A short distance from Melbourne you’ll find the rolling hills, orchards, olive groves, historic mansions, and more than 200 vineyards of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. In this food lover’s region, you can buy organic vegetables from roadside stalls or pick your own strawberries, berries and cherries from orchards. Wander amongst olive groves with ocean views or picnic in one of the many public and private gardens. There are century-old rose gardens, sculpted hedge mazes and heritage homes to enjoy. After your food and wine journey relax in a day spa or play a round on one of Australia’s top golf courses.
The natural topography and mild climate of the region is well suited to wine growing. Many of the vineyards and cellar doors are clustered around Red Hill, Merricks, Balnarring, Moorooduc, Shoreham and Main Ridge. Pinot noir and chardonnay are the hallmark varieties of the region.
Buy organic vegetables from roadside stalls or pick your own strawberries, berries and cherries from orchards. Wander amongst olive groves with ocean views or picnic in one of the many public and private gardens. Visit the century-old rose gardens, sculpted hedge mazes and the manicured lawns of heritage homes. Montalto Estate is particularly known for its Australian architecture, intimate cellar door, and the beauty of its grounds.
The Mornington Peninsula is also a favourite beach holiday destination for Victorians. Visit the town of Mornington, where yachts bob in the harbour. Swim at the safe beaches of Mount Martha, Safety Beach and Dromana; or see the wild surf at Portsea, Sorrento, Rye, Point Leo and Gunnamatta.
There are many day spas and local hot springs in which to relax and unwind. Seven golf courses on the Mornington Peninsula feature in Australia’s Top 50 courses list. Enjoy the cosmopolitan cafes of Portsea. Check out the work of local artists in galleries in Mornington, Sorrento and Flinders.
Take in the coastal views and wildlife on a cliff-top walk through Mornington Peninsula National Park. Follow the Fort Nepean Walk past the tunnels guarding Port Phillip Bay. Or take the Bushrangers Bay Trail to Cape Schanck Lighthouse. Climb to the summit of Arthurs Seat State Park for spectacular views of the bay and Melbourne skyline. For a true challenge, the 26-kilometre long Two Bays Trail is the peninsula’s longest continuous walking track, linked by boardwalks, steps, bridges and grass paths. Spot fur seals, dolphins and seabirds on a wildlife cruise from Sorrento.
The Mornington Peninsula also hosts a number of food and wine themed events throughout the year. Enjoy the peninsula’s bountiful fresh produce at the Dromana Strawberry Festival and Frankston Sea Festival in January and Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir Celebration in February.
The Mornington Peninsula is approximately a one-hour drive south of Melbourne.