Local Escapes

How To Retreat Yo’ Self On The Mornington Peninsula

By Sophie Colvin - 27 Mar 2017

Some holidays are for relaxing, some are for eating and some are for activities. But we hate choosing, so we’ve tracked down the perfect weekend retreat which combines a little of all three (Nothing too strenuous though) on the Mornington Peninsula. Follow this list and you can't possibly go wrong.

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Some holidays are for relaxing, some are for eating and some are for activities. But we hate choosing, so we’ve tracked down the perfect weekend retreat which combines a little of all three (Nothing too strenuous though) on the Mornington Peninsula. Follow this list and you can't possibly go wrong.

Feasting

1. Max’s at Red Hill Estate

For relaxed dining, epic views and more than a top-notch drop or two, Max’s at Red Hill Estate is exactly what the doctor ordered. Max—the man himself—will often be floating around making sure you’re perfectly comfortable, and the food is every bit as delicious as it should be. We had the kangaroo and it was perfectly paired with a red from the vineyards below. Hot tip: grab a recliner chair outside and settle in.

2. Mornington Peninsula Brewery

Tucked away down a back street in Mornington, you’d need to be in the know to stumble upon Mornington Peninsula Brewery, but maaaaaan, once you’ve found it, you’ll be returning time and time again. Brewing a selection of beers, including everything from a pale ale through to a porter, you’ll find yourself close to the brewing action, while still being able to kick back in the beer garden and feast. Mornington Brewery also make their own pizza on site—is there anything this brewery can’t do?

Activities

3. Enchanted Adventure Garden

Tree Surfing? Adventure courses? Tick!  We had an absolute wow of a time flying high between the branches (and realising our balance isn’t quite what it used to be.) There’s also a flying fox with a helluva view, and for those more content keeping their feet firmly on the ground the Enchanted Adventure Garden has a  stunning garden complete with an impressive hedge maze if you're up for the challenge.

4. Polperro Dolphin Swims

Listen up. This is not a drill. You can actually swim with dolphins on the Mornington Peninsula. No need to trek to some exotic, far away location, just nip down to the Pen and book in with Polperro Dolphin Swims. It’s a family run tour company and they know the bay (and the dolphins!) like the back of their hand. They can’t guarantee that you’ll always see dolphins, but there's a very strong chance. (We did!) The dolphins in Port Phillip Bay are unique in that they don’t migrate—they stay in the bay all year around. Head out with Polperro, swim with seals and dolphins in their natural environment then head home and rave about it to your friends.

5. The Eagle

If you’re all about views at a chilled pace, the newly opened Eagle is an absolute Peninsula must. Kind of like a very luxe ski lift/gondola—The Eagle at Arthur’s Seat slowly trundles up and down the hill offering breathtaking (and totally insta-worthy) views of the coastline. For the cheap, cheap price of 25 smackaroons, return (down the hill and back up again) you can fly higher than an Eagle. 

Treating Yourself

6. Peninsula Hot Springs

A steamin’ highlight of the region, the Peninsula Hot Springs are an absolute must. Book the bathhouse for your choice of over 20 different bathing experiences (you can hop between them all.) They include the very, very hot, and the very cold, so you can mix things up to feel fully invigorated. For good reason the Peninsula Hot Springs are more than a tad popular. They’re open from 7:30 and we highly recommend you get in early for maximum relaxation and minimum crowds. Add on a massage treatment. You’ll have zero regret. Trust us!  

7. Red Hill House

Is a retreat really a retreat without a little retail therapy? No, we didn’t think so either. Red Hill House in (you guessed it) Red Hill is an absolute treasure trove of things. Warning: You’ll want buy everything. From clothes and kitchen knick knacks right through to artwork and jewellery—we challenge you to leave empty handed. (don’t actually take up that challenge, you’ll kick yourself later).

Stay

8. Polperro Wines

The Mornington Peninsula is definitely NOT short of a place to stay, but we totally lucked out in terms of quality and experience. Polperro Wines (in no way connected to the dolphin tours) has four villas that are truly the best accommodation we’ve ever clapped eyes on. Not a word of exaggeration, we stepped inside and (on this rare occasion) were lost for words. Our self-contained villa had a beautifully appointed kitchen, the biggest flippin’ spa we’ve ever seen, a little private balcony and a sofa we swear was specifically designed for snuggles. One thing is for sure, it’s firmly on our ‘must re-visit’ bucket list. 

Melbourne’s an incredible city, but sometimes we all need to get out of town for a weekend. The Urban List has partnered with Visit Victoria to bring you great, regional getaway inspiration — the ultimate guide to Victoria’s regional gems. For more ideas about where to wander through nature’s finest hot-spots, click here.

Video credit: Andrew Englisch via The Phoenix Effect for The Urban List 

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