The Mornington Peninsula is both a wine-growing region and beachside retreat, perfect for foodies and families.
DO Let loose in the hedge mazes and on the zip lines at the Enchanted Adventure Garden (55 Purves Road, Arthurs Seat, +61 3 5981-8449). Take advantage of the seaside locale and jump on one of Moonraker Charters’ dolphin and seal swim tours. In the pristine waters, you’ll snorkel with friendly fur seals and see pods of wild dolphins. If the whole family loves water, head to Peninsula Hot Spring (30 Springs Lane, Fingal, +61 3 5950 8777), a bathhouse and complex of natural mineral water pools that stretch up to one on a hilltop with 360-degree views of the landscape.
EAT AND DRINK With its position right on the water, The Rocks (1 Schnapper Point Drive, Mornington, +61 3 5973 5599) is a spectacular spot for lunch. Nab a spot of the deck and tuck into oysters, whole barbecued fish and small plates, while the kids enjoy spaghetti, fish and chips or a cheeseburger from their special menu. Stillwater Restaurant (25 Harrisons Road, Dromana, +61 3 5981 9555) at Crittenden Estate is a relaxed, family friendly spot with fine-dining chops. Dishes like jamon, fresh fig and manchego are created from local, seasonal produce. Another great spot that caters to everyone, including the gourmet, is the The Deck Bar & Bistro at Flinders Hotel (Corner Cook and Wood Streets, Flinders, +61 3 5989 0201). Enjoy pub classics alongside innovative bistro-style meals including confit duck with mango chutney.
STAY Stylish Cape Schanck Resort (Trent Jones Drive, Cape Schanck, +61 3 5950 8000), has a number of two- and three-bedroom villas. Its bushland setting is a haven for wildlife and you’ll often see possums, wallabies and echidnas as you stroll along the walking tracks. There’s also plenty for kids to do within the resort, including a swimming pool, tennis courts and indoor recreation room with air hockey, foosball and table tennis. For the adults, there’s an 18-hole championship golf course.
GET THERE The Mornington Peninsula is an hour’s drive from Melbourne.