Food, Travel

Weekend Getaway to Mornington Peninsula

Mornington Peninsula is the perfect weekend destination getaway, being only an hour from Melbourne. Step into a world of natural beauty, amazing wineries, restaurants and plenty of things to do.

Eat and Drink

Merricks Creek Winery

Merricks Creek Winery is a delight to all who visit, raising the bar in the modern trend for relaxed casual dining to be enjoyed with standout wines. With a stylish new cellar door, visitors can take advantage of a unique perspective with the raised deck virtually sitting over the vineyards. The setting is magical. 

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Peter Parker is a winemaker/owner but also a clinical psychologist. His passion for Pinot Noir and Estate Chardonnay is tangible. A visit to the cellar door for tasting and a casual meal is highly rewarding and surprisingly affordable. With a family hands-on involvement in the winery you feel like you are being welcomed into the family. Image above: Jamie Durrant.

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Merricks Creek Winery is a standout James Halliday 5 Star Winery, with intensity of flavour in the Pinot Noir derived from close planted vines in the French style.

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Sit and relax on the open raised deck and take in the vineyards and Monet inspired garden. Image: Jamie Durrant.

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Shared plates are the way to go at a winery including Twenty month aged Italian prosciutto d Parma (sliced to order), and the popular Rare Rib Eye Fillet. Images: Robert Harmer Photography.

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Barrel tastings with Peter Parker are a unique experience and are by arrangement. We enjoyed a barrel tasting ourselves, and it was an absolute highlight. 

The menu is seasonal and takes the best of ingredients; whether for example cheese platters (as below) or say Blow torched buffalo mozzarella, roasted red peppers and grilled ciabatta.

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Montalto is a popular destination, notably its rennovated Cellar Door Piazza. You can dine indoors or outdoors among the stunning gardens and sculptures.

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The menu is seasonal and evolving; with pizzas a popular choice. We enjoyed the Confit duck legs, orange and juniper marmalade, and side salad. The duck legs were cooked perfectly and the orange and juniper marmalade was a highlight without being overbearing (we understand it may soon be sold as a condiment). 

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The wine here is also impressive with stylish cellar door adjacent. We were told by Luke in marketing that there are 6 vineyards in the area that produce the Montalto premium wines.

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Sweeping views greet the visitor; with a new raised function space adding to the ambience. We enjoyed a tour of the cellar door precinct; with Montalto offering a large range of quality wines at their cellar door. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the main game but there's some seriously good other varieties to enjoy such as Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, Rose, Tempranillo and Shiraz for example.

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D.O.C. Pizza & Mozarella Bar - Mornington

We enjoy stopping off for a visit to DOC on the Mornington Peninsula because we recognise them as one of the authentic and best Italian food operators in Melbourne. Whenever DOC is involved in any restaurant or event you know that it's going to be first class. Tony Nicolini is a revered maestro of all things Italian in Melbourne (Carlton and Mornington Peninsula). Tony has worked wonders with his artisan pizzas.



Images above: DOC Instagram.

The other aspect is the food store where you can purchase all things Italian; meats, cheeses, olives, oils, fresh fruit and vegetables, condiments, bread and much more. 

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See and Do

Peninsula Hot Springs

Peninsula Hot Springs is the ultimate relaxation visit and a family favourite. For a moderate fee you can spend literally hours soaking and imbibing warm natural spring waters.

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Victoria's first thermal springs located on the Mornington Peninsula, you can both relax and dine. 

Says their website: The Spa Dreaming Centre has an emphasis on tranquil spaces and is reserved for guests 16 years and older. Offering a choice of thermal mineral pools, indoor private bathing pavilions, outdoor private pools, as well as saunas and a Hammam. There are also an array of pampering spa treatments to revitalise body, mind and spirit. There is a café in the Spa Dreaming Centre that provides breakfast and lunch every day and dinner is available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

The Bath House bathing area features over 20 globally inspired bathing experiences, offering visitors a world of wellbeing, relaxation and fun. Experiences include a cave pool, reflexology walk, Hamam and hilltop pool with 360 degree views. The Bath House café offers lunches and light snacks every day of the week. Images: Peninsula Hot Springs Instagram.

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One of the highlights of the Mornington Peninsula is the large number of fine beaches such as Merricks Beach, Sorento, Cape Schank, Dromana, Mount Martha, Flinders, Rosebud, and Rye. Beaches can be divided between Port Philip Bay beaches and Ocean beaches. Most beaches have a good expanse of clean sand, and you may be able to set up a sun shelter and play some cricket. In the height of summer some of these beaches are extremely popular and you may need to arrive early just to get a nearby park.

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Mornington Racecourse

Mornington Racecourse is run by the Melbourne Racing Club and often voted number one course in regional Victoria, well kept and attractive with plenty to offer.

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Several popular annual events include The Peninsula Picnic and Gourmet Cinema, as well as Ladbrokes Peninsula Cup Day in October, and Mornington Race Days throughout the year. 

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Also check out the Mornington Racecourse Market on the second Sunday of the month. 

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Arthur's Seat

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Arthur's Seat is a popular Mornington Peninsula attraction as a hill that rises 314 metres to a summit, with spectacular views. An exciting development (in final stages of completion at time of writing) is the state-of-the-art gondola at the Arthurs Seat Eagle and fly over the state forest to the highest point of the beautiful Mornington Peninsula.

Arthurs Seat can be reached by road or on foot, and gives spectacular views of the bay and Port Phillip Heads. On a clear day the view extends as far as the city skyline, the You Yangs and Mount Macedon.

Take the pleasant one hour circuit walk to Kings Falls or visit the delightful Seawinds Garden featuring indigenous and exotic formal gardens, along with sculptures by William Ricketts. Image: Arthur's Seat Eagle Instagram


Flinders Hotel

Flinders Hotel mixes old world charm with modern facilities. The town of Flinders is also a fabulous destination with stunning pier and beach.

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Blending beautifully in to the coastal landscape, this contemporary architecturally designed hotel is anchored in the fabric of Flinders and inspired by the natural surrounds. Quarters offers impeccable quality and comfort for corporate and leisure guests, with 40 beautifully appointed and spacious rooms.  All rooms are complete with King size beds, all of which can be split into twin share, and fitted with quality Abode bed linen and Aveda bathroom amenities for your comfort.

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It's only a 13 minute walk to the Flinders Pier. And also only a 12 minutes drive to Merricks Creek Winery.

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Lindenderry at Red Hill

This classic country house hotel is well appointed and luxurious, close to the Red Hill and Merricks Creek gourmet district. Lindenderry at Red Hill is the best accomodation we know of on the Mornington Peninsula. According to Luxury Travel Magazine, Lindenderry at Red Hill is one of Australia’s best boutique hotels. It's close to Peninsula Hot Springs, Safety Beach and Merricks Creek Winery.

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Luxury in a stunning natural setting that changes with the seasons. Images: Lindenderry at Red Hill Instagram.

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