The Mornington Peninsula is one of Victoria’s most prized possessions, sitting just an hour away from Melbourne’s CBD the affectionately dubbed ‘Ninch’ by locals has sprawling bushland, dreamy coastlines, and a dizzying amount of amazing producers and makers to sample.
You’ve no doubt been down before but new things popping all up every week on the Ninch let’s get you up to speed.
Step One: Wombat Cafe
DISTANCE FROM MELBOURNE: 1 HOUR 15 MINUTES | 85 KM
While there’s a range of options through the suburbs of the peninsula one red hot favourite tucked behind the main drag of Dromana is all the rage. Wombat is a plant-powered fuelling station, home to one of the best smoothies in the state the ‘High Roller’ is a creamy blend of banana, peanut butter, vanilla and almond milk with a peanut crumble, and is easily consumed momentarily. There’s also more substantial numbers like berry and banana pancakes with coconut ice cream and compote, and a tofu scramble burrito with chipotle mayo, coriander and roasted sweet potato. The coffee pouring here is roasted around the corner by Little Rebel, who have their caffeine HQ in the Dromana industrial estate.
Step Two: Arthurs Seat Eagle
DISTANCE FROM MELBOURNE: 1 HOUR 15 MINUTES | 85.2 KM
No doubt you’ve probably heard about it or seen the Arthurs Seat Eagle while climbing the winding road up to Arthurs seat in the car, but actually taking flight on the ski-mountain style lift is an absolute must-do experience. Giving you an absolutely spanking 360º view as you near the top watch the native bushland lead down the cliffs and to the water. If your trip happens to coincide with Mother’s Day you can also enjoy a full high-tea in the gondola, sample local produce as you ascend above the clouds and make it a truly memorable day for Mum.
Step Three: Flinders And The Cook Street Collective
DISTANCE FROM MELBOURNE: 1 HOUR 18 MINUTES | 89.6 KM
Flinders is one of the biggest gems on the Mornington Peninsula, sitting on the bass strait facing side of the coast it’s a completely different look and feel to the bayside beaches and suburbs with ruggedly beautiful cliffs and raw ocean beaches. The main drag of Flinders, Cook Street has a more of a country town feel with a very strong communal atmosphere and is home to some local favourites like the Flinders Sourdough bakery and Italian outpost Donna Maria. Sitting right in the strip is Cook Street Collective, a gallery consignment space that celebrates art and crafted products from locals. With jewellery, paintings, sculpture, and ceramics you can grab a quality piece of the peninsula to stash at home.
Step Four: Montalto Winery
DISTANCE FROM MELBOURNE: 1 HOUR 19 MINUTES | 92.1 KM
A classic is a classic for a reason, every weekend the car park of Montalto heaves with curious admirers looking to sample some of their famed wines and food amongst the stunning backdrop of the vineyard and the Red Hill bushland. The peninsula is known for its rich soil that produces some of the best pinot noirs in Australia and Montalto boasts one of the finest drops. The award-winning restaurant and cellar door is now doing discovery tastings, an exploratory journey through wines of Montalto’s current stock and previous vintages, followed by a tasting menu of dishes made with local produce in the piazza space.
The Peninsula is home to some of the finest accommodation available in Victoria whether it be right on the brink of the water or tucked up in the vineyard hills. During this stay, we set up shop at Contained on Montalto's vineyard. This is a shipping container that’s had some serious TLC, these boutique eco-luxury hotels are full of high-end amenities like a wood-fire pizza oven, balcony deck, and are in walking proximity from the top-end winery's cellar doors. If you’re after a more holistic experience the Peninsula favourite Hot Springs’ glamping accommodation has just announced that each stay grants you 24-hour access to their baths, that’s a lot of potential soak time.
Editor's Note: Contained at Montalto has already been booked solid, but they’ll soon be landing at Rutherglen’s All Saint Estate, find out more here.
Looking for more local escapes? Check out this luxe new spot.
Image credit: supplied