OK, so we are two thirds of the way through winter and everyone is no doubt feeling the temptation to stay at home out of the chilly weather. But whilst the Mornington Peninsula certainly does shine as a summer getaway, don’t think for a moment that winter is out to disappoint!
An off-season break is more affordable and less congested than peak seasons – and there’s actually plenty to see and do in the region during the cooler months.
Here we present you with a list of just a few of our favourite things to do when the colours shift and the temperatures ease up.
If getting out and about for a bite to eat or wine tasting in front of a fire is more your thing, check out Sorrento Hotel, Morgan’s Beach Shack, Barmah Park, Crittenden Estate, Main Ridge Estate, T’Gallant, Rare Hare, or Panton Vineyard, just to name a few.
Let’s face it, a trip to the iconic Peninsula Hot Springs is always a good idea, but particularly in winter, slipping into therapeutic mineral waters is simply divine. Naturally heated between 37-43 degrees, there are various bathing options, and the complex also features a day spa centre, several dining options, a reflexology walk, cave pool, Turkish steam bath, sauna and more.
Rainy days are the perfect opportunity to grab your umbrella and head to one of the extraordinary museums and art galleries the peninsula holds. The Manyung Gallery is the region’s largest space for contemporary art, and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery showcases some of the most interesting art collections while offering events such as artist speakers and programs for youngsters.
A great way to discover the Peninsula’s finest artisanal products, freshest local produce, artists, local makers and performers is to head to one of the Peninsula’s many celebrated community markets. To find out more, click here.
Meander up and down the charming streets of Sorrento Village where both national and eclectic brands are represented including with the beautiful Country Road flagship store and Emia (which showcases an exciting collection of labels from around the world, drawing from the owners experience, including ten years at Dior). Start with brunch at The Boss’ Daughter, lunch at I’talico at the foot of the hill and for afternoon tea, be sure taste the famous vanilla slice at Just Fine Food.
While it might feel like the time to stay indoors on the couch by a warm fire, discovering the Mornington Peninsula on foot allows you to slow down and experience the things you miss when you drive – listen to the birds, encounter native wildlife, stop to take in the views, or find that secret beach. There are over 100 great walking trails scattered throughout the region, but because we know sometimes you need some inside knowledge to get you started, here are 4 of our favourite walks which we hope will inspire you to put on your winter woollies and get moving!
You don’t have to be a millionaire to walk along the cliffs from Sorrento to the beach at Point King, but you will get a glimpse of the lifestyles of the rich and famous along the Millionaire’s Walk. Take in the beautiful cliff top views over pretty, private jetties and spot the ferry on it’s way to or from Queenscliff. Make sure your phone or camera is fully charged for some fantastic pics. Check it out by clicking here.
Up for a challenge? The Mornington Peninsula 100km walk links four incredible trails and is best taken on over a number of visits. As you pass from the Peninsula’s highest point at Arthurs Seat, to the southernmost point at Cape Schanck, and to the very tip at Point Nepean, you will encounter remote bushland, sensational coastlines, summit views and hopefully spot a kangaroo or two. Download the fact sheet by clicking here.
Most visitors to Point Nepean will take the shuttle bus from the Quarantine Station to Fort Nepean, but if you choose to walk and experience the park in your own time you will not be disappointed. Connect with history as you wander through the old cemetery, take a look at Cheviot Hill and the Harold Holt memorial, and explore the tunnels and WW11 fortifications. The tracks will take you through woodlands and grasslands, along a remote stretch of beach, and via the road to Fort Nepean where you can take in the panoramic views. Check the trails by clicking here.
The Red Hill Rail Trail winds along the site of an old railway line and connects Red Hill and Merricks. Stroll alongside vineyards, admire the views over Western Port and stop to sit on the seats strategically placed midway along the trail. At either end there are some great dining options so have your transport home planned, sit down and have a coffee or lunch and raise a glass to a great day. Check out the rail trail by clicking here.
Of course during summer arguably one the main attractions on the Mornington Peninsula would be its vast array of stunning beaches, but the hinterland offers year -round activities for everyone.
The Enchanted Adventure Garden features four hedge mazes, five giant tube slides, 20 themed gardens, an outdoor sculpture park and an indoor three-dimensional maze. You can also go tree surfing; a high ropes adventure with zip lines, swinging rope bridges, suspended tunnels and a giant Tarzan swing set in the native trees of an ancient woodland garden. There are two courses to choose from: the Grand course for adults and teens and the Nippers course for young children.
Check out Arthur’s Seat Eagle where you can admire the Peninsula from its highest point, soaring in an enclosed weather-proof gondola.
Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Garden is Australia’s oldest and most famous hedge maze featuring a beautiful circular rose maze, and the year-round flowering Lavender Labyrinth. Set amongst 25 acres of world acclaimed gardens, the hedges comprise more than 1000 cypress trees, standing more than three metres high and two metres thick, with thousands of metres of pathways to challenge, inspire and delight.
With all of this just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, why not plan a mid-winter break?
To view availability within our property portfolio click here.
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