In recent years the Mornington Peninsula has stepped up it’s game. It’s always been a favourite weekend retreat of Melburnians but these days a plethora of world-class luxury accommodation and wineries, along with incredible scenery make it a must-do add on if you’re visiting Melbourne, and at only 90 minutes away from the city you’d be silly not to go. Here are just a few of the reasons you should visit:
Wineries & restaurants galore
The Mornington Peninsula is idea for producing cool climate wines such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Tempranillo and Pinot Gris, and there are more than 50 cellar doors to keep you busy. Being only 90 minutes away from Melbourne makes a day visit much more accessible than regions such as the Hunter Valley in New South Wales or Barossa Valley in South Australia, but given the huge number of wineries this wine region is best explored with time on your side.
Some of the standouts are:
Polperro by Even Keel
Small and boutique in a beautiful setting. Also with four luxury villas. (see below)
A great place to stop for lunch or dinner or stay a few days. (see below)
Port Phillip Estate
A large and commanding winery with some boutique accommodation. Also a great spot for a long lunch with a view.
Excellent casual dining with scenic vineyard views. Just go with the Chef’s Menu where you’re served up what the chef decides on the day. It is great value but unfortunately you can not book.
Popular and well-known winery with stunning views overlooking vines and a sculpture park.)
One of the most spectacular vineyards on the Peninsula. The cellar door openings are a bit limited but we have access to private barrel tastings.
Merricks General Store
Excellent for lunch. Also serves as the Cellar Door for Baillieu Wines and Elgee Park (Baillieu Myer’s vineyard).
If you love golf then you’ll want to come to the Mornington Peninsula. Australia’s premier golfing region plays host to 15 clubs and 20 golf courses. Three of these are in Australia’s top ten, plus another six in the top 100. There’s a golf course to suit every skill level and many boast spectacular ocean views. No where else in Australia offers such a broad range of courses in such a small area.
Click on the links below to find out more about two of the top golf clubs in Australia.
Beaches and Nature
From the calm crystal clear waters of shallow beaches all the way along Port Phillip Bay from Mornington to Portsea to the rugged back-beaches of the wild ocean on the other side of the Peninsula, there is plenty of choice for the novice to the experienced swimmer or surfer. The back-beaches could be said to resemble the coastline of the Great Ocean Road with wild waves, dense tea-tree covered sand-hills and eroded outcrops. There are some great walks along the back-beaches and at low tide there are plenty of rock-pools that are deep enough to swim in and cool down.
Note: There are life-guards at some beaches during summer however only confident and strong swimmers should venture into the surf.
Point Nepean National Park
Well worth a visit if you enjoy walking and history is Point Nepean National Park. It’s the furthest point from Melbourne on the Peninsula and was once a defence base. There are a series of military fortifications as well several walking tracks that lead to interesting viewpoints of Melbourne and Queenscliff on the opposite side of the bay.
Cape Schanck Lighthouse
There are numerous walks at Cape Schanck of varying lengths that take you along rugged coastal landscape. Visit the lighthouse, Bushrangers Bay and enjoy the several lookouts with views of Devils Desk and Pulpit Rock.
Boutique Luxury Accommodation
This sleek new hotel has hit the ground running and got tongues wagging. Ultra modern and sexy, the juxtaposition of it’s black walls and unique art works are at odds with the surrounding vines and makes a striking impact.
With 42 suites, 2 onsite restaurants (Doot Doot Doot and Rare Hare), a cocktail bar and it’s own winery, Jacklaope is a destination in itself and a must for people wanting a lively funky escape from Melbourne. Find out more >
Polperro is perfect for that peaceful romantic getaway and a great base for exploring the region. We love the gorgeous suites (only four in total) overlooking the vineyards. You could spend all day in them, if only there wasn’t so much to do! Find out more >