you need? Just a short drive from Melbourne is one of our favourite regions, the Mornington Peninsula. The perfect little getaway destination for a girls trip or a romantic weekend with your bae.
Picture this… endless gourmet food, boutique shopping, wandering through art galleries, long soaks in the natural hot springs… oh, and more cellar doors then you could possibly imagine visiting in a weekend!
Here’s our ultimate travel guide to the Mornington Peninsula.
WHERE TO STAY:
Newly opened in Merricks, Jackalope is one hellova sophisticated boutique hotel. It’s just taken out not one, but three of Gourmet Travellers tops awards this year including Hotel of the Year. Yep, it’s that good.
Inspired by the concept of alchemy, Jackalope is unlike anything you’ll find in the region (and in our opinion, across Australia). It’s luxurious and it’s quirky. The fine dining restaurant Doot Doot Doot is outstanding (as is the casual dining option Rare Hare) and the vineyard views from a Vineyard room – WOW!
The hotel itself, as well as the grounds in general, are full of incredible artworks. The look and feel of the hotel, the bar, the restaurant, pretty much everything, is an interior designers dream. The free wifi, free mini bar, free drink on arrival (in their very glam bar Flaggerdoot), valet parking, free in room movies, an infinity pool facing the vineyard… The list of amazingness goes on and on!
You might not want to leave once you check in, and nobody’s going to blame you for that. Do yourself a favour and book two nights, not one. You won’t regret it.
BEST EATS AND DRINKS:
Food and drink options on the Peninsula are varied and plentiful. From farm gate tours to artisan providores and plenty of cafes in between, you’ll find loads of options for casual meals, to treats to take home to Melbourne with you. There are also some solid choices for fine dining too. You’ll also find cellar doors everywhere, food tours, farmers markets, cooking classes and heaps more.
Our tip? Hop over to the Mornington Peninsula tourism website and create your own food itinerary of all the delicious stops along your journey. You won’t be sorry… full – but definitely not sorry.
As one of the only places where you can actually go horseback riding in Victoria on the beach, Gunnamatta Trail Rides offers an unbeatable experience that can be booked for morning, afternoon or during evening sunsets.
Beginners and experienced horse riders alike will have an amazing time on this journey through the bushland, making your way along to St Andrews beach. Here you, your guides and your group will enjoy the sand dunes and splashing around for roughly 20 minutes before you begin your trek back to the stables. All up, the trail ride adventure runs for roughly 2 hours and can have the confidence in knowing you’ll be paired with a horse that’s perfectly suited to your riding experience.
It’s a bucket list experience you’ll never forget and there’s also options to add on other activities such as wine tasting, a ride and dine, or pair your ride with a long soak at the nearby Peninsula Hot Springs.
GET YOUR RELAX ON:
Speaking of the Peninsula Hot Springs, it’s the ideal spot to rest yourself after your beach horse ride, or just to catch up on some much needed relaxation. The natural hot mineral waters flow from the ground into the pools and private bathing areas, making it the perfect place to escape into your own little slice of heaven, no matter what the season.
Here you’ll find two facilities, the bathhouse with roughly 20 bathing experiences to choose from such as thermal mineral spring pools, a Turkish steam bath or Hamam, an underground sauna, as well as family friendly areas for younger ones. There’s also the hilltop pool with some pretty amazing views over the region (but you’ll be WAY too relaxed for Instagram!)
For some serious pampering, the Spa Dreaming Centre offers a variety of spa treatments such as facials, massages and scrubs and relaxation areas for guests over 16 years old. It’s a great way to enjoy some girl time too as it’s popular for hen’s days. There’s also a café onsite so you’ve no reason to leave for a bite to eat, yep, relaxation all the way!
The Mornington Peninsula is less than a 90 minute drive from most parts of Melbourne and after just a day or two can certainly have you feeling as though you’ve been away longer.
The drive around the Peninsula is heavenly.
There are so many beautiful things to see and experience, and the views out the windows are breathtaking.
FOR MORE PENINSULA TIPS CHECK OUT: