The Mornington Peninsula is just an hour’s drive south-east of Melbourne. It’s the best place to visit if you’re looking to escape the city for a few days.

A trip to the Mornington Peninsula

Between December 2016 to January 2017, the Mornington Peninsula attracted more than 1.6 million visitors. It’s a popular destination for everyone looking to escape the city for a while.

However, there is more than meets the eye in this beautiful paradise. Whether you’re looking for a day at the hot springs or wine tasting, there’s always something for you to do.

To ensure you get to all the places you want to check out at the Mornington Peninsula, book a car rental from Melbourne or Dandenong, depending on where you start your journey. Here are the things you should include in your itinerary:

1. Visit vineyards and taste exceptional wines

When it comes to quality wines and idyllic vineyards, Australia is one of the best in the world.  Adelaide has world-class vineyards that are perfect for romantic getaways. But here in Victoria, the Mornington Peninsula can offer you the same quality, if not, better. Here are some of its most renowned vineyards in the area that you can visit:

  • Panton Vineyard. The list of wine at Panton Vineyard may be short, but each one on the list is exquisite, especially when partnered with the perfect cheese platter. When you visit, remember to try the Sangiovese. It’s an Italian grape wine that is considered rare in the region.
  • Main Ridge Estate. A trip through the Mornington Peninsula is not complete without stopping by the Main Ridge Estate. It’s one of the oldest vineyards in the region.
  • Point Leo Estate. When you visit Point Leo Estate, your taste buds aren’t the only ones in for a treat. A sculpture park surrounds the Estate, where visitors can see some impressive works of art from all over the world. The Estate promises a spectacular experience where visitors can experience luxury and extravagance.
  • Trofeo Estate. At Trofeo Estate, wines produced in a terracotta amphora. It’s an old tradition mastered right there at the winery, resulting in elegant, soft wines with hints of pure fruit.

Wine connoisseur or not, any of these wineries are well worth a visit.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Never drink and drive, prioritise safety at all times. If you are enjoying the fruits of the many wineries labour, wine tasting, don’t forget to plan and organise a designated driver.

2. Spend a day at the Peninsula Hot Springs

Take some time out to unwind and nourish your mind, body and soul. Connect with yourself and nature in natural thermal mineral waters and deep underground pools.

Enjoy the variety of cave pools, underground sauna’s, ice cave, reflexology walk and so much more. Why not treat your self to one of the many signature spa packages at the Peninsula Hot Springs, followed by lunch at the bathhouse cafe. Booking in advance will ensure you don’t miss out.

  1. Stretch your legs and go for a hike at Point Nepean National Park

Spas and wine aren’t the only ways to spend your getaway. Reconnect with nature, enjoy a walk and take in the beautiful landscapes and rich history among the Point Nepean National Park trails.

The Point Nepean Coastal walk is a great way to explore the very tip of the Mornington Peninsular. The 6km round trip takes in picturesque beaches, some gun turrets and Fort Nepean, with The Rip Lookout marking the halfway point.

Take in the remnants from Australia’s wartime history as you near Fort Nepean, enjoy the opportunity to be able to jump in and explore most of the fortifications along the way including, the well-maintained tunnels, barracks, storehouses, gun emplacements and bunkers.

Allow 2 to 4 hours to enjoy everything this coastal walk has to offer.

  1. Explore the trails at Bushrangers Bay Walking Track

The Bushrangers Bay Walking Track is an exciting coastal adventure starting from the Cape Schanck lighthouse carpark. Enjoy stunning views along the Cape Schanck cliff tops to the Lighthouse.

Venturing out early will increase your chances of coming across the abundance of wildlife in the area who often venture close to the walking trails. The final descent into Bushrangers Bay opens up into a golden stretch of beach enclosed by rugged cliffs. During the warmer weather take the opportunity to swim in the many rock pools, so don’t forget to pack your swimmers.

     5. Visit the Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens

Challenge your wits and hopefully don’t get stuck in a maze at the Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Garden. Find the oldest and most famous hedge maze in Australia as well as a circular rose maze set among 25 acres.

The Lavender Labyrinth is made up of more than 3000 lavender plants overlooking the Arboretum. Taste the full range of lavender products including, tea, shortbread, ice-cream, shower gels and oils all grown from lavender on the property.

Have fun taking up the challenge of the Great Gnome Hunt and help find Mazey Mikes friends scattered around the gardens.

     6. Arthurs Seat Eagle

Get a Bird’s Eye View of the Mornington Peninsula. The gondola ride takes you over Port Phillip Bay towards Melbourne. As you glide over the Peninsula, take in the 360-degree views of the majestic Australian landscape. See grazing kangaroos, distant coastlines, and gumtrees swaying in the breeze. It’s the perfect way to enjoy nature in all its glory.

Once you reach the summit, visit The Eagle Cafe for a casual dining experience while enjoying the fantastic views from the expansive outdoor deck. Why not stop in the gift shop where you can pick up some souvenirs to remember your day.

     7Pack a lunch and visit a picnic spot

Can’t get enough of the great outdoors? Then pack your lunch and head down to one of Mornington Peninsula’s many picnic spots. Each spot is quiet and promises a relaxing day with your loved ones. Here are some of its must-visit picnic places:

  • Seawinds Gardens. A short walk from Arthurs Seat Summit, Seawinds Gardens allows you to enjoy some exotic formal gardens in the area. Wander around William Ricketts sculptures enjoying magnificent views of Port Phillip. Access for people with disabilities and electric barbecues are available for everyone to enjoy. If you extend your stay, you can even catch a glimpse of some grey kangaroos that make an appearance around dusk.
  • Sorrento Historic Park. Lay down your picnic blanket on the grassy hills of Sorrento Historical Park. Your kids will love rolling down the hills and spending time at the wooden adventure playground. There are also picnic tables along with bbq facilities available for families who want to enjoy a more convenient experience.
  • Schnapper Point. Located at the end of Main Street, Schnapper Point is an excellent place for a family picnic. The area features large, shady trees, and has all the necessary facilities like playgrounds, BBQs, tables, and even drinking fountains available for your convenience.

Don’t let the fun stop and fill your schedule with activities that you will surely enjoy!  Choose the Mornington Peninsula for your next holiday destination. You won’t be disappointed. Start planning and book a reliable car rental from Melbourne or Dandenong.