Who says you can’t enjoy a beach holiday in the middle of winter? A visit to the Mornington Peninsula in the off-season is bound to exceed all your expectations. Think: quirky art galleries, epic coastline views and gourmet experiences.
Travel along the EastLink and Peninsula Link freeways to Merricks, only about an hour and 15 minutes from Melbourne. Once you arrive at Merricks, your first stop should be to family-owned Merricks General Wine Store, which celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2022. The cellar door stocks a selection of varieties from the neighbouring region, as well as the family’s own Elgee Park and Baillieu wines. Meanwhile, the food menu celebrates fresh seasonal produce that has been sourced locally.
Once you’ve finished up, get ready to head off on a wine tasting at some of the local vineyards. You are spoilt for choice in Red Hill and the surrounding area, with Foxeys Hangout, Polperro Winery, Main Ridge Estate and T’Gallant all fabulous places to pop in and try the wines on offer.
Next, head to Pt. Leo Estate, where you will experience sophisticated wines, world-class dining, spectacular views and the privately owned Sculpture Park. The Sculpture Park is an outdoor gallery with more than 60 exhibits to admire.
Travel to Cape Schanck and check into your accommodation for the night at Cape Schanck Resort. Newly renovated, the resort has spectacular views of the rugged coastline, as well as of the Melbourne skyline. In the morning, make your way down the road to the popular Peninsula Hot Springs, Victoria’s first natural hot spring and day spa.
Now that you’re relaxed and have soaked your cares away, head to the neighbouring towns of Sorrento and Portsea. These two towns are renowned for being favourite holiday spots for the rich and famous. Enjoy lunch at the iconic Portsea Hotel, where you can take in sweeping views of the sparkling blue waters of Port Phillip Bay with a cold beer. The menu features all your favourite pub classics, along with fresh seafood and delicious pizzas.
Before heading back to Melbourne, stop off at Arthurs Seat, the highest viewpoint on the peninsula. With amazing views, it is an unforgettable experience and a perfect way to end your trip.
To discover the rest of the journey, read the Winter 2023 edition of Caravanning Australia.
Pictured: Cape Schanck. Image courtesy of Parks Victoria